Queensland kids show they’re too smart to be scammed

Published Tuesday, 22 October, 2019 at 02:49 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

Queensland’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) received an overwhelming response to its Buy Smart Competition this year with more than 1,000 students submitting entries in a bid to win the state’s top consumer awareness prizes.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath announced the names of the prize winners from the record number of entries during a ceremony at Parliament House today (22 October 2019). The winners and their schools shared in $15,000 prize money.

“The Buy Smart Competition invites students from Year 4 to Year 12 to create a project about any consumer topic they wish,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“Entries this year included a podcast, a big gold pyramid covered in advice on how to avoid scams, three dolls houses, and a karaoke video.

“As I’ve come to expect from our young Queenslanders, the standard of the entries this year was incredibly high, and I applaud the wide variety of creative methods used to bring consumer protection subjects and stories to life.”

The submissions that won this year included a comic strip entitled The Great Scam, a mystery box game in which players answered questions about scam safety to unlock its secrets, and an eye-catching display and information booklet containing tips and slogans about being an ethically and environmentally aware consumer.

In addition to the winners, there were also several runners-up and highly commended projects.

The judges praised the young participants for their creativity and noted they had a difficult time choosing only one winner across each category.

Competition judge and Adjunct Professor, Griffith University Law School, Justin Malbon said it has been exciting to see what a brand-new cohort of students were doing with their entries.

“We were looking for something that intrigued, informed, and was original and interesting,” Dr Malbon said.

The Commissioner’s School Champion prize, which is awarded to a school that has shown great commitment to consumer awareness through the Buy Smart Program, was won this year by Bell State School, located in Queensland’s Western Downs region.

As part of this year’s Buy Smart Program, OFT officers spoke to over 11,000 students across Queensland, from Cape York to the Gold Coast, providing them with consumer and financial advice.

The Buy Smart Competition 2019 prize winners are:

Category: Years 4 to 6

First place: Larissa Sycz, Mount Crosby State School

Second place: Harjot Dhillon and Rayani Wickramasinghe, Boondall State School

Third place: Reef Large, Kin Kora State School


Highly commended:

  • Brendan Schoeman, Wellers Hill State School
  • Faisal Agha, Kin Kora State School
  • Maddyn Allison and Allie Drake, Boondall State School


Category: Years 7 to 9

First place: Grace Dixon, James Nash State High School

Second place: Sarah Goebel and Josh Hughes, Wavell State High School

Third place: Ashley Sherlock, Wavell State High School


Highly commended:

  • Ashlyn Milton and Mandy Little, Citipointe Christian College
  • Geof Custodio, Bell State School
  • Kristen Fraser, Phoebe Hall, Amaya Johnson and Grace Hamilton, Sheldon College
  • Amelia Chambers and Isabelle Cantle, James Nash State High School
  • Peyton Arici, St Paul’s School
  • Josie Timmins, Trinity College Gladstone
  • Rylan Stone, Athan Matthews and Cain Mackie, Merrimac State High School


Category: Years 10 to 12

First place: Lilian Thomas and Janvi Chand, Aspley State High School

Second place: Aaron Perez-Smith and Jacob Neale, Aspley State High School

Third place: Taryn Whittingham, Trinity College Gladstone


Commissioner’s School Champion

Bell State School, Bell, Western Downs region.

Details of this year’s winning Buy Smart Competition entries are available on the OFT website at www.qld.gov.au/buysmartcomp.



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