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Young children dressed in red playing with toys on a table top.

Tonsley Innovation District has hosted an especially young group of future innovators as part of the Children’s University program, sponsored by the Renewal SA Works Program.

Twenty-six students from Coorara Primary School at Morphett Vale spent the day exploring, making, questioning and playing — opening their eyes to the exciting and innovative careers available to them at home in South Australia.

Students toured a portion of the sprawling, 61-hectare site with Bob McArthur, Renewal SA’s Tonsley Innovation District Marketing Manager.

Bob highlighted a number of the innovation district’s successful businesses which began as an idea in their founder’s home, drawing the connection for students between starting small and building up to success.

ZEN Energy is one such example. The company started after Richard Turner made a solar energy system for his children's cubby house.

Students also used Lego to build a house, business or other structure they felt would contribute to improving the Tonsley district.

This project led to dozens of Lego-sized houses being added into the lush, green urban forest located inside the Main Assembly Building (MAB).

The MAB, which has abundant natural sunlight and ventilation thanks to skylights and open ‘walls’, is a space where both Tonsley tenants and the public can meet, enjoy the Town Square, or dine in one of the in-house eateries.

Renewal SA Training and Employment Initiatives Manager Samantha Wilson said, “One little boy shouted out that he wanted to build a time machine to teleport himself to new places.

“Their imaginations lit up just being in the environment at Tonsley and enabled them to think beyond their everyday experiences.

“It was incredible to witness.”

Children’s University students will return to Tonsley Innovation District later in the year.

About Children's University Australasia

Children's University Australasia (CUA) engages students from low socio-economic and/or otherwise disadvantaged backgrounds in extra-curricular activities that are fun, voluntary, varied with a strong link to higher learning to provide a platform for children to develop educational and work aspirations.

Students also accumulate hours towards their Passport to Learning through participating in these activities.

In addition to the student program, CUA provides volunteering opportunities for 15-to-18-year-olds, thereby providing positive role models for younger children.

Students who are undertaking the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) can benefit by participating in the volunteering scheme by receiving credits towards their SACE.

Learn more about these student and volunteer programs on the Children's University Australasia website.

About the Renewal SA Works Program

The Renewal SA Works Program delivers training and employment opportunities to people who might otherwise experience challenges studying or (re)entering the workforce.

You can find out more about the Works Program, and register your interest in future programs.

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