The Global Operations Team

The Global Operations Team (GOT) is a nationally distributed team comprising of a passionate individuals based primarily in Australia (but assisting from overseas whenever required). We’re the team that leads the GovHack strategy, oversees state/regional teams, co-ordinates national sponsorships and runs the Red Carpet Awards.


Richard Tubb

National Director

Tasmania based Richard has been involved in GovHack since it went national in 2013 and has had several roles since then.

Richard has been a specialist management and marketing consultant for two decades and has loved driving positive change in some of Australia’s most recognisable corporations, organisations and government.


Jan Bryson

Sponsorship Director

Jan hails from Western Australia and is the long-time organiser of sponsorships for GovHack. Her pivotal work ensures that, amongst other things, our competitors are able to enjoy food and catering at event locations over the 46-hour hackathon!


Lara Silbert

Marketing Communications Director

Lara is a non-profit communications specialist living in Perth, WA, with a passion for social impact, participatory democracy and the potential of tech to make a better world.

As the daughter of a systems analyst, her first introduction to the world of IT was as an infant emptying the coins out of her mother’s wallet and into the fan vents of an IBM XT. She loves GovHack because it brings people together in an environment where ideas flow, sparks fly and magic happens.

A favourite past entry is au-dashboard which has information on your local government area such as budgeting and amenities.


Sonali Tharwani

Social Content Manager

Sonali works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure GovHack operations are going smoothly (that’s across the Global Ops team, state managers, local teams and event hosts). Her awesome organisational ability is fundamental to our success.


Gavin Tapp

Senior Advisor

Located in Canberra, Gavin has been involved with GovHack since first participating in 2009. In his day job, Gavin is Program Director at Acquia – a cloud platform provider specialising in Drupal. He has worked in Federal and ACT Government where he has fostered greater use of open source software and open data.

In his spare time – he works on events like GovHack! He also plays with his young kids and tinkers with cameras and guitars. He was lucky enough to get an early delivery of a VR headset – and is excited about how it might be used to provide a new human/computer interface.



Alex Sadleir

Chief Engineer

Sydney based Alex competed in the first GovHack in 2009 and has been organising ever since.

He implements and manages the technology that enables GovHack to run. He’s been with the GovHack committee since the beginning and has been responsible over the years for Hackerspace, the website, campaigns, social media aggregation and everything in between.

Alex enjoyed the 2016 entry Hackanation – hacking the hackathon in a meta hack that crawled the entry and prize websites to find prizes that had been overlooked…

He thinks GovHack is great as it supports and grows a community around data literacy.



Kevin Keith

Strategy Director

Canberra based, Kevin is relatively new to GovHack but is a longstanding admirer. He brings substantial experience working with governments and agencies in the UK and Australia. His full time job is as National Communications and ACT lead for industry body Consult Australia and is a paid Advisor to the ACT Government on city branding. Kevin is also a member of the Smart City Council National Built Environment Taskforce, and an Advisor to the ANU’s student-led gender equity programme Fifty50.

As an Advisor to Alastair Campbell he helped write a #UK1 bestseller, he’s also been published in nationals in the UK and Australia, and he also manages a group of young professionals called FutureNet to deliver events to inspire other young people to get involved in their city.

A past winner he likes is called “Search Party” because of its potential to save lives.



James White

Creative Director

Perth based James competed in 2013 and created AdVintage, an app that used the Trove database to index historical Australian advertisements from newspaper and magazines. He’s been involved with the Global Operations Team since 2016.

James brings over 20 years’ design experience encompassing print, web and mobile. He’s also a mobile app developer, who has built a number of successful health focussed apps via the business he founded and directs, Reach Health Promotion Innovations.


Yvonne Lee

State & Territory Operations Team Experience Champion

Sydney based Yvonne joined GovHack after being a Mentor and Sponsor through her work at Transport for NSW (Manager Open Data and Innovation) in 2016.

Her experience includes startups, participating in her own hackathon, mentoring at several of these types of events, and through work mentoring, coaching and bringing new apps and products to life.

Past winners Yvonne liked are Search Party and the amazing Image recognition for the war veterans.

Pauline Su

International Deputy Experience Champion

Sydney based Pauline has two roles this year, as International Experience Deputy Director and State & Territories Experience Deputy Director.

She is focused on improving online customer experience, and has worked across cultures and diverse teams in Australia and Asia. Pauline has worked in digital transformation at Telstra and now driving digital transactions for NSW State Government.

Pauline is inspired by every entry, as people have come together and made things happen.

GovHack brings together diverse talents to solve problems, and use data inventively, to benefit citizens.

Blair Hudson

Partnerships Chief

Sydney based Blair came to GovHack firstly as a participant, then a mentor (coach according to new definitions), now as Partnerships Chief in the GOT.

He brings experience in innovation, problem solving, decision strategy, machine learning and data analytics.

A past entry that inspires Blair is ClearGov – which demonstrates simple, searchable politics.

He’s a big believer in the civic responsibility of analysing the wonderful open data releases from governments and organisations to support public discourse and make life better for everyone! Being a volunteer for GovHack is my way of contributing to this.

Etienne Mortier

Marketing officer

Currently Melbourne based, Etienne has joined GovHack for the first time this year. He has experience in marketing and social media in small companies.

A favourite past entry is – a guide for risk factors in your area.

Etienne supports making data accessible and transparent for the masses, and love seeing the projects made possible through GovHack. Being able to play a small part in promoting this movement is what pushed him to join the team.

Tony Nolan

Chief of Judging

Sydney based, Tony was previously the Games Master for the ATO’s involvement in GovHack 2016. He’s also been a mentor and a competitor. He works in, guest lectures in, and writes about Data Science & Open Data, and how it can be used profiling, machine learning, and analytical modelling.

A favourite past entry is Tax Less from GovHack 2016, which helps people make better use of their Tax Data.

Tony believes in the value of Citizen Data Science.

Alexar Pendashteh

Chief Technology Architect & Community Director

Melbourne/Sydney based Alexar had his first GovHack experience in Hobart in 2016 which he says “was exciting enough to make me a GovHack ambassador”. This year he has two roles in the Global Operations Team.
Alexar is a technology trainer and an active member of technology and startup communities in Melbourne and Sydney.

His favourite entry was the one from Hobart last year that utilised datasets from different departments in different states to provide a simple, elegant, data-backed career guide for a user.


Peter Marks

Media Chief

Sydney based, Peter was a participant in GovHack ACT in 2015 and had a great experience in a team including his daughter (who was really in charge).

He’s a software developer having worked with web technologies, python, GIS and most recently iOS. Peter has written for numerous magazines in the past but is best known as ABC RN Breakfast’s technology editor.

A favourite project from 2016 is Truthbot which is the world’s first artificially intelligent automated fact checking robot and we need more of these.