How Gladstone girls are changing women's lives with an app
THE region's brightest young minds are ready to take on Australia and the world after being crowned joint Queensland Secondary State winners at the recent Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition.
The Domestic Angels team, made up of four Gladstone State High School Students and one Year 5 student from Boyne Island State School, claimed the award with a phone app they'd been working on since March.
The app is disguised as a cleaning app, hence the name Domestic Angels, but actually allows victims of family and domestic violence to contact police without being detected by their abusers.
The Tech Girls Movement is a not-for-profit, runs programs across Australia and New Zealand with the Gladstone-based team beating more than 1000 other girls with their app.
Tech Girls founder Dr Jenine Beekhuyze said the girls did really well and it is hoped they can excel at the national final tomorrow in Sydney.
She is also a huge fan of the Domestic Angels app.
"It's a fantastic idea. It keeps the person anonymous - the idea is that if police come to the door and the abuser is saying 'nothing happened', they have some evidence to go on," Dr Beekhuyze said.
"We had one app about single-use plastic bags, there were apps on teenage depression.
"One was about helping people with sensory processing disorders.
"It's all about making people's lives easier.
"Our programs are independently run and free.
"It's all about giving girls confidence and giving them skills around entrepreneurship and building technology.
"We take the national winners, and sometimes the state winners, to Silicon Valley, where they can come and pitch to the Googles and Facebooks of the world."
Ten-year-old Boyne Island student Kasey Pfeiffer came up with the idea of the domestic violence-themed app after hearing domestic violence had affected one of her friends.
"I thought it would be a good idea to prevent that," Kasey said.
"You can either turn the phone on and go into the app or click the power button three times and it opens the app.
"You then click on the third cleaning tip and it goes to the real screen."