Nyngan High School wins Peoples Choice Award at Changer Challenge with plan to connect isolated communities

Nyngan High School have taken out the People's Choice Award in a challenge to future-proof western communities by linking young people to more opportunities.

The school was among nine high school teams to take part in the 2019 Game Changer Challenge in Dubbo on August 8 and 9.

The teams were asked to answer the 2019 Challenge question, 'How might we utilise technology for the betterment of humanity?'

Nyngan High School's vision 'Project Opportunity', was about advancing isolated communities who may be lacking services and even inspiration.

It aimed to tap into the creativity and ambition of youth in regional areas by using technology to foster interpersonal relationships and to encourage students to think outside their comfort zone when it came to skills and careers.


Narromine High School was overall winner with its plan to drought-proof their region through a water recycling and education system.

The day began with students asking questions of a panel of local businesspeople across a range of topics including the major challenges in incorporating high-end technology in rural and remote locations and how will companies sustain regional jobs in an age of automatisation.

As part of the event, students were taken through a 'design sprint' where they came up with a problem they wanted to address and then worked through a solution that was then pitched to a panel of judges including Regional Development Australia export development manager Andrew Foley and Bart Sykes, Charles Sturt University Dubbo campus manager, Leader Life CEO Joh Leader.

During the pitch session the teams came up with solutions to a range of issues affecting regional Australia including water restrictions, social isolation, community connection and empathy, the city-country divide, maintaining health professionals in regional communities and bringing new job opportunities to the bush.

Judging panel spokesperson NSW Department of Education director Linda Doherty said the range of issues addressed had impressed the judges.

"We really felt they had addressed issues that were of concern within their own communities and had designed very practical solutions that could be easily implemented," Ms Doherty said.

The Challenge was held as part of Education Week, now in its 65th year, which is an annual event to celebrate NSW public education and communicate the achievements of schools, their students, staff and families.