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WA-first Academy empowering young minds for entrepreneurial success

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A collaborative WA-first Academy, coordinated by Curtin University, is set to open its virtual doors to promote and ignite entrepreneurial skillsets and ambitions in young Western Australians from early education to high school.

Officially launched today at West Tech Fest, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Western Australia (YEA WA) brings together key stakeholders in the entrepreneurial landscape to build a stronger culture of innovation in schools across Western Australia and build a more diverse economy within the state.

The YEA WA consortium includes Curtin, the Malka Foundation, Spacecubed, St Catherine’s College, All Saints’ Beyond Boundaries Institute and the Education Department.

The project has received funding from Curtin, the Malka Foundation and Innovative Society Initiative, supported by Lotterywest and Spacecubed, and has been aided through the collaborative Meshpoints network.

YEA WA will be a focal point for the coordination and collaboration of entrepreneurial education in Western Australia. Key strategies include:

  • Pre-service teacher training in entrepreneurship facilitation;
  • Connecting schools to the entrepreneurial ecosystem;
  • Creation of a community of practice for educators;
  • Advocacy for enterprise skills to be embedded across the curriculum; and
  • Inspiring future focused careers.

Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, the Hon Stephen Dawson said finding new ways to encourage innovation is critical to building a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem in WA.

“The Cook Government is positioning the State as a global hub of invention, investment, innovation and impact, and this initiative will ensure our educators are at the forefront of teaching,” Minister Dawson said.

“This Academy promises to inspire a new generation of innovators to think outside the box to solve our challenges and will help create jobs for Western Australians in the future.”

Curtin University Director of Commercialisation Rohan McDougall said he was thrilled to announce Cameron Thorn as the inaugural Director of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Western Australia.

“YEA WA’s overarching objective is to cultivate a generation of critical thinkers with essential problem-solving skills and a mindset geared for success, empowering them to confidently initiate and manage real-world businesses,” Mr McDougall said.

“Cameron’s experience as a K-12 educator and within the tertiary sector, coupled with the support from Curtin University, the Malka Foundation and our joint venture partners, positions the new Academy as a game-changer in the education system.”

Chair of the Malka Foundation, Nicole Lockwood, said the Foundation is committed to investing in the advancement of entrepreneurial and innovation education in WA.

“This new and bold initiative will bolster WA’s education system, nurturing resilient and creative individuals, and fostering a spirit of innovation will bring benefits to the whole community,” Ms Lockwood said.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy Western Australia was launched during the Young Entrepreneurs Showcase at West Tech Fest which provides an opportunity for high school entrepreneurs to promote and showcase their start-up to the business community, investors and public.

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