Mind The Gapp

Team Name: 
Black Swan

We call ourselves the lucky country. The land of dreams. The sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains. Yet Indigenous Australians die 10 years earlier than the rest of us. 97% of Indigenous Australians experience racism on a weekly basis. Their kids are more likely to go to jail then they are to university. How do we reconcile the Australian dream with these hard facts?

​​​​​​​Research tells us that there is next to no trust between Indigenous people and their non-Indigenous counterparts. This is a result of biases, prejudice, and stereotypes, and highlights a lack of mutual understanding within our society.

We cannot progress when people are stereotyped, discriminated against, and judged. Indigenous Australians are misunderstood within our communities.

We want to change this.

We are Black Swan, a group of two high school app developers from the ACT. Our project, Mind the Gapp, is an iOS app designed to educate young Australians about the history of Indigenous Australians, the barriers they face, and what we can do about them. In doing this, we will foster a greater understanding of Indigenous Australians, eliminating prejudice and creating a more harmonious future.

Mind the Gapp tells a digital narrative about the history of Indigenous Australians through a series of 12 interactive and chronological chapters, each corresponding to a particular era or issue affecting Indigenous Australians. Our app is designed to be an immersive storytelling experience, exposing the user to interactive items such as quizzes, videos, and images - all powered by GovHack datasets.

 

Once the user finishes a chapter, their progress is recorded in their personal profile, allowing them to collect achievements and incentivizing further engagement with the app. This tracking will also allow us to remotely monitor the societal impact of the app over time, providing trends which will enable us to optimize our initiative. It is not enough to just give young people information; we use digital technology to make it engaging.

We have created a structural framework which we are making open source. Through changing the contents of a single array, other developers can adapt and change our app for their own purposes.

In making this app, we hope to bridge some of the differences that stand between young Indigenous Australians and their non-Indigenous counterparts through fostering an increased awareness of one another. In time, we hope that this will break down society’s prejudices and stereotypes towards Indigenous Australians, increasing trust and promoting more effective collaboration amongst the community in closing the gap.

Team Prize Details: 
All team members are under 18.
Used Datasets: 
Dataset Name: 
ABC Gateway API
Publishing Organisation/Agency: 
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Jurisdiction of Data: 
Non-Government Organisations
How did you use this data in your entry?: 
In our app, each chapter within the app's 'story' relates to a particular topic. Once users have finished reading a chapter within the app, they are invited to complete supplementary learning activities, such as completing quizzes and reading articles relevant to the chapter topic. We used the ABC News API as a means of retrieving ABC News article data for display within this particular section of the app.
Dataset Name: 
Youth Justice Detention Data
Publishing Organisation/Agency: 
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Jurisdiction of Data: 
Australian Government
How did you use this data in your entry?: 
We were inspired to write our app after seeing the disadvantage suffered by Indigenous Australians laid bare before us in the form of this raw dataset. As the dataset contains information as to whether or not individuals in youth detention are of Indigenous background, we were able to determine the proportion of Indigenous youth being in detention in relation to their non-Indigenous counterparts. Using a simple statistical model, and controlling for factors such as age, gender, location, and time of year, we determined that the population of Indigenous youth was roughly at parity with the population of non-Indigenous youth when it comes to youth incarceration. This is despite the fact that Indigenous Australians make up just 2% of Australia's overall population. Undertaking this analysis, and having our conclusions expressed in such a transparent and undeniable manner, woke us up to the true magnitude of the Indigenous-non-Indigenous gap in Australia, inspiring us to do something to make a positive difference. Our findings from this process have also been embedded into our app's educational materials to inform other users of the conclusions we reached through this dataset.
Event Location: 
Canberra