Community

Young programmer takes home another award

GOV HACK: Matthew Harris accepting the Spirit of GovHack award during the GovHack weekend. Matthew and GovHack staff member Elisha Dibben.
GOV HACK: Matthew Harris accepting the Spirit of GovHack award during the GovHack weekend. Matthew and GovHack staff member Elisha Dibben. Contributed

HERVEY Bay's young app guru Matthew Harris, 13, is at again, having taken home another award from the State GovHack Awards held in Brisbane on September 8.

Sunshine Coast Council's Economic development and innovation portfolio counsellor Steve Robinson said this year's event involved more than 2300 participants in 36 locations across Australia and New Zealand, including Matthew's Sunshine Coast-based team Data Luddites.

 

TEAM WORK: The Data Luddites won for their Age Care Choices project.
TEAM WORK: The Data Luddites won for their Age Care Choices project. Contributed

"Team Data Luddites won the Sunshine Coast Commercialisation Award for their project Age Care Choices," Cr Robinson said.

"The program 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 aged care providers."

Matthew said he really enjoyed the GovHack experience and working with other people to creat a concept using open government data.

"I got involved in GovHack as I love to program, I love to learn and teach what I know," he said.

"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.

"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 in to design, or likes to handle the business side of things like marketing or pitching would love to do this."

Matthew took home the Spirit of GovHack Award following the competition.

Cr Robinson said GovHack was a fantastic example of how sharing data could turn great ideas and outcomes for our teams involved, but particularly the winners of the foiur 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," he said.

Matthew's mentor Silicon Coast Extracurricular Code School director Ann Moffat said it was great Matthew's team The Data Luddites won, as they were great prizes.

The national GovHack awards will be held in October, with the next hack event, HackFest, on at The Hive Business Space, Maroochydore, from November 24-28.



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