The power of government data on show: GovHack winners announced

By Harley Dennett

September 7, 2015

Open data will play a central role in the transformation of government services, says Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Addressing the GovHack 2015 red carpet awards via video, Turnbull reiterated the Commonwealth’s commitment to opening more data sets for public use.

“The most important part of GovHack is that its not just about a couple of days of fun — and a lot of coffee — it’s about the value and power of making government data public, and how real lasting commercial products of social value can be pulled together in prototype form in a short amount of time.

“We believe data collected by or for the public sector is a public good and we know making it open makes even greater benefits for the public.”

Turnbull’s own project, the Digital Transformation Office, was the lead government sponsor of GovHack this year.

Turnbull said he had great hopes for how DTO will be leveraging the prototypes and mash-ups from this year’s contributions.

What is GovHack?

GovHack is a weekend-long event in which teams of “hackers” create new uses from existing government data sets.

Now in its fifth year, GovHack has grown from a small events in 2009 to one that now spans multiple states and even across the Tasman with New Zealander teams taking part.

This year’s event — held in July — was its largest yet, with more than 1800 participants. Videos and final products of the 300 submitted projects are available online.

Awards were given to more than 25 teams, sponsored by the DTO, Telstra, Microsoft, Splunk, HP & Frame Group, Ancestry, IAG, Google, and many more.

Support also came from national agencies:

  • ABC
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
  • Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
  • Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • Department of Communications
  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Industry and Science
  • Geoscience Australia
  • IP Australia
  • NSLA, State Libraries of NSW and National Archives of Australia
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)

Can I check out this data too?


GovHack by the numbers

  • 30 GovHack Events
  • 25 event in Australia,
  • 6 events in New Zealand
  • 6 GovHack youth events held for the first time in 2015: Adelaide(SA), Mount Gambier(SA), Playford (SA), Onkaparinga (SA), Melbourne (Vic),  Auckland (New Zealand)
  • The youngest competitor was eight and competed in a father-son team (Adelaide)
  • Total prize value in excess of $300,000 across local, national and international prizes
  • 2000 participants
  • 400 Teams formed
  • 300 new concepts and prototypes submitted
  • Participation by federal, state and local governments with over 600 new datasets released openly on government data portal in time for the competition.

Submitted projects by state

  • 17 from Western Australia
  • 19 from Tasmania
  • 28 from ACT
  • 32 from New Zealand
  • 42 from New South Wales
  • 48 from Queensland
  • 52 from South Australia
  • 62 from Victoria

The winners

The international categories were open to both Australian and New Zealand teams. The remaining hack and bounty awards were for Australian teams.


The International Best Disaster Mitigation Hack

iHelp by team Tremorz in New Zealand


The International Digital Humanities Hack by team Patent Trolls in Canberra


International Bounty for Best WWI Hacks

ANZhACks by team Hackasaurus Wrecks in Canberra; and

Citizen Culture and Heritage: Lest we Forget by team Technogesic in Ballarat


The Best Digital Transformation Hack

Health Buddy by team Chamonix in Adelaide


The Best Open Government Data Hack

Question Time: A game of policy by Team Executive Swivel in Tasmania


The Best Science Hack

Lungs by team Saint Simon in Adelaide


The Best Policy Insights Hack

Synergising Synergies for Sitizens by team Synergising Synergies for Sitizens in Perth


The Best Data Journalism Hack

Mapping Pedestrian Activities & Safety in Melbourne by team Monash City Science in Melbourne


The Best Entrepreneurial Hack

Neuron – Connecting Like Minds by team Neuron in Sydney


The Best Youth Team (18 years and under)

AusEd by team Nexus_Is_Back in Mount Gambier South Australia


Best Higher Education Team by team Patent Trolls in Canberra


Best Public Servant Team

Safeway-2-go by team Hippo Creative in Adelaide


Best Professional Team

Our Local Stories by team Our Local Stories in Melbourne


The most useful Product or Service for the Public Bounty

Industry Check: Is it time to move on by team Elephant in Canberra


The ABC regional bounty

Secret Suburb by team BigDataBigDream in Sydney


The Statistics data bounty

AboutOz by team Caffeinate me in Perth


The Charity data bounty

Charitable Mapping by team Sleepless in Sydney in Sydney


The Taxation data bounty

The Glass Ceiling Index by team Blackwattle in Sydney


The Scientific data bounty

Twitter Field Guide by team FieldGuidesInc in Canberra


The National Map bounty

Use Your Words by team 66& Teague in Canberra


The Structure of government bounty

Struct by team GD in Toowoomba


The Air conditioner and energy bounty

Air Compare by team Patch in Canberra


The Geoscience Australia data bounty

Minecraft your city by team Mind the App in Canberra


The Intellectual Property data bounty

Neuron – Connecting Like Minds by team Neuron in Sydney


The Health and welfare bounty

Death and Taxes by team Hackasaurus Wrecks in Canberra


The Open Source bounty

SynergyCity by team SynergyCity in Perth


The Indigenous issues bounty

#oncounty by team #oncountry in Perth


The Hacker Vote Award  – voted by competitors

Crime Sheep by team Sandpit Ninjas in New Zealand

About the author
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Mandarin Premium

New government. So what now?

$50 for your first 90 days


Get Premium Today