Students shine at three-day Emerge-Youth Incubator program

10 JUNE 2022

Students shine at three-day Emerge-Youth Incubator program

High school students praised for their innovation and initiative and winners announced at the end of the Emerge Program at Charles Sturt.

  • The Youth Incubator program at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga from Tuesday 7 to Thursday 9 June helps young people develop their entrepreneurial mindset through design thinking and problem solving

Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga facilitated a free, three-day Youth Incubator Program as part of the Emerge Program for Years 9 to 11 high school students and Charles Sturt students to develop skills in readiness for the evolving future workforce.

The Emerge Program is funded by the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Community fund and is coordinated by the Charles Sturt University Innovation Hub.

The program aims to future-proof young people for a rapidly changing workforce. This includes developing problem solving, critical thinking, digital literacy, collaboration, creativity, leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship skills for the future.

Charles Sturt Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Michael Friend, said, “We are delighted to offer the Emerge Program Series to Wagga Wagga-based students this year and have partnered with the Young Change Agents who facilitated the Youth Incubator Program”.

In small teams the students from three local high schools ─ Kooringal High School, The Riverina Anglican College (TRAC) and Mater Dei Catholic College ─ were tasked to develop a project or new business idea and received support and guidance from successful business and community leaders.

Each team worked through a fast-paced process including masterclasses on the topics of prototyping, branding and marketing.

On the final day each team pitched their ideas to a panel of business and community leaders who determined the winners of the program.

The winning team, ‘Generational Bridge’ from TRAC (pictured), received a $2,000 Mastercard cash card for their school.

The team wanted to connect Wagga Wagga’s elderly with youth to work on projects, such as a community garden or an art exhibition.

It was a close competition, with only three points separating the top and bottom teams. Professor Friend announced the winning team from TRAC would receive $2,000 to go toward their project but that a further $400 would go to each team to progress their idea.

Minister for Regional Youth Mr Ben Franklin said the Emerge Program is a fantastic example of what the Stronger Country Communities Fund is designed to deliver.

“This program will help regional youth develop work-ready skills and empower them with relevant experience that will help set them up for the future,” Mr Franklin said.

The Youth Incubator program event was held at the Convention Centre at Charles Sturt in Wagga Wagga from 9.45am to 2.30pm on Tuesday 7, Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 June.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0429 217 026 or

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