The Vision & Team

A Sustainnovation Challenge brings a community together to work on the things that matter to them the most. Lead by our next-gens, this community collaboration is building a pipeline of local innovation talent, bringing fresh ideas & perspectives that will see our communities grow and prosper.

The Mission

Bringing people together from all walks of life to share, learn, collaborate, innovate and grow. We search for clarity in the problems and challenges people and communities face in our towns, regions and cities. We apply innovation to these challenges as a community and deliver a solution. As a result, our connected, inclusive, problem-solving communities prosper; socially, economically and environmentally.

The Team

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Duncan Burck

Creator | Program Director
Duncan is a well rounded, collaborative, down to earth leader with a track record of innovation and program development in industry, community, education and next-gen partnerships. Developing innovative talent is something Duncan is very passionate about, believing that it is critical for our communities, now and into the future, to grow and prosper.
Clint Bruin

Clint Bruin

Advisor | Innovation Coach
Clint is a proven innovation professional with a long history of working in the research development industry. Skilled in systems and design thinking, control systems design, functional safety, strategic planning, and advanced product development, the Sustainnovation Challenge participants will be receiving coaching from one of the best thinkers in Australia's innovation space.
Tracey Breese

Tracey Breese

Advisor | Education Programs & Relations
Tracey Breese, Principal of The Hunter School of Performing Arts, is a highly respected and recognised education leader in the NSW Department of Education, and with her peers across Australia. Always at the front of innovation in education, Tracey brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and connections to the Sustainnoovation Challenge program.
Scott Sleap

Dr Scott Sleap 

Advisor | Education Partnerships
Scott is regarded as a visionary educator. In 2018, he was the first Technology teacher to win the Prime Minister's Prize for Excellence for Secondary Science Teaching. As a genuine collaborator and educational leader with over 25 years of experience, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to shape the Sustainnovation Challenge.
Trevor Stuart

Trevor Stuart

Advisor | Challenge Development & Industry Connections
Trevor’s background includes R&D associated with construction materials and the circular economy, operations management, project management, economic research, and continuous improvement projects. Trevor plays a key advisory role in testing and connecting industry partners to the challenge themes.
Ryan Palmer

Ryan Palmer 

Advisor | Local Government Strategy
Ryan has been the Mayor of Port Stephens since 2017, he is also a company director and Next-Gen advocate. Local government is a key partner in any Sustainnovation Challenge, the insights and direction Ryan provides in this critical area of the program ensure the Sustainnovation Challenge team are delivering an exceptional experience to local government partners.
Mary Burck

Mary Burck

Advisor | Project Management 
When she's not driving change and comms projects for the nib Group Mary is advising the Sustainnoviation  Challenge team on the setup of an effective process for delivering the program. Mary is a Certified Change Prosci Practitioner and Prince2 project manager. 
Gabe Robinson

Gabe Robinson 

Advisor | Challenge Development
Gabe has had an exceptional career as Creative Director on some of Australia's highest rating television programs, and as an innovator in the VET training space creating industry skills driven programs for students breaking into the creative industries. Gabe's contribution to the Sustainnovation Challenge programs ensures students will connect with their inner creator when taking on any challenge.

Getting Involved

Collaborate with like-minded organisations who see value in developing our young people and want to make a difference in their communities.


Learn how your organisation can benefit from supporting, sponsoring or collaborating in a Sustainnovation Challenge.

Developing Innovation Talent

The growth of our regions, cities, communities and businesses comes down to one thing, having a pipeline of innovative talent.

See how the Sustainnovation Challenge is developing talent who are community-focused, engaged problems solvers and innovators.

Sustainnovation Challenge Get Invovled
We Can All Get Involved

Community, local business and industry leadership involvement is a crucial element of a Sustainnovation Challenge.

Learn how you can get involved, and how the Sustainnovation Challenge team will create a customised opportunity for you as an individual or organisation can make a contribution to a Sustainnovation Challenge

The City of Newcastle Sustainnovation Challenge #2 Circular Economy: How can a smart city deal with plastic?
A Challenge Underway

The City of Newcastle, the largest regional city in NSW is also one of the most progressive and dynamic smart cities in Australia. 

Community, business, city leaders and the local secondary students are coming together to work on the challenges in their city - social inclusion, managing plastic and future industries.

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