GREAT PROJECT: Damien Tracey (CLS), Sue Lord (CLS), Rob Cook, Professor Andy Bridges (CQU), Kellie Wenning (Department State Development), Lauren Elvin (Department State Development) and Mitchell Corcoran (CLS).
GREAT PROJECT: Damien Tracey (CLS), Sue Lord (CLS), Rob Cook, Professor Andy Bridges (CQU), Kellie Wenning (Department State Development), Lauren Elvin (Department State Development) and Mitchell Corcoran (CLS). Mike Knott BUN140917CLS1

Three days to improve lives

EXCITEMENT is in the air as the first TOM Makeathon to be held in Queensland kicks off tomorrow in Bundaberg.

This international event involves six teams working in a specialist dedicated Makerspace in Bundaberg, and will be supported by expert mentors from the field of disability needs, innovation and manufacturing.

The goal is to create pieces of equipment that can benefit people with a disability over a 72-hour period.

Six challenges have been identified and teams will spend the next 72 hours designing and prototyping pieces of equipment needed to help improve people's quality of life.

Community Lifestyle Support CEO Damien Tracey said the challenges were quite varied and ranged from designing and building a new type of beach wheelchair, creating a laser tag option for a young man with impaired vision and developing a device or system to help a young man with autism spectrum disorder use a standard toilet.

"We have 36 talent makers joining together to help make a difference in the life of six people with disability,” he said.

"Our makers come from a variety of backgrounds including engineers, IT professionals, university students, allied health professionals, boiler makers, artists and backyard tinkerers. We can't wait to see the end results.”

The event is by invitation only and will include networking lunch along with guest presentations from 2017 Farmer of the Year Award recipient and beef producer Rob Cook, entrepreneur and business mentor Mark Phillips, TOM global regional director for Asia and the South Pacific Jessica Burnstein, and regional director of the Department of State Development Fiona Bowden.

The event will also include a live demonstration by Mic Black from Mic's Lab on how recent advances in human to machine interfaces could provide a safer work environment.

"Attendees will be able to tour the facilities and see the TOM Queensland event in action as they work in our new specialist Makerspace here in Bundaberg,” Mr Tracey said.

CLS is developing the first Makerspace in Wide Bay which is targeted specifically at designing and prototyping assistive technology in partnership with people with disability.



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