Meet the 2018 Melbourne Winter Changemakers and follow their progress


Our Melbourne Winter Hackathon is currently in progress at REA Group.

Meet the Changemakers and follow their progress.

By Rory McCormick

Association for Children with a Disability

Heather at the Association for Children with a Disability (ACD) has come to RHoK to bring their website experience into this decade. ACD has provided a range of individualised and community-based supports, advice and advocacy for families of children with a disability. While ACD have hacked with RHoK in the past, this is Heather’s first hack with us and she brings a brand new project. 

Their website has plenty of great content for their users, however they feel that the accessibility, content management, general information architecture are limiting their very important social impact. Based on some initial ideation with the RHoK Melbourne Organising Committee, it sounds like their site will need a replatform and user research to ensure the site is designed to accessible.

Saturday afternoon update: ACD’s website is a spaghetti at the moment, so they’re currently doing high-level BA work. While the team have worked out that the must haves and the nice to haves are, their RHoK Buddy Samara is already getting her hands dirty in the old website templates. But they say that there are many ways to skin a cat, and the same goes for Wordpress. The team are now testing two approaches, one is to hack and refine the old template, and the other is to replace the template completely.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia

Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia works to help change the lives of young people across the country, by connecting them with positive adult role models. In the process, these relationships contribute to breaking cycles of disadvantage. With over 100 years experience connecting mentors or ‘bigs’ with mentees or ‘littles’ they are looking for a digital solution to build new relationships between ‘bigs’.

With a focus on reducing mentor burnout, Vicki and Sarah from Big Brothers Big Sisters have come to RHoK to connect their nationally distributed network of mentors. They would like their solution to help share learnings and build a sense of community among mentors. This a new space with lots of opportunity to foster mentor wellbeing and let them keep doing their great work.

Saturday afternoon update: In the lead up to the hack, the team’s RHoK Buddy Tim has recruited some keen service designers who visited the Big Brothers Big Sisters to talk to a range of stakeholders, from mentors to project managers. The resulting service map has been used to inform the work toward a solution today.  A key requirement is a solution that Big Brothers Big Sisters are able to maintain beyond the hack weekend without an internal tech human resource. With a BA at the helm, they’re well on the track to defining what the solution will be.

Family Life

Family Life is a community organisation that has been providing services to families for improved social and economic outcomes. Their team of around 120 staff integrate whole-of-family services and community support with a focus on prevention and early intervention.

Family Life’s Arnaud Charlier has joined this hack to solve an important and annoying problem for their team leaders. With highly mobile staff providing home visits, ensuring their security is vital. Family Life currently track their staff via a spreadsheet and are in need for a mobile solution for staff visibility. We’re excited to see what hackers can come up with for this one.

Saturday afternoon update: Unfortunately Arnaud was unable to make the weekend, but luckily his colleague has come in his place. While Family Life came into the hack expecting that an app would be the right solution for keeping up to date with their staff movements, it looks like they can actually build on their existing systems. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy! They just need to make their systems work for them.


Vollie, a digital platform connecting eager volunteers with charities, is no stranger to the potential of tech solutions to social issues. This has resulted in over 5000 skilled volunteer hours contributed to organisations in 15 months. Vollie sees themselves as the future of volunteering and a great enabler of young people to connect with the causes they care about.

Despite their appeal to a younger digital-native generation who are underrepresented as volunteers, Vollie struggles to maintain strong contact with these volunteers who apply for projects. This slows down the impact that they hope to provide charities. They would like to develop a solution to this across the hack weekend.

Saturday afternoon update: As seems to be the trend today, there’s been lots of BA work across the changemaker teams. The same goes for Vollie’s team. This has drawn their focus on automating some of their manual pain points. Mindful that their ideal approach might not be completed in one weekend, the team has split to work on an alternative solution that might be more deliverable in the short term.

Seven Women

Seven Women develops social enterprises for empowering marginalized women in Nepal. The non-profit focuses on education, skills training and income generation for women.  They have socially and economically empowered over 5,000 women. Their fundraising methods have included market stalls, keynote speaking, a book and documentary screenings. More recently Seven Women have started providing tours to school, university, corporate and individual groups.

The organisation sees tours as a key focus area for fundraising, this month they’re launching the first cut of their tours website. They’re looking to continue building this website out and are now reworking their internal processes.

Saturday afternoon update: After some deep BA work today, the team have realised that there are lots of little problems that they can work on. As a result, they’ve split into four sub-teams working on projects randing from their Zoho CRM integration to configuring Google AdWords. In the process, they’ve already been able to eliminate three redundant systems.

Go Jane Give

With increases in philanthropy among the wealthy, Go Jane Give aims to provide the opportunity for everyone to use their skills and passions to organise in their own campaigns in support of global and local causes. Go Jane Give have facilitated increasingly high profile campaigns, particularly #Read4Refugees which included support from New York Times bestselling authors.

Go Jane Give’s Josie Lauristen Lee wants to deliver functionality to support the growing demand of these campaigns. There are three possible areas of focus that Josie has identified. First, they would like to be able to run highly interactive, shareable annual campaign websites for #Read4Refugees. This would in turn help their organisation to make it easier for their users to promote the causes that matter to them.

Saturday afternoon update: Josie’s team kicked off with a long ideation session to explore what the solution should look like. Now they’re working on their payment gateway while also designing wireframes and an overall structure for development. They’re also looking for a graphic designer to make the final product really pop.