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

  • 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)

We recommend you review the 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 only 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 the Friday night the competition categories are launched and your team can start creating. The first night is all about working together in your team to create an idea.

  • Find a spot to set up and make your own for the weekend.
  • Talk to mentors before they head home! They know the data and will have great ideas to get your started.
  • Head to Hackerspace and register as a user (all team members must register). One person from the team creates a team page. This will unlock all the award categories you can enter at your location including International, National, State and Local awards.
  • Spend some time reviewing:
    • awards to identify some common themes of award categories
    • 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 strengths.
  • Deconstruct the award 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 government.
    • Judges reward originality and ideas that make data accessible to understand.
    • design thinking
    • What pain points could you resolve
    • What other data could be relevant to the pain points or users?
    • Mind map 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 this URL to you Hackerspace project page. Start adding content even if it just photos of your workings for now (what is an evidence repository? Github for the techies and Google 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.



  • 12 noon – first challenge lock in – can lock in up to 2 national and 2 state/territory challenges
  • 5 pm – second challenge lock in – can lock in a further 1 national and 1 state/territory challenge

Aim to lock down your concept by 10am Saturday.

Mentors and coaches are available on site and via Slack.

  • Review your team plans and assign tasks.
  • It’s ok 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 brain. Road test ideas with crew.
  • Ask your GovHack crew to help connect with mentors for ideas if you need.
  • 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.



  • 12 noon – third challenge lock in – can lock in a further 1 national and 1 state/territory challenge
  • 5 pm – second challenge lock in – can lock in a further 1 national and 1 state/territory challenge. Everything must be complete on your project page by this time.

Last year’s competitors will all tell you the same… “it took me all arvo to create my Vid and then we had loading problems… Aggghh Panic!” On average it takes about an hour to load videos on YouTube and new technology when you’re stressed takes twice as long as you want… so factor these elements into your days plans.

  • Set tasks 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
  • Script for your video
  • Arrange for a quiet space to record any audio – aim for midday
  • Craft and edit your 3 minute pitch video
  • Apply audio
  • 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 vid 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 5pm.

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.

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!

Top Tips

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