Envision’s Luke Cassar has a long held passion for building technology platforms. For the last two years has been actively involved in GovHack an international competition for people of all abilities who seek to make life better through open data.

This year’s event took place across Australia from 6-8 September with thousands of willing participants actively trying to solve problems through the use and manipulation of data to create positive outcomes. Incorporating a networking event and a 3-day challenge competition, teams worked tirelessly in hackathons across Queensland with the aim of being selected state champion before heading to the national finals in Canberra in October.

The Brisbane event took place at the University of Queensland, and challenges included:

  • Queensland OpenAPI – Create a project using one or more of Queensland’s Open-API’s
  • Economy and Jobs – How can we create more jobs and grow the Queensland economy?
  • Environment and Science Data – How might we use environment and science data to better engage with the community?
  • Getting around on the Gold Coast – How can we improve the way locals and tourists travel to, from and around the Gold Coast.
  • Highlighting the regional living advantages over metropolitan capitals – Enabling people to choose the most suitable regional centre for a sea or tree change.
  • Indigenous Languages – How might we showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language materials?
  • Spatial Information – How might Queenslanders find out more about where they live?

In supporting GovHack, Luke has developed a unique platform in Ruby on Rails that powers the event, team formation and project collaboration aspect of the weekend. Luke told us why GovHack is essential to him “As a developer, I understand the power that using data can make in improving knowledge and decisions. Government has access to huge amounts of data through open data; it can be used and accessed to help improve aspects of people’s lives.”

“GovHack encourages the community to become involved in using open data for good and what I really like about the initiative is that it includes anyone and everyone who wants to be involved.”

“To see teams of all ages and abilities taking part in a movement directed and using data for good is hugely rewarding. It is great to be part of GovHack and to be able to work alongside the event organisers and managers to help use technology to make initiatives like this a huge success.”

When the team at Envision heard about Luke’s involvement, we had to get involved too.

Acting as a Bronze Sponsor of the Brisbane event, Envision donates time for Luke to work on GovHack as part of his role. Adrian Smith, Envision’s Head of Engineering, outlined the importance of supporting the programme “We had to support Luke and the wider GovHack movement as everything our business does is founded on the ability to use data to create better outcomes.”

“Much of our future industry and economy will be driven by data. Events such as GovHack are central to how public data can be understood and used to help overcome challenges and problems faced by society. We congratulate everyone who participated and look forward to the state finals which will showcase the talent and enthusiasm of the Queensland’s technology community.”

Watch this space or visit GovHack for updates and more information about the upcoming state finals.