Politicians to attend Parliament House innovation ‘boot camp’


news Federal MPs and senators will learn about coding and novel uses of technology at an innovation ‘boot camp’ today in Parliament House organised by tech giant Intel, along with students from five Canberra schools.

The event will feature robotics and a range of activities showcasing how today’s classrooms are “not only consuming but creating technologies”, a statement said.

Students from the five schools will demonstrate their tech projects at the boot camp, which will include:

  • An engineered robotic dog with ultrasonic sensors
  • A smart letterbox that sends you emails on receiving physical mail
  • A rocket and high-altitude balloon to collect climate analysis data
  • An app to help developing countries find clean water sources
  • A free, mobile app to guide ethical shopping decisions

At the event, Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy will give a welcome address to schools, parliamentarians and other guests.

Since taking up the post in September, Roy has been a champion for Australia’s tech industry and has often expressed the need for more young people to learn coding as part of their learning, as well as traditional subjects.

In a video interview in October, he told the ABC:

“STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] is incredibly important, but also the digital tech skills [and] the entrepreneurial skills, because ultimately if the next generation of Australians are leaving not just with the STEM skills and tech skills but an entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to turn ideas into reality. I think that’s really important.

“There are some practical realities, the state government deliver the curriculum side of these things, but we do have STEM in the curriculum and do have coding there, so there is a strong foundation. I think one of the big roles that the government can play is empowering many of the NGOs who are doing really good work in this space. We see some great entrepreneurial companies taking off, putting that into the school curriculum space, we see Google and Facebook and eBay and others developing coding programs and others for young Australians and I think we can really support that …”

Last week, on 18 November, a similar Intel-organised boot camp took place at the NSW Parliament. The event was attended by ministers and MPs, start-ups and students from six local schools that are working on their own technological innovations.

Some of the students also gave presentations at the event, describing their own technology projects, which included coding and 3D-printed robots, that are aimed to solve a number of issues.

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello was present and encouraged the youngsters to continue their digital work, saying their skills would be essential to navigate in the coming information age.

“The NSW Government is embracing innovation and digital disruption as the way forward in developing better solutions to our economic and social challenges and to meet the needs of our tech-savvy, connected citizens,” he said, according to a report by Technology Decisions.

Image credit: Office of Wyatt Roy


  1. Tony Abbott: “hey! I’m the only one who runs boot camps! I’m coming to shirtfront your video game entertainment system bootcamp. I’m the shit that still happens”.

  2. “An app to help developing countries find clean water sources”

    this one annoys me a bit. Props for innovation and all that I just think they’re not understanding the issues people face where drinking water is an issue (if these are students what is it their teachers are teaching them?).

    Eg Places where wells (ie you have to hand crank/prime these bad boys and tote the water) have to be sunk (by charities) for clean water typically don’t even have electricity or its fairly limited (ie generators) much less a mobile phone network with data allowances so their app can work to locate said well.

    Earning less than $2 a day is normal in those ‘developing’ nations’s too so no iPhones are likely to be found (unless an old Bakelite rotary with an ‘i’ scribed in counts) how backwards compatible is the app again?.

  3. Is there catch up for some of the ultra conservatives? Showing them the internal combustion engine and transistors as a replacement for valves.

    • The Queensland milky bar kid wants capital punishment for goodness knows who. So I am sure that a solar powered, environmentally friendly guillotine would be his start up of choice.

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