TechFugees Australia is the Tech Community's response to the current global refugee crisis.
We bring together Hackers, Hipsters, Hustlers and Humanitarians over a weekend to design tech solutions to the problems that people face when settling into Australia. It is completely non-political. It is all about creating community harmony.
The secret sauce in our Hackathon is that we partner with NGOs and "co-design" with refugees and new settlers themselves. They present their challenges to Hackers around common themes and then work together to develop creative tech solutions. The majority of participants are not tech people and we mentor across the weekend to teach Lean Startup principles. We've been stunned by the generosity of our tech community in providing their time to do this.
We have run two Hackathons in Sydney and Melbourne. In September we are planning to run a Hackathon for Young People in Parramatta.
Some of the hacks developed in Sydney included an app that help refugees find the closest Doctor who speaks their language; "Refugee Intern" which connects people to companies and indivduals in their profession; and a "Settlement" portal connecting refugess to all the services they need when they arrive.
Hackathons are the entry-level drug to the startup world and the alchemy of the weekend is all about connecting people and creating relationships that survive the weekend. We'll be especially thrilled if this happens with this Hackathon focused on Young People.
Disclosure: Nicole Williamson is an Awesome Foundation Sydney Ambassador
Funded by Sydney (December 2016)