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HackaMon: 25-26 march

Connect 2 Engage 2 Create

What the hack?

Here’s a chance to contribute to the innovation culture at Monash University.

Monash is calling for students and staff to Connect 2 Engage 2 Create at HackaMon.

25 - 26 March (Saturday - Sunday)
Monash College, 271 Collins St, Melbourne

HackaMon is an opportunity to be part of the solution as participants from the staff and student communities collaborate to solve problems that matter across Learning and Teaching, Campus Life, and Student Administration.

Hacking takes place over a short but intense period to design, build and market ideas around the theme of Connect 2 Engage 2 Create.

Along with building the innovation culture at Monash, HackaMon aims to increase engagement between professional and academic colleagues, University partners, and our student community.

Drop us an email at if you’d like to know more.

How it works

Hackamon Logo

Teams of four to six people across disciplines (functional, technical, product, design, communication) work together over a 30-hour period to imagine, design, create and communicate a solution to a problem or challenge.

Leading up to HackaMon we'll run some sessions to assist participants in defining their problem, developing their idea for a solution, and finding other University community members to work with at HackaMon.

As we understand the problems you're trying to solve, we’ll provide APIs and datasets to enable teams to re-vision the University experience for students and staff.

The output of HackaMon may be:

  • a website
  • an app
  • a game
  • a report
  • a revised process
  • or anything that solves a real-life problem or challenge faced by our students and/or staff.

Not all solutions will progress to production-ready by the end of the hack; some may not even get passed the wireframe stage.

You’ll be limited only by your imagination and the time.

A variety of mentors will bring their unique perspective and skill set to provide teams with advice and guidance on defining the problem, ideation, technical questions and developing a presentation.

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Registration for HackaMon 2017 is now open.

Register now


Jenny Davis

Jenny’s extensive IT experience covers network, Unix/Linux, virtualization and cloud in both technical and management roles. Jenny has worked with large private and public sector companies, local government, system integrators and vendors, most recently Amazon Web Services. Her background provides her with an appreciation for culturally diverse business and work environments.

She has been acknowledged throughout her career for delivering on-time-on-budget projects with a detailed emphasis on quality and customer satisfaction.

Jenny has an extensive background in leading teams through major projects involving high availability solutions, infrastructure virtualisation, cloud, process development and post implementation operational support.

Jenny is an engaging IT Professional with excellent communication and presentation skills who enjoys working closely with customers.

Ambika Sharma

Engineer by education and a Digital Consultant by passion, with over 5 years + experience with Google and Siemens. Working with clients across Tech, Retail and Government space in India, US and Australia.

Craig Lawton

Craig Lawton has over 20 years ICT experience working across many of the larger commercial and public sector organisations in Australia.

He started a blog in 2012 exploring how organisations could migrate successfully to the cloud. This led to a career at Amazon Web Services (AWS) where he has worked within the public sector to assist educational and research organisations make use of the cloud to accelerate innovation and outcomes that would not have been previously possible.

Marten Payne

Marten has spent the last twenty-five years in various roles throughout the IT industry. His experience spans software development across a wide variety of platforms from Windows 3.1 to BeOS, Linux to macOS and iOS to Android. He has also spent a number of years as the principal user experience designer on a diverse range of products. More recently Marten joined AWS as a Technical Account Manager, which has exercised his technical, interpersonal and management skills.

Throughout this winding journey through the annals of IT, Marten has maintained his love of new technologies and ideas and is amazed on a daily basis at the ever expanding range of imaginative and innovative solutions that they enable.

Alicia Stephenson

Alicia is the Managing Director of the SC Group, a Melbourne based Consultancy Group that houses the several entities started by Alicia dating back to 2011.

Alicia was the 2015 Telstra Victorian Young Businesswoman of the Year, for her entrepreneurial work with women and a recipient of the 2014 Australian Institute of Management 30 under 30 National Manager's Award for her work with underprivileged women at the Dame Phyllis Frost Supermaximum Prison in Melbourne.

Alicia is known for her work on the professional speaking circuit and her keen strategic and networking skills. She devotes her time to the SC Group's business interests and her work with young graduates and employees through the Millennial Mentor Program, which has been adopted into large Australian organisations and major Universities in Australia and Singapore.

Mixer night

The HackaMon Mixer night will be held on Tuesday 21 March at Bar Rouge, Zagame's Caulfield Hotel.

Registration and details


Peter Bradd

My focus at The Beanstalk Factory is on enabling individuals within corporates to improve their ability to innovate faster and with more confidence through training and coaching.

We operate throughout Australia and work primarily with large ASX listed companies and government departments.

I have been an active contributor to the growth of Australia's startup ecosystem for the past decade. In 2011, I became a Founding Director of Sydney's first tech co-working space, Fishburners - a thriving, sustainable place for startups, speakers, mentors and corporates to collaborate. Fishburners is currently home to more than 175 technology startups.

In 2014 I co-founded StartupAUS, Australia's national advocacy body for startups where I am currently Director and Chairman. Our focus is on working with government and industry to progress Australia's economic transformation through high-growth technology entrepreneurship. Australia has the passion and the drive but we need more founders, more tech skills and a world-leading ecosystem to support them.

An Aussie startup founder myself, in 2008 I formed personalised postcard app, ScribblePics which operates through Qantas.

In 2015 I teamed up with Jack Delosa, a leading advocate and voices for Entrepreneurship in Australia and founder of the Entourage, Australia's leading education institution for entrepreneurs, to create The Beanstalk Factory.

Our current clients are Suncorp, Myer, Westpac, Monash University, QLD Gov, News Corp, Hoyts, Dexus, Australia Post, BT Financial Group.

Riley Bachelor

Riley is a serial tech entrepreneur, investor and startup advisor. He has founded five technology startups over the last 13 years, with three successful exits to date.

Riley was the local partner and founder of General Assembly Asia Pacific. Through a joint venture with the US based digital skills education startup, he opened General Assembly in Sydney in 2012, later expanding it to Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Riley is passionate about changing lives through education and improving education models through technology. He is also the Chairman of VC back TidyMe, a Sydney based home services startup and advisor to a growing group of new education technology ventures.

Susan Brown

Managing Director Australia - Girls in Tech and Head of Strategy and Consulting at Odecee a Cognizant Digital Business

Susan is the Managing Director of Girls in Tech, a not for profit organisation focused on supporting women in technology, innovation and start-ups. She is passionate about diversity, especially supporting women in technology across all disciplnes.

Susan is also the Head of Strategy and Consulting for Odecee. She has 20 years experience working primarily in digital transformation projects as a Business Analyst and Agile Coach. Her technology experience includes digital analytics, innovation consulting, digital portfolio development, customer relationship management, content management, multi-­touch technologies. She is really passionate about building models for new business, products and services.

Kris Ryan

Associate Professor Kris Ryan is the Academic Director in the Office of the Vice Provost, Learning and Teaching.

As Academic Director, Kris has led the implementation of the Monash Education Technology Roadmap, and provided academic leadership in the design of new learning spaces.

Trevor Woods

Trevor joined Monash University as the Chief Information Officer in 2015.

He's leading the multi-year effort to modernise the student experience by transforming the administrative processes and structures and believes that the biggest digital disruption coming to higher education is in administration.

Trevor is a firm believer that it's a journey the entire organisation needs to go on together; going slow in the beginning to get the core thinking and capabilities right, before scaling up. While recognising that universities challenge accepted ways, at Monash, we also challenge our accepted ways. This is one of our strategic advantages.

Several new ways of thinking and working have emerged over the past six months. These include popup innovations, an innovation studio, resident entrepreneurs, connections with the startup communities, hackathons, and agile methodology to name a few.

Small projects have benefited from this approach, as has the largest systems implementation at Monash in over a decade, MyResearch.

Trevor has an undergraduate degree in management information systems and a graduate degree in education.

Judging criteria

HackaMon purpose:

  • Engage and co-design with our students
  • Increase engagement with professionals, academics and partners
  • Increase innovation culture
  • Find future talent
  • Solve business problems through actionable innovation
  • Leveraging skills of our partners and colleagues to grow skills internally
  • Build relationships across and within the University.


  • Impressiveness of the idea / solution / approach / technology - WOW factor of the idea or solution; it shows a different way of thinking, working, or of applying technology to the problem.
  • Alignment to the theme - Solution focuses on engagement, creativity, and connectedness within the University environment.
  • Solution originality - Truly new ways of thinking about problems, solutions, processes or technology.
  • Impact - Represents a positive impact on the way the Monash community lives, studies and/or works.
  • User experience - The user has been central to the development of the solution.

MC - Marina

Marina Paronetto

Marina works in PwC's digital team as Innovation Manager. Marina's expertise helps large organisations re-imagine their products, services and systems using human-centred methodologies.

Before joining PwC, Marina founded PowerhouseHQ, an innovative organisation with a mission to create conditions that nurture team learning, entrepreneurship and design thinking, to solve complex problems and drive positive change.

Marina actively supports the Melbourne start-up scene by organising events and activities that focus on learning by doing. As a Melbourne Startup Weekend organiser, she led the first Australian Startup Weekend Women and Startup Weekend Education Melbourne in 2014.

Marina co-founded the Startup Victoria Female Founders Committee, and as pioneer at the Young Social Pioneer program from FYA, Marina is developing Biz, a platform for young girls to launch a business idea, helping to bring an entrepreneurial mindset to schools, teachers and teenagers.

HackaMon archive

Find out about the winners from previous HackaMons.