Dr CHALMERS (Rankin) (13:46): We want our country to be innovative, creative and dynamic. For that reason I was pleased two weekends ago to attend the Opti-MINDS national final at the University of Queensland. Hundreds of students, teachers, parents, academics and industry experts all came together to celebrate and recognise the substantial knowledge and ideas in the minds of our young people. It was a fantastic weekend which helped encourage that creativity, cooperation and innovation among the primary and high school students there.
I went along to specifically support the three schools from my electorate who were taking part in the weekend. I want to congratulate the kids from Crestmead State School, Kingston State College and Marsden State High School for their efforts. I want to thank one of our great local teachers Anthea Swile for the hard work she did as the Brisbane South Regional Director of Opti-MINDS. Thanks also go to Fiona Meyer, who has been the Director of Opti-MINDS for the last two decades and has been a real driving force throughout its entire 25-year history.
All of the young people I spoke to on the day had a great time and learned a lot from the experience. There was a lot to learn from their enthusiasm and ideas as well. Students came up with plans and programs to tackle problems as diverse as climate change, mental health issues, environmental pests and cybersafety. Congratulations once again go to all the participants and organisers at Opti-MINDS. I look forward to seeing you again next year.