Sydney tech girls win big at innovation awards

Team HappyNess tech girls are superheroes

Sutherland Shire year 5 student innovators, Team HappyNess, were named this year’s winners of the Junior Student category at the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) NSW iAwards, the nation’s leading awards program for innovation in the digital economy.

The all-girl team from St Josephs Catholic Primary School Como created an app to help girls aged 5-12 return to happiness. Named HappyNess, the app provides five ways to help girls overcome stress and anxiety.

These include laughter, by linking to funny videos, meditation, exercise, listening to happy music and positive affirmations.

The app is currently available in beta version on the Google Playstore and the girls are hoping to re-build it in iOS so it’s available on the App Store too.

Team HappyNess at the iAwards.

“We’re so proud of what the girls have achieved,” said mum and team coach Karen Taylor-Brown. “They identified a problem that’s close to their hearts and they wanted to find a solution using technology.”

Not only does the app provide confidence-boosting activities for its users, the HappyNess creators are reaping the rewards of tackling challenges you won’t find in your English homework.

The team and I came up with the idea when we didn’t have much confidence and didn’t like presenting,” says Lily, aged 10. “We thought it would help us feel better and it definitely did!”

The next step in this exciting journey will have the girls compete at a national level in Melbourne on the 30th August for the Junior Student award.

“Each year the awards shine a light on the exceptional achievements of those at the forefront of Australian innovation, and the projects shaping our modern economy.

We’re proud to provide recognition and encouragement to people prepared to bring an idea to life, enabled by technology,” said AIIA CEO, Rob Fitzpatrick.

The girls established their team in 2017 to compete in the Tech Girls are Superheroes competition, where they were equal winners of NSW category.

“I have always had a love for computers,’ said team member Summer Batch, aged 10. “I’ve now developed my skills in coding. I love working in our team and creating things together.”

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Eliza Brockwell

Author: Eliza Brockwell

Eliza is the Digital Producer for Careers with STEM. Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.

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