WSU Paddl Games 2019 explores business energy needs, now and in the future

The teams from the first WSU Paddl Games

Students, graduates and EnergyAustralia come together for a day of ideation for business (small to medium) in Western Sydney

Western Sydney University has partnered with Paddl Co. to deliver the WSU Paddl Games 2019 (opens in a new window), a series of five fast-paced one-day innovation challenges that provide learning and networking opportunities for students and graduates with industry leaders and future employers.

The Paddl Games series will see local (Western Sydney) businesses work with emerging talent to reimagine solutions to real-world problems and opportunities. The first of these Challenges, held recently at Western Sydney University and supported by Challenge Day Partner EnergyAustralia and the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), focused on developing innovative tools and services for businesses to better manage their individual energy needs, now and into the future.

Western Sydney University is committed to preparing its students and graduates in contemporary ways to better align to the needs of industry and employers. “At Western Sydney University, we recognise that our students possess innate strengths. As a student, the unique experiences we provide help them grow into aware, informed, and effective citizens. Western’s Paddl Games are a new innovative way for students to showcase their strengths, collaborate with industry and make considerable contributions to the development of our region,” said Angelo Kourtis, Vice-President (People and Advancement) at Western Sydney University.

Dominique Fisher, Paddl Co. Co-founder and CEO added: “Following a number of successful Paddl Games over the last eighteen months, we are delighted to partner with Western Sydney University for this series. Paddl Games Challenges are a win-win: students and graduates develop skills that complement their qualifications, better equip them for the future of work and potential employment opportunities. Businesses discover local talent and solutions relevant to their business and our corporate partners gain unique insight into existing and potential customers.”

The WSU Paddl Games 2019 is an innovative approach to bringing together government, industry, businesses, employees and emerging talent to focus on the opportunities and challenges that the future Western Sydney economy offers. The first Games will welcome 10 businesses from the local area to the University’s Parramatta South campus.

The Paddl Games model provides a unique forum for emerging talent from a wide range of disciplines to connect with local businesses and major organisations to learn, practice and showcase their skills. Connecting emerging talent to the needs of employers is key to helping them as they embark on their professional journey.

Students will also benefit from Paddl employer booths which provide the opportunity for each participant to speak with prospective employers and mentors, including the 10 participating businesses and the NSW Government Public Service Commission (which will be recruiting 200 new graduates in 2020).

Mark Collette, Executive – Customer at EnergyAustralia, said those participating in day one of the innovation challenge will bring a fresh perspective to supporting business customers against the often-complex energy market.

“Energy costs for businesses have risen rapidly. We have listened to our customers and we’re doing something about it. We are getting people from varied backgrounds in one room with the objective of helping business owners and managers focus on what they do best. The day will take on a ‘no such thing as a bad idea’ attitude because we have seen first-hand this approach works.

“The transition to a clean, reliable modern energy system is underway, and we are determined to ensure no customer is left behind,” Mr Collette said.

At the end of a dynamic Challenge Day, teams will pitch their innovative solutions to an industry-leading judging panel, demonstrating their ability to be solution oriented using design thinking techniques to surface commercially valuable solutions for their nominated business.

Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, states “the Paddl Games work so well for the businesses involved because it is a rare opportunity to connect with the emerging talent from our universities and focus on real world issues. Energy management is a challenge for the business community, so working with EnergyAustralia, Western Sydney University and Paddl we hope to generate innovative and realistic outcomes that can be achieved quickly.”

The second Challenge in the WSU Paddl Games series is due to take place in August, with the third Challenge scheduled for September.


15 July 2019

Ali Sardyga, Media Officer