Sunshine Coast teams come away with a win at State GovHack awards
  • Monday 11 September 2017

Three local Sunshine Coast teams whose entries focussed on social equality, aged care and safe places have come away with wins at the state GovHack awards ceremony held in Brisbane (September 8).

The teams collected four awards following the annual competition, where participants worked together over 46 hours to explore, mash-up, ideate and communicate concepts in a friendly creative competition using open data.

This year’s event involved more than 2300 participants in 36 locations across Australia and New Zealand, including Spark Bureau in Maroochydore.

Team HackPak were awarded two awards, the Advance Queensland sponsored As Safe as Houses Award which is aimed at addressing social equity issues and the Sunshine Coast Community Award.

Team Data Luddites won the Sunshine Coast Commercialisation Award for their project “Age Care Choices” which used aged care services list to create a search engine to allow aged care users to make more informed choices, including user ratings and have real time dialogue with the aged care providers.

The team’s youngest member, 13-year-old Matthew Harris, who travelled from Hervey Bay to the Sunshine Coast to participate, said he really enjoyed the GovHack experience and working with other people to create a concept using open government data.

He was awarded the Spirit of GovHack Award following the competition.

"I got involved in GovHack as I love to program, I love to learn and teach what I know and I love to collaborate with others in 48 hours to come up with a brilliant idea that can be used for the benefit of the community,” Matthew said.

“Our team idea was to create a website that searches for aged care facilities in your area for your specific needs and wants.

“It’s important because people want to live closer to loved ones as they age, have options, and we have an aging population that needs to be looked after.

“I really wanted to work with adults this year after doing the youth competition last year, and I never felt my age was a barrier.

“In fact I loved being able to meet like-minded people of different ages and I think anyone who likes to code or is into design or likes to handle the business side of things like marketing or pitching would love to do this.”

Economic Development and Innovation Portfolio Cr Steve Robinson said the competition saw some excellent ideas that had real relevance for our region.

“GovHack is a fantastic example of how sharing data can turn into great ideas and outcomes for our region and community,” Cr Robinson said.

“Seeing the calibre of the ideas generated, I didn’t envy the judges role and congratulate all of the teams involved, but particularly the winners of the four awards.

“Competitions like GovHack provide a great opportunity to showcase the value of open data and using this information to investigate community issues and come up with solutions that can benefit the wider community and can also lead to the development of new businesses.

“It also supports the growth of the high-value knowledge industries and professional services in our region as identified in the Regional Economic Development Strategy.”

The Data Luddites team won the Sunshine Coast Commercialisation award for their project Age Care Choices, team Hackpak won the As Safe as Houses award and the Sunshine Coast Community Award for their project The Social Ceiling and team Edgity won the Sunshine Coast Sustainability award for their project Safe Places, with each team receiving $800 in cash prizes.

The local Sunshine Coast GovHack event was sponsored by Sunshine Coast Council, Noosa Shire Council, the University of Sunshine Coast and Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast, and Spark Bureau was the venue host.

This year’s local event had more than 40 enthusiasts involved, made up of 25 “hackers” and as many mentors, sponsors and observers.

The national GovHack awards are expected to be held in October.

The next hack event is HackFest which will be held at The Hive Business Space in Maroochydore from November 24-28, with a range of prizes on offer. Visit the events page on council’s website for more information.


Category: As Safe as Houses (state award sponsored by Advance Queensland)
Project: The Social Ceiling
Team: Hackpak

Category: Sunshine Coast Commercialisation
Project: Age Care Choices
Team: The Data Luddites
Honourable mention: High Flyers for their project The Health Craft

Category: Sunshine Coast Community
Project: The Social Ceiling
Team: Hackpak
Honourable mention: ABM for their project Fun Coast

Category: Sunshine Coast Sustainability
Project: Safe Places
Team: Edgity
Honourable mention: for their project No Junk

Team background:

Five teams formed during the GovHack weekend and created the following submissions, including video summaries:

  • Safe Places: Using Sunshine Coast Smart WiFi, Team Edgity created an alert system called “Safe Places” to alert people when unplanned/unwanted intruders were within close proximity of their personal spaces.
  • Health Craft (video): Using ABS data, Team High Flyers sought to demonstrate how local data could be used to trial the delivery of health products via drone delivery to those who are disadvantaged and/or may not have access to transport.
  • Fun Coast: Using Sunshine Coast recreational park data, Team ABM created an Alexa chat bot solution to suggest places and fun ideas to new residents within the region who are interested in exploring new activities.
  • Aged Care Choices: Using the aged care services list, team Data Luddites created a search engine to allow aged care users to make more informed choices, including user ratings and real time dialogue with the aged care providers.
  • The Social Ceiling: Using Qld Social Housing Register data, team Hackpak mashed up open data sources to explore current housing stress on the Sunshine Coast, predicting how this might look in 10 years, providing insights and potential solutions.