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Funding boost for Mackay hackerspace

By Tammy Laval

Two Mackay manufacturing hackerspaces are set to split a $40,000 investment after securing funding through the State Government’s successful Hackerspaces Grant program.

Hackerspaces – community spaces where people can use shared equipment to develop projects, build products, and tinker with technology – continue to grow in popularity as places to create, learn, and socialise.

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert congratulated Split Space Mackay and Makerspace Mackay on being two of the 13 organisations to share in almost $220,000 under the latest round of Hackerspaces Grant funding.

“Both these local hackerspaces are going to use their $20,000 grants to educate, upgrade and extend their reach into the community, which is really positive for Mackay,” Mrs. Gilbert said.

“Split Spaces Mackay will work with CQ University on an initiative that will encourage students to solve real-world problems leveraging design and STEAM, while Makerspace Mackay is going to invest in more equipment and resources, giving members greater opportunities to create and innovate.”

Split Spaces Manager Deb Allan said the grant will help them attract new creative minds to join their community.

“This funding will allow us to run our eSTEAM High Design Challenge and deliver more workshops and mentoring,” Ms. Allan said.

“It will help strengthen that connection locally between entrepreneurship, the arts, and traditional STEM programs, encouraging more people to pursue advanced manufacturing and related fields.”

Makerspaces Mackay President Fred Houweling said the grant will help the group expand its equipment to grow its community and the services offered.

“By introducing additional tools and equipment we are enhancing our prototyping and testing capability,” Mr. Houweling said.

“This will allow members to learn new skills they can use in our local manufacturing industry and will help us continue to grow our community.”

Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick said this latest round of grants will see five new hackerspaces open around the state, with eight existing facilities to be expanded.

“Hackerspaces hold real value for our communities. They get people engaged with advanced manufacturing and help them gain the knowledge and skills needed for our jobs of the future,” Mr. Dick said.

“These grants will enable hackerspaces to buy equipment such as fabrication machines and 3D printers, and to run workshops and programs to educate industry and the community.”

The Queensland Hackerspaces Grant program is an initiative of the State Government’s Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.

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