They say necessity is the mother of invention. From the iconic Hills Hoist and Victa lawnmower to modern day breakthroughs such as the Flow Beehive and the Burqini, Aussie inventors have drawn inspiration from their everyday lives. And turned a big idea into big business.
Sydney woman, Aheda Zanetti, inventor of the Burqini swimwear range had her lightbulb moment after watching her young niece play netball. She wore a skivvy and long pants because there was no alternative for Muslim girls who wanted to dress modestly and participate in an active, Aussie lifestyle.
“She finished the game as red as a tomato,” says Aheda.
So she went home and searched the internet for suitable sportswear, without any luck. That’s when she decided to make the garments herself, sewing by hand on her lounge-room floor.
I was a mum with three babies under three and no money, but I didn’t want anyone to tell me not to do it,” she says. That was back in 2004 and her determination paid off.
Orders flew in from the UK, US and Europe. Then Surf Lifesaving Australia approached her to design a special Burqini to encourage Muslim girls to become lifeguards. Today she produces 5,000 garments a month and exports globally.
Innovation in our DNA
Australia consistently ranks in the top 20 globally for innovation.
In the 21st century, Aussies are pushing boundaries and making everyday life easier for countless others. But first you must identify a need.
Research has found that industries with the best growth potential in Australia include health and medical technology, transport, digital technology and sport. These feature among some of our most successful inventions, such as the Cochlear bionic ear, Penicillin, the black-box flight recorder and home WiFi.