Meet Locket Lee, semi-finalist of last year's The Big Issue 'The Big Idea' competition. Read on to find out more about her experience and what's she's been up to since.
Tell us a bit about yourself
In my first year of university, I was voted the first-year representative for the Murdoch Student Law Society. In 2017, I was a Murdoch Student Emerging Leader (MSEL) participant where I planned and presented workshops to local high school students to improve their employability, on behalf of the Rotary Club of Attadale. Last year, I was involved in the Murdoch Business Society as the Social Media/Publications Representative and this year, I am part of the Students as Change Agents in Leadership and Teaching (SCALT) program.
Outside of university, I enjoy spending time with friends, binging on Netflix, and volunteering. I currently volunteer for Beyond Blue, a non-profit organisation which helps to reduce the impact and stigma of mental health in the community, and Camp Quality a charity aimed at providing support and friendship to children with cancer.
How did you hear about Big Idea?
I saw a social media post about the Big Idea on Facebook. I love giving things a go and the competition seemed like a great way to push myself to think outside the box.
Tell us about your Big Idea, Blossom Friendship
Blossom Friendship is social platform which aims to assist everyone, especially people with disabilities, to make new connections with those who share similar interests, as well as provide job skills training to enhance employability.
What was your motivation behind creating Blossom Friendship?
My Big Idea partner, Tess Whitelaw who's currently in her final year of law and psychology, and I are both passionate about making an impact in the community, especially for people living with disabilities. Approximately one in five people in Australia has a form of disability – that’s more than 4.5 million people!
Unfortunately, statistics show that people with a disability are less likely to interact with others in the community and are more vulnerable to mental health issues. All of this has an impact on other factors in life, such as employment.
Passion, creativity and the personal stories of people we know fuelled our idea. Blossom Friendship will have a massive impact on those with a disability and above all we wanted to make a difference.
Tell us about your Big Idea experience
Big Idea was such a fun and great learning experience. We learnt how to put together a business plan and to pitch in front of a panel.
After submitting Blossom Friendship, we had the opportunity to take part in discussions with and learn from business leaders from around Australia, including senior executives from Telstra, Australia Post and Origin.
What support did you receive during The Big Idea?
We are thankful for the great support team we had behind us during Big Idea - Jeremy Chetty (Launchpad Entrepreneur-in-residence and co-founder of Student Edge), Matthew Evans (Director of Student and Library services), Mel Molloy (Project Officer for Murdoch Launchpad), and Katherine Ings (Executive Education Program Coordinator).
What have you accomplished since The Big Idea?
Even though we did not win Big Idea, we made Blossom Friendship a reality by ourselves. As part of the SCALT program, Blossom Friendship had its launch party at Murdoch University this year. We had a great turn out of over 100 students and received lots of positive feedback, with more exciting events coming to campus in Semester 2.
We also successfully received a $9,400 Project Robin Hood grant from the City of Melville to host more events in the community.
To keep up to date with Blossom Friendship, including information about our next event, like us on Facebook.
What are your goals for the future?
We are graduating at the end of this year and plan on working full-time next year. However, we will be continuing Blossom Friendship and look forward to growing our impact in the community.