News - Innovation for social good

6th March 2018

QUT Interactive and Visual Design graduate, Jessie Hughes, is on a mission to prove that evolving technological advancements and innovation opportunities can be harnessed for social good.

Whether she’s designing an advertisement for a New York billboard, immersing others through virtual reality on energy poverty in South America, or designing innovative enrichment activities for orangutans in Borneo, Jessie Hughes is determined to make good things happen through creative technology. 

One of her latest initiatives is a VR education game for teaching Australian Sign Language.

In Australia, 1 in 6 people are affected by hearing loss, and approximately 30,000 deaf Auslan users rely on Australian Sign Language as their language of communication.

The first national curriculum for Auslan will soon be rolled out in schools across Australia and Jessie is aiming to revolutionise how sign language is taught through SignVR.

SignVR is an interactive Virtual Reality education platform for learning Auslan through a fun and embodied learning experience.

The SignVR program aims to excite students into learning Auslan, bridging communication barriers nationally, weakening stigmas towards people with disabilities, and unifying Australian students for an inclusive community.

“I really support the idea of using VR as a tool to drive critical social change, truly being able to portray reality like never before.” Jessie said.

As a QUT alumnus, Jessie has been a huge advocate for the university, and has furthered her entrepreneurial spirit by taking place in QUT’s bluebox Accelerator program.

“For me, the most enjoyable factor of my QUT experience was being surrounded by so many inspiring people,” Jessie said.

“It’s an awesome feeling to be immersed in a community of students and staff who share the same passions as you and who inspire you to be better.”

You can read more about Jessie's journey on the QUT No Walls site. Her personal website can be found at

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