SOAD students awarded funding for new ventures

Eleanor Hsu, Melodie Liu, Yvonne Yong, and Sydney Farey from Sweet and Sour.
Monday 9 November 2020

Three School of Art & Design students and a recent graduate have received a share of $50,000 in InnovationACT grants for their enterprising projects.

The recipients are behind two of the ten projects that were part of the InnovationACT program, which offers skills, tools, networks – and access to start-up funding.

Sweet and Sour is a venture by School of Art & Design students Sydney Farey and Melodie Liu, along with alumna Yvonne Yong (B.Visual Arts (Hons) ’19), and non-CASS students Eleanor Hsu and Chetan Kharbanda. They’ve created a bi-monthly zine centred on the experience of being Asian in Australia. Their first edition, published in August 2020, features essays, artwork, an interview, poetry, and creative illustrations.

Co-founder Sydney Farey felt that winning one of the grants validated her team’s efforts, and encouraged her to persist with the zine.

"Even though I came up with the idea of Sweet and Sour, I never, not once, thought it could be something that could become a full-time gig or something I could work on every single day,” Sydney says.

“The [InnovationACT] program has made me realise that this could be something that I can dedicate the rest of my life to, and I'd love to do that."

Brandon Hargraves, who is studying a Bachelor of Arts alongside a Bachelor of Business Administration, received one of the grants for his start-up Sway Aquaculture. Sway Aquaculture will help to address climate change by farming a type of seaweed that can prevent methane production in cattle.

"By adding just 40 grams of this granulated seaweed to a cow's daily diet, it can reduce the production of methane gas in that cow by 99 per cent," Brandon says.

"We decided to utilise the advantages of the good growing conditions in the Philippines and the skilled farmers, technicians and scientist on the one hectare farm we now have in Palawan, in the west of the country."

ANU Pro Vice-Chancellor of Innovation & Enterprise, Professor Michael Cardew-Hall, commended the students for their dedication to the program and to their ventures.

"I would like to congratulate not only the grant recipients, but all the student teams who took part in the InnovationACT program this year,” Professor Cardew-Hall said.

“I am continually inspired and impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit from ANU students and to see the enthusiasm and energy they have each put into the program, particularly in a year where everyone has had to adapt to lots of new 'norms', including the hybrid model of InnovationACT. I wish you luck with your ventures and journeys ahead."

View the details for the successful five teams from this year’s InnovationACT grant round:

Story credit:

Original article written by Evana Ho,

Updated:  9 November 2020/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications