The Code Cadets are a group of Year 7 to 12 students at Canberra Grammar School in Australia who are interested in technology and computers.
Read on to find out about our upcoming trip to Macworld 2013 and how you can help support us getting to San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Horizontal divider

Who are the Code Cadets?

Code Cadets Logo

The Code Cadets are a group of students at Canberra Grammar School who are interested in information technology. This group provides a method for the boys to connect, discuss their common interests, and also arrange some awesome excursions and trips!

Since the formation of the Code Cadets in March 2011 it has evolved into much more. We are currently planning a trip to San Francisco in January 2013 to attend Macworld | iWorld 2013 together with visiting many of the high-tech companies which are headquartered in Silicon Valley.

Matthew Purcell's Photo

So who teaches the Code Cadets?

The Code Cadets Coordinator is Mr Matthew Purcell. Matt is a secondary school teacher at Canberra Grammar School, teaching Year 9 Web Design and Application Development, Year 10 iPhone and iPad Application Development, and Year 11/12 Software Design and Development.

Matt is probably better known as The Silicon Kid from The Canberra Times, where he has been providing computer advice to the Canberra community for the past 14 years. He is also an iOS developer, most notably for being the author of the award-winning Bike Brisbane app. Matt has also attended the 2008 thru 2012 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.

In 2010 Matt was awarded the ACT Microsoft Innovative Teacher of the Year Award, for innovations in the way he uses technology within his Software Design and Development classes. As part of this award he travelled to Phuket, Thailand in March 2011 to represent the ACT and Canberra Grammar School at the 2011 Microsoft Asia-Pacific Regional Innovative Education Forum.

Canberra Grammar School Map Pin

Are you a student?

We're always keen to encourage fellow students who have a passion and interest towards IT and computing. If you are interested in visiting our campus to have a look around and chat about some of the things we are doing then please feel free to get in touch with our Admissions Office and mention the Code Cadets – we'll be happy to organise a tour with some of our Code Cadet students and teachers to show you the cool stuff that we do. We've also got our school Open Day coming up soon too!

Code Cadets Stamp

Hello, Bonjour, Aloha, Hej!

Want to find out more about the Canberra Grammar School Code Cadets? Feel free to send us an email at

You can also keep up with all the latest news about the Code Cadets by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. We'll be keeping these pages up-to-date with all our latest developments along with progress reports about our upcoming trip to San Francisco and the organisation of other exciting events.

San Francisco Area Map

Help support our trip to Macworld 2013!

During January and February 2013, 16 Code Cadets (together with three teachers) will be embarking on the journey of a lifetime – destination San Francisco to attend the Macworld | iWorld 2013 Conference and Expo.

On the trip we will be learning new and exciting things during the conference, while also having the opportunity to visit Silicon Valley and the many high-tech companies located south of San Francisco who have kindly offered to open their doors to us.

This trip will largely be possible through the generous support of our awesome supporters – and you can help! Visit our Indiegogo Campaign – "Send the Code Cadets to Silicon Valley" to see the difference your contribution (of any amount) can make towards our trip. Alternatively, if your business would like to contribute towards supporting our trip, then please email Matthew Purcell, Code Cadets Coordinator.

Our Super-Awesome Supporters

EdHack 2012

Canberra Grammar School's Code Cadets would like to invite fellow students to come and hack, mod and code at EdHack 2012 - a 24 hour Hackathon where teams will work together to rapidly develop software applications from scratch.

EdHack 2012 is being held at Canberra Grammar School starting at 12:00 noon on Friday 9 November and finishing at 12:00 noon on Saturday 10 November 2012. You will need to arrive by 9:30am on the Friday to setup all your equipment and hear the event briefing ahead of the official start at noon, and you will depart on Saturday at approximately 3:00pm following the presentations and awards.

What is a hackathon?

A Hackathon is an event in which teams build software applications from scratch in a given time frame. It brings together software developers in the spirit of collaboration and competition.

EdHack 2012 is a unique event providing opportunities to win prizes, learn new things, meet people and (most of all) have a lot of fun! You will work with exclusive government datasets (essentially large quantities of raw data) in order to build innovative software applications. Help will be available from top software engineers and data set mentors from various government agencies during the 24 hour event. The competition is open to all current Australian secondary school students and solutions can be coded in any programming language.

At the conclusion of EdHack on Saturday each team will provide a short (2 - 3 minute) presentation of their "hack" to a judging panel. This panel will then make determinations about the various prizes and awards for the hacks. The presentations (and the event) are expected to conclude by 3:00pm on Saturday.

Hackathons are always great fun so come along and have a blast at EdHack, we’d love to have you!

Tell me more...

For examples of Government data sets, similar to those being used at the event, have a look at which is a central repository of public data sets made available by the Australian Government. You will notice that in addition to the breadth of data subjects available there is also a large range of different data types (from pure spreadsheet style data through to images and geo-location data). Some data sets are provided in formats easy to manipulate, whereas others may require some special work to bring into your applications.

You won’t be told until the day of EdHack which data sets are available for your use, and which will qualify for category prizes.

You can prepare for the event by practicing your data manipulation, analysis, and coding skills. Additionally, it would be worthwhile to look at other recent Hackathons, together with the resulting projects, to give you an idea about what is possible.

For example, GovHack was a major Hackathon in Canberra during June 2012. Similar to EdHack, the GovHack event had a focus on Australian Government data sets. You can see a list of the GovHack winning projects at, including our very own Canberra Grammar School Code Cadets team who won the Best Spirit of GovHack Award for their iPad app 100 Years (


It's great that you are interested in entering! Before going any further, here's a checklist of what you need in order to enter EdHack 2012:

  • A team of two or three students, all from the same school.
  • A teacher from your school who is willing to sponsor your entry and provide supervision at the beginning and end of EdHack 2012.
  • Your own computer equipment to bring to EdHack (we can cater for both desktop and laptop computers) - power and wireless internet will be provided at the event. You must have your selected programming language/environment installed on your computer.
  • While you don't need to be an expert-level coder, you must be a reasonably competent programmer in your chosen programming language. While general assistance will be available at times for some languages this is not a beginner-level event which provides step-by-step instruction on how to program. It is expected that all participants will have sufficient knowledge to effectively code in their selected programming language. Part of the contact with your sponsoring teacher will be checking that you do have this sufficient programming experience to make a substantive attempt at the EdHack competition.
  • The entry fee of $70 per person.

So, what do you get for your entry fee of $70?

  • Food throughout the EdHack event (Friday lunch, Friday dinner, and Saturday breakfast - plus snacks throughout the day and night). We're happy to cater for special dietary requirements if needed.
  • A safe, supervised environment for the entirety of the EdHack event. Supervision will be provided by Canberra Grammar School staff along with staff from schools with participating teams.
  • Access to mentors to assist with using the various data sets that are offered for the event.
  • A chance to win some cool prizes!
  • A professionally run and organised event by Canberra Grammar School.
  • An absolutely awesome two days, programming with like-minded people in a friendly environment.
EdHack Enter Now

Ready to enter? Visit out event registration page at Eventbrite:

Due to space constraints, and to ensure that everyone can be given sufficient individual attention, entries are limited so don't delay!

Once your entry has been submitted our organisers will contact your sponsoring teacher to verify the registration and invoice your school for the entry fees. You will also be provided with additional information to get ready for the event, including a thorough checklist of items that you need to bring together with other bits of paperwork that we need completed (such as medical forms and also acceptable behaviour agreements).

In the meantime, if you have any questions or queries about EdHack 2012 then please contact us at

We're looking forward to seeing you at EdHack 2012!

For teachers and parents

EdHack 2012 is an official event being run by Canberra Grammar School. At all times during the event there will be adult staff supervision of the event venue. Additionally, teachers from schools with participating teams will be required to attend EdHack from 9:30am until 4:00pm on the Friday, and again from 10:00am until closing (the conclusion of the presentations) on the Saturday. Teachers will be required to leave their contact details and be contactable outside of these times in case of emergencies or other issues.

Our priority during EdHack is to ensure that all participants have fun and are safe throughout the event. During the event (particularly overnight) the venue will be secured and no participants will be permitted to leave, unless collected by a parent in an emergency situation. All participants will also be required to sign and acknowledge the behaviour expectations for the event. Canberra Grammar School staff reserve the right to ask any participant to leave, and call their parents to collect their son/daughter, should they engage in inappropriate conduct or behaviour during the event. No refunds will be given in this situation.

Row collapse button Facebook on button Twitter on button Flickr on button