The below was sent as an email to registered participants on Wednesday 12 August. The copy will also be sent to new registered participants on Thursday and Friday morning prior to the competition.

Dear GovHack 2020 participants,

Thank you for registering for the GovHack this year. We are now just a couple of days away from the competition getting started on Friday 14thAugust at 7pm. Before then, there are some things that you can do to get yourself prepared.

Before getting into the info, we would also like to encourage you to invite your friends, family and colleagues to register for the competition this year. As many of us are working from home, it is good to connect with others you know over the weekend, even at a distance. You are able to work with them in a team or alternatively you can find other participants in the competition to work with. More on team forming later. As normal, registrations remain open until when the competition closes.


We will be using Slack extensively throughout the competition weekend to keep connected with one another. The Slack we are using is the same Slack we have used in previous years, so if you are rejoining us this year, you can connect again using your existing account.

Register Link –

Slack Community –

On Slack you will find a number of different channels that you can join to help communicate and get information during the weekend. A selection of these are highlighted below.

–       #find-team – here you can look for teams and look for team members across all of Australia and New Zealand

–       #hack-[region] – (#hack-act, #hack-nz, #hack-hobart, etc) – here you can connect with hackers, volunteers, mentors and facilitators from your local region

–       #talk-[organisation] – (#talk-aws, #talk-ato, etc) – here you can connect with specific mentors from a particular organisation

–       #help-mentors – here you can reach out to all mentors if you aren’t sure which organisation is the best to approach

–       #hackerspace-help – here you can reach out to organisers if you are experiencing issues with the Hackerspace or need some assistance with the platform

–       #moderators-and-help – here you can reach out to organisers if you are facing non Hackerspace issues

On Slack, while you are not able to create public channels, please feel free to create a private channel to chat with your team over the weekend.


We will be using Zoom also across the weekend. Each region of the competition will have a dedicated Zoom room where you can join in and talk to GovHack facilitators, other participants and your team. The Zoom rooms will have breakout rooms enabled and facilitators will allocate your team into a room that you can use throughout the competition weekend.

Mentors will also have a Zoom room for their organisation that you will be able to join to have face-to-face conversations with them. The first point of call with mentors will typically be via Slack.

Details of the Zoom rooms being used will be distributed on Friday.


Over the weekend there will be five livestreams that take place between Australia and New Zealand. There are two opening and closing livestreams, one for each Australia and New Zealand. These will take place on Friday and Sunday respectively. There is also a joint Australian and New Zealand livestream event that will take place on Saturday. Swag is available for the winner and placegetters of the trivia.

Details of the livestreams are below:

Aotearoa – New Zealand

            Opening Livestream: Friday 6.30pm NZST –

            Closing Livestream: Sunday 4.30pm NZST –


            Opening Livestream: Friday 6.30pm AEST –

            Closing Livestream: Sunday 4.30pm AEST –

Joint Event

            Trivia Livestream: Saturday 7.00pm AEST –

Join us in the comments on the YouTube Livestreams!

Getting to know others and forming teams

Team formation is going to be happening in a number of different ways this year given we a not physically co-located for the most part. To enable team formation to have digitally we have set up multiple ways for this to happen. You will be able to work out who is in your team before the competition starts however you won’t be able to officially register your team on the Hackerspace until the competition launches on Friday evening.

The first way is to come in with an existing team of people that you already know and work with them. This has not changed from previous years.

The second way is new for this year. On the Hackerspace, you are now able to create a hacker profile and display it for others to find. You can edit your profile from your manage page (once you are logged in, click on the avatar in the top right). Your profile picture by default is coming from if you have one set, otherwise a default is used. Alternatively, you can also upload one yourself. On your profile you can add any of the following information:

–       Your team status – in a team, looking for a team, looking for team members, team full

–       A description about yourself, interests and availability

–       Website / portfolio

–       GitHub

–       Twitter

–       LinkedIn

–       A list of skills

–       A list of interests

Once you have shared the information you want, make sure to check the publish box, so it goes live on to the Hackerspace. 

You can review others’ profiles and find people you would like to work with and connect with them via one of their listed platforms or via the GovHack HQ Slack.

The third way is via Slack using the #find-team channel to post a blurb about yourself and read others’ blurbs.

The last way will be during the Friday evening we will be running team forming sessions on Zoom in the form of breakout room ‘speed dating’. We will also have digital facilitators available to assist you with forming teams following the breakroom session.

Getting to know the data and tools

The Hackerspace has been loaded (and more is being added still) with highlighted datasets that are relevant to the challenges and themes being presented this year. You can explore these datasets at: We also have a listing of a number of different open data portals around Australia and New Zealand at: and a selection of tech resources at:

Make sure to check these out over the next couple of days to get yourself prepared for the competition.

More datasets and technology resources will be deployed to the Hackerspace over the next two days so check back regularly.

Treasure Hunt

Getting lost can sometimes be the easiest way to discover new things. The GovHack Treasure Hunt will help you find your way around the digital competition.

We have a treasure hunt that will launching this evening (Wednesday 12 August) that gets you looking into some datasets and resources from our sponsors. When this launches you will be able to find a tile for it on the front page of the Hackerspace. 

How To Play:

  1. Each clue will lead you to a website or dataset
  2. Search the website or dataset to look up the answer to the clue
  3. Each answer will be a single non-case sensitive word or a number in numerical format e.g. 19585

Note: you do not need to download files, register, or sign into any additional pages to find the answers.

AWS Credits –

 This year, your team can take advantage of AWS Promotional Credits and our digital training playlist to help build your projects. Simply follow these steps to get started.

 Once the competition starts on Friday 14th August at 7pm.

 How To Use AWS Promotional Credits For Your Project

1. Create An AWS Account

Create an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account (if you don’t already have one). Accounts usually activate in minutes but can sometimes take longer, so it’s best to create your account in advance.

2. Request An AWS Promotional Credit Code

Once you’ve registered your team in the Hackerspace, request an AWS Promotional Credit code from the #aws-credit Slack channel. Please specify your team number and name in the request.

3. Wait…

Wait to receive your code via Slack direct message (it may take up to 30 minutes).

4. Ready To Go

Sign in to the AWS Management Console and redeem your AWS Promotional Credit.

encycle consulting – waste & recycling GovHack (see attached document)

GovHack 2020 is proudly adopting a waste minimisation policy as much as possible. While the majority of participants this year will be working from home, we have some physical events taking place. Whether you are working from home or working from one of our physical events, we encourage you to be mindful of the waste that is being generated and to make the most out of recycling.