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Virtual Bushfire Recovery Hackathon

The Australian Water Association Victoria Bushfire Recovery Hackathon kicked off in style, now with 56 participants in nine teams tackling six massive challenges faced by partner organisations in the wake of the 'Black Summer' bushfires.

The kick-off in June allowed participants to hear about these challenges directly from those involved in bushfire response and recovery efforts before choosing their challenge of interest. Subsequent discussions with expert mentors helped to empathise with the key stakeholders and define the problem.

The teams have since made some wonderful progress and have completed a MURAL Design Thinking Canvas. Two teams, Welcome to Country and Beyond Recovery, are bringing Traditional Owner values to the fore in recreating healthy waterways.

Hackoverflow is working on what happens to water supply when the grid goes down, while Rehab Rebels and Team 3A are developing practical approaches for restoring our catchments. Team 4 has come up with a comprehensive set of issues and potential solutions for early warning systems.

The Ace Team and H^3 (AKA Happily Hydrated Heifers) are developing different solutions to mitigate impacts to fire affected catchments. The Connectors are helping with information management procedures and workflows to help optimise information sharing across agencies. We can’t wait to see the finished products, which can be a video, briefing paper or slide pack, at the event wrap-up on 20 August.

A big thanks to kick-off MC Lindsey Brown and Challenge coordinators: Jason B King, Jacob Meehan, Chris McAuley, Neil Plummer, John Day, Zoe Hines and Wayne Charlton, as well as all mentors who generously provided their expertise for this event, not to mention all our committee members who made the virtual hackathon a reality. We now have one more check in meeting before each team pitches their solutions to our expert judging panel!