Our Team

Meet our team of values-driven, creative, and skilled people who are redesigning government for the 21st century

Base Team

Base Team are the folks that dream up, launch, run and measure all of the Code for Australia programs. They exist to open up opportunities for collaboration and bring people together.

Matt Sawkill

Matt Sawkill

Managing Director

Matt has 20 years of experience in design-led digital agencies as a full-stack developer, technology consultant and team leader.

Matt is obsessed with the craft and delivery of easy to use, accessible and performant digital services and products at scale. Open source software, web standards and human-centred design are the foundations of this approach.

In his spare time, you’ll find him geeking out on food, music and movies.

Esther Semo

Esther Semo

Head of Community + Communications

Esther is obsessed with humans so you’ll often find her chatting to strangers about their shoe size or what makes them cry.  She has previously worked at Gender Equity Victoria running projects aimed at stopping violence against women online. 

She’s also done stints at various not-for-profits, unions, and in the music industry all while running her own business, Broad Services, which promotes feminist events and services.

At Code for Australia, Esther is psyched to combine her love of helping people with tech. She’s also excited to share as many dog GIFs as possible with our awesome community.

Cassitie Galliott

Cassitie Galliott

Head of Delivery + People

Cass has spent years leading programs and teams for small nonprofits, primarily in the refugee and migrant sector. Getting to know diverse communities, ranging from Melbourne’s Western suburbs to small French Pacific islands has been one of her greatest joys. 

In her work, Cass noticed a lack of digital innovation was preventing her clients from receiving better services. Working for Code for Australia, she’s excited to be part of an organisation helping to change this.

In her free time, Cass is usually geeking out over board games, gorging on chocolate, or painting her next commission.

Tim Castle

Tim Castle

Product Manager

Tim is “on the ground” in Sydney, helping to drive positive outcomes for our partners and products. He cares about how organisations engage, and thrives on models that are more open and collaborative.

He’s spent the majority of his career engaging with organisations that are purpose driven, conscious of their impact on the world; and focused on alternative value models, not just economic value.

Tim has a wealth of knowledge that he’s always will to share across social impact, social enterprise, human centred design and product innovation. An adventurer at heart (he once bought a horse in Mongolia and rode it to Russia!) chances are he’ll arrive to the meeting on a bicycle after a morning swim.

Founding Team

Our Founding Team continue to coach and advise Base Team and the wider community. Our Founders also serve as our Board of Directors.

Alvaro Maz

Alvaro Maz

Daniel Groch

Daniel Groch

Jacob Lindsay

Jacob Lindsay

Board of Advisors

Our Board of Advisors exist to support and advise Base Team, and include experts from industry and government, our founders and a rotating position for one of our Fellows. To read more about our Board, head here.

Irina Anastasiu

Irina Anastasiu

Ex-Fellow, Full-Stack Software Architect & UX Designer

Lizzie O'Shea

Lizzie O'Shea

Lawyer, Writer, Founder & Chair of Digital Rights Watch

Judy Anderson

Judy Anderson

CEO at Start Up Victoria

Tien-Ti Mak

Tien-Ti Mak

Director & Co-CEO at Premonition.io

Jithma Beneragama

Jithma Beneragama

Director - Digital Engagement, Dept. of Premier and Cabinet Victoria

Anni Rowland-Campbell

Anni Rowland-Campbell

Non Executive Director at Founders and Coders

Mark Woodland

Mark Woodland

CEO at Xplor, TSG & QK Technologie

Alvaro Maz

Alvaro Maz

Jacob Lindsay

Jacob Lindsay

Daniel Groch

Daniel Groch

Current Fellows

Our current Fellows are the amazing people who are working with us for six months, alongside a government partner, to create change through our Fellowship program.

Sindhu Harinath

Sindhu Harinath

Partner: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Sindhu is an empathy-driven designer who’s passionate about understanding people and creating incredible things!

While studying psychology and IT at university, she discovered that what she loved most was actually the combination of the two – understanding how people use technology and how to make those experiences better.

After teaching herself the basics, she grew her skills and picked up new things by working as a designer in corporate and start-up environments and as a freelancer.

Outside of work, Sindhu loves to make playlists for very specific emotions, go on hikes with her friends, cook new things and hang out with her adorable kitten!

Yuguang Ipsen

Yuguang Ipsen

Partner: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Yuguang is a data scientist who delights in making web/mobile apps that are lovely and designed for more discovery and celebration of small joys in our day-to-day life.

Pre-pandemic, she was a lecturer in statistics and wrote a dozen technical research papers in probability and stochastic processes. She likes telling stories from data and is very keen to listen to the whole spectrum of tales that the data is willing to reveal.

She enjoys connections with people and loves to cozy up with her family, stay curious and playful, just like her two little kids.

Ram Parameswaran

Ram Parameswaran

Partner: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Ram is a software consultant and full-stack developer with a wealth of experience in web development and scientific computing. He helps organisations to embrace web technologies to improve the efficiency of their workflows.

Ram uses his widely varied experiences from software development, strategic consulting and academia to create simple and elegant solutions to complex problems. He believes in the enormous potential for digital technologies to improve the quality of service-provision by government and business, and is excited to partake in the transformation.

In his spare time, Ram loves woodworking and electronics projects. To wind down he enjoys rock climbing, hiking and slacklining.

Jordan Binskin

Jordan Binskin

Partner: Smart Service Queensland

Jordan is a web developer, residing in Sydney. He has a background in digital transformation projects, bringing technical and project management skills to the delivery phase.

From scripting web servers to building user interfaces, he is empathetic in his practice. This results in end products that are functional, accessible and best address the needs of the user.

He continues to code into his spare time, whether it be learning a new paradigm or 3D libraries. When he needs a break, his hobbies include cooking, a walk in the mountains or playing MMORPGs. Check out his website here. 

Nishtha Gakkhar

Nishtha Gakkhar

Partner: Smart Service Queensland

Nishtha is a software developer who graduated from Monash University Australia. She has worked in IT with exposure to banking, music, and environmental industries. With a background of computer science, she is an enthusiast of learning new technologies and engaging in meetups.

She tries to look out for more environmentally friendly options around her. She is a fervent cricket supporter and a dog lover. 

Apart from engaging in tech, she likes to go for long walks, cook, and dance. On weekends, you can find her enjoying movies or DIY projects and markets.

Daniel Turner

Daniel Turner

Partner: Smart Service Queensland

Daniel is a software engineer who lives on the Sunshine Coast. With a background in software architecture, management and team leadership. Daniel always enjoys learning from all his team members.

 For over twenty years Daniel has worked in software engineering, developing for enterprise and startups. He enjoys working with the right technologies and ensuring that the end user experience is as ideal as possible.

 His hobbies include developing software and volleyball. On the weekend Daniel loves spending his time with his wife and kids.

Madeline Druce

Madeline Druce

Partner: City of Canterbury Bankstown

Being fascinated by the complexities of humans from a young age, Madeline worked in a range of different industries around the world after leaving university. 

After almost 10 years of running her own photography business, Madeline was ready for a new challenge and began studying both UX and Service Design in 2019.

Maddie has been fortunate enough to work for some fantastic Melbourne based start ups and scale ups as an Experience Designer. She has passion for the environment and the Circular Economy and enjoys learning as much as possible about how we can grow and educate ourselves towards making a more sustainable future. 

In her spare time she can be found adventuring in her van, Van Diesel, most likely surfing, rock climbing, hiking or riding her bike.

Russell Johnson-Bade

Russell Johnson-Bade

Partner: City of Canterbury Bankstown

Russell is a software engineer that calls Newcastle, NSW his home town. He comes from a self-taught background and has many years experience both working in small teams and as part of a multi-national company.

He loves programming due to its accessibility and potential for making a large positive impact.

He tries to lead with empathy in everything he does, whether that be playing sport, exploring nature or solving problems at work. He loves music, the outdoors and spends too much time watching soccer (go The Arsenal!).

Alex Reid

Alex Reid

Partner: City of Canterbury Bankstown

Alex holds the record for most Fellowships ever undertaken at Code for Australia with City of Canterbury Bankstown being his third!

With over a decade of experience as a developer and designer, Alex is an avid tinkerer and experimenter.

In his free time he enjoys dipping his toes into the worlds of electronics, microcontrollers, realtime performance visuals and lighting, DJing and music production. 

Fellowship Alumni

Since day one we’ve had amazing people involved in our Fellowship program. To view the full list of legendary folks who have been involved head here.

Facilitators

Our network of facilitators are trusted and respected friends from across industry, who are on call to help us deliver programs around Australia.

Rick Giner

Rick Giner

Tech Facilitator

Rick has been a product engineer for more than 20 years – focussing on the user experience and development processes that lead to high value deliverables. He loves working with new initiatives, and digital transformations alike – where refining products and improving practices yields big results.

Rick organises conferences and meetups, and loves to speak at events about many topics including delivery management, software engineering, digital accessibility and inclusive design.

When not at work you’ll often find him doing something noisy – running around the playground with his daughter, chopping wood, or listening to heavy metal music!

Renee Noble

Renee Noble

Tech Facilitator

Renee has a passion for tech, education and creating communities, and seeks out every opportunity she can to better learn how people relate to tech. 

Renee has spent the last 6 years working in the tech industry in organisations from CSIRO to the edtech start-up start up scene. She’s also spent the last 6 years as the National Director of the Girls’ Programming Network a by-women-for-girls group that teaches girls to code for free. She grew this program from a single-site operation to a national program which now operates in 5 states that teaches 1500 girls to code a year.

She recently founded her own tech education business, ConnectEd Code, aiming to spread her project-learning based methodologies to teachers and students around the country.

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We're based in Melbourne, on the traditional lands of the Woiwurrung and Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin nation.

We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded and pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging across Australia.

As an organisation we benefit from the rich history of contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have made to the world.

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