Students code their way to success


St Mary’s College, Maryborough students received their awards from Bart Mellish MP at the Queensland Museum in November, supported by their teacher Kirsty Patterson.​

FOUR Brisbane Catholic Education students have been recognised for their coding and problem-solving abilities, announced amongst the 20 statewide winners of the 2021 Premier’s Coding Challenge.  

From 607 students from 83 schools across Queensland, the talented BCE students created solutions to address this year’s theme of Digital Wellbeing, using their coding, robotics and digital technologies skills.  

At the award ceremony at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, Assistant Minister Bart Mellish MP awarded student Bailey Sawtell from St Mary’s College, Maryborough the Years 9-10 Python/JavaScrip/HTML individual category award, Talia Hill and Indi Birch from St Mary’s College, Maryborough the Years 7-8 Python/JavaScript/HTML pairs category, and Lucas See from Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School in Sunnybank as part of a duo that took home the Years 5-6 Scratch pairs category. 

Technology Lead and eLearning Coordinator from St Mary’s College, Kirsty Patterson said the students were “challenged to code an interactive and innovate digital solution that would teach their family and friends about digital wellbeing and online safety, a very important message, as well as provide tips for both mental and physical health”.  

“All students showed some very innovative and creative thinking, which is very exciting considering how quickly our world of technology is moving.” 

“The students were blown away by their achievements, equally as we were proud. As part of their prize, they were invited to tour the Queensland University of Technology Centre for Robotics and were offered an opportunity to have a one-on-one session with coding experts to help the students develop their website into an actual product.” 

Together with teammate Indi, Talia said they created a Mental Help 4 Me website designed “for people who may need help with mental health issues”.  

“I felt like what we had created could help people and it was nice that it was recognised,” Talia said. 

“The whole experience has been really enjoyable, and the development prize gave us a chance to pitch our idea to professionals to help us with coding in the future.” 

To see the full list of this year’s winners, visit 

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