BRAINS TRUST: Carolyn Dunstan (Bororen State School), Nataly Fay (community relations coordinator at ConocoPhillips), Carol Devney (Gladstone Central State School), Sarah Jacob (deputy principal at Gladstone West State School), Mikaela Cleary (Gladstone West SS), Kellie Pagel (Gladstone West SS) with Jason Taylor (ANZ regional executive of business banking Central Queensland), Andrew Collis (principal of Ambrose State School) and Luis Arroyo of StartUp Gladstone at Ambrose State School.
BRAINS TRUST: Carolyn Dunstan (Bororen State School), Nataly Fay (community relations coordinator at ConocoPhillips), Carol Devney (Gladstone Central State School), Sarah Jacob (deputy principal at Gladstone West State School), Mikaela Cleary (Gladstone West SS), Kellie Pagel (Gladstone West SS) with Jason Taylor (ANZ regional executive of business banking Central Queensland), Andrew Collis (principal of Ambrose State School) and Luis Arroyo of StartUp Gladstone at Ambrose State School. Matt Harris

Successful entrepreneur program extending to further schools

AFTER a successful year as a pilot program at Ambrose State School the EarlyPrenuer program aims to reach new heights in 2019 with three schools set to add it to its curriculum.

Representatives from Bororen State School, Gladstone Central State School and Gladstone West State School attended a Train the Trainer workshop yesterday with the aim to upskill staff.

The EarlyPrenuer program is the brainchild of StartUp Gladstone president Luis Arroyo and has the support of ANZ and ConocoPhillips, a downstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG.

ANZ regional executive of business banking Central Queensland Jason Taylor said the bank had been on board with the program since its inception.

"StartUp Gladstone were looking for funding and they approached ANZ via our Seeds of Renewal program which is grants made available to regional communities that have a specific need and in this case it was IT and innovation," Mr Taylor said.

"This ties into what we're interested in which is community striving and we see this as a great contribution. Regional communities need specific funding for various things and they are very resilient and doing their own things, but at certain points in time they need assistance from the people around them.

"The school has developed a program whereby primary school students are starting to develop entrepreneurial skills, which we believe is a way of future proofing for the jobs they might be applying for or even starting their own businesses."

Mr Taylor expressed his excitement at what the extended program held for 2019.

"This (year) is a critical one because it takes what has been built at Ambrose State School and franchises the idea," he said.

"There's some integrity with how the program evolves because it's been successful here it needs to be successful at every other school it goes to.

"I think 2019 is the blueprint that could potentially see it go statewide."

 

Luis Arroyo of StartUp Gladstone at Ambrose State School.
Luis Arroyo of StartUp Gladstone at Ambrose State School. Matt Harris

Ambrose State School principal Andrew Collis said the school had benefited greatly from the EarlyPreneur program and was looking forward to seeing it branch out to other schools.

"It's great to be able to share with other schools who are willing to take it on. I'm a big believer that this is a very practical, hands-on process and is very engaging for kids," Mr Collis said.

"I've seen what it's done for my kids and my school and I'd love to see it in other schools."

Gladstone West State School deputy principal Sarah Jacob said they'll look to implement the program as soon as possible.

"We're looking at starting the program from next week," Ms Jacob said.

Ms Jacob said she was looking forward to a proposed inter-school Early Preneur competition later in the year.

"It's really important we have collaboration between schools so our kids can meet kids from other schools, can see different ideas and can share with the community at large," she said.

"We talk about kids being assessment ready but this is the next step - the EarlyPreneur is about kids being world ready."