Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

A shoulder to cry on, on your device

News Image

We all need someone to talk to sometimes and failing the availability of a friend or family member What's right – Thrive is always there for you.

The chatbot offers a dialogue which is focussed on positive re-enforcement, at regular intervals it will inform the user that they’re awesome, and is based on interdisciplinary research in positive psychology, neuroscience, elite sport and business leadership.

It’s also cheap, eliminating the barriers that the disadvantaged might encounter in seeking coaching or therapy.

For this What's right – Thrive's inventor Rory Darkins was announced as a finalist in the 2018 Optus Future Makers program which provides entrepreneurs with access to some of Australia’s best technology minds and a share of up to $300,000 in funding.

This year’s shortlist is working on programs supporting employability, education, health, disability support, inclusion and diversity, domestic violence and empowering women and girls.

The Optus Future Makers program supports social entrepreneurs to develop innovative tech solutions that help solve social issues for disadvantaged and vulnerable people so they can have a better future.

In addition to a share of $300,000 in available grant funding, finalists will participate in a four-month Accelerator program to hone their skills through workshops and mentoring that focus on technology, customer experience, marketing strategies, project planning, financial modelling and, importantly, how to create a sustainable and successful social enterprise.

Each finalist will be individually coached and mentored by some of the brightest talent at Optus and learn from some of the best technology experts and leaders in the industry. 

John Paitaridis, Managing Director, Optus Business, said, “It’s exciting to see this year’s finalists leverage technology advancements to help those who are most needy in our communities."

The finalists will have the opportunity to pitch for funding to a panel of expert judges in October. The judging panel will be made up of some of Australia’s most prominent names across technology, innovation, and social change.

To find out more about the Optus Future Makers program visit the website here.

Future Makers finalists

Rory Darkins, (NSW) – ‘What’s Right – Thrive’ is a life coach-in-your pocket. The app empowers users to become the best version of themselves and helps removes barriers that prevent disadvantaged people from accessing the support they need to thrive. What’s Right’s AI technology aims to remove this affordability barrier by delivering world-class coaching through a fully automated yet personalised ‘virtual coach’.

Chris Boyle, (QLD) – ‘Commsync’ harnesses the power of technology to eliminate domestic violence connecting vulnerable community members to their safety network, through the push of a button.

Dr Stefan Schutt, (Vic) – ‘vPlay’ is an online program that helps people with Autism who have trouble mastering social interaction and have difficulty finding jobs. vPlay provides people with Autism the necessary tools to practise both ‘people’ and ‘technical’ skills through simulated role plays with virtual characters, that can be accessed and edited via any web browser.

Chris Smeed, (QLD) – ‘ImmCalc’ is an application that automates complex immunisation schedules for refugees, migrants and others needing catch-up vaccines, making it easier to ensure that vulnerable patients are protected against preventable diseases.

Michael Tozer, (NSW) – ‘Xceptional’ is a technology services firm which recognises the unique strengths of people with Autism such as pattern recognition, sustained concentration and precision that are closely aligned with IT roles.

Rick Martin, (NSW) – ‘Equal Reality’ allows users to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to understand what it’s like to be discriminated or harassed” through virtual reality. Equal Reality provides computer generated, interactive scenarios to help people understand and help deliver diversity and inclusion training.

Michael Metcalfe (QLD) – ‘Kynd’ is a mobile app based solution that matches disadvantaged locals with professional needs based support. As individuals have specific requirements or preferences when being cared for, Kynd helps users find a perfect professional match based on personality, location, budget, interests, skills, training and experience.


11 Apr 2019 | National
AITSL Stakeholder Survey now open News Image

Teachers, school leaders and the entire education sector can have their say in the 2019 Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Survey which is open now. Read More

11 Apr 2019
Early career teachers get dramatic with NIDA News Image

NIDA continues to invest in the creative practice of early career teachers in primary and secondary schools with the 2019 Creative Ambassador’s Initiative.
Read More

10 Apr 2019 | National
New teachers love induction support app News Image

Downloaded more than 17,000 times, the AITSL My Induction app offers expert advice, answers to frequently asked questions and allows new teachers to track their professional wellbeing. Read More

10 Apr 2019 | National
Reform of preschools front and centre in election period News Image

Research shows that two years of quality preschool sets a child up for success, and happily the issue is gaining traction with politicians.
Read More

10 Apr 2019 | National
Domestic violence causes homelessness News Image

The number of people seeking help from homelessness services due to domestic and family violence has risen in recent years but only 4% of those who approached a homelessness service for long-term housing actually received it. Read More