RHoK Parramatta Hackathon This Weekend

A blue background with the letters RHoK and an icon of Australia written out in white squares. In blue and grey writing it reads Random Hacks of Kindness: Hacking for Humanity.

On Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December, individuals and groups wanting to make a positive difference to society will gather for Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) Parramatta's summer hackathon.

RHoK Parramatta is part of a global community of technologists and changemakers who are hacking for good. Twice a year, they run hackathons that bring together volunteer developers and tech-savvy do-gooders to work with charities, community groups and social enterprises.

The hackathon this weekend (opens in a new window)will focus on four projects: Darcy St Project, Commons Sensor, Empower Parramatta and Kolorob. Hackers will work together with changemakers from the community. On Sunday afternoon, the progress will be reviewed and ideas for moving forward will be discussed.

Hackers with varied skills and backgrounds are welcome including software developers, business analysts and graphic designers. The goal is to bring together skilled technologists who want to make a difference with organisations that have a social impact, in an environment where they can collaborate and innovate.


Darcy St Project

Darcy St Project (opens in a new window)is a Parramatta-based social enterprise that runs barista and coffee brewing training to long-term unemployed, recent TAFE graduates etc. Western Sydney is a difficult place for young people looking to find work. We're looking to build an app that assists with training, a kind of "barista mentor" that helps people not only with the technicalities of making coffee, but also how to get ready for the hospitality job market. 

Commons Sensor

A project launched by Western Sydney University's Institute for Culture and Society, this project aims to build a database of objects that belong to "commons" - public property, creative commons, open source software, communal spaces. We will have a specific initial focus on Parramatta, and the hackathon challenge will be to find some creative ways to visualise and imagine some of this data in ways that will engage the Parramatta public.

Empower Parramatta

Community-driven solar power brings exciting possibilities to generate low-cost renewable energy in the city. However it also brings challenges, particularly for many of the apartment complexes that are spreading through Parramatta and other urban corridors in Western Sydney. Is there another way? Empower Parramatta is looking to raise awareness of community solar, plus develop a business model and technical proof-of-concept for a peer-to-peer decentralised energy network, targeting apartment blocks that currently have little incentive to invest in solar (distribution among different unit owners etc).


In developing urban areas like the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh, essential services like health, education, training, finance and employment can be difficult to find. They may not be registered, they may operate informally, or details about their locations, cost and operating hours may be inaccessible. Even though mobile and smartphone use is growing rapidly, location services like Google Maps or Open Street Maps provide only partial solutions. To address this, Save the Children is sponsoring an ambitious project called Kolorob in several slum areas. Through the project, communities are mapping different services, and the project is also developing an app to show where these services are and provide detailed information on them. Our challenge is to tackle one specific part of this puzzle: how to navigate from A to B. We will be building upon existing routing services provided by OSM and try to handle some of the unpredictable routing challenges in informal settlements – no formal roads, frequent changes, walking only paths and narrow passageways that rickshaws can navigate, even if cars cannot.

Event Details

Date: Saturday 5 December, 9am - Sunday 6 December, 5pm
Venue: Western Sydney University LaunchPad, Werrington Park Corporate Centre, 14 Great Western Highway, Kingswood
Register: to register your attendance or to contact the organisers, see RHoK Parramatta on Meetup.com (opens in a new window)

Photo of paper with writing on it and a man looking at his laptop.

Posted: 2 December 2015.