Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Launceston more than ever is yearning for ingenuity and entrepreneurship.
Enter the Great Regional City Challenge, where some 50 projects by individuals and teams across Northern Tasmania showcase themselves to the public in a bid for a portion of the $100,000 grant funding.
The projects vary in their target area, viability and form, but all are united in their aim - to make Northern Tasmania a better place to live.
Project coordinator Peter Murden said there has never been a better time to mobilise the power and potential in our community.
"It is uplifting and reassuring that when given the opportunity and some support, local people, groups and businesses are willing and capable of solving their own problems and identifying new and innovative ways of contributing to their community and the economy," he said.
"In many cases they are the people best placed to do so."
In other news:
Mr Murden said while government responses to COVID-19 had been necessary and effective, their efforts could only go so far in aiding recovery in the community.
"We can respond better to the crisis and the recovery when we all work together - community, business and government," he said.
"The results of the Great Regional City Challenge to date, demonstrate what can be achieved when people and groups within the community are mobilised by a common purpose."
We can respond better to the crisis and the recovery when we all work together - community, business and government. The results of the Great Regional City Challenge to date, demonstrate what can be achieved when people and groups within the community are mobilised by a common purpose.- Peter Murden
From environmental developments to mental health and wellbeing, projects in the Great Regional City Challenge tackle a vast array of issues in the Launceston area.
Many projects aim to improve the North's environmental assets amid growing concerns around climate change and sustainability.
This includes projects such as a regular sustainability summit, where ideas are shared between local producers as well as green projects overseas and how they can benefit Launceston.
Another project is looking for funding to produce and promote custom Tasmanian reusable cups. One project is even aiming to investigate the possibility of using plasma-based technology to purify wastewater in the Tamar River.
Initiatives such as the establishment of men's talking groups to break down toxic masculinity and funding for regional youth arts centres seek to raise awareness around the importance of mental health in the region.
Many proposals seek to make Launceston the host for a variety of events and festivals further attracting more tourists to the region's growing industry.
From dancing and storytelling festivals to constructing a whitewater and surfing wave attraction at a local river - there's no shortage of projects aiming to make Launceston a go-to for visitors to Tasmania.
One project even envisions Launceston becoming the first place in Australia to host an autonomous or remote-controlled boat competition.
- Great Regional City Challenge project giving youth input into region's development
- Project hoping to install whitewater surf facility in Launceston
- Men's Table project about breaking down mental health stigmas
- Great Regional City Challenge project sets sights on Tamar health
- Housing project helping vulnerable part of Great Regional City Challenge
- Virtual Sustainability Summit proposed in Great Regional City Challenge
- Festival for storytelling tabled for Greater Regional City Challenge
- Dance festival proposed for Great Regional City Challenge
Another is wanting to make Launceston Australia's 'numerate city' by creating sites around the city that promote mathematical learning. Project lead Dr Tracey Muir said the project would use an app for locals and visitors alike to explore a new way of engaging in mathematics in a modern age.
"There'd be little features around the city where they could use the app like a math trail," she said.
"The idea is that it would encourage people to go into the city ... school students who come in for excursions could capitalise on it because they could download the app and walk around and participate."
Certain initiatives, such as Global Shapers' Listen Up! Make Noise!, are aimed empowering those that might otherwise feel voiceless. Project member Adam Mostogl said the idea was to create a platform for young people to check into regularly to have input on developing ideas in Northern Tasmania.
"The first priority is engaging with young people who otherwise feel that their voice doesn't matter in our region - because their voice does matter, and there is so much happening in our city that will affect young people primarily for the future," he said.
"By having more young people engaged in our region, it will help bring vibrancy to our region and help young people's perspectives matter as well - which will forever help our region for the future.
"Also as the Launceston Global Shapers Hub, we'll be using the platform to help inform us of the priorities of young people to collaborate with our global network of over 10,000 Shapers in +450 cities to help increase the civic engagement of young people, and generally support the livability of Northern Tasmania."
Projects are open for voting and public viewing at launcestontogether.com.au. There, people can select their top five favourite projects of the possible 50 until May 31.
Mr Murden said it was very heartening indeed to see the array of issues community members sought to improve through their proposals.
"We developed the Challenge because we felt there was a strong connection and commitment to the greater Launceston region and that this could be harnessed around a common goal of making the region one of the best in the world," he said.