Rainbow Shoelace Project nominated

Rainbow Shoelace Project Co-Founder Abbie Jane has been named a finalist of the Young Change Agent’s 2023 Teens in Business Awards in the Regional or Rural Entrepreneur of the Year category.

“I didn’t start [the Rainbow Shoelace Project] because of the awards or because of the recognition, but the fact that I have been nominated for an award, I guess it shows how much hard work we’re putting into it and recognises that we are making a difference,” Abbie told the Barrier Truth.

“It does feel nice getting nominated for something like this, just because sometimes I feel like I get tall poppy syndrome and I feel like I’m not doing as much as I should be, and I should be doing more. But then when I see that I’ve been nominated for awards like this, I guess it reminds me that I’m doing my best and that people do get help from this Project.

“I also really love it because it’s creating more awareness of the Rainbow Shoelace Project and even if we don’t win, it’ll still create a conversation. People might see that I’m nominated and go ‘I wonder what she does?’ and then look it up and they’ll see the Rainbow Shoelace Project. It’s just another way of spreading the message.

Abbie’s impact transcending the bounds of Broken Hill has been nothing new, with the Rainbow Shoelace Project being endorsed by Australian celebrities such as Dannii Minogue and Christan Hull, however even this is new territory for the 14-year-old.

“Another thing about this is it shows other young people from small towns or young people in general that you can literally do anything. It is hard, but I think getting this recognition shows other young people that it doesn’t matter where you’re from [or] who you are, you can always make a difference,” she said.

“But the fact that this project has [become] so big and it’s now getting nominated for awards is just crazy to me, because we did just start it in Broken Hill, not knowing how big or small it would be. It’s gone international. That is just something that I find so hard to believe every day.”

Abbie said the support of the Rainbow Shoelace Project since starting in March 2022 couldn’t have been possible without the likes of her mother, Sophie, and Rainbow Shoelace Project Co-Founder Max Dawnn, as well as the people near and far who have got behind the push to bring awareness to the LGBTQIA+ community.

“Anyone who has shown their support, anyone who has rainbow beads on their shoelaces, being nominated for this wouldn’t be a possibility without all those people.”

The 2023 Teen in Business Awards Ceremony will be presented virtually on Wednesday, November 29. You can RSVP to attend for free via

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