Last night I met our newest batch of Social Superheros for our pre-hackathon Changemaker 101 session. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend this years hack. I'll be in Cape Town, South Africa attending the .Astronomy9 conference, running a tutorial session, and delivering an invited talk. But our RHoK lead-up events are fantastic and I wanted to stay involved at some level. Intrepid Travel very kindly hosted us for this event and it was great to have a few of their staff participate and see first hand how we RHoLL.
I've talked about Changemaker 101 in previous posts, so I won't go into the details here. Essentially Mandi was her awesome business analyst self and walked our changemakers through the basics of software development and introduced them to Agile and Lean methodologies. The goal of the evening was to help them identify their main roadblock and to prepare problems statements for the upcoming RHoK Info Night.
This year we have nine changemakers, including two return changemakers (Jen & Roberto);
- Martina Clark from Carers Couch (@carerscouch)
- Roberto Pietrobon from Care To Compare
- Jennifer McConachy from Berry Street (@berrystreet)
- Julie Gibson from Hitnet (@HITnet_au)
- Cathy and Beccah Bartlett from mADAPT – Shifra (@mAdapt_App)
- Andrew Whelan from Start Broadband (@startbroadband)
- Shari Davies from Domestic Violence Resource Centre (@DVRCInc)
- Pollyanna from PollyAnnaR / The BIG Picture Space Inc.
- Josie Lauristen Lee from Go Jane Give (@gojanegive)
While I won't be here to witness the RHoK Summer Hack magic – did I mention I'll be living it up in South Africa? ;) it was so great to meet Martina Clark from Carers Couch. This is such a great social enterprise I really want her to get the most out of RHoK. She also lost her best friend to cancer and because of our not-quite-shared experience we kind of hit it off. You can read about her story here. Funnily enough we also happen to live in the same street! You gotta love Elwood folk :)
Carers Couch provides advice, resources and attempts to build a supportive community around those who are caring for someone with cancer; be it a husband or wife, a mother or daughter, a father or son, the neighbour who cooks frozen dinners, the friend and fellow school mum who ferries the kids around, the close friend, the confidant, the not-so-close but still very important friend, to the local barista who brings morning coffee and cheer.
Martina came to us with a really clear, albeit challenging problem:
Carers Couch already exists, and has been up and running for well over a year. It sounds like she's done an amazing job so far with setting up a website, building up the community, giving talks, getting key stakeholders in place (e.g., Peter Mac), and participating in the Melbourne Health Accelerator Program. Martina's problem now is that she's reached a point where her business can't scale easily, which is where RHoK can really help. A little business analysis and development work, and tech mentors to assist in the move from manual and clunky to streamlined and automatic, can make a massive impact. So over the next few week RHoK will be helping Martina figure out how to deliver carer support in a really effective way. I'm super excited about this project and I'm hoping that we continue working with Martina post-RHoK to make sure she ends up with a whizz-bang tech solution with everything Carers Couch needs. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day (or two days...)
My fellow RHoKstar (and veteran) Shaun Wilde will be her RHoK Buddy and Tech Lead this year.
She's in such good hands.