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Grow with nbn winners announced

29 March 2017

Nine organisations across Australia have today been recognised for their outstanding use of connectivity within business, community or education through the Grow with nbn Program.  


The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and nbn joined forces in November last year to launch a $150,000 grants program aimed at fostering innovation across the nation.


AIIA Chief Executive Officer Rob Fitzpatrick and nbn’s Corporate Affairs Manager Russell Kelly today visited one of the major grant recipients – the Lab Network – at one of its computer labs at the Footscray Community Arts Centre.


The Lab Network, a Melbourne-based and fast-growing national network of technology clubs for 10 to 16 year-olds with High Functioning Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome who enjoy working with IT and computers, took out the major grant in the Community Category. The Lab offers mentoring by technology professionals in areas such as programming, 3D, digital design and gaming. 


A full list of grant recipients is provided below.


AIIA CEO Rob Fitzpatrick said that the team was overwhelmed with applications from all over the country.


“This is another of those moments when you can’t help but feel proud of the phenomenal creativity, drive and purpose of our fellow Australians,” he said.


“It’s easy to get caught in the rhetoric of ‘innovation being a ‘dirty word’. 


“Through the Grow with nbn Program, we have unearthed a myriad of examples of Australians leveraging connectivity via services over the nbn™ network to help create and grow businesses that enhance education outcomes, solve real challenges faced by many in our communities, and grow business from any location – increasingly serving global markets. 


“Each and every one of them is creating new employment and enhancing skills and AIIA is proud to play our role in sharing these great stories of Australian innovation.”


nbn Corporate Affairs Manager Russell Kelly said that the grants program showcased how businesses and community organisations were making use connectivity over the nbn™ network to benefit Australia.


“Through the Grow with nbn Program, we’ve unearthed some fantastic businesses and organisations that are leading the way in innovation around Australia.”


Coordinator of the Lab Network, Alan Morgans said the children attending the Lab sessions were highly technically skilled and placed significant demands on the network with game playing, programming and live streaming.


“Children living with autism have great skills and potential and they can face big disadvantages because their different ways of thinking can lead to social isolation. 


“This funding will help us expand our reach, help more children and improve online access to make a real difference to thousands of children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder around Australia.”


Mr Morgans said prior to connecting to services over the nbn™ network, The Lab used 4G hotspots, which struggled to cope with the demands on the network.


“The children are quick to get distracted and having a good internet connection is paramount,” he said. 


“Since connecting to services over the nbn™ network, we can host up to 20 children simultaneously accessing the network.”*


In the next three years, the nbn™ network will greatly improve Australia’s high speed, universal broadband access, with broadband anticipated to become a powerful source of competitive advantage for Australia. 


The Grow with nbn Program 2017 encourages organisations to look at ways to take advantage of this to transform Australia’s businesses, charitable organisations and communities.


The winning organisations are:


Grant Awarded



Fizzics Education

Major grant recipient


Blacktown, NSW

Obelisk Systems

Major grant recipient


Maitland, NSW

The Lab Network

Major grant recipient


North Carlton, VIC

Living Connected

Minor Grant recipient and winner of nbn staff vote


Wollongong, NSW

Canopi Learning Solutions

Minor grant recipient


Coramba, NSW

Conexu Foundation

Minor grant recipient


Brisbane, Qld 

Stackable Regiments

Minor grant recipient


Sunbury, VIC

Vicinity Marketing

Minor grant recipient


Newcastle, NSW


Minor grant recipient


Mayfield West, NSW


Under the Grow with nbn Program 2017 three major grants of $25,000 and six minor grants of $10,000 were offered, with one of the minor grants recipients to receive an additional $15,000 through an nbn staff vote. 


The grants program is designed to help promote and support organisations that are innovatively using services over the nbn™ network for their activities.


For more information please visit:


Media enquiries

Russell Kelly

nbn Media Hotline

Phone: 0437 100 276

Phone: 02 9927 4200






*nbn is very happy with the Lab Network’s experience with the nbn™ network.  Of course, end user experiences of the nbn™ network may vary. Your experience including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like your equipment quality, software, broadband plans, signal reception and how your service provider designs its network.