Event Roadmap

Timeline (local time)

Below is the general timeline for who the competition will flow. Venues will have different opening and closing times but the competition times remain constant.

  • Friday
    • 05.00pm – Venue opens (this may differ from venue to venue)
    • 06.00pm – Opening Ceremony
    • 07.00pm – Competition Starts
    • 10.00pm – Venue closes (this may differ from venue to venue)
  • Saturday
    • 08.00am – Venue opens
    • 10.00am – Mentor Morning Tea
    • 12.00pm – Recommended challenge selection deadline
    • 04.00pm AEST – International Digital Trivia Event
    • 10.00pm – Venue closes
  • Sunday
    • 08.00am – Venue opens
    • 12.00pm – Recommended time to start video if not already started
    • 03.00pm – Recommended time to upload video, project and completed project page
    • 04.00pm – Tools Down
    • 04.05pm – Sunday Tradeshow Peer Judging
    • 05.05pm – Closing Ceremony
    • 5.30pm – Venue closes

Competition Overview

We recommend you review the Handbook as it will help you:

  • Compete – in the event
  • Create – your awesome hack
  • Submit – your project for judging

There are also a bunch of tools and guidance available to help you at each stage of the competition.

You have approximately 46 hours to get your entry completed. Here is a guide as to how you might want to allocate your time. This is only a guide, and you can do whatever you want to create and submit your entry.


At 7pm on Friday night the competition challenges are launched and your team can start creating. The first night is all about working together in your team to create an idea.

  • For the physical participants, find a spot to set up and make your own for the weekend.
  • Jump onto Slack to start exploring channels, find team members, and see which mentors are online.
  • Talk to mentors before they head home! They know the data and will have great ideas to get you started.
  • Head to Hackerspace at hackerspace.govhack.org and login or register as a competitor.
  • Join one of the Competition Events if you have not done so already.
  • One person from the team creates a project page and adds all other team members. This will unlock all the award categories you can enter at your location including International, National, Region (State/Territory) awards.
  • Spend some time reviewing:
    • Challenges to identify some common themes
    • The Official Data list which includes featured data from sponsors and open government data portals
    • Identify the focus of your investigation and project
  • Check if these award challenges have data requirements.
  • Assign roles within your team – working with each other’s strengths
  • Deconstruct the challenge:
    • Think outside the box – entries can be anything: a game, an art installation, a visual display, a story, a gadget, a board game, analytical models, a data vis and of course some great apps. Is there new technology you want to try or perhaps there is a tool or insight you think will help the government?
    • Judges reward originality and ideas that make data accessible to understand
    • Think about the potential end user of what you build. Who are your users? You may wish to google Design thinking for ideas on how to build something a user will love.
    • What pain points could you resolve?
    • What other data could be relevant to the pain points or users?
    • Brainstorm your ideas
  • Check the Judging criteria
  • Rule out data that needs too much work or start engaging mentors for help
  • Create an evidence repository and add the URL to your Hackerspace project page. Start adding content even if it is just photos of your workings for now (what is an evidence repository? Github for the techies, or a Google Drive / Dropbox folder or similar that you can share via a URL for non-techies).
  • Record URLs of datasets you use for submitting on your project page.
  • Ask for help 🙂 There are mentors, coaches, crew and other Hackers who can help.


Aim to lock down your concept by Saturday morning.

Mentors and coaches are available on site and via Slack.

  • Review your team plans and assign tasks
  • It’s okay if you don’t have an idea yet – mentors will have loads of ideas and problems they want solved
  • Road test your ideas with mentors and pick their brains. Road test ideas with crew
  • Ask your GovHack crew to help connect with mentors for ideas if needed
  • Consolidate your many ideas into one or two good ones
  • Data data data – how will you use it, mash it, interpret it, present it? Remember to record URLs of data in your Hackerspace project page as you go
  • Start a storyboard of how you will communicate your ideas
  • What could you create/prototype/design/model that is achievable and will help people understand the concept?
  • Take some photos of your team or media that will help in your video entry
  • Keep building
  • Run your storyboard past some GovHack crew


Last year’s competitors will all tell you the same… “it took me all arvo to create my video and then we had uploading problems… arggghh panic!” It takes about an hour on average to upload videos to YouTube, and technology can take even longer if it smells your stress (or fear, we don’t judge). Factor these elements into your day’s plans.

  • Set asks and activities for the day
  • Research tools you will need for the day – check the Handbook
  • Finalise your storyboard script. What material will feature in your video? People? Places? Prototypes? Data? What are the key points or features you want judges to understand?
  • Build, prototype or mock up items that will feature in the vid to demonstrate your concept
  • How will you feature the data?
  • Update your project page with your data story and datasets
  • Create a draft script for your video – how will you succinctly articulate your key points?
  • Arrange for a quiet space to record any audio – aim for midday
  • Put together your 3 minute pitch video
  • By 2pm you should be in editing mode for your video
  • Get your team page completed to meet all entry criteria
  • Aim to start loading your video to YouTube (or similar) by no later than 4pm
  • YouTube gives you a URL link as soon as you start loading your vid – so make sure you grab this and enter it on your project page
  • Finish and submit entry by 4pm

You MUST have all parts of your competition entry submitted by Sunday 5:00pm local time in Hackerspace. This includes:

  • Every team member registered in hackerspace
  • A descriptive project page
  • A Team Captain
  • Award challenge nominated
  • Official Open Data reused – URLs
  • Evidence Repository URL
  • Video URL – maximum 3 mins
  • Demo URL (Optional but recommended)

Final Tips

In order to get some sleep and quality coding time, you may want to consider organising your team into shifts, so that while some are working, others can go home and rest, and then take over to allow the previous shift to get some rest.

Our venues close at during the late evenings to ensure that you head home and get sleep.

Don’t forget to look after yourself: take breaks, eat, drink and go for an occasional walk. Allow some time to get away and freshen up. Showers clear the mind!

  • Check the Eligibility criteria on each challenge – some require you to use data from a specific data portal or dataset.
  • Don’t try to develop concepts that win every challenge, focus on complementary challenge topics and themes.
  • Good ideas need sleep – aim for 7 hours minimum on Friday night, as Saturday will be a long day!