Wired for Wonder Youth Summit

On 17th of November, Ms. Steele and a group of Year Nine girls attended the Wired for Wonder Youth Summit hosted by the Commonwealth Bank. This event took place in the inspiring and high-tech Customer Insights Centre in the Telstra building.

A highlight from the day was Fawad Nazir, the Chief Technology Officer of Telstra, and his inspiring story on how he got to be where he is today. He told us some very moving stories from his childhood which led him to the belief that with purpose and belief, you have unstoppable power. 


Another highlight from the summit was Jordan Nguyen and his talk on how he was motivated to help people with disabilities. Jordan is a biomedical engineer and inventor, he has designed and built technology to help people with disabilities to accomplish their dreams. An example of this is Jess Irwin, who has cerebral palsy, meaning she has limited movement in her joints. Jordan Nguyen brought Jess’s dream of becoming a classical music player to reality.  Jess performed at the Opera house with Jordan and his team’s technology allowing her to control the instrument with her eyes. The screen tracks her eye movements as she looks at the different chords. 

The youngest speaker of the day was Solli Raphael. Solli is a 14-year old boy who was at the age of 12 crowned the youngest winner of Australian Poetry Slam. At 13, Solli published his first poetry book, Limelight. His inspiring story of knowing what he wanted from a young age and grasping each given opportunity to reach his goals was truly motivating. He uses his influence through poetry to encourage others into action on global issues such as climate change. 

The speakers all shared individual tales on how they battled adversity, achieved triumph and most importantly, harnessed the determination and perseverance within themselves to succeed in their goals. They did not just advertise their victories, but rather consistently highlighted that younger generations have so many opportunities available to meet and even supersede these standards. Examples of these opportunities include those to improve on the planet, academic abilities or personal skills such as resilience. It was an undeniably inspiring event that resulted in a fluctuation of conversation about daring attempts at completing set homework and even promises of voluntary study. 

The speeches also presented a variety of future career paths from a diverse range of subjects, some of which suggested occupations that don’t currently exist. A talk from Brendan Hopper, the General Manager of the Cyber Security Applied Research Centre and Bob Flores, founder of Applicology Incorporated labelled the cyber security department as an ever-changing arms race between officers and criminal hackers. The mentioned industry involves exciting work opportunities for those with talents in technology, creative thinking, maths and those determined to work harder upon realising the rewarding finance of the job.

The Wired for Wonder Youth Summit was a motivating event from an academic and personal perspective. We all returned to school with a renewed passion for learning.

Gabby Toms and Claudia Nancarrow, Year 9

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