Mia’s innovative mind

Nine-year-old Mia Brebner from Emerald Primary School has been selected for her innovation skills from more than 2000 entries in Origin’s Little Big Idea competition.

An Emerald girl has been recognised as one of Australia’s brightest young inventors.

Nine-year-old Mia Brebner from Emerald Primary School has been selected for her innovation skills from more than 2000 entries in Origin’s Little Big Idea competition.

The grade three student is amongst 12 finalists from across the country, selected by a panel of expert judges for their innovative ideas.

Mia’s award-winning idea, the Neighbourhood Helper is an app designed to connect people with helpers in their local community.

The Neighbourhood Helper allows individuals to upload a task to the platform which then sends an alert to local ‘helpers’ who are able to offer their assistance.

Mia’s idea was inspired by the hardships those in her community had gone through as a result of being lonely, and her desire to support people in times of need.

Mia will receive $1000 towards her education and take part in a one-on-one mentoring session designed by Engineers Without Borders Australia to help evolve the idea.

Following the mentoring session, Mia will submit a final pitch video and be in the running to be crowned Origin’s Little Big Idea national winner in the grade 3-4 category.

Three national winners will be awarded a $10,000 education and innovation grant.

Little Big Idea judge and former NSW Young Australian of the Year Macinley Butson said she was in “awe” of the creativity and thoughtfulness of the entries this year.

“Amid a worldwide pandemic, we have seen some inspiring ideas focused on improving people’s health and wellbeing in particular,” she said.

“So many entries demonstrated extraordinary thinking, empathy for others and care for our environment. I’m excited to see these budding young inventors continue to evolve their ideas and problem-solving skills in the future.”

Origin CEO Frank Calabria congratulated all the students who entered the competition and showed their “inventive spirit”.

“The competition encourages Australian kids to explore their creative potential to solve real-world problems, and I am always impressed by the ideas we receive,” he said.

Three national winners, one from each category: grade 3-4; grade 5-6; and grade 7-8, will be announced in mid-November.