The GovHack Story
GovHack was established as a small event in 2009 and has grown to become an Australia and New Zealand wide competition involving more than 3000 competitors and observers. It invites innovative thinkers of all ages and backgrounds to consider ways of transforming dry government spreadsheets and datasets into useful tools – anything from apps and presentations to art works and jewellery.
Why we believe in GovHack
GovHack shows the nation and the world that our civic hacker community is strong, rapidly growing and able to tackle tricky data problems in clever ways.
Governments collect and publish enormous amounts of data, but have limited resources to get it into the hands of their citizens in engaging ways. GovHack is an event to draw together people from government, industry, academia and of course, the general public to mashup, reuse, and remix government data. GovHack is about finding new ways to do great things and encouraging open government and open data.
GovHack focuses on building a better democracy through innovation, participation, and the development of a strong community of civic hackers.
GovHack in Geraldton
In 2016 Pollinators and Scinapse ran their first GovHack competition, calling on the region’s brightest minds to build useful things from open data published by government. Geraldton GovHack had 35 people attend the preview events and 18 people participate over the weekend, forming two teams, supported by three mentors and some ‘observers’. This is a very significant number of people willing to commit their weekend to repurposing government data for community outcomes.
Participants considered data ranging from natural phenomenon such as rainfall and temperatures to business insolvency statics and population numbers. With ideas flying around the room, the attendees eventually formed tackled two vastly different topics. One team compared data on the numbers of international migrants to regional centres, with the regions’ economic growth. The other developed a prototype for an app that would measure the distances between travel destinations and provide information on the services and rest stops along the way. The submitted projects were considered by a team judges in Perth, along with entries from across the state, and the app prototype was awarded second place in the Main Roads GovHack Keep Western Australia Moving category.
GovHack Geraldton facilitator Summer Pirrottina said it was incredible to witness the magic of collaboration in action. “It was amazing to see what a small group of people, who didn’t even know each other before, could create in terms of worthwhile projects,” Ms Pirrottina said. “They created projects that interpreted dry data and made them into something useful.”
You can view the resultant entries here:
All the 2016 projects are available at https://2016.hackerspace.govhack.org/projects and a full list of datasets used for the event, can be found on the GovHack Competition Portal.
This year’s local Geraldton GovHack event was supported by
- GovHack Australia and Perth – administration, marketing, logistics,
- Mid West Development Commission – sponsorship,
- Northern Agricultural Catchments Council –sponsorship and coordination,
- Pollinators Inc – management, space, marketing, and fundraising,
- Scinapse – marketing and coordination.
Who can participate?
All sorts of people join GovHack, including entrepreneurs, developers, data analysts, engineers, designers, digital media creators, artists, film makers, story tellers, academics, researchers, youth and civic enthusiasts. Basically everyone is welcome to collaborate on using government data we can better our Geraldton community!
Read this blog post for an insight into the calling of Mid West’s brightest!
Visit the official GovHack page to learn more.
We are seeking sponsors for Geraldton GovHack 2017. There are several levels of sponsorship available.
Platinum – $10,000+ | Gold – $5000+ | Silver – $2000+ | Bronze – $500+
To discuss the event, 2017 options or provide feedback, please contact Andrew at Pollinators: firstname.lastname@example.org | (08) 9965 5371 | 0466 694 702.