Austin Wilshire – Co-founder of Make Census Great Again

website Twitter LinkedIn


Austin is an aspiring Entrepreneur, currently working as a Web Developer with a Brisbane startup named iRecruit. Currently, Austin is a university student currently studying Computer Science, minoring in Security and Data­Centric Computing at the Queensland University of Technology. He has a strong interest in the future of security, especially in relation to the Internet of Things (IoT). Austin is also interested in Machine Learning and Data Science, and its role in the future of security.

Tell me a little bit about your idea and what made you take the plunge?

Make Census Great Again was an idea pitched at the CodeNetwork winter hackathon. On Friday night Tylor Stewart, one of the members of CodeNetwork, pitched the idea to the crowd. Bernd Hartzer and I decided to take on the challenge. We contacted a friend, Dom Hutton, who had more experience in setting up something of this scale. He was instrumental in the completion of the project.

A Red Bull infused weekend followed as we set up the system and tested it to see if it could handle the scale we needed it to.

What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next year?

Working on the iRecruit web app over the last few weeks has been a lot of fun. It’s due to be launched by the end of October! Over the next year, I’m excited about iRecruit’s future, learning about Machine Learning as well as any advancements in the Internet of Things.

How do you make ideas happen?

Sit down, map it out and go for it. Getting started as quickly as possible and being naive to the complexities of a problem are key to beginning and making it happen. From there you figure it out as you go along.

What role have mentors played in your business life?

Elon Musk, Pieter Levels and Mark Suster are all huge inspirations to me. Currently, iRecruit CEO Aleks Svetski and the CTO David Uhlmann are doing a really great job teaching me things.

What does your typical day look like?

Wake up, go to the gym and then either head off to uni or iRecruit’s offices. When I eventually get home and I either work on some of my side projects, learn about Artificial Intelligence (AI) or just hang out with my family and watch TV.

What challenges did you face when creating a new census program?

Configuring the setup correctly took almost a day because we were inexperienced using Amazon Web Services. However, after the weekend we can set up the same system in under 45 minutes.

Do you think tech can play a role in affecting social change?

The short answer is yes, absolutely. The cultural changes technology can bring are huge, and we’ve already seen how people have been changed socially. Go to any restaurant and you’ll see people with phones by their sides. Technology is ubiquitous, and will continue to change how people view and interact with reality.

What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?

In the future, providing infrastructure and utilities for space, security and IoT will be huge. Make something happen in these areas and you set yourself up for success.

Learn from over 250 Australians making ideas happen.

More from The Social Deck

7 #socialgood websites recommended by 8 Australian changemakers to watch

The Mashable Social Good Summit is on later this month in New...
Read More