Winners of Datacomp tackle climate change, mental health and prison conditions

Winners of Datacomp tackle climate change, mental health and prison conditions

Trans-Tasman competition sees participants solve complex challenges set by organisations.

Team Ngā Mihi, Datacomp winner

Team Ngā Mihi, Datacomp winner

Credit: Datacom

Datacom has announced the winners of its Australia and New Zealand innovation challenge Datacomp 2022. 

This year’s winning solution was created by Kiwi team Ngā Mihi, which aims to simplify the process of buying and accessing approved essential items for prison inmates. 

Now in its ninth year, 270 Datacom employees signed up to participate in the three-day hackathon-style event, which marks the first year the event has gone Trans-Tasman, running simultaneously in Auckland, Sydney, and virtually from 19 to 21 August. 

According to Datacom, the program saw thousands of hours’ work condensed into just three days. 

Each of the Datacomp challengers was briefed by a local organisation looking to solve a genuine problem for their customers or community.   

The winning solution from team ‘Ngā Mihi’ was a response to a challenge set by Siosaia Maka and Livi Kavesi, graduates of the Take2 programme, which provides an opportunity for people who are in prison to learn to code and then connects them with internships with tech companies, creating the foundation for long-term employment opportunities in the tech sector.  

Second place went to ‘Charlie’, a conversational AI that helps young Australians navigate the mental health resources that are available and was designed for the Australian Department of Health’s Head to Health national mental health platform. 

Meanwhile, third place went to an app designed to incentivise small businesses to engage with manageable actions to tackle climate change.   

 “I’d encourage you all to be inspired by the common beliefs of Te Ao Maori and indigenous Australia. In both cultures, togetherness and connectedness remind us to work together in service of a shared vision for the betterment of people, lands and waters – leaving them in a better place for future generations,” said Datacom CEO Greg Davidson. 

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