Tell us about yourself and your project?
Hi! My name is Jeannine Malcolm and I’m the volunteer Event Coordinator for Techfugees Adelaide. This is the very first time that a Techfugees event has been hosted in Radelaide and we are super excited. The Techfugees Adelaide Hackathon brings together developers, designers, entrepreneurs, marketers, business minds and community members to develop creative tech solutions that focus on improving the lives of refugee families in Australia.
Former refugees who have already settled in Australia will be participating in this event to help teams deeply understand the problems and challenges faced by new settlers.
The format of the hackathon will draw strongly on co-design principles and practices because people matter.
How did the idea come about?
I came across the Techfugees initiative when I was dipping my toe in the Twitterverse. I was really interested in the start-up and social enterprise scene. I saw that Sydney and Melbourne had already hosted these hackathons and thought this is definitely something that Adelaide could contribute to. The original concept was created by Mike Butcher from TechCrunch UK and his tech co-hort as a way of proactively responding to the refugee crisis across the EU. Within 48 hours, the Facebook and Twitter followings bloomed and there are now over 15,000 members across the globe! Hackathons have been hosted in cities including Belgrade, Barcelona, Brisbane and now Adelaide.
What do you most hope to achieve with this project?
We want to achieve a number of outcomes with this project:
- Bring awareness to the challenges facing refugees arriving and settling in our community;
- Bring together professionals that would otherwise rarely have the opportunity to work on a social enterprise with the level of diversity that Techfugees attracts;
- To expand the startup/entrepreneurship community in South Australia; and
- To provide tangible contacts, networks and opportunities for refugees to develop personal and professional networks.
As much as the Techfugees hackathons are exciting events to host and facilitate, this is not our core focus. Techfugees Australia is committed to organising conferences, workshops and other events in an effort to supply a pool of tech solutions and tech talent to NGOs working with refugees, and refugees themselves.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about “correcting” disadvantage in our community. Whether this is access to quality education, employment or training opportunities, housing, health care or justice. I enjoy connecting people together and working collaboratively for common purposes. I strongly value integrity and authenticity in my personal and professional relationships. I also love dogs and foster care for the Guardian Angel Animal Rescue organisation.
What’s your background?
I am a reformed Engineer. I had a life chapter as a Project Engineer working in the wine and pharmaceutical industries for over 10 years. I transgressed to Education and Youth Work after feeling a growing lack of connection with corporate values and motives. I have worked in low socio-economic schools and remote Indigenous schools in Central Australia and Arnhem Land. I have lived in the Barossa for almost 20 years and whilst I love to travel, I can’t see myself living anywhere else.
What does winning Awesome mean to you?
Winning Awesome is an acknowledgement of the great cause that Techfugees is. Being the first time this event has been hosted in South Australia, it has been a hard slog securing sponsorship to make the event a reality. The grant from Awesome was a much-needed boost to ensure that we could offer our participants a quality experience that will build our community and help it prosper.
Any tips for applying to Awesome?
Be honest! Be authentic! Be passionate!
Anything else to add?
What I particular love about the Awesome grant is that it has been EASY!! There haven’t been 18 pages of justification and evidence. Many of us are volunteers and making these events happen is above and beyond our day-to-day life duties so ease of application is truly appreciated! From there it just gets better! Awesome Foundation TRUST you to do right; to spend the money where it’s most needed, no questions asked! This is incredibly liberating in terms of making things happen for a program, project or event. I truly hope that applicants and recipients treat this trust with the utmost of respect as it is a true rarity!