Budding inventor Jorja Suga has spent her lockdown in a very productive way.
Following on from her success at Origin Energy's 2019 national littleBIGidea for her Safety Smart Goggles idea to protect young swimmers, the Clancy Catholic College student is working towards securing a patent for her latest award-winning invention, the EpinJect.
The EpinJect, which won the 2020 Aussie Student Inventions competition in the lower secondary category, is a needle-free epinephrine injection to treat anaphylaxis and aims to reduce the thousands of needle-related injuries that occur every year when treating anaphylaxis. The EpinJect administers a high-pressure stream of adrenaline directly into the person which is effective within minutes.
The year 9 student said her needle-free solution addresses the limitations of existing products in the market and is easy and safe to use. So how did she come up with the idea?
"It is hard to come up with a unique idea for an invention. However, I find the best way is to look within your own life or speak to your family and friends about what issues they face every day," said Jorja, whose goggle design features Bluetooth technology which sends an alert to the supervisor's phone if a child has been under water too long.
"One of my passions is swimming which helped me to develop the Safety Smart Goggles. I wanted everyone to be able to share in this passion, regardless of their swimming ability, without the risk of injuring or drowning themselves."
As part of the prize package, the 14-year-old was awarded an mentorship opportunity and a $3000 cash prize to help her bring her invention to life. She hopes to empower other young inventors within the Liverpool community as a member of the Liverpool Youth Council.
"Through the Youth Council, we can have a say in the issues that affect Liverpool's young people - not just adults. It is a great way to get involved in your local community and connect with other people your own age," said Ms Suga, who wants to follow in the footsteps of inventor McKinley Butson and become a biomedical engineer.
Liverpool mayor Wendy Waller said council was proud to have young members of the community like Jorja leading the charge on the Youth Council
"To help council understand and provide workable solutions to enrich the lives of young people in Liverpool, we must regularly connect and engage with them," she said.
"Our Youth Council continues to be an important platform to do this and ensure our young talent continue to live and work within Liverpool further contributing to the bright future of the region."