Held last weekend, the GovHack Australia 2015 Red Carpet Awards in Sydney, saw West Australian teams win nine awards and honourable mentions, including two at an international level. Minister for Finance, Mines and Petroleum, Bill Marmion stated “events like GovHack are important to Western Australia’s technology future and to the Government because they show what can be achieved when government makes data available and brings people together to analyse and reuse it.”
GovHack Perth ran in the first weekend of July, with teams forming on a Friday night to compete in a 46-hour hackathon. Using government data sets, the general public were invited to mashup, reuse and remix government data.
The Red Carpet Award speeches acknowledged that data is critically important in a changing Australian labour landscape, “struggling with complexity in an increasingly constrained resource environment … data is everywhere and is the first resource in human history that isn’t assigned value by its scarcity, but rather by its abundance”.
One of the winning teams, #oncountry won two awards, including the International Digital Humanities Hack and Indigenous Issues for their interactive online map of national Indigenous stories. Team member Leslie Delaforce said, “for me, with no background in coding or computer programming, I wanted to learn from a really diverse and dedicated bunch of individuals using government data to share and collaborate on projects that had meaning and the ability to transform our communities. The fact that our team #oncountry developed first of its kind “Indigenous Wikipedia” is a testament to the long hours and hard work of our team and the incredible support of the GovHack Perth organisers”.
Fellow team member, Rebecca Dracup shared the importance of the environment GovHack creates, “GovHack was an opportunity to meet like minded people who are keen to be positively involved in their community. It was a platform for me to learn new programming skills from others in a friendly, yet fast-paced environment. I really enjoyed the creative escape of the weekend, which encouraged me to think outside of the box and synthesise ideas between our team members under intense time pressures”.
Other winning Perth teams included:
Caffeinate Me for the Statistics Data Bounty; and SynergyCity for Open Source Bounty, Hack to the Future received an honourable mention for the Indigenous Issues Bounty and the International Bounty for Best WW1 Hacks, and Open Energy came second for the Best Entrepreneurial Hack, with Minister for Water; Sport and Recreation; Forestry, Mia Davies saying it is “testament to the calibre of the State’s entrepreneurs and our progress with open data,” Ms Davies said.
WA State Government won Best Government Participation award, acknowledging the level of engagement support and support for an open data policy. Bill Marmion advised, “data innovation has enormous potential to further diversify our State by providing new insights, products and services. I have no doubt some of the GovHack projects will result in new technology developments, and could even be commercialised.”
For more information:
GovHack list of winning teams