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ACS celebrates Mental Health Hack Heroes

ICT and analytics associations support SANE with Data Hack

5 July 2022

A unique data insight uncovered during the data hack held by ACS and Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia last week at ACS’ Melbourne Docklands Innovation Hub is set to reinvigorate services provided by mental health charity SANE Australia.

The hackathon’s results are expected to help SANE to redesign its service offering to meet the growing demand for their services since COVID – 19. A team of data experts and students provided some valuable insights about SANE’s operations from call centre operations to the increasing demand for services, particularly in Victoria.

According to the winning team leader, Nayan M Jain, the event was “a chance for professionals to showcase their data analytics skills and provide upcoming talent with firsthand experience that builds confidence, whilst supporting a great cause. While the whole team is really happy to have won the hack, we’re equally happy to help solve a real-world problem for SANE Australia.”

 The Data Hack was supported by Victorian Government and held in conjunction with SheLovesData.

"Participants uncovered some surprising insights for SANE which will assist us in improving service delivery so we can support more help-seekers. Participants were engaged, intelligent, and went beyond the data to uncover real insights," said Jessica Kaaden, Director of People and Communications at SANE and part of the hackathon judging panel.

Over 35 tech people attended the Data Hack designed to help SANE understand their community better through a data lens and how they might shape their services to meet demand. Key to this data lens was the open data availability of relevant government datasets from portals like data.vic.gov.au.

“All participants were so committed to using their data analytical skills and provide solutions that could make a real difference to the services provided to people with mental health issues,” said ACS Victoria Branch Chair, Dr. Rod Dilnutt.

“We had a purpose, and all the teams produced some worthwhile solutions that SANE could take away and further expand on.”

SANE is Australia’s leading organisation for people with complex mental health issues and trauma, and for the families and friends that support them. Those wishing to support SANE with a donation can do so at www.sane.org/donate/.

Recent census data shows 8.8% of Australians have a long-term mental health condition so mental health support services, like those from SANE, face huge demand from people seeking help via phone, chat or forum.

The Data Hack was designed to help uncover the insights hidden in the data that might assist SANE meet this burgeoning demand – and bring the technology and analytics community together for a worthy cause.

“This is what the analytics industry is all about,” said Annette Slunjski, Managing Director of IAPA. “Using data and analytics skills to find glimmers of unknown factors that can release hidden revenue streams or isolate inefficiencies. For SANE it’s about triangulating how to deliver better, more efficient services for the 2.2 million people across the nation that suffer mental illness.”


Further information

Troy Steer

Director of Corporate Affairs and Public Policy

M – 0417 173 740

E – [email protected]

About ACS

ACS is the professional association for Australia's technology sector. ACS members work across business, education, government, and the community delivering the digital services essential to the nation’s prosperity and security.

ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. ACS strives for technology professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on technology and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.