AT WHICH point does technology and community meet?
Organisers of the Wagga Hackathon are hoping an intersection of technology and young people, along with business and community leaders, will lead to change.
The Hackathon is a partnership with Charles Sturt University (CSU), NSW Family and Community Services and Wagga City Council.
It can trace its origins to a Twitter post from Sydney University of Technology academic Anne-Marie Elias.
CSU’s Executive Dean of Science Professor Tim Wess said the first Hackathon scheduled for October was the only the start of the journey.
With mobile technology quickly becoming universally available, it posed an opportunity for it to help serve the community.
Professor Wess said the first goal will be to address youth unemployment in Wagga, which reports peg at 4 per cent higher than the national average.
Asking young people what problems they faced and how they could improve their prospects of employment was the start.
“The question is how we get that information to them, in the short and long term,” Professor Wess said.
With the goal in mind, Professor Wess said meet-ups would be scheduled to help shape the future of what the answer would be.
“We don’t want to design something they (young people) won’t use.”
Involving the young people in the process through the Hackathon would allow them to contribute to the process.
Through that contribution Professor Wess said people interested in learning how to use computer coding language would have the chance to see it applied.
“If you can code – you can get what you want, not what someone else thinks you want,” Professor Wess said.
The key behind the event was participation and he said it was not limited to technology with other businesses encouraged to be involved.
Professor Wess likened it to developing links in the community based around sport – for people who were not necessarily involved in it.
“The social fabric of a regional city is in participation. Technology gives us a way to reach out to more people.”
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