Congratulations to the winners of the Spark ideas competition!

Judges: Jenny Newell and Blair Palese

The Australian Museum was delighted by the range of excellent ideas submitted to the Spark: Australian Innovations Tackling Climate Change competition (accompanying the exhibition, 3 June- 3 October 2021). The judges selected five particularly innovative and impactful ideas, below. Some of the other entries were selected as Honourable Mentions, for being important approaches that warrant sharing.

Enjoy exploring these ideas. There may be some you can help to advance!

Spark: Australian innovations tackling climate change
Visitors at the exhibition, Spark: Australian innovations tackling climate change, held in Hintze Hall, Upper ground. In this new showcase, learn about inventions and innovative approaches offering positive solutions to the climate crisis. See some of the technology and practices Australians are working on to reduce pollution, create affordable and clean energy, support the richness of plant and animal life, and ensure a livable future for all. Image: Anna Kučera
© Australian Museum

Adult winners

$100 AM Shop voucher

  • Helen R Richter

    Rent Solar. Give Australians the opportunity to use solar energy to power their lighting and small appliances in units without the need to install permanent facilities, leveraging technology that already exists and is used in other countries.

  • Jim Thomas

    Establish a 'Health Card' for the planet, to give a better projection on what is left, how long we have, what are the limits, how to change, what changes are best and at what levels. Every hectare of land on the planet would be given a number and assigned value. Each hectare to be graphed and graded according to emissions, carbon sequestrations, biodiversity, human population, etc, using drones and satellite imagery. Ultimately giving a health report for each hectare of the planet. All shorelines to record change in sea level and events added to each hectare as they occur. Everyone could have access to it and see how their areas are, 'Health wise', and possibly want to create change. It could also assist carbon markets, education, research and the economy.

  • Bradley Akhurst

    Offered 3 solutions, in summary: A) ensuring pathways for recycling all materials: all goods manufactured having a microchip identifying the parts and materials used, to help with replacement of faulty parts and a 'smart bin' (with a solar-powered comms unit in lid) would alert council when the bin is full and alert recycling companies that certain materials are available, for potential purchase. B) all houses having water tanks plus solar panels, wind turbines, and small hydro electric generators fitted to gutters when it rains, with all energy feeding into batteries. C) electric cars providing additional battery storage, cars being charged by renewables at home and workplaces.

  • Stephen De'Athe

    My idea is to encourage companies like Jim’s mowing to go all battery 🔋 on their mowing equipment. My other idea 💡 is to get all surf clubs around Australia to use electric IRB’s (surf lifesaving Australia).

Youth winner

$50 AM Shop voucher

  • Toby Shinfield

    Electric buses to replace every single bus with a petrol or diesel engine. The bus would have a charger that would charge the bus over night, but there would also be a hydrogen tank that would start producing electricity as the battery gets lower in the bus. This would prevent the bus from running out of battery and slow down the cause of climate change!

Honourable mentions

  • Mark Fulton

    Tackling climate change one step at a time…Educating the next generation of custodians by immersing them in the wonders of the natural world. Developing respect and admiration for what nature has been producing for billions of years and delicately opening their eyes to what is at stake due to our actions from the last 200 years.

  • Allen James

    Reducing our waste stream and being energy efficient such as recyclable museum maps and sensor lights for each room to reduce energy consumption. If a leading museum such as the Australian Museum adopted this, the public would see you leading by example.

  • Stuart Donaldson

    Conservasphere (summary): vast domes placed in arid and semi-aris areas, capturing solar energy, water captured from air (with Calcium Chloride) for growing plants, reducing Co2 and augmenting agricultural production.

  • Collin Joy

    Solar dome desalination plant (summary): desalination plant in the desert, using solar power to convert salt water piped from the ocean, to grow plants, green the desert.

  • Desmond Kinsella

    A basic electric vehicle chassis that can take different body types example van, ute light trucks and people mover. A motor in front and rear axles. The battery pack on a tray that slides into the space between. Battery pack can be installed and removed by fork lifts. These vehicles can be use by councils couriers and most city bound trips with a range of 300 to 500ks. Manufactured in Australia, sold to councils.

  • Mark Tait

    Grow hemp as it can absorb carbon, grows fast, can be used for hand oils, clothes, building products, plastic replacement, medical use etc.

Girl in bushland
Exploring near Wolli Creek. Image: Mark Fulton
© Mark Fulton

Judges: Ms Blair Palese (Managing Director & Global Climate Editor, Climate & Capital Media; consultant on international climate and sustainability projects) and Dr Jenny Newell (Manager, Climate Change Projects, AM).