10-year-old Jonathan Loukas wins prestigious innovation prize


10-year-old, Jonathan Loukas, is among seven students who have been recognised as part of the Westpac Youth Impact Challenge for developing innovative ideas to help solve issues facing Australian communities.

Launched in May 2020 by social enterprise Fiftysix Creations, in partnership with Westpac’s financial education specialists The Davidson Institute, the challenge invited Australian students to submit innovative solutions for issues they care about, while also contributing to one of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Jonathan, who was born in Athens in 2010 and moved to Australia when he was 2 years old, chose to utilise his biggest passion – preserving languages and sharing cultural knowledge between generations.

Jonathan Loukas won the Westpac Youth Impact Challenge. Photo supplied.

His winning project is a community skills exchange program which invites kids, who have a non-English speaking background and are good with technology, to go to community clubs and cultural groups to teach their skills to the elderly. In exchange, the elderly will help teach kids the language of their cultural background.

The McCallums High Public School student tells The Greek Herald his project was inspired by his yiayia who always asks him to help her with technology.

“I spend a lot of time with my yiayia because my parents work long hours and she always asks me to help her with technology since she doesn’t know how to use it. Every day she would ask me to show her village on Google Earth and she would get so excited,” Jonathan, who is in Year 4, tells The Greek Herald.

“She also likes to contact her family and friends in Greece using Messenger but didn’t know how to do it until I showed her. In return, she would help me with my Greek homework (we do two hours of Greek each week at my school at McCallums Hill). It was good for both of us.”

To enter the challenge, Jonathan had to submit an application form, film two pitch videos, do two live panel interviews and attend one online workshop which was 7 hours long.

The winners of the prize each receive a Microsoft Surface laptop, a $3,000 scholarship to attend SingularityU Australia Summit: A Future By Design in Sydney, a 12-month membership to ‘The Entrepreneurship Lab,’ and a 12-month mentorship package from the Australian School of Entrepreneurship and Westpac’s Davidson Institute.

Jonathan with his dad Themistoklis. Photo supplied.

Jonathan cheekily says these prizes were another motivation for him to enter the challenge, later adding that he feels extremely proud he won first prize.

“When I heard about the Westpac Youth Impact competition, I’m not going to lie, a small part of my motivation to apply was the 1st prize, which was a new laptop,” Jonathan says.

“But (winning) makes me feel proud of myself… I never thought I’d make it this far and it feels good to have won.

“I just want to thank my Yiayia for inspiring this project. I know she gets frustrated when I can’t communicate in Greek with her very well so hopefully if this project takes off and becomes big enough, we can save dying languages across Australia and the rest of the world.”

An inspirational message from a young Greek Australian who clearly has a bright future ahead of him as an entrepreneur.




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

Community unites to support restoration of Australia’s oldest Greek Orthodox church

Greek community members united on Sunday, June 23 to support the restoration of Australia's oldest Greek Orthodox church.

GOCSA celebrates language, dance and cooking at Annual Schools Dance

On Saturday, June 22, the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia Language Schools held its Annual Greek Schools Dance at Olympic Hall.

Ambassador Stavros Venizelos holds first meeting with Greek organisations from SA

On Sunday, June 23, Ambassador of Greece to Australia, Stavros Venizelos, met with a number of Hellenic organisations in South Australia.

Greek community urges action to make St Vasilios hall in Brunswick accessible to all

Parishioners at St Vasilios Church in Brunswick West want to install a lift to make the church's community hall more accessible.

Ava Caryofyllis nominated for Logie for ‘Most Popular New Talent’

Young actress Ava Caryofyllis has been nominated for a Logie award in the Most Popular New Talent category.

You May Also Like

‘Little Greece’ culinary course set to give kids a taste of Greek delicacies

The Culinary School in Broadway Plaza, Punchbowl is hosting a four week cooking course called 'Little Greece' from July 28, 2020, for children aged 5 -16.

The Battle of Valtetsi – The first great battle of the Greek Revolution

The historic Battle of Valtetsi was fought on May 12, 1821 and became one of the most decisive fights in the Greek Revolution.

Greek Australian among top real estate rookies in Sydney’s Inner West

The Daily Telegraph have listed 10 real estate agents who have made their mark in the Inner West with less than five years of experience.