Ballarat’s Best Ideas 2022 Unveiled

Ballarat’s Best Ideas 2022 Unveiled

Students making care packs for those less fortunate, a ‘give sport a go day' for people with disabilities and a non-disposable coffee cup exchange system have been named Ballarat’s best ideas for 2022. 

The ideas were provided to businesses and organisations in the second Ballarat Best Ideas competition, held from 8 March to 19 April this year. 

The competition called for members of the community to share their positive ideas to support Ballarat businesses and organisations through the Suggest it platform. 

The three winning ideas, selected from hundreds of customers (“Gurus”), are: 

  • Loreto College and Ballarat Soup Bus received the idea, submitted by ‘Guru Stella’, for Loreto College VCAL students to make care packs for those less fortunate, that can be distributed by the Ballarat Soup Bus 

  • Sports Central received the idea, submitted by ‘Guru Cooper’, to hold an event that invites all people with disabilities to participate  

  • Cobb’s Coffee received the idea, submitted by ‘Guru Sam’, to create a cup exchange with a local venture as a trial that could be expanded to other offices and coffee shops, avoiding the use of disposable coffee cups. 

The businesses who inspire Ballarat’s Best Ideas receive $500 toward implementing the idea, with further support from participating partners to ensure the idea can be put into action. 

Winners choose from the exceptional prize pool of either an Apple Watch SE, Ballarat Staycation, Ballarat Escape Experience or a Trek bike – all valued between $500 and $749. 

An idea to set up seed swapping libraries to promote growing food in backyards and food security awareness in Ballarat received an honourable mention. The idea focused on a pilot project run by Hey Hoe Let's Grow in conjunction with Food Is Free Inc., Men's Sheds, Ballarat Seed Savers, and other local gardening groups.  

The entries were judged by Professor Christina Lee (Federation University), Kelli Moran (Economic Growth Team Leader, City of Ballarat), Nichola Sleight (General Manager, Runway HQ) and Zoe Burrows (Crazy Ideas College). 

This year’s competition targeted new audiences – visitors to Ballarat and younger people. More than 200 suggestions were received with 63 per cent of ideas for the visitor economy, including a Ballarat central cellar door and more freeway signs for businesses and tourist areas. 

Other ideas included an annual book fair, an Armstrong Street food festival, a Ballarat night market, youth radio shows, a Ballarat inspired ice-cream flavour and a tram car restaurant. 

City of Ballarat Councillor, Tracey Hargreaves said the six-week festival of ideas demonstrated that the Ballarat community has some great ideas to support their favourite businesses. 

“The competition has once again shown the fantastic community spirit is alive and well in Ballarat,” she said. 

“The community has suggested thoughtful and creative ideas to help our businesses to thrive and for our city to shine. 

“We look forward to seeing how these ideas, and others submitted through Suggest it and the Ballarat’s Best Ideas competition, are implemented over time.” 

Suggest it Co-Founder, Nick Clare said he was thrilled with the overwhelming number of suggestions, including those focused on elevating our visitor economy sector. 

“We received hundreds of positive suggestions designed to help our businesses grow,” he said. 

“The ideas really focus on how we can showcase better experiences for our residents and our visitors. It’s fantastic that so many people are willing to share their ideas to create a better Ballarat. 

“Multiple ideas for individual businesses have been shared through the competition demonstrating impact across many businesses.” 

The competition was run by Suggest it, in partnership with the City of Ballarat and supported by Commerce Ballarat, Federation University, Runway HQ, Ballarat Regional Tourism, The Ballarat Times and Crazy Ideas College.