ICT GISP Sunshine Coast Cluster Takes Shape

13th March 2020


  • Mountain Creek State High School joins the ICT Gateway to Industry Schools program as one of five Foundation Schools
  • Sunshine Coast Council have partnered with MCSHS to become a go-to industry partner, along with AustCyber and Silicon Coast
  • Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council Industry Advancement Lead Tim McGee and Manager AustCyber Sunshine Coast Innovation Node Tim McGee and SNR Technical Officer, Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network at Sunshine Coast Council Mark Hamilton
L: Tim McGee and Matthew Jorgensen. R:Mark Hamilton

Mountain Creek SHS and Sunshine Coast Council Join Forces for Local Tech Teens

Mountain Creek State High School is an innovative super-school located just inland from Mooloolaba on the majestic Sunshine Coast. MCSHS is well-known locally and around Australia as a leader in the teaching of and with technology.

Mountain Creek State High School is a full BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) school, and the learning that takes place is very much centred around the digital curriculum.

Graeme Breen is an organiser-extraordinaire, Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education (QSITE) Management Committee Board Member and Sunshine Coast Chapter Chair. Under the leadership of the school and with vision from Graeme and the wider technology team, there have been some amazing advancements for the school. These include a $22 million-dollar State Government Grant to build three-story collaborative work space to focus on STEM and robotics, which has aligned with an array of local and international STEM related awards for students.

The ‘Leading Edge – STEM Centre’ provides an excellent facility to complement another great initiate - the Coding and Innovation Hub, established in 2015.

The ICT GISP is very excited to welcome MCSHS into the program as a Foundation School. ICT is one of the latest industries to join the GISP, and a key indicator of progression in the program has been to onboard tech-centred schools like Mountain Creek. Project Manager Matthew Jorgensen is travelling from the Gold Coast to Cairns in Term 4 to present certificates to the program’s schools to make the partnerships official.

(Acting Executive Principal Brian Parr, Head of Coding & Innovation Graeme Breen and ICT GISP Project Manager Matthew Jorgensen)

An important requirement of the ICT GISP is to link each school with a strong industry partner. Because ICT powers all industries, economies and businesses, Industry Partners don’t necessarily have to be tech companies. There are few local councils as future-focused as the Sunshine Coast Council (SCC). Under the guidance of SCC Industry Advancement Lead Tim McGee, SCC has become the main Industry Partner for Mountain Creek SHS. Aligned closely with SCC are two other partners – AustCyber and Silicon Coast.

Through the partnership with SCC, Mountain Creek and other Sunny Coast schools that join the ICT GISP in 2021, will form a cluster of schools that will benefit from a local ecosystem of innovation and technology such as:

  • SCC – solar farm, Smart City IoT initiatives, Regional Economic Development Strategy initiatives
  • AustCyber – Australian Cyber Security Growth Network and International Broadband Network project
  • Silicon Coast - leading representative body for entrepreneurship, innovation and technology on the Sunshine Coast

‘The Sunshine Coast is such an amazing and beautiful place. Nestled within the physical attractions is an innovation and technology ecosystem that has all the infrastructure in place to host any size and type of tech company. The leadership and vision of the SCC, in conjunction with supported entities like AustCyber and Silicon Coast, must be congratulated for their willingness to provide exciting learning opportunities for coast’s students, including those who will be part of the ICT GISP schools.’

The ICT Gateway program is on target to onboard 10 schools in 2020. Currently travelling around Queensland to present schools and industry partners with their acceptance certificates, ACS’ Matthew Jorgensen is impressed with the calibre of both school and industry partners.

The latest list of ICT Gateway Schools includes:

  • Alexandra Hills State High School
  • Bentley Park College
  • Hillcrest Christian College
  • Kelvin Grove State College
  • Mountain Creek State High School
  • Ryan Catholic College
  • Saint Stephen’s College
  • St Brendan's College
  • St Joseph's Nudgee College

This Gateway to Industry Schools program is proudly supported and funded by the Queensland Government, and is managed by the Australian Computer Society. 

Mountain Creek SHS Acting Executive Principal Brian Parr, Head of Coding & Innovation Graeme Breen