Scroll Top

illuminate Community Challenge

To build aspiration and connection to the community, the illuminate Community Challenge model builds on the problem solving framework above, where teams deepen their understanding of community values and then looks to come up with projects, campaigns and businesses that increase their perception in the community. These ideas still require financial sustainability, connection to the community and strategic intent, but the community model allows for ideas to create impact in a different form, allowing for a different experience through the challenge.

This style of challenge is perfect for regional programs to support students building their understanding of the local community, and looking beyond a business model to focus on impact.

Teacher’s Perspectives on the Challenge

To find out more about the impact of the illuminate Challenge from the perspectives of teachers, here is a video with teachers from an illuminate Challenge hosted on the Central Coast of New South Wales at the University of Newcastle.

Delivery Modes

In our COVID-normal work, illuminate Education Australia recognises that we need to have a variety of delivery modes to best engage with students and schools.

Face to Face Delivery

Our preferred way of running the illuminate Challenge is where we come into your school, interacting with students, teachers and the wider community throughout the week. This builds upon the learning environment we already deliver, building stronger relationships with the students to empower and engage them.

Features of Face-to-Face Delivery include having judges and mentors coming into the school to support your students, and all sessions are delivered by industry experts in the region as well as our experienced facilitators.

Digital Delivery

To allow the illuminate Challenge to still be delivered during COVID-19 restrictions, we redesigned the entire experience to suit a fully digital delivery, maximising digital technologies throughout the whole process.

Features of Digital Delivery including having judges and mentors participating using digital platforms, with the challenge able to be run on the school platforms or the ones managed by illuminate Education Australia where all data hosted is within Australia. The program is designed with short live calls, otherwise all content is either able to be downloaded in advance or text platforms can be used for those with poor internet connections.

Digital Delivery allows for students to still participate in the challenge when travel is restricted as students can complete the program in their classrooms, and where students are learning from their own homes.

Hybrid Delivery

With the understanding around changing restrictions and risk profiles that we face, the third model of delivery for the illuminate Challenge is our hybrid model, where our facilitators are the only people able to come into the school.

Features of Hybrid Delivery is that our facilitators still come into the school to engage and interact with your students, but all judges and mentors participate using digital platforms.

Hybrid Delivery is best suited for situations where restrictions are lifting, but there are limits on the amount of people that can come onto campus.

How We Do It

We combine design thinking, entrepreneurship, social and ethical understanding, business and personal development into every single impactful learning opportunity.


Critical Thinking
Inquiry & Research
Digital Literacy
Financial Literacy

Solving Problems
Design Thinking
Problem Solving

Work Smart

Our Innovation Process

Across the week, students explore the innovative process designed by illuminate Education Australia, growing in their skills and confidence within themselves throughout the journey.

Problem Framing-S1

Stage 1 | Foundations.The first stage is about understanding the team you are working with to set a path for success, and to take time to explore a problem that your team can see that needs to be fixed.


Stage 2 | Ideation. Teams develop possible solutions to the problem in a creative and innovative way. They then refine the ideas to proritise the solution with the most substance, impact and potential.


Stage 3 | Developing. Teams turn their initial concept into a business idea that has financial forecasts, strategic plans and marketing collateral where the team works to its strengths under its own leadership.


Stage 4 | Presenting. Teams change gears from developing their idea to focusing how they communicate their solution to stakeholders for support, investment and feedback.


Stage 5 | Prototyping. Ideas are put through their paces to further develop the solution, how to handle challenges and getting more feedback from customers.


Stage 6 | Implementation. With the foundation established throughout the challenge, teams can take their idea forward and make it real. This is typically outside of the illuminate Challenge program.


“I have enrolled students in the illuminate Challenge for many years. illuminate Education Australia excels at motivating young people to become the independent learning, self-directed adults that our nation so desperately needs. Their provision of real-world learning is second to none and their programs are still talked about by students many years after they’ve left school. Best of all illuminate Education Australia’s programs target those cross-curricular priorities that are so difficult to address in the day-to-day classroom.”

– Bob Ashby, Teacher, Sheffield School (Tasmania)

“The illuminate:nextgen Challenge pushes students to extend themselves in a positive, supportive setting. It helps student to develop the real-world skills necessary for any workplace, and exposes them to study and career options. The program helps students to unlock their full potential and discover their future.

– Brendan Taig, Careers Practitioner, Suzanne Cory High School (Victoria)

“My school participated in the illuminate:nextgen Challenge for the first time in 2018.  The students were excited for the week but not not sure what to expect.  Now they are excited for their future.

– Justine Lyons, Business Studies Teacher, Pimlico State High School (Queensland)

“The illuminate:nextgen challenge was, as described by one of our students at our school’s end of year awards ceremony, a life changing experience for our Year 10 students. The week created such a positive vibe amongst those doing the challenge and indeed, throughout the entire school, and students from all years seemed to be taking an active interest. I really do believe that this challenge, and the skills that were developed by students, will have a lasting impact on them, not only for success in Year 11 and 12, but also post-school education and in their working lives.

– Dale Massie, HSIE Teacher, Terrigal High School (New South Wales)

“The Illuminate Challenge was astonishing. I truly didn’t expect the quality of ideas and presentations that the students delivered. It was clear to me that illuminate are building capability, and improving the confidence and career prospects of these students. I’m hoping to become more involved because I can see the value Illuminate adds to both the students, industry and the broader community.”

– Ellen Piper, People, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation

There is no finer task than to encourage and support our youth in their journey of learning.  Having experienced first hand the illuminate Education Australia experience myself in a supporting role at Charles Sturt University, I was inspired by the energy that the young participants had in the skills of problem solving, vision creation and entrepreneurial strategies. Programs such as illuminate no doubt are an excellent tool as part of the preparation for life after school.  I would encourage students and teachers to explore the opportunities that the illuminate Education programme offers.

– Peta Pinson, Mayor, Port Macquarie Hasting Council

“In this rapidly changing world with the rise of emerging economies and onset of digital disruption, programs like the illuminate  Challenge are absolutely critical to regional communities. Rather than seeing change as a threat, illuminate Education Australia opens the eyes of our young people to the opportunities that change presents.

– Tim Watson, General Manager, Dorset Council

“Technical capabilities are the necessary, but not sufficient attributes for people hired into my organisation. The best candidates complement their technical capability with emotional intelligence along with the skills taught by Illuminate Education Australia.  Working at today’s speed of business requires employees to bring more to the workplace. Creativity, a willingness to collaborate, natural curiosity and the ability to contribute to effective teamwork are key characteristics of tomorrow’s high performing leaders”

– Mike Faulkner, Managing Director (Australia & New Zealand), Verizon Enterprise Solutions


We’re always eager to hear from people who are interested in what we do – whether you are a school, a potential partner or someone who just wants to get on board with what we do. You can either get in touch with us directly below, or else use the form on this page and we’ll respond to you shortly;

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

illuminate Challenge Resources: Learn | Collaborate

© 2022 illuminate Education Australia. All Rights Reserved

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.