Peel innovators sweep awards at GovHack competition

Team members Esther Anderson, Charlie Jones, Oliver Bazzani and Sean Jenkinson.
Team members Esther Anderson, Charlie Jones, Oliver Bazzani and Sean Jenkinson.

FOUR entrepreneurs from the Peel region have swept up three awards in the 2018 GovHack open data innovation competition.

The team was awarded first prize at the highly coveted red carpet event in Sydney last week, in addition to a first prize and a highly commended award in WA state categories.

Members of co-working and innovation hub Make Place, Charlie Jones (Peel Bright Minds), Esther Anderson (Tecknology Design & Marketing), Oliver Bazzani (The Makers) and local web developer Sean Jenkinson (Identita), banded together to form team HackaPeel to create a functioning web-based app in just 46 hours.

Their app seeCHANGE aims to solve the challenge of attracting new residents, talent and resources to regional areas.

The app is an interactive tool that encourages people living in urban areas to consider relocating to a regional centre by highlighting the possible lifestyle, business and economic advantages of such a move.

It is personalised to the user’s specific circumstances and interests, with users able to select what is important to them when choosing a place to live, and the app recommending regional cities or towns that align most with their individual preferences.

The app rose to the top over 240 entries nationally, taking first place in the National Work Life Made Easy and State Lifestyle Living challenges as well as earning a high commendation for Most Innovative Project.

GovHack is an open data hackathon, which brings together developers, artists and entrepreneurs to share ideas and create innovative ways to utilise open government data for a range of challenges.

Oliver Bazzani, who leads Make Place alongside Skipper van Peer, said they were proud to be bringing the event to Mandurah, one of just three nodes in WA.

“Every day we’re inspired by the people who come into Make Place and are driving change in the community,’’ he said.

GovHack 2019 is on September 6-8 next year and hosted by Make Place.