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CHAC shines at Opti-MINDS Regionals

CHAC shines at Opti-MINDS Regionals

Author: Barbara Mossman
Author Role: Head of Gifted and Enterprise Education

It has once again been a fabulous year for CHAC at Opti-MINDS Regionals, with secondary teams awarded 1st and 2nd place in all categories our teams entered, and one of our Primary teams winning their category in the first year they have been involved.

Opti-MINDS is a creative team problem-solving challenge focused on sustainability, with the solution presented in the form of a dramatic presentation after six weeks' preparation. Students write scripts, design and make their own props and costumes out of a limited range of materials, and then perform. They also need to complete a Spontaneous Challenge as a team on the day. This year, as with so many other things, the competition had to be conducted virtually, with performances filmed and submitted for judging. Our results were as follows:


  • 1st Place: Team 5 from Year 7 (Atheris) – Portia Taggart, Emma Seivl, Isabelle Walker, Sophia Torta, Rosie Wood
  • 2nd Place: Team 4 from Year 9 (The Seven Dwarves) – Yael Niggemann Begun, Elodie O’Brien, Siaan Miller, Adele Paynter, Sienna Lee, Grace Taylor, Charlotte Bittner


  • 1st Place: Team 6 from Year 8 (Pizzaahh) – Poppy Ammundsen, Anouk Hilty, Ashlinn Ahmelman, Claire McAlister, Sarah Humphreys, Erin Delekta, Caitlin McCormack
  • 2nd Place: Team 3 from Year 9 (Master Mega-Minds) – Toby Chippendale, Callie Bannister, Mischa Mossman-Postula, Lachlan Swift, Sasha Whitcombe, Abby Foresto, Claire Nock


  • 1st Place:  Team 1 from Year 5 (The Chimps) –  Lata Howey, Eva Rodgers, Josephine Milton, Skye Forsyth, Kerala McGregor, Isabel Walter, Sadie Hambling

As usual, thanks to all staff coaches involved this year – Kate Horton, Lizzie Schluter, Liz Hodges, Jane Everett – as well as to our two fabulous and enthusiastic Year 11 coaches, Lily Chippendale and Liley Smith.

Our three winning teams from Years 5, Year 7 and Year 8 will now represent CHAC at a one-day 'cut-down-for-COVID' version of the Opti-MINDS State Final on Saturday 16 October (end Week 2, Term 4). A version of the six-week challenge will be done, as usual, in three hours, and will be filmed and judged virtually. We wish our teams luck as they represent CHAC in the State Final.


"This year, the Opti-MINDS experience was once again an amazing way to creatively convey an uplifting message about our community. In this past challenge, we had to write and perform a script that established the importance of belonging in the community. Through performing the script, my team strengthened our acceptance of others and developed our time management, whilst recognising social dilemmas present in our society. Overall, the challenge improved our teamwork, creative and imaginative skills and was an awesome experience." Poppy Ammundsen, Year 8

"It has been amazing to be able to experience Opti-MINDS through both the lens of a coach and a competitor. I’m so glad I’ve had a chance to share my love and knowledge of Opti-MINDS with a younger group of students, as it has been so rewarding to watch them grow and learn over the six weeks. The final performances are always the best part and this year they felt exceptionally incredible. Opti-MINDS has enriched my Term 3 schooling experience once again and I can’t wait to see how far these younger teams will go next year." Liley Smith, Year 11