Digital Innovation Hub launches MasterTech program

The Digital Innovation Hub, as part of La Trobe’s Research and Innovation Precinct, recently launched a brand-new digital program ‘MasterTech’ for secondary school students.

The inaugural event was launched with La Trobe’s strategic partner, Ivanhoe Grammar School, who brought thirteen self-selected year 9 students to the week-long program. The event was hosted in the Digital Innovation Hub at La Trobe’s Bundoora Campus.

MasterTech is an experiential learning program where the students are exposed to the leading innovative technology of the hub – virtual reality and augmented reality headsets, advanced projector systems, hand-gesture LEAP motion sensors, and the tools/materials to make tables, projection surfaces and are taught critical digital skills for problem solving and experience design across the week.

The students were then challenged to build ‘window into worlds’ – a two-way experience and digital solution to demonstrate their ability to think creatively, self-motivate, build a functional, well-designed experience and then present their system in a showcase at the end of the week-long program.

The students were highly creative and talented, with some of big digital ideas created including:

  • Project 1: A 2-player networked game written in python and using original graphical assets and user interfaces
  • Project 2: An enclosure for gesture controlled “holograms”
  • Project 3: Two-way language translator written in python allowing a person to speak in any language and have it translated into English verbally to an English speaker anywher in the internet
  • Project 4: A gesture controlled “arcade” allowing people to interact and play chess, connect-4 and an original animated artwork on a custom build table and projection screen
  • Project 5: A virtual world made up of a dark force appearing that sends you on a quest to save a racoon in a jungle world, save a penguin in an underwater world and save a polar bear in a snow world.  Once all the animals are saved the dark for disappears and all is right with the world again.

Jeff Jones, Digital Innovation Hub Manager and Director of Cisco Innovation Central Melbourne said the programs a digitally focused and industry-connected university like La Trobe can offer is invaluable for young learners.

"MasterTech provides students of all ages with experiences and understanding of future-careers and areas of interest that may not have ever been exposed to. The Digital Innovation Hub connects the leading expertise of our industry partners Cisco and Optus with the community for real impact." said Jones.

One year nine student who participated said:

“Master Tech opened opportunities and revealed possibilities that I never thought imaginable. It was the perfect blend of problem solving and creativity that in turn opened a window to another world.”

Steve Brophy, Director of Digital Transformation, Ivanhoe Grammar spoke about the importance of beyond the classroom experiences such as MasterTech in helping students chart their path forward in life.

“MasterTech was a learning acceleration experience for our students. An authentic opportunity to glimpse firsthand what University and professional life could be like. As an educator, listening to the discourse and witnessing the ingenuity on display gave me great hope for the future."

La Trobe plans to include the MasterTech program as a regular feature of the Digital Innovation Hub. The program is a great example of how La Trobe’s Research and Innovation Precinct is bringing diverse partners on to campus to collaborate and learn new skills.

For information on the MasterTech program contact Jeff Jones, Digital Innovation Hub Manager and Director of Cisco Innovation Central Melbourne via

About La Trobe’s Digital Innovation Hub

The Digital Innovation Hub is one of three key platform investments in the Research and Innovation Precinct. The Hub connects La Trobe and its technology partners with businesses to improve their processes, products and services through the use of digital technologies and development of digital workforce skills.

The Hub provide provides businesses of all sizes with access to computing and network platforms and technologies to develop, test and take advantage of digital solutions to support their business growth.

Some of the services provided include supporting the agrifood industry in developing improved manufacturing processes and testing and developing portable tech devices using artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to improve the health outcomes for elderly people living at home.

The Digital Innovation Hub benefits from La Trobe’s partnerships with global technology companies Cisco and Optus, enabling access to their leading expertise and technologies.

The Hub also provides access to short courses delivered by La Trobe academics to help industry develop workforce skills in digital technology like data analytics, cybersecurity and telehealth.

For further information on the Precinct programs and opportunities, please contact Olga Minchin, Precinct Coordinator via

La Trobe Industry contact: Hope Terdich, Manager – Marketing and Communications,