Corbin Breckell was just 11years of age when he won second place in his age category in the 2022 Hunter Young Business Mind Awards for his innovative business idea. Corbin’s business idea was called ‘Cool Fire’ and combined his Aboriginal cultural heritage with environmental and sustainable practices.
Corbin participated in the gifted education Virtual Academy program and was encouraged by his teachers at St Columbus Primary School in Adamstown to enter his research project in the awards. Inspiration came from an awareness of the growing bush fire danger due to climate change and his understanding of his Aboriginal ancestral (Wailwan, Kamilaroi and Guringai tribes) burning practices.
Corbin’s business idea, Cool Fire, is an Aboriginal cultural burning workshop for children aged 8 and over. Participants learn about the cultural burning practices of lighting ‘cool’ fires – lower temperature fires – in a controlled, safe manner to burn off excess growth, reducing the fuel that causes out of control bush fires. The lower temperature fires retain the seeds and roots required for new growth and do much less damage to the bush and wildlife.
Corbin’s two-minute video pitch, required as entry into the awards, explained that he chose the name Cool Fire because not only is the fire run at a lower temperature, but the idea is kind of ‘cool’ and fun. The pitch includes details of what workshop participants would learn, the fact that a portion of the proceeds would go to support the Karrkad Kannjdji Trust which aims to protect and restore the West Arnhem Land Plateau and the employment opportunities for indigenous people.
Corbin recommends entering the awards to others. “I felt excited that I came 2nd,” said Corbin. “I was given the opportunity to grow the idea further and received a generous prize that will help me achieve my dreams. I haven’t spent the money yet, but I have started reading about businesses and investing. I learnt that a little idea can go a long way. Even young people can have an idea that can change the world.”
Entry into the awards is simple with a 2-minute video and a pitch deck required. Many schools are already running entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability programs that can easily be adapted for entry – and with Design and Technology and Creative Industries also added to the category list this year, there is plenty of opportunity for students from any school to enter and have a go. Details can be found at https://ybma.com.au/.
To view Corbin’s video pitch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FMafsARmvE and to read more about it, the Newcastle Herald ran a story: Hunter student recognised for research into cultural burning | Newcastle Herald | Newcastle, NSW