Personnel Image

Written By

Mykala Wright


Publish Date

17 April 2023

An idea can change the world

Creativity is everywhere; it is at the heart of innovation, and it is through innovation that the world changes and progresses.

JCU Student Rosanna Karmichael is showcasing the power of social innovation with a creative tool that can help parents and caregivers keep their children safe. Rosanna studies a Bachelor of Arts and as part of her subject Introduction to Creativity and Innovation, Rosanna developed a product that helps reunite lost children with their parent or guardian.

“My project was inspired by my youngest son, who has developmental delays with features of level 2 autism and is considered non-verbal,” Rosanna says. “I used to fear and avoid taking him to events or places with large crowds. The anxiety from the thought of potentially losing him in a crowd was beyond reasonable.”

If Rosanna’s son became separated from her, he would not be able tell someone he was lost, ask for help, or even share his name. That’s why Rosanna created an iron on patch with a QR code that contains information like a child’s name and age, as well as their caregiver’s name and contact number.

“I thought about other children like him and other parents who are worried about losing their child in a crowd,” she says. “So, I came up with this idea where, with a simple scan using the camera on a phone, a code will directly link to important information regarding the child and details to reunite the lost child with their parent.”

The innovation is called Mario and friends and features a cartoon image of Rosanna’s son’s pet border collie, Mario. It reads ‘Hi, I’m Mario! Please scan my QR code if my friend looks lost!’

JCU Student Rosanna Karmichael's prototype for 'Mario and friends.' It features a cartoon image of a black and white border collie with it's tongue poking out, centered on a half pink, half green background.
JCU Bachelor of Arts Student Rosanna Karmichael sitting in a grey armchair with a standing lamp behind her.
Left: Rosanna’s prototype for 'Mario and friends.' Right: JCU Bachelor of Arts Student Rosanna Karmichael.

Creative solutions for a better future

Rosanna says the idea for an iron on patch was sparked last year when she took her son to a local Show.

“When we arrived, young children were being given fluorescent coloured wristbands to wear, and parents were being encouraged to write a contact number on them in case families became separated,” she says.

“But this seemingly easy system became a challenge with my son. How will someone know he’s lost if he won’t speak to them? And how will I keep this wristband on him?”

The synthetic plastic material the wristband was made from irritated her son’s skin, so Rosanna attached it to his collar.

“This then caused me to be constantly concerned it was going to fall off,” she says. “The patch eliminates these issues because it can’t be removed.”

For now, Rosanna is using the Mario and friends prototype for her son. She hopes to distribute it to a larger audience in the future.

“I have the intention of creating more characters for my son soon, and I eventually want to make the product accessible for other people. I’d like to make it available online, or create an app so that it can reach more people in need,” she says.

“Not only do I think it will benefit carers and parents of children who are unable to communicate, but I also think it could help people with other health issues, like dementia for example.”

Creativity and innovation can help to bring individuals together to provide solutions and increase opportunities for everyone. Rosanna says improving the lives and safety of others is what connects us and encourages us to strive for a better future together.

“I hope this innovation will improve the lives of those caring for our most vulnerable; whether that’s a parent or carer, or a police officer reuniting a separated family. I want it to help others the same way it has helped me.”


“I think the most amazing ideas should be shared, to help create positive impacts in the world: today and in the future.”

Discover JCU Arts

Become a creative thinker and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.