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Skillset together with the Office of Environment and Heritage hosted Spark Tank’s gala event at the Flannery Centre in Bathurst on Thursday, 16 March.  The Spark Tank initiative aimed to uncover bright ideas about saving energy across the Central West.

Ten finalists were invited to the gala event to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and industry specialists for a chance to win a share of the $60,000 prize pool, and help make their idea a reality.

The judging panel and audience were suitably impressed by the caliber, passion and diversity of ideas. It was a lively battle and entertaining night. In the end, the results were so close, it was decided to divide the $60,000 across seven different projects.

The winners of our Community Category, ECCO/U3A were awarded $5000 towards the development of an education program titled ‘Energy efficiency for seniors’. The program will run workshops and audits to help seniors reduce their energy needs and costs.

CSU’s Students in Residence won the Home Category and were awarded $10,000, to support Sustainability Advisors from each CSU campus educate and engage students about energy efficient practices.

Orange Local Aboriginal Lands Council (OLAC) were thrilled to win the Business Category. Over $13,000 has been granted to assist in the completion of an energy efficient research and development plan for a new aged care facility in Orange. This money will help incorporate energy efficiency design as well green building materials, glazing, heating and cooling systems into the design brief.

Apollo Estate and TAFE Western came up with the idea of getting Questacon run a series of workshops in Dubbo to educate young Aboriginal students about energy efficiency and sustainability! They won the Home Category – Indigenous section and were awarded the full amount requested of $6375.

Housing Plus’ ‘Low Income Tenant Support’ and TAFE Western’s ‘Energy efficiency for the trades’ were both “Highly Commended” and were each awarded $5000 to set their ideas in motion.

The People’s Choice Award gave the audience on the night a chance to have their say, with Bathurst Community Climate Action Network’s idea of raising awareness about electric vehicle technology getting the green light. They too were awarded $5000.

We here at Skillset are very proud of all winners and can’t wait to see their ideas come to light.

More details about each of the finalists can be found under the ‘News’ section.