Team History

Want to view the official records and statistics of 5985? Check out the team’s page at The Blue Alliance for full details.

 2020 – Infinite Recharge

The 5th year of competition for FRC Team 5985 was a roller-coaster!

A mere 15 days before Kick-off, TAFE NSW agreed to host the 5985 workshop in “Building X” – a former reception hall, turned childcare centre, then abandoned for several years. This was a fantastic opportunity, and the team set to work (deep) cleaning, moving, and setting up our first dedicated workshop! After a LOT of hard work, the team was able to watch Kick-Off from their space – joined by our friends from 7583 who we invited to share the space when they lost access to their own workshop. After a re-organisation or two, we even found the space for a full FRC field!

This all took place with a background of devastating bushfires and floods – not to mention the emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The season was looking to be fantastic – with great strides taking place in all aspects of FRC experience, from mechanical to outreach. Ironically, we were in the middle of hosting our first FRC scrimmage (a week out from competition) when the news came through that FRC was cancelled due to the pandemic.

We kept the lights on, and set plans in motion to ride out the lock-downs and make the most of the opportunities we had. Of course, the entire team attended the virtual awards show from different houses – and were on hand to watch the results of the Awards Team’s hard work as the earned another Regional Chairman’s Award, Woodie Flowers Award, and Dean’s List Semi-finalist!

5985 finished the season on a high, committed to returning for 2021.

  • Woodie Flowers: Lyndell Clark
  • Dean’s List #1: Sarah Eckert
  • Dean’s List #2: Andre Dorogi
Event Year Location Award/Result
Southern Cross Regional 2020 Cancelled/Virtual Regional Chairman’s Award
Woodie Flowers Finalist Award (Lyndell Clark)
South Pacific Regional 2020 Cancelled/Virtual FIRST Dean’s List Finalist Award (Sarah Eckert)


 2019 – Destination: Deep Space

The 4th year of competition for FRC Team 5985 brought a number of challenges – and triumphs!

The season started with an unexpected move to Mt St Thomas Public School, as the rooms at Wollongong West were no longer available. Finding a new location was a difficult process, with a number of potential locations falling through before the team secured a workshop. Moving day was a draining experience, with transporting the team’s equipment and materials requiring a great deal of manual labour!

Destination: Deep Space also provided a new milestone for 5985, with the creation and mentoring of FRC Team 7583 (The Elonera Embers). This was the first team created by 5985, and the two teams spent a lot of time working together.

5985 itself underwent a number of changes, with several senior members entering Year 12 and University. New recruits and mentors came as well, adjusting the team’s size to 31 team members from 15 high-schools across two countries! With new team members learning from the old, 5985 continued to refine structure and approach, using new processes to improve robot development. Altered team structures, dedicted team roles, and an expanded CAD team all produced exceptional results. New heights were reached in Strategy (with the CSP program expanding again) and Awards – where both writing and video production produced amazing results.

When it came time for the Australian Regional, 5985 returned to both the South Pacific and Southern Cross events. The Collaborative Scouting Program proved its worth again, producing excellent information that benefited several teams. This was most apparant when 5985 captained the winning alliance in the Southern Cross Regional, accompanied by 4613 (Barker Redbacks) and – in a fitting partnership – our protegees 7583.

Riding high on that triumph, 5985 took part in the South Pacific event, facing a much larger field of teams and tougher competition overall. Picked by Alliance #3 but knocked out in the semi-finals, the team thought they had done well. Being named winners of the Chairman’s Award was a shock, but produced a great deal of rejoicing amongst the team.

As Regional Winners and Chairman’s Award winners, 5985 returned to the FIRST Championships in Houston, finishing 20th in the Galileo Division and being the 1st Pick of an Alliance #7. Knocked out in the Semi-Finals, the team still celebrated a successful season. Bring on Infinite Recharge!

  • Woodie Flowers: Matt MacDonnell
  • Dean’s List #1: Zac Hah
  • Dean’s List #2: Gideon Meischke
Event Year Location Award/Result
Southern Cross Regional 2019 Sydney Olympic Park Entrepreneurship Award
Ranked 1st
Regional Winner (Captain of 1st-Placed Alliance)
South Pacific Regional 2019 Sydney Olympic Park Regional Chairman’s Award
Ranked 8th
Eliminated in Semi-Finals (1st Pick of 3rd-Placed Alliance)
FIRST Championships 2019 Houston, Texas Eliminated in Division Semi-Finals (Ranked 20th 1st Pick of 7th Placed Alliance)

 2018 – FIRST Power Up!


5985’s 3rd year of competition built on all the lessons learned from Stronghold and STEAMWorks. With a permanent base at Wollongong West Public School, the team grew to 34 team members from 15 high schools.

Now working in defined teams, the 5985 students tried out new processes in prototyping and design. Some hard decisions were required, but the final result was out best robot yet! Strategy, Awards, and Media also advanced in skill and workflow.

Returning for a double-Regional in Sydney was another epic undertaking, but well worth the effort. 5985 trialled their “Collaborative Scouting” program, pooling resources with other FRC teams to provide Scouting coverage of all matches without overloading individual Scouts. The results were impressive, allowing all the teams involved to develop effective strategies. The Robot performed well in both tournaments, but the South Pacific Regional was the crowning achievement, with 5985 captaining the winning alliance! This effort was only possible due to the combined work of Pit Crew, Awards, Scouting and Drive teams.

As Regional Winners, 5985 competed in the FIRST Championships in Houston, where they were 3rd Pick of an Alliance and played in the Semi-finals. Once again, many valuable lessons were learned, and many new friends made. We’re now ready for Destination: Deep Space!

  • Woodie Flowers: Andrew Clark
  • Dean’s List #1: Riley Huisman
  • Dean’s List #2: Isaac Clark
Event Year Location Award/Result
Southern Cross Regional 2018 Sydney Olympic Park Entrepreneurship Award
Ranked 4th
Eliminated in Semi Finals (Ranked 4th, 1st Pick of 2nd-Placed Alliance)
South Pacific Regional 2018 Sydney Olympic Park Woodie Flowers Finalist Award (Andrew Clark)
Creativity Award
Regional Winners (Ranked 2nd, Captain of 2nd-Placed Alliance)
FIRST Championships 2018 Houston, Texas Eliminated in Division Semi-Finals (Ranked 33rd, 3rd Pick of 4th Placed Alliance)

 2017 – FIRST STEAMWorks


5985’s second year was marked with both crushing despair and soaring triumph (and no, we’re not exaggerating). The team grew to 25 students from 11 high schools, with a total of 8 mentors. The team moved to the new base of Wollongong West Public School and tried to learn from last season.

“CAD before you cut” was our new directive, which seemed to work well – although our inexperience showed with several minor (and one major) mistakes requiring some urgent redesign! Internal team management improved, although there were still things we could do better.

Signing up for two tournaments was a new experience for the team, but something worthwhile – even if it did mean a week in Sydney! A excellent run in the Southern Cross Regional was spoiled by a “brutal” disqualification in the semi finals. The experience was traumatic, but the team handled themselves with extreme grace. This was turned around in the South Pacific Regional, where 5985 earned the Chairman’s Award! Not something that any of us expected, being only a second year team.

The Chairman’s Award earned 5985 a trip to Houston, where we experienced a FIRST Championship as an FRC team. There were many valuable lessons learned, and many new friends made. Now we’re ready to do it all again!

  • Woodie Flowers: Jason Wilson
  • Dean’s List #1: Marcus Jones
  • Dean’s List #2: Isaac Clark
Event Year Location Award
Southern Cross Regional 2017 Sydney Olympic Park FIRST Dean’s List Finalist Award (Marcus Jones)
Entrepreneurship Award
South Pacific Regional 2017 Sydney Olympic Park Safety Award
Regional Chairman’s Award
FIRST Championships 2017 Houston, Texas

 2016 – FIRST Stronghold

5985’s rookie year was a learning experience! The team didn’t have a permanent HQ, and started the season meeting at the Illawarra Christian School. We then moved to the 1st Korrahill Scout Hall when school started again.

The team ended up building three separate robot versions before the end of Build Season, and had one “Bumper Mistake” that required a redesign of some key functions. Even though we were a rookie team, we worked to complete “practice” entries for the Chairman’s Award, Entrepreneurship Award, and Safety Animation.

Our first tournament was an amazing experience, and the team did spectacularly well for a rookie team, finishing in third place and captaining the 2nd-placed alliance – made up of Chicago Knights and IC Robotics. We were knocked out in the Semi-finals.

  • Woodie Flowers: Andrew Clark
  • Dean’s List #1: Theresa Haley
  • Dean’s List #2: Matt Scott
Event Year Location Award
Australian Regional 2016 Sydney Olympic Park Highest Rookie Seed
Creativity Award
Duel Down Under 2016 Macquarie University Winners
Inspire Award