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The Federal Government is committed to making innovation a centrepiece of the Australian economy. Policy Hack is an opportunity for industry to develop and pitch innovative solutions to some of Australia’s most pressing policy problems and help foster the growth of innovation industries in Australia.

Along with Assistant Minister for Innovation Hon. Wyatt Roy MP, BlueChilli will bring together representatives from startups, VC funds, accelerators and other components of the innovation ecosystem, with policy experts from departments of Treasury, Industry and Communications to collaborate in a one-day industry policy hackathon in Sydney, Saturday 17 October 2015.

We’ll use the hackathon methodology to nominate, select and work together in mixed teams on new government policy ideas designed to foster the growth of innovation industries including tech startups, biotech, agtech, fintech, renewables and resources.

Funding, taxation, education, migration — everything is on the table.

The champions on the highest voted policies will be invited to Sydney to lead teams on the day to workshop their ideas with government representatives.

The goal is to present a set of creative new ideas to an audience of government officials by the end of the day, to give them the top-line thinking from which full policy can be developed and implemented.

If you have a policy idea or you’d like to see and vote on which policy ideas are collaborated on at Policy Hack, you can get started right now.

The Federal Government is committed to making innovation a centrepiece of the Australian economy. Policy Hack is an opportunity for industry to develop and pitch innovative solutions to some of Australia’s most pressing policy problems and help foster the growth of innovation industries in Australia.

Along with Assistant Minister for Innovation Hon. Wyatt Roy MP, BlueChilli will bring together representatives from startups, VC funds, accelerators and other components of the innovation ecosystem, with policy experts from departments of Treasury, Industry and Communications to collaborate in a one-day industry policy hackathon in Sydney, Saturday 17 October 2015.

We’ll use the hackathon methodology to nominate, select and work together in mixed teams on new government policy ideas designed to foster the growth of innovation industries including tech startups, biotech, agtech, fintech, renewables and resources.

Funding, taxation, education, migration — everything is on the table.

The champions on the highest voted policies will be invited to Sydney to lead teams on the day to workshop their ideas with government representatives.

The goal is to present a set of creative new ideas to an audience of government officials by the end of the day, to give them the top-line thinking from which full policy can be developed and implemented.

If you have a policy idea or you’d like to see and vote on which policy ideas are collaborated on at Policy Hack, you can get started right now.

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St. Edmund’s located in Sydney is a high school catering for students with intellectual disability, autism and sensory impairment. While technology has been used extensively it has only been through an especially designed program in partnership with Waverley College a mainstream high school, which combines Blended Learning (combination of teacher input and online learning)and student wellbeing that we have called Liberate that, our students are truly engaging with the curriculum and developing their critical thinking and creative skills. The program challenges our students and other mainstream students in ways never before tried. The results are amazing with students with intellectual disabilities, in fact all students surpassing expectations. The biggest challenge in all of this is the need to change an old teaching model with traditional techniques to a contemporary approach which demands a whole new way of thinking and teaching. A different future demands nothing less. The teachers have responded very positively appreciating the benefits to the students and to their own skill development and job satisfaction.


Possibilities offered by St Edmund's innovative school principal, Kathy Freeman are: * The opportunity for teachers to engage in professional development around the new approach and current innovation in education. * The opportunity to establish a “think tank” around innovation and learning changing educational practice across Australia. * The development of specific resources. * An Invitation to engage in discussion with Government decision makers. * An Invitation to participate in the Innovation Champions’ Forum. * Opportunity to be invited to the Minister’s Dept. guest speaker events around innovation for example the recent Google X. Minister, this innovative concept provides a wonderful opportunity to energise the Government's efforts through the NIDS program in harnessing innovative thinking and the application of ICTs particularly for the benefit of Australia's (and the world's) disabled citizens.

The future of work is changing rapidly. This is a reality that governments, industries and communities are all faced with. To support the growth of Australia's tech ecosystem and to prepare Australians for 21st century jobs, we need a new approach. In this new Digital Age, a career in tech can bring about financial security and independence, therefore reducing long-term welfare dependancy.

Traditionally, jobs in tech have required a computer science degree. This is out of reach for many disadvantaged, unemployed individuals. But many jobs within the tech ecosystem no longer require a Bachelor's degree. Therefore, we should create an intensive, technical training program which prepares unemployed and/or underemployed Australians for in-demand tech jobs. The curriculum should focus on providing participants with the top job skills most-needed, according to key tech trends. Students should also acquire key professional skills and business skills required to help them land a job upon completion.
Wage subsidies could be offered to employers who provide graduates with a job for at least 12 months. This programme could initially be trialled in a single location, and then expanded based on results. Overall, the training programme could provide valuable opportunities for groups of people who would otherwise be at risk of long-term welfare dependancy. At the same time, it could grow our ecosystem within Australia and drive innovation across various industries.

The need and the challenge for this Policy Hack is to create a real outcome. This will also be challenging to implements and my suggestion would be to focus on an idea that has real potential to be implemented and will be a success story!
Connect the related industry with the innovators and creative thinkers. Government should be the catalyst.
Most Start-ups face challenges such as lack of funding, limited access to affordable space and resources, lack of experience in business operation.
Governments on the other hands are challenged by Red Tape, lack of innovation (or so it seems) and lack of connection to creative thinkers, entrepreneurs and problem solvers. Business Challenges – lack of connection to universities and innovative talents. So how could we bring these together and achieve a real outcome? My suggestion: Create an innovation challenge series of events not only in the major cities but in every region of Australia where all Gov agencies and businesses can submit their challenges and assign a price tag (let’s say $25K) as a reward or seed funding. The problems should be targeted at your entrepreneurs and needs to be backed by education programs like NEIS followed by complementary incubator and if successful by accelerator programs. Link it to all universities or other education institution to attract young talents. Provide connection to established businesses similar to the nature of the problem in order to facilitate sustainability of the project and mentorship. Outcome: Creative thinkers and innovator will be attracted to the need to solve the problem and by the financial incentives. Business and industry will provide the execution know-how and sustainability for the product or service and gains a conduit to the universities, creative thinkers and schools, YES! Schools. Singapore Gov provides schools with grants of up to S$10,000 to put in place a comprehensive structured entrepreneurship learning programme for their students. http://www.spring.gov.sg/Nurturing-Startups/Pages/young-entrepreneurs-scheme-schools.aspx. While you there check the tax incentive for investors, individuals and existing businesses. This idea is not new and some great examples are event like Open Innovation as per below: https://www.digitalpulse.pwc.com.au/open-innovation-newcastle/ The measure of success (or ROI) is how many Government problems were solved using these events?

Now is a great time for Australia’s school education sector to be recognised as a contributor to innovation policy development, not just its servant. Deficit-model thinking about schools has caused policy blindness (temporary, we hope!) to the innovative ways schools are responding to rapidly escalating social and technological change. This is taking the form of innovation in curriculum and pedagogy; for example, schools are already innovating beyond STEM to STE-A-M, that is, engaging teachers and students in cross-curriculum collaboration that incorporates design thinking and the arts into pedagogical practice in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Schools are also innovating in collaborative practice – between students, between schools and universities, and between schools and businesses and community organisations – supported by innovative developments in facilities design and digital learning and teaching resources.
To leverage the entrepreneurial capacity of schools, the Australian Government could establish a Schools Innovation Fund. Grants could be competitive and open to schools, clusters of schools and/or school systems.
The evidence that schools are already innovating ahead of government policy suggests that the Fund should be broad-based to encourage creativity and innovation in project development. However, it would still serve to encourage and support innovation if linked only to government-identified strategic priorities. For example, a priority proposed in the federal government’s Vision for a Science Nation is student engagement in STEM. The British Government has recently applied various models of competitive grants for the school-based development of student assessment applications, best practice in global learning programs and projects in character development.
There is a highly successful home-grown precedent for a competitive grants model for schools. A program of competitive direct-to-school grants was administered on behalf of the Australian Government by the Asia Education Foundation (AEF) under the National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP). The Becoming Asia Literate: Grants to Schools (BALGS) program operated between 2009 and 2012 and attracted 2,000 applications. During the life of the program, some $7.2 million was disbursed on 335 projects among 521 primary and secondary schools. Evaluation of the program confirmed that it enabled sustainable change and innovation in schools and supported strategic collaborations and sustainable partnerships within and between schools. The capacity of schools as education providers to engage with suppliers in the development of exportable learning and teaching resources could also be explored and supported by a government-subsidised Schools Innovation Fund. That is, the Fund could serve to attract private funds and intellectual capital for entrepreneurial effort in education. Further, e-learning initiatives have the potential to augment the already significant contribution of Australian schools to Australia’s education export income through on-shore and off-shore provision.

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Karen  Dado Garry Visontay Steve Dunn Gemma Bailey Catherine Pham Jonny Wilkinson Nick Abrahams Peter Moon Allan Ryan Jay Wulf Suzanne Nguyen adam lyle James Majarich Pete Ratcliffe Delia Scales Jeremy Liddle Anne-Marie Elias Axle Max David fagan Shayne Flint Ahmed Salama Bernard Sullivan Clinton Mead Sally McArthur Sarah Pearson