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Robilliard Wins Program Funding with Optus Future Makers in 2017

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Souths Cares’ Grants and Evaluation manager, Angus Robilliard, was one of four digital and social innovators from across Australia to walk away with their share of $300,000 to make their idea a reality after successfully pitching to an expert panel at the second annual Optus Future Makers event.

After submitting their technology innovations in May, Angus was one of seven people who were shortlisted finalists for the 2017 Future Makers accelerator program. They were all mentored for four months, with experts from Optus helping them to hone their idea and develop the pitch that would go on to win funding from Optus Future Makers 2017.

Each finalist had to pitch to a panel of judges, that included John Paitaridis - Managing Director Optus Business, Claire Rodgers - CEO World Vision Australia, Steven Persson - CEO The Big Issue and Andrew Tyndale - CEO Grace Mutual.

After an intense pitching process, four finalists were named as this year’s Future Makers, walking away with their share of $300,000 – enough to bring their bold, innovative solutions to life.

John Paitaridis, Managing Director of Optus Business, said, “This initiative is an opportunity to help Australia’s innovators apply their talents to make a positive social impact with the use of technology.

“We know how important technology is in helping young people, especially those living in disadvantage, to access information and opportunity.

“Optus Future Makers aims to help close this digital divide with projects that are focused on improving the lives of vulnerable youth.”

Future Makers is an incubator program launched by Optus to foster digital innovation and bring to life bold ideas that have the ability to change the social landscape.

It supports entrepreneurs, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations with innovative technological ideas that help address the challenges faced by vulnerable young Australians across employability, education and mental wellbeing.

The four finalists were:

Angus Robilliard, from Redfern, NSW, who walked away with $11,000. Angus with his help of his workplace, South Cares, created the concept of a tailored case management system to assist their staff in supporting Indigenous high school students who are looking to join the workforce.

Danny Hui, from Bondi Junction, NSW, who walked away with $100,000 to make his idea a reality. ‘sameview’ is an app prototype which would enable multiple people involved in a disabled child’s care, including educators and healthcare professionals, to share information efficiently.

Dervla Loughnane, from Southport, Queensland, who walked away with $72,000 to make her idea a reality. ‘Virtual Psychologist’ seeks to remove barriers that prevent people from seeking traditional counselling, such as the fear of talking about issues face-to-face, by offering mental health services via text message.

Michael D’Rosario, from Mitcham, Victoria, who walked away with $47,000. ‘Hyveminds’ is a subscription textbook service with plans to provide students in underprivileged areas in Australia and abroad gratis access to digital textbooks.

Congratulations to Angus and the other finalists of the Optus Future Makers program.