A sector-blind education initiative to help Year 12 students give their HSC Design and Technology major projects a life beyond the classroom is gaining momentum across NSW. 

UpRising is the brainchild of Sydney Catholic Schools’ Technological and Applied Studies (TAS) teacher Richard Hainsworth.

A pilot of the program – a strategic partnership with NSW Government, the Institute of Technology Education (iTE), and a collective of future-focused businesses – began in March with 50 students from thirteen  government, Catholic and independent schools across the state.

Richard, who teaches at Brigidine College Randwick, said the project aimed to provide a clear pathway for young designers and businesses to collaborate in a meaningful way, including in the research and development space.

The program also allows students to develop saleable ideas alongside core entrepreneurial skills. 

“UpRising acts as a conduit between HSC design students and industry” – Richard Hainsworth

“The need for a system to assist young talent, and for industry to make early connections, is critical in preparing for tomorrow’s skills shortages and technological disruption,” Mr Hainsworth said.


Brigidine College Randwick Design and Technology students.Mr Hainsworth said the HSC Design and Technology syllabus drew on many of the skills and capabilities entrepreneurs require, including the ability to solve problems and connect with a target market.

“For the HSC major project, you have to really drill down into a genuine need in society,” he said. “These projects are often commercially viable by the end of the design process and, from an ecological and positive impact perspective, ready to go.”

Current projects include lamps made of recycled seaweed, a COVID-safe workspace, equipment to reduce breast injuries in women’s contact sport, a drone to collect water waste, and a sound activated rock-climbing system for vision impaired people.

Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools, Tony Farley, said the UpRising project was indicative of a broader appetite for entrepreneurial skills in education.

“It is very exciting to see a home-grown initiative that enables students to be the change-makers of the future come to the fore,” Mr Farley said.

“UpRising reinforces so many of the skills our Sydney Catholic Schools value and work to instil in our students.

“These include collaboration and confidence in their ability to learn and to contribute to society in meaningful and culturally sensitive ways.”

Click on the link below to find your nearest Sydney Catholic school and to start your child’s entrepreneurial learning journey today.