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TAFE IT tops state awards

South Regional TAFE information technology students and former students from the Albany campus brought home a swag of prizes from the recent state-wide GovHack awards ceremony in Perth.

In September, they completed the gruelling 46-hour challenge to find innovative uses for published government agency data to benefit corporate sponsors, local industry or the public.

Albany TAFE students made up five of the nine GovHack teams from throughout WA. Three TAFE teams reached the finals and Certificate III in Information Technology students Ronice Preston and Chey Sleeman jointly took out the local Spirit of GovHack award in recognition of their enthusiasm and excellence.

Last Friday night, Ronice also won the highest state-wide individual honour – the Spirit of GovHack WA award – and she will travel to Sydney next week to attend the national final.

One Albany finalist team took out the Most Innovative award. They used research around rubbish bin collection in public places to create an app to encourage people to put rubbish in the bin and help clean up the environment.

Another, which won the Tech for Top Tourism WA award, used data on local weather conditions and public transport to recommend tourist spots with the aim of increasing the number of visitors to regional areas.

The third Albany finalist created an app using data on air pollution to enable people to select an area to live based on air quality. This team gained Honourable Mentions in the Most Innovative and Most Creative Use of WA Data awards.

Ronice said she had enjoyed the teamwork and brainstorming to come up with workable ideas, and receiving accolades on the team’s performance.

She follows in the footsteps of last year’s Spirit of GovHack state winner Emilian Roman, who was also educated at the college and participated again this year with a team including some of last year’s Diploma of IT students.

Digital and IT companies, investors and government departments who sponsored the awards set challenges and watched with keen interest for the best performers with a view to recruitment.

IT Lecturer Ramin Majidi said he was proud of the work the students had done as well as their commitment to the competition.

He said they had embraced the essence of GovHack and combined creativity, innovation and hard grind to be competitive.

The competition was not their only success, Ramin said.

“Investors and regional government departments are in planning discussions with some teams regarding the commercialisation of their apps,” he said.

“This is an outstanding result for the college, and it shows that the students’ learning is relevant for industry and real life.”


Pictured are South Regional TAFE information technology student and Spirit of GovHack WA winner Ronice Preston with the 2017 title holder Emilian Roman, who competed again this year.

Page last updated November 01, 2018