Spur Projects

Who: Spur Projects

When: June 2016

Where: Brisbane

Website: oldmate.spurprojects.org

Code: https://github.com/spuradmin/oldmate

Men aged 80+ suicide at a rate twice the national average, but as a community we can change that: This is the ethos behind #oldmate a project to encourage 100,000 Australians to take a pledge to spend one hour per month with an Old Mate in their life. This simple hour can improve their self-esteem, skills and mental health, whilst reducing isolation and other factors that contribute to poor mental health and suicidality. 

Once the pledge is taken, the #OLDMATE website contains over 100 activities that actively breaks down contributing factors of suicide. 

#OLDMATE simply wouldn’t have happened without RHoK. We originally had an idea for an entirely different project, but through RHoK's enquiry and feedback process, the final concept and platform was more more relevant, specific and powerful. It was our first taste of a hackathon and we can’t sing RHoK’s praises highly enough. It was a fantastic experience that not only lead to a great project, but lasting, meaning connections, too. 

Arthritis Queensland

Who: Arthritis Queensland

When: Summer 2015

Where: Brisbane

Existing Code: https://github.com/Ryan-A-B/RHoK-n-the-Joint

RHoK helped AQ develop a tool called AQDA which allows GPs to more easily identify a dangerous form of inflammatory arthritis. Through consultations with GPs and specialist rheumatologists, they identified that the tool needed to be simple and effectively used in under 10mins. The AQDA asks a few quick questions about the patient’s history and symptoms and determines the likelihood the patient has inflammatory arthritis. The tool also provides the GP and patient with information resources and referral pathways. 

At the Brisbane Summer Hackathon 2015, the team were able to develop functioning and marketable MVP. The MVP works through four example questions then lands on a page in which it states the likely nature of the disease (inflammatory or  not) and lists specific conditions warranting further investigation.  By clicking on a condition listed, the MVP re-directs the user to our information sheets on each condition. There is also a button called “patient resources” which links to a library of patient education material. The “generate referral” button opens up a mock data base of specialists. Once a specialist is chosen, a word document is opened containing a blank referral template, which in the final product will be populated by the information provided by the questions.

Thanks to RHoK, Arthritis Queensland is now able to use the MVP to seek funding for the full product, with the potential to make a huge difference in the lives of people newly diagnosed with arthritis

Gifts 4 Good

Who: Gifts 4 Good

When: Winter 2015 and Summer 2015

Where: Brisbane

Website: http://www.gifts4good.org.au/

Gifts4Good is a social enterprise with a mission to connect online consumers, businesses and charities for the benefit of all.  RHoK assisted Gifts4Good with the development of a plugin for its online shopping platform at the Brisbane Winter Hackathon in 2015.  

6 months later, at the Brisbane Summer Hackathon 2015, a RHoK team prepared a pitch presentation for a new business stream selling charity experiences and group volunteering. And with focused and excellent teamwork, a prototype for a new online portal, Experiences4Good, was also developed over the weekend.

Help Me With It

Who: Help Me With It

When: Summer 2015

Where: Brisbane

Code: https://github.com/beauhankins/helpmewithit

The mission of Help Me With It is to connect individuals who need help to do one-off tasks with individuals who can volunteer their time to fix, clean, care, shop, transport, garden, sort, teach and more. There is no service like this in the not-for-profit sector. This is a digital disrupter in the social service and volunteering sectors. 

During RHOK, the Help Me With It team started to build a minimum viable product in Ruby on Rails. They used a Postgres back-end and ran it on Heroku. It was a good experience to help revise the functional and non-functional specifications for the platform and a great start to the build. 

Thank Bank

Who: Thank Bank

When: Winter 2015

Where: Brisbane

Code: https://github.com/RHoKAustralia/brisbane-thankbank-infosite

ThankBank aims to increase volunteering rates by raising awareness for volunteering activity and rewarding you for doing good deeds, starting with blood donations. Checking in with your good deeds provides a reward in the form of discounts and rewards from participating local providers. 

The Brisbane RHoK team designed and developed a minimum viable product (MVP) from scratch, which included an iPhone app, back-end administration site, and an accompanying public website. While fully functional at the end of the event, the app required a few more tweaks before going live. The solution developed in the RHoK allowed ThankBank to prove the idea and secure additional development after the event.


Who: Concierge

When: June 2015

Where: Brisbane

Code: https://github.com/rhokbrisbane/concierge

Concierge creates solutions for people needing health and medical support services in remote areas, in particular palliative care. The needs of Australians requiring palliative care, especially in remote areas, provided a unique situation to develop an open source geotagging search tool that any medical profession can adopt and specialize to their requirements. At the Brisbane Winter Hackathon in 2015 the technical team used databases and tagged them to respond to related searches. Then geotagged and linked the info to maps used as the interface to locate services quickly.  

The other half of the team developed a user friendly guidance system that helps people navigate quickly, even in times of stress and high emotion.  The result was a time line with flowing dialogues to help the user through the information finding process. The open source website works, but there is a bit of information to be added before it is ready for Palliative Care Queensland to assist its patients. The aim is that this concept can be adopted and used by all Australia's states. 

Crisis Mapping

Who: Crisis Mapping Project

When: December 2014 and June 2015

Where: Brisbane

Website: http://netengine.com.au/projects/crisis-mapping/

Vast swathes of the planet’s land-masses aren’t mapped, mainly because the majority of mapping applications are powered by commercial sponsorships and advertising - which just aren’t present in most areas of the developing world. At the Brisbane Summer Hackathon in 2014 and Winter Hackathon in 2015, RHoKers contributed directly to the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Missing Maps Project. The main goal of this project is to map the most vulnerable places in the world, to enable international and local NGOs as well as individuals to use maps and data to better respond to crisis affecting the areas. 

In the Summer 2014 Hack, we focused on mapping remote communities in West Africa, until, in response to an urgent request from the Red Cross for assistance, we diverted our focus to mapping the coastal communities in the Philippines in anticipation of Typhoon Hagupit making landfall. Our Brisbane hackers contributed to the fact that less than 50 lives were lost in this Typhoon. At the Winter 2015 Hack, the  team went one further and worked on improving the open source software behind the mapping itself. Their efforts were approved and to be incorporated in the software in the U.S.  

Tech Girls are Superheroes

Who: Tech Girls are Superheroes

When: December 2014

Where: Brisbane

Website: www.techgirlsaresuperheroes.org/

Female participation in IT stands at a mere 25 per cent, against 45 percent for other careers. The Tech Girls Movement is an intervention program for girls in computing and women in the information technology industry to overcome this problem. Led by Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen, the campaign aims to inspire school girls to take up technology careers. The campaign is based on an animated story book containing stories of 26 talented technology and engineering Tech Girls.

At the 2014 Brisbane Summer Hackathon a team came together to help define user stories and map out some strategic aims for the campaign. 

Commons Sensor

Who: Commons Sensor

When: Summer 2015

Where: Western Sydney

Website: http://commons-sensor.openlocal.org.au/

This project launched by Western Sydney University's Institute for Culture and Society, and aims to build a database of objects that belong to “commons” - public property, creative commons, open source software, communal spaces. The specific initial focus is on Parramatta, and the hackathon challenge was to be to find some creative ways to visualise and imagine some of this data in ways that will engage the Parramatta public. At the Western Sydney Summer 2015 Hackathon the team began work on mapping items and places belonging to the commons in Parramatta.

Kolorob Bikkhon

Who: Kolorob Bikkhon

When: Summer 2015

Where: Western Sydney

Website: http://bikkhon.eresearch.ws/parra-kolorob-bikkhon/

In developing urban areas like the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh, essential services like health, education, training, finance and employment can be difficult to find. They may not be registered, they may operate informally, or details about their locations, cost and operating hours may be inaccessible. Even though mobile and smartphone use is growing rapidly, location services like Google Maps or Open Street Maps provide only partial solutions. To address this, Save the Children is sponsoring an ambitious project called Kolorob in several slum areas. Through the project, communities are mapping different services, and the project is also developing an app to show where these services are and provide detailed information on them.

Our challenge was to tackle one specific part of this puzzle: how to navigate from A to B. We will be building upon existing routing services provided by OSM and try to handle some of the unpredictable routing challenges in informal settlements – no formal roads, frequent changes, walking only paths and narrow passageways that rickshaws can navigate, even if cars cannot. The team produced a working webpage which allows their partners in Dhaka to test multiple mapping algorithms against each other to see which work best for routing trips through the slums of Bangladesh. 

Darcy Street Project

Who: Darcy Street Project

When: Summer 2015

Where: Western Sydney

Code: https://github.com/RHendery/BaristaMentor/commits/master

Darcy St Project is a Parramatta based social enterprise that runs barista and coffee brewing training to the long-term unemployed. Western Sydney is a difficult place for young people looking to find work. The project was looking to build an app that assists with training, a kind of 'barista mentor' that helps people not only with the technicalities of making coffee, but also how to get ready for the hospitality job market. 

The team ended up with a working on a first prototype of an app (Barista Mentor) for training people from vulnerable populations in the basics of the theory they will need to get work in cafes. It emphasises video and interactive, gamified learning and social sharing. 

Empower PaRramatta

Who: Empower Parramatta

When: Winter 2016

Where: Western Sydney

Community-driven solar power brings exciting possibilities to generate low-cost renewable energy in the city. However it also brings challenges, particularly  for many of the apartment complexes that are spreading through Parramatta and other urban corridors in Western Sydney. Is there another way?

Empower Parramatta was looking to raise awareness of community solar, plus develop a business model and technical proof-of-concept for a peer-to-peer decentralised energy network, targeting apartment blocks that currently have little incentive to invest in solar (distribution among different unit owners etc). 

The team brainstormed a proposal for peer-to-peer energy distribution from solar panels, so that users in e.g. apartment blocks don't have to use power companies as brokers if they want to share generated power with their neighbours. 

Small Connect

Who: Small Connect

When: Summer 2015

Where: Sydney

Code: https://github.com/RHoKAustralia/small-connect


Connecting young people to the community using free services available. The app is design to locate these services within the target area that young people want. The aim is to improve access and support for young people. To increase community participation and engagement within the community. 

"Small" has a metaphoric meaning. It means community and not-for-profit organisation. Small organisations make a huge impact in the community. Using the theme 'small' and ' connect' we wanted to use small services and put them together to make a huge impact. 

The hackathon was a great experience. Steve my partner in crime on developing Small Connect has been great and continues to be that. We kept everything simple and realistic based on the amount of time we had. We worked on the time-frame. discuss openly what our objectives were and made sure that the app is accessible to everyone, not just young people.


Who: Benjam

When: December 2014 & June 2015

Where: Sydney

Code (iPad): https://www.flinto.com/p/3003913d

Code (Demo): benjam.herokuapp.com

Project Benjam has the goal of helping kids with autistic spectrum disorder live more independently and with more confidence. They're focusing on helping non-verbal kids to communicate with anyone: to both understand and to be understood. Their first prototype app is aimed at helping kids and their carers communicate with the aid of a tablet-optimised web app. For autistic kids who are still non-verbal, Benjam is an assistive communications app that allows kids to ask for things in their terms. Unlike incumbents, their product will allow kids and their carers to create new content easily.

Project Benjam has worked with RHoK from the very beginning. Over the course of two hackathons and a number of RHoLLs (smaller events where we continue working on projects) they've come a long way. 

Bagong Barrio Education Fund

Who: Bagong Barrio Education Fund

When: December 2013

Where: Sydney

Code: https://bbef2.herokuapp.com/ 

Website: http://bbef.org.au/

Michelle De Guzman, our change maker for this project, volunteers for the Bagong Barrio Education Fund, a small charity which raises funds to help students from the poor Philippine village Bagong Barrio built on a landfill.  They focus on education as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty.

This charity is very small and is entirely donation based and volunteer operated.  Consequently they are starting to struggle to maintain their database of students and donors in Excel. They worked with RHoK over several RHoK weekends and a few RHoLL to build a website for managing students and donors. The website was functional at the end of the final RHoK but does not look to be actively used. 

The Beauty in Tech

Who: The Beauty of Tech

When: June 2015

Where: Sydney

Website: http://www.thebeautyoftech.org/

The Beauty of Tech is an initiative to curate and aggregate as many useful resources as possible, to help encourage females to pursue technology as a career. From upcoming events to inspiring stories. From grass-roots meetups to training programs. It should all be in one place. As a group of individuals banding together, they are focussed on supporting the diversity and volume of the Australian technology talent pipeline. They hope to achieve this through encouraging a greater number of individuals to consider a career in technology, in particular, women.

The Beauty of Tech came to RHoK with an idea that was well thought out, but not yet built. At the Winter 2015 Hackathon in Sydney a group of amazing women (and a few men) came together to help hack that idea into something workable. The result is an ongoing experiment, and can be found at http://www.thebeautyoftech.org/.

First Robotics

Who: FIRST Robotics

When: December 2014

Where: Sydney

Website: https://firstaustralia.org/

FIRST‘s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders through exciting mentor-based programs in a competition setting. Led by Change Makers Luan and Michael Heimlich, this is an Australian offshoot of the US First STEM Project, to interest children in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

First Robotics provide activities for Australian school children using robots (including Lego robot kits). During the RHoK Sydney summer hackathon the team concentrated on how to market the activities to parents and teachers. The team produced style guides, wire-frames and surveys for the website.

First Stop

Who: First Stop

When: June 2014 & December 2014

Where: Sydney

Code: https://github.com/RHoKAustralia/DisasterRegistration

Website: http://www.fieldinnovationteam.org/first-stop-first-go/

In 2013, during the exceptionally dry fire season in the rural towns scattered across the iconic rolling hills that sit outside of Sydney, 200 hundred homes were lost to a bush fire that tore through their community. Stories of the heroism and hard work of the emergency responders and volunteers were broadcast all over the news. These efforts were multiplied by a wide spread of organisations donating and sending volunteers. But it was clear to many that these efforts to help could be made more affective and less painful next time with a little brainstorming and work.

First Stop is an ongoing project that helps address some of these pain points. At its inception at the Sydney Winter Hackathon 2014 the team developed a registration system using a barcode printing application. At the Sydney Summer Hackathon 2014 the team added the capability of adding extra data fields to suit different agencies. 


Who: i-Hive

When: June 2015

Where: Sydney

Code: https://github.com/RHoKAustralia/thehive-frontend

i-Hive is an amalgam of two projects that joined forces at the Sydney Winter 2015 Hackathon. 'iDiversity' provided a one-stop interactive directory of services in the community; while 'The Hive' sought to develop an easy-to-use app to enable residents of Mt Druitt to navigate their service system. Realising their projects had similar needs, they combined the talents of a group of amazing volunteers to make the best use of time and expertise which could benefit both groups of users.

At the hackathon, the team developed the back-end of the system and sketched out how the front-end might work. They've subsequently done a RHoLL where they discussed next steps, resources and a rough timeline to develop the front-end and user interface, connect the front-end to the backend, create a prototype and prospectively launch by the end of 2015!


Who: Ocius

When: December 2014

Where: Sydney

Website: http://ocius.com.au/


Ocius is a multi-award winning Australian marine research and technology company, working in conjunction with University of Wollongong and NSW's Steber International to deploy a fully autonomous unmanned surface vessel (USV) drone - called a BlueBottle. This drone lives at sea in all conditions using the energy on the ocean i.e. the wind, sun and waves to power itself and its sensors.

During the Sydney Summer 2014 Hackathon, the team led by Robert Dane (check out a profile we did of him) and Ninan Mathew, focused on making use of the sensor data that is collected by satellite communications. They developed a proof of concept website, UX flow and data management system so that different user groups could easily download or interact with the data being produced by the vessel. The work done by RHoK will be used to visualise data generated for the drone's maiden voyage around Lord Howe island.