Hamish lives in Townsville in North Queensland. Being so close to the Great Barrier Reef, He was inspired to share ways to protect and care for our oceans and marine life. He loves animals and nature and sees how litter can damage them. Some of his apps teach users how to clean up their act to protect the environment.

Hamish also uses his experience of living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to create apps that raise awareness of ASD. His apps aim to change the conversation about autism by helping people understand how those with ASD experience life. One of his apps is called TripleT and ASD. It helps people understand what it is like to have ASD by placing them in situations that might be stressful for those living with ASD – people can learn what is it like to struggle to recognise emotions or be sensitive to unexpected sounds.

When Hamish started designing games, he was just 10 years old. He got some help from his Dad and used an app called Hyperpad. Hyperpad works by allowing you to connect small pre-written pieces of code together to build a game, like a digital puzzle. Hamish says Hyperpad is a great option for anyone starting to build their first app – but it can’t do everything. Hamish has encountered a few frustrating limitations with building apps this way. So, he decided to take his coding skills to the next level and has been learning to write code using GameMaker and Unity.

Hamish’s next adventure has been working on a virtual reality experience. His new app simulates safely crossing a road, a situation where those with autism are at higher risk. He has been trialling this new app with the help of mentors to refine his product. His goal is to be able to release a 3D experience, which will be a new step for him.

Hamish’s passion, drive and skill have inspired people around the globe, and he has met many mentors who have helped him grow and develop his skills. Hamish believes that anyone can be an entrepreneur if they have the drive and creativity to approach a problem and try to find a solution.

Never give up. Dream big, work hard. And make sure you put yourself out there – let people know that you’re doing this.

Why it's important

Apps are a great way of getting information directly to people in a fun and engaging way. By creating apps, Hamish has raised awareness of important environmental and social issues, and helped make the world a better place.

Hamish’s app, TripleT and ASD, helps people without ASD understand what living with ASD can be like, and also helps people with ASD prepare for and manage potentially stressful situations. By doing this, the app provides a safe space for those on the spectrum as well as their friends and family to learn about ASD and identify coping strategies. Hamish is also working on other apps to continue raising awareness of autism.

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[intro music]

My name is Hamish Finlayson.

[Image of Hamish standing in a workspace.]

I’m 13 and I am an entrepreneur app developer.

[Images of Hamish designing an app using layers of coloured paper. There is also a picture of a cartoon turtle and a sign saying “Keep Queensland beautiful.”]

[Cuts to a short video of the turtle jumping in the finished app on a tablet screen.]

An entrepreneur is someone who is trying to make something new.

[Image shift to a picture of Hamish holding a cushion with “If you dream big enough anything can come true” printed on it.]

Something different. Something revolutionary.

[Image shifts to Enterprising Australians Logo.]

[Music playing in background]

My name is Hamish Finlayson

I am 13 and I am an entrepreneur app developer and I want to make a change in the world.

I have developed 4 apps about litter. These are Litterbug Smash, Keep Calm and Save Turtles, Litter Book of Facts and Nurdles vs Turtles.

I just hate seeing litter and I want people to be aware that it's actually causing harm and danger to animals and can cause some animals to go extinct.

I've also developed one app on autism called ASD and Me.

I decided to make ASD and Me because I have autism.

I feel like it's important to raise awareness because if we don't know what it is people will mistreat the person.

Calling them names, bullying them because they are different and I don't want this to happen.

You play as a blue turtle called Triple T and he’s put into scenarios that a person with autism might experience like loud noises, stress and unable to recognise emotions.

And as Triple T goes through these levels he will teach people on the spectrum the solution to these problems or people that know somebody on the spectrum.

I feel like the hardest part of the app so far is kind of the glitches that have been encountered.

Sometimes code would just delete itself.

On the very first coding platform I used there were some bugs that made me really annoyed.

I would get really angry. Stop coding for a bit.

But then a few weeks, days, later I would come back and find a work-around for the problem.

Advice for people who want to save the world? Never give up.

Dream big, work hard and make sure you put yourself out there and let people know that you're doing this.

[Enterprising Australians Logo]