Life is Myles better for award winner
Success for ex-Rutherglen man Down Under
A Rutherglen man is part of a team that designed an award-winning app to help tackle child abuse – on the other side of the world.
Former Trinity High pupil Myles McHugh moved to New Zealand two years ago, where he works for IT services company Datacom as a project manager.
Every year the company is involved in a 48-hour hackathon, where people and teams from throughout New Zealand, Australia and Asia attempt to create new ways of solving challenges.
This year the groups were tasked with using technology to design a better society.
And Myles team’s invention won the top prize with their idea, which will help the charity Child Matters.
He told the Reformer: “New legislation means that charities such as Child Matters need to provide quantitative data and regular reporting to ensure ongoing funding.
“As a mainly paper-based organisation that provides adult training to help prevent child abuse, we developed an application that can be pushed to all teachers, counsellors, police, and frontline service people who are receiving their training.
“The app automatically enrols students, captures course evaluation feedback and correlates this with governmental concern data using Microsoft Power BI.”
The invention of Myles’ team proved a hit with judges, but the big-hearted group decided to give all the prize money to the charity, too.
He explained: “Our team went to Datacomp with a purpose to help the charity reduce and prevent child abuse across New Zealand.
“We were not in it to win the competition but worked so hard over the weekend and created an application that will save lives and could help many other charities.
“Prior to the prize giving the team huddled together and agreed that if we won we would donate the $2,000 prize back to the charity.
“It was pretty emotional when the team won. It left us all with a great sense of purpose and was the proudest moment of my career.”
The team also won the Advance To Go award, which means Datacom will fund the project and deliver a viable product to Child Matters.
That will see the charity save money, increase the training they provide, work out high risk areas to focus on and help provide them with statistics that they can use to earn further funding.
In time the app may become available in other countries if successful.
Jane Searle, chief executive of Child Matters added: “For the last six months we have been focusing on how we push forward to implement IT innovations that will allow us to do what we do, better and in a more cost effective way.
“In just two days your team fast tracked that process and has given us something to build on in the future.”
Myles High Club Myles, second from right in the back row, and his team