Techfugees France Hackathon: 10-12 March in Paris

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Date: Friday, 10/03/2017 – Sunday, 12/03/2017

Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Paris time

Location: Liberty Living Lab, Paris, France

To register for the event online go to Eventbrite


The challenges

Techfugees France is coming back with a hackathon in Paris to find tech & innovative solutions to challenges faced by refugees.

Three main challenges will be presented on Friday, to be solved by the end of the weekend, with the possibility for more participants to come up with their own challenges to pitch. Find out about the challenges on the event page.


Schedule & Tools

A jury of leading figures from the local tech community will decide on the winners of incubation & sponsor prizes for the main three challenges on Sunday night while a “coup de coeur” prize will be provided to any pitch out of the three that will positively surprise the jury.

Former refugees and asylum seekers who have already settled in France will participate in the event to help teams understand challenges faced by new settlers and co-design solutions.

Talents from the tech community will mentor teams through the weekend.


More information & questions?

Ask us on the Facebook event page.

The event will be hosted at Liberty Living Lab in Paris and sleeping options have been worked out for you to stay over night: but bring your sleeping bag!

Looking for inspiration on what to work on over the weekend? Check out the Techfugees Hackpad for projects that need help!

PS: We want our event to be accessible to all and have reserved free tickets for the ones of you for whom the ticket price range is too high. Email us + with the title: HELP SW SPECIAL TICKET and we will work out a special ticket for you.

Techfugees Brisbane Hackathon: 17-19 March 2017

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Date: Friday, 17/03/2017 – Sunday, 19/03/2017

Time: 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Australian Central Standard Time (ACST)

Location: RiverCity Labs, Level 2, TCBeirne Building, 315 Brunswick St, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia – View Map

To register for the event online go to Eventbrite

Following the success of the Techfugees hackathon in Melbourne and Sydney, it’s Brisbane’s turn!

TechfugeesBNE Hackathon will bring together developers, designers, entrepreneurs and community members to develop creative tech solutions to help refugee and settle into the Queensland community.

Former refugees and asylum seekers who have already settled in Australia will participate in the event to help teams deeply understand opportunities and challenges faced by new settlers and co-design solutions.

Leaders from the tech community will mentor teams through the weekend. On Sunday afternoon, teams will pitch their solutions to a judges panel of tech and community leaders.

The event will be hosted by our sponsors at RiverCity Labs in partnership with Marist180, MDA Ltd, Access Community Services, Multilink, Australian Red Cross, Welcome to Australia and Urban Informatics Research Lab @ QUT Design Lab.

Come make a difference, have some fun, learn a lot and help to welcome refugees to the Queensland community!

Looking for inspiration on what to work on over the weekend? Check out the Techfugees Hackpad for projects that need help!

Follow us on social media to keep in touch and find out more:

Like us on Facebook @Techfugees Australia

Follow us on Twitter @TechFugeesBNE


To find out more about eligibility please visit DevPost

We are also looking for volunteers to help facilitate the event. If you would like to volunteer during the hackathon, register as a volunteer.

Techfugees Adelaide Hackathon: 26-28 May 2017

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Date: Friday, 26/05/2017 – Sunday, 28/05/2017

Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm, Australian Central Standard Time (ACST)

Location: TBC, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia

To register for the event online go to Eventbrite

Following the success of the Techfugees Australia Hackathons in Sydney and Melbourne in 2015 and 2016, it’s finally time for Adelaide to take part in this global initiative!

The Techfugees Adelaide Hackathon will bring together developers, designers, entrepreneurs, marketers, business minds and community members to develop creative tech solutions that focus on improving the lives of refugee families in Australia.

Former refugees who have already settled in Australia will be participating in this event to help teams deeply understand the problems and challenges faced by new settlers. The format of the Hackathon will draw strongly on co-design principals and practices.

Leaders from Adelaide’s burgeoning Tech community will mentor teams through the weekend.

We launch and form teams on Friday evening and work together on solutions throughout the weekend until pitch time on Sunday afternoon.

We will continue to update this event page as more details are confirmed including venue, sponsorship and prize information.

Please also keep up to date through our social media pages (Twitter & Facebook) and DevPost profile.

To get a feel for what Techfugees Australia means to the refugee community, here are some links to previous pitch ideas and successful start-ups that came about from Techfugees Australia:

#HacktheCamp: The creative marathon to find sustainable solutions to refugee issues in Greece

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By Lida Tsene

After three intensive days of presentations and cooperation with their #HackTheCamp mentors, ten teams of programmers, refugees, designers, social entrepreneurs, humanitarian workers, educators, and artists competed with their proposals during the final phase of the hackathon creative marathon to find sustainable, scalable solutions for refugee issues in Greece.

How can we improve living conditions for refugees? How can they access reliable information on their legal status? What kind of opportunities are available or can be created for refugees? How can we tap into the many skills that moving populations bring with them? How can populations in transit and local populations come closer and develop an intercultural dialogue?

These are some of the challenges that Hack the Camp (#HackTheCamp) attempted to address.

In the first phase of Hack the Camp, which took place October 21-22 at Diplareios School, Athens, more than 70 participants and 30 experts from the fields of education, technology, culture, and humanitarian aid became a dynamic team that worked collaboratively to address the needs of refugees and migrants during this crisis. The contribution of refugees and migrants to offer their skills and experience was significant.

The final Hack the Camp was held on December 2-4, 2016 and was organized by Impact Hub Athens, the Onassis Cultural Center and the U.S. Embassy in Athens in collaboration with two international organisations with extensive experience in organising humanitarian hackathons: Creative Associates from the U.S. and International Alert from Great Britain.


  • Autonomous Water Supply
  • Book On The Way
  • Co-Producing The Camp
  • Hopestarter
  • Match & Teach Me For Integration
  • NativeNet
  • Radio Transit
  • RefWay Αpplication
  • Refergon



Team “NativeNet” won the first prize and $10,000 by presenting a smart mobile application that brings together all services available for refugees in Arabic, Farsi, and English. It also includes basic Greek lessons and enables refugees to show off their skills and get in touch with NGOs and other potential employers.

Second prize and $6,000 was awarded to Team “Refergon”, which proposed an easier way for refugees to access the labor market through existing social networks by developing a chatbot. At the same time, in cooperation with NGOs and academic institutions, Refergon will offer training for refugees to acquire business skills.

Refugee participants contributed as members of the NativeNet and Refergon teams.

The “Autonomous Water Supply” team focused on the issue of hygiene, winning third place and $4,000. The team cleverly designed a portable, collapsable sink that improves refugees’ access to clean water, especially vulnerable groups such as women and unaccompanied minors.

Special mention was given to the “EterART” team who proposed a performing arts project for children from different cultures, using their own bodies as percussion instruments.


The winning teams will receive mentoring and business incubation support from Impact Hub Athens for the next four months. They also have the option of joining the Microsoft BizSpark program, which provides access to innovative software development tools. The cash prizes and additional services are designed to help the teams put their winning ideas into practice to benefit refugees.

Microsoft actively supported this initiative by furnishing prize money, offering technological and business mentoring groups, and providing software, which contributed to the successful implementation of the Hack the Camp ideas. Intel also provided free technological equipment for participants that will develop hardware solutions. Free localisation services for participants courtesy of Transifex. 


Two international organisations with long experience in humanitarian-related hackathons will act as consultants, facilitators and moderators at the events. Creative Associates from the U.S. and International Alert from the UK will be the main facilitators of Hack the Camp.

Microsoft actively supports Hack the Camp by contributing to the monetary prizes, offering technological and entrepreneurial mentoring services to the teams, as well as software and devices, helping towards the success of the initiative.

GFOSS – Open Technologies Alliance within the context of the ongoing collaboration with the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens, actively supports Hack the Camp with demonstrations of open hardware and software while partners of the Open Technologies Alliance will participate in both stages of Hack the Camp and support the participating teams in using collaborative design and programming tools, as well as enable them to share their creations on open collaborative platforms.

Congratulations to the winning teams of the hackathon: NativeNetRefergon and Autonomous Water supply!

You can find photos from Hack the Camp herePhoto Credit: (ɔ) Angel Ballesteros, CC BY-SA

Make sure to also check the Facebook Group and #HackTheCamp on Twitter for the latest news and updates!

Hackathon with Young People: TF Australia inspires with third event

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By Anne-Marie Elias

Find out what happened at the third Techfugees Australia hackathon in November 2016, in which young refugees, entrepreneurs and the tech community came together in the Parramatta district in Sydney to find solutions to the challenges faced by those newly arriving in Australia.

The #Hack4Refugees event kicked off with insights from four young people who talked about their experiences and set the scene.

Then, over the course of a weekend, teams or four or five people worked with refugees to create new businesses, business models and minimum viable products. With intensive mentoring and support, the teams were able to create, validate and pitch their solutions by late Sunday afternoon. There was a focus throughout on doing more than just surviving – a common theme was how to settle into a new country and thrive long term.

The winner of the $15k prize was Art Crew, with their idea of designing murals to proudly and publicly celebrate multiculturalism.

Also in the running were:

See the pitches in full

Get involved with Techfugees Australia

With three events behind them, founders Annie Parker, Nicole Williamson and Anne-Marie Elias are starting to see the positive impact of the Techfugees Australia events, particularly on the younger people.

More information

Follow the Hack4Refugees Storify from day one and day two
See Anne-Marie Elias on Codesigning Solutions to Settlement

Read Serina Gill’s blog post
Read Gavin Heaton’s write-up
See the submissions from Techfugees Australia
Join Techfugees Australia on Facebook

Winners of TC Disrupt Hackathon will help refugees with education, identity and social inclusion

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The TechCrunch Disrupt London Hackathon was the launchpad for three ideas, which will help refugees with social inclusion, access to education, and keeping track of their identity even if essential papers get lost.

Running for a total of 24 hours and taking place in the run-up to the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, the hackathon attracted nearly 300 participants. The three winners selected by Techfugees from eleven competing teams used IBM Watson, Twilio and Twitter APIs to develop ideas which will help refugees with social inclusion, gain access to education, and show proof of identity.

Who were the winners?

  • RefuTweet

RefuTweet aims to provide refugees on the move with the help they need by connecting with local individuals sympathetic to their cause.

The messages are parsed through IBM Watson to extract both the location and request. RefuTweet then searches Twitter in a radius of up to 16 miles around the area and identifies all handles which have tweeted about the refugee crisis in the past week.

A personality insight analysis is run on all relevant Twitter profiles to identify specific users in the area who are sympathetic to the refugee cause and exhibit personality traits such as love, harmony, idealism, sympathy, and altruism.

RefuTweet sends out friendly tweets and a link, asking the top three users if they would like to help a refugee in their area who is in need. If the link is clicked and confirmed a message is sent back to the refugee alerting them that someone is willing to help and how to arrange a meeting.

Watch the video and find out more about the team: Harley Katz, Brett DeWoody, Dhaval Patel, George Stefanis, Michael Curtis.

  • ResID

When refugees are in a foreign country they often have very limited papers with text information, papers which can be easily lost or stolen. ResID helps people never lose track of who they are.
Watch the video and find out more about the team: Danil Gontovnik, Andrey Staroseltsev, Jon Miller.

  • Sensei Hub

Sensei Hub provides a simple capture mobile app that photographs and records student test papers.

Computer vision understands the test paper results, and instantly records this against the student and test IDs from the one photograph.

A facial recognition feature is also available where the student doesn’t have their student ID. This is stored locally in the teachers own mobile device until they are within wifi and an upload to the repository can be completed and the test data securely archived.

Watch the video and find out more about the team: Luka Topolovec, Blaz Magdic, Tine Postuvan, Joanna Alpe.


What’s next for the winning teams?

Techfugees has offered to support the three teams in developing their prototype into a working MVP with the help of partners TechHub, AltCity and TheToolBox. They will also support field trips to Calais and Lebanon.

After the winners were announced Josephine Goube, CEO of Techfugees, said:

“The prototypes that have been presented have the potential to provide relief to millions of refugees, because unlike distributing aid, tech solutions scale. We were delighted to see so many teams pitching solutions and so many of them really understanding the potential of AI, chatbots and voice recognition systems, thus saving time for refugees and NGOs by automating many time-consuming tasks. Especially in the domain of education, knowing that one out of two refugees is a child, we can’t stress the importance of the need to create solutions that scale now and can be deployed as soon as possible. A child that does not go to school for years will find it extremely hard to catch up later and may never get another chance.”

As part of the hackathon, Techfugees partner Lebanon-based entrepreneur and AltCity CEO, David Munir Nabti, mentored the hackers taking on the Techfugees challenges.

“It was great to see so much energy at the hackathon from teams working to build scalable solutions for refugees and other marginalized communities. We’re excited to see how we can mobilize some of that great talent and energy to support innovation emerging from refugees themselves. If we can build stronger links between these innovators and entrepreneurs and the refugee communities, we can make great strides towards addressing deep challenges that affect us in Europe, the Middle East, and beyond.”

Elizabeth Varley, CEO of TechHub, explained:

“Technology has the ability to transform lives, from everyday experiences to times of crisis. As an advocate of diversity and inclusion in tech, TechHub is delighted to partner with Techfugees in recognising the efforts of entrepreneurs seeking to improve access and opportunities for refugees. We look forward to having the winning team as part of the TechHub community to support them in their awesome work.”

More information

See what else went on at the TechCrunch Disrupt London Hackathon
Find out more about TechCrunch Disrupt

Techfugees at TechCrunch Disrupt Hackahon: donate to win your ticket!

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Saturday, December 3 at 12:30PM – Sunday, December 4 at 2:00PM

Copper Box Arena

London UK

Techfugees is partnering with TechCrunch Disrupt at one of the most anticipated hackathons of the year – TechCrunch Disrupt London Hackathon 2016! Together with other amazing partners – Twilio, IBM Watson, Amazon Alexa, etc. – we will present our key challenges and support teams during this 24-hour contest. The contest will be announced on the Hackathon website and on-site during the opening remarks. Techfugees will also provide and present the prize during the award ceremony on Sunday, December 4. 

For a chance to be part of it, make a minimum donation of £25 to our crowdfunding campaign with a TC Disrupt reference by December 1, 2016 – the deadline has been extended!

And if you donate £100 and above with a TC Disrupt Conference reference – you could win one of the 12 tickets to the Disrupt Conference worth £1200 each!!! Please find more information below

Donate by December 1, 2016 and win:

  • Donate £25… enter a draw to win 1 of 10 TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon tickets happening in London this December 2016.
  • Donate £100… enter a draw to win 1 of 12 TechCrunch Disrupt Conference tickets (Face Value £1200) happening in London this December 2016.
  • Donate £500… enter a draw to win 1 of 2 TechCrunch Disrupt VIP Dinner Tickets on Monday 5 December — £2,000/each value, AND be on our thank you wall of donors publicly available on our website and receive exclusive free tickets to all Techfugees events.


About TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon 

Preceding the Disrupt Conference is Hackathon weekend on December 3-4, where  developers and engineers descend from all over the world to take part in a 24-hour hacking endurance test. Teams join forces to build a new product, present it on the Disrupt stage to a panel of expert judges and an audience of tens of thousands and compete for a variety of prizes, including the chance to win free tickets to the Disrupt Conference. Products created at the Disrupt Hackathon have seen great success beyond the event, like GroupMe which was created overnight and ultimately acquired by Skype for $80M.

About TechCrunch Disrupt

TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies, and discussing what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators. Disrupt gathers the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans for on-stage interviews, the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and After Parties.

#HacktheCamp Hackathon in Athens – December 2-4, 2016

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Impact Hub Athens, the Onassis Cultural Center and the U.S. Embassy in Athens are joining forces for Hack the Camp, a two-part hackathon on refugee and integration challenges. Hackathon solutions and outcomes will focus primarily on the refugee and migrant populations currently in Greece, and aid organizations offering services to refugees. The event is supported by Techfugees Athens.

Programmers, designers, social entrepreneurs, humanitarian workers, educators, artists and other interested professionals are all invited to work together and find sustainable and scalable solutions for and with refugees and migrants in Greece. Migrant and refugee populations are also invited to participate in the process, voice their concerns, and share their knowledge and expertise.

Hack the Camp will be comprised of two events: #MeetTheHackers event on 21-22 October 2016 at Diplareios School, where experts will announce challenges and methodology while participants will form teams and start brainstorming, and the main #HackTheCamp event on 2-4 December 2016 at Impact Hub Athens, where the selected participants will prototype their idea and develop it into a sustainable solution, with the help of mentors.

Here are some of the challenges that #HackTheCamp will attempt to address:

  • How can we improve living conditions for refugees?
  • How can they access reliable information on their legal status?
  • What kind of opportunities are available or can be created for refugees?
  • How can we tap on the many skills that moving populations bring with them?
  • How can populations in transit and local populations come closer and develop an intercultural dialogue?

During the final day of Hack the Camp, the teams will present their projects and a Judging Panel of experts will decide on the top three teams/hacks. The winners will receive monetary awards, as well as free incubation services at Impact Hub. The teams and hack projects will be judged based on the following criteria: impact, user experience and presentation, sustainability, innovation, and reusability.

For additional information on #HackTheCamp please visit #HacktheCamp Facebook Page or contact us at, or (+30) 210 3210146.

To attend – please visit #HackTheCamp Eventbrite page

Techfugees Ireland launched at DCU hackathon

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While a team of coders competed in a 48-hour hackathon to develop groundbreaking solutions to promote refugee inclusion, integration, and self-reliance; the Irish chapter of Techfugees was launched.


Techfugees chapter in Ireland was launched at the Creative Minds hackathon that took place on 14-16 October at the Dublin City University (DCU) Ryan Academy in partnership with the U.S. Embassy and Intel. The event brought together 100 young innovators aged 18 to 25, representing more than 14 different countries.

Like many other Techfugees events, the hackathon was aimed at developing solutions to empower refugees with technology and promote refugee inclusion, integration and self-reliance. Supported by over 20 mentors including NGOs, Startup Grind and the Irish Refugee Council, the 48-hour hackathon resulted in three teams walking away with €15,000 to bring their prototypes to life.


The winning projects were:

  • Health Path (@HealthPathIRL), a digital health platform to assist refugees to access health services in their native languages and integrate into the local healthcare system, led by Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) student and Washington Ireland Program (WIP) alumna Valerie O’Brien;
  • Isle of Hope (@IsleOfHopeIRL), a program to promote inclusiveness by matching refugee and local families to build friendships and support systems, led by University College Dublin (UCD) graduate student Mark Duffy; and
  • Líonra (@LionraHq), a peer-to-peer platform that facilities refugee integration through skills exchange and knowledge sharing, led by Institute of Technology (IT) Carlow student Sinéad Ní Bhrolcháin.

Three other hacks that earned honorable mentions:

  • Most Disruptive: Identify Refugee(@IDentifyRefugee), a concept to use Blockchain digital identification to help refugees establish and verify their identity with service providers and host countries;
  • Beat Team Dynamic: Future Roots (@futurerootsIE), a project to improve nutrition of refugees and promote integration of refugees into the local community through greenhouse-based agricultural projects at direct provision centers; and
  • Best Pitch: Soul Roots (@SoulRoots_IE), a social enterprise that promotes community and empathy between refugees and host populations through food trucks.

Over the next three months, the winning teams will work with the DCU Ryan Academy and the recently-launched Ireland chapter of Techfugees to bring their prototypes to life.

Mentors and jury panel

UNICEF Ireland Youth Ambassadors Minahil Sarfraz and Natasha Maimba inspired hackathon participants by sharing their first-hand experiences in Ireland’s direct provision system and their remarkable achievements since receiving permanent status in Ireland, such as speaking before the 2016 UN General Assembly.  Daranee Petsod, President of San Francisco-based NGO Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) joined the event to share a U.S. perspective on refugee integration and serve as a hackathon mentor and judge. Nubi Kay, entrepreneur and Business Analyst at Accenture Ireland originally from Nigeria, served as the hackathon facilitator.

The judging panel consisted of Eoghan Stack, CEO of the DCU Ryan Academy; Lye Ogunsanya, Chapter Lead of Techfugees Ireland and Co-Founder of #HouseofAkina Social Enterprise; Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Social Innovation Fund-Ireland; Daranee Petsod, President of GCIR; and Aleisha Woodward, Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin.


Our local ambassador Lye Ogunsanya, a social entrepreneur and a migrant himself, said: “This hackathon has kick-started the launch of the Ireland chapter of Techfugees, a coalition of volunteers who are coordinating the tech industry response to the needs of refugees.  We look forward to partnering with the DCU Ryan Academy to help incubate the hackathon’s winning solutions into viable platforms for refugee inclusion, while leveraging the global Techfugee network.”

Learn more about the hackathon here.

About Techfugees Ireland

Techfugees Australia: Hackathon with Young People

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Saturday to Sunday, 5-6 November 2016, Parramatta – Calling all hackers, hustlers, hipsters and humanitarians to come build solutionsmake a difference and help to welcome young refugees to the Australian community.  

Once again, we will bring together developers, designers, entrepreneurs and community members to develop creative tech solutions.This Hackathon will focus specifically on hacking the challenges faced by young people (~16 to 24). It doesn’t matter if you are older and have never been to a Hackathon. Everyone is welcome and you’ll have tons of fun while learning new skills and meeting lots of great people.

Hacker Teams will develop tech solutions for young refugee settlement challenges articulated by our partners including Settlement Services International (SSI) the largest not-for-profit humanitarian settlement organisation in Australia. Themes for the Hack will include: safety and well-being, learning the language, community connections, recognition for prior qualifications, employment, identity and belonging.

Refugees especially young refugees who have already settled in Australia will participate in the event to help teams deeply understand problems and challenges faced by new arrivals. Those who participated in our first events know that hearing from and working alongside refugees was an absolute highlight of our previous Hackathons.

Leaders from the Tech Community will mentor teams through the weekend. On Sunday afternoon, teams will pitch their solutions to a Judging Panel of Tech and Community Leaders. There is no cost to participate and wonderful food and snacks will be available all weekend.

Date and time: Saturday to Sunday 5-6 November, 9.00 to 6.00pm

Venue: Information & Cultural Exchange (ICE), 8 Victoria Rd, Parramatta


We are planning to award sensational prizes that help teams complete and launch their solutions including a place at Catalysr, a refugee and migrant incubator, a cash prize from the Awesome Foundation Sydney and a whole bunch of awesome stuff from Academy Xi who provide tech courses for UX, UI, Virtual Reality and more. We will also award a prize for the Hack that makes Sydney more Awesome for Young Refugees, thanks to support from the Awesome Foundation Sydney.

  • First Prize: $15,000 cash prize to fully develop the solution  jointly sponsored by Settlement  Services International (SSI), Stripe and the City of Parramatta. The winner will also win a place at Catalysr, the incubator focussed on developing Migrant and Resource startups
  • Second Prize: Courses valued at $3,500 from Academy Xi
  • Awesome Sydney Hack: $1,000 cash sponsored by the Awesome Foundation Sydney for the Hack that makes Sydney more Awesome for Young Refugees and a Premium Subscription to Social Change Central, a new online resource.
  • People’s Choice Award and Best Contributor to the Hack Award: Mentoring by Leaders in the Sydney Startup Community

 Sponsors and Supporters

Please contact us if you’d like to contribute a prize or sponsor the Hack!


Twitter: @TechfugeesAust1, Facebook: Techfugees Australia

For questions about the event including media inquiries please email Nicole Williamson at

About Techfugees Australia

Techfugees Australia is the tech community’s response to the current refugee crisis involving a network of concerned individuals who want to help refugees settle happily and more quickly into the Australian community. In Australia, we’ve held two events, the first in Sydney (November 2015) and then in Melbourne (April 2016). Many of the solutions developed are now operating as tech start-ups in their own right.