GovHack Awards 2017

Photo: GovHack competitor and SAcommunity volunteer Alison Do
GovHack an annual open data competition is held across Australia and New Zealand to inspire innovative open data reuse ranging from Apps to projects, games or art.
GovHack Awards
Held on the weekend of the 28th to 30th of July, awards were announced on the 14 October. Hasan Anjum, the GovHack State Director for South Australia informed us that 20 international prizes were won by SA teams. 
SAcommunity and GovHack - our volunteer Alison
Connecting Up staff contribute to GovHack annually as SAcommunity data mentors as part of sharing the open dataset for community reuse. This year our SAcommunity volunteer Alison Do participated as a competitor and we are proud to say that her team 'Chooks' won the national Australian Bureau of Statistics 'Innovative presentation of economic data' award and was nominated for several other national and state awards with three runners up and an honorable mention granted for their project.
Find more information on the national, international and state award winners here:
Why become involved? Alison Do shares her story
Alison discussed the reasons she became involved and her experience of competing with the SAcommunity team.
Why become involved?
GovHack is a nationwide, free event and I was looking for a challenge and saw this as an opportunity to try something new and different to broaden my experiences.
How did you find the competition?
Forming and working in a team whilst creating a project in a very limited time was a challenge, as a result I learnt a lot from my GovHack experience.
The following are a few points I discovered that may assist competitors next year:
1) Every team member is of equal importance. The team leader is the control, the other members are the engine of the group.
2) Plan your team properly. Ensure your team has the mixture of skills and abilities needed to complete the project and that tasks are allocated accordingly. My team consisted of facilitators and creative people and we needed skillsets for tasks such as video editing and building applications. 
3) Decide on your focus. Deciding on your end goal at the beginning provides a focus point for the project. It enables you to understand exactly what will be required to ensure that the time is spent on the basic components needed. Examining previous GovHack projects and videos will help participants to generate some ideas to work with at the start.
4) Look at the big picture. The event's timeframe is too limited to focus on the details.
5) Time management, project planning and break-down methods. These will assist with keeping track of your team's progress and save time. 
6) Work smart, not hard. Focus on what is really needed, think differently and critically and ask for some tricks from mentors.
7) Communication! Ask for advice and help, GovHack had a diverse range of mentors, sponsors, volunteers, organisers and observers from a variety different backgrounds including education, business, community, technology and government. This provided a good opportunity to talk to others, learn, gain advice and build networks.
8) More stress = less creativity, relax to allow yourself to think.
9) Never give up. Or should I say, before giving up, ask an expert first. We approached the deadline and had difficulty with our video but our team leader did not want to give up, she asked for help from a mentor and we were able to submit.

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