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The Unconference

The first rOpenSci unconference in Australia was held on Thursday and Friday (April 21-22, 2016) in sunny Brisbane, at the Microsoft Innovation Centre. This event brought together researchers, developers, data scientists and open data enthusiasts from industry, government and university. The aim was to conceptualise and develop R-based tools that addressed current challenges in data science, open science and reproducibility.

Proceedings followed the rOpenSci unconference model. This meant there was a focus on doing, there were no talks and no presentations. Problems were generated and prioritised collaboratively by participants. Past projects related to open data, data visualization, data publication and open science using R. Collobration was fun, furious, and most importnatly, respectful of our code of conduct. The Unconference successfully brought together the Australia R and open Science community, and we hope it was the first of many more to come.


Participants collaborated on a wide range topics, resulting in the creation of vingettes and several R packages. Explore the highlights from #auunconf 2016 through the links to the right.

Eechidna, a package for easily creating visual mashups of Australian electoral and demographic data.

A collection of vignettes for pulling Australian weather data into R.

A package for auto downloading, and unzipping Australian weather grids.

Leafier, a proof of concept for enhancing the performance of large spatial datasets in leaflet.

Snowball, a framework for adminstering AWS clusters and scheduling cluster jobs from within R.


Blog posts, news articles and testemonials from the event.

Write-up of #aunconf2016 on the rOpenSci blog.

The Brisbane Users of R Group was born at #auunconf 2016. Keep an eye out on the BURGr meetup site for details on the meets with the hottest open sauce.

Join us in 2017

Given the positive response to the 2016 event, plans are in the works for two events in 2017:

  • The BURGr R Unconference 2017 was held March 31st/April 1st 2017, Brisbane.
  • The rOpenSci Australian Unconference 2017, October 2017, Melbourne has opened registration, Nominate yourself.

  • The Participants

    Every 2016 participant is to be congratulated on creating a positive, communal and productive environment.

    Miles McBain (Organiser)


    Jessie Roberts (Organiser)


    Carson Sievert

    Iowa State University

    Andrew Robinson

    CEBRA, Melbourne University

    Zoé van Havre


    Petra Kuhnert

    CSIRO Data 61

    Dan Pagendam

    CSIRO Data 61

    Jonathan Carroll

    South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) - Aquatic Sciences / Freelancer

    Fang Zhou

    Microsoft, National University of Singapore

    Mark Cottman-Fields

    Queensland Museum, QUT

    Kate Robinson Saunders

    ACEMS, Melbourne University

    Felix Leung

    University of Sydney

    Sam Rathmanner


    Daniel Thomas

    Brisbane City Council

    Michael Cheng

    Model Answers

    Ebony Jones

    Queensland Treasury

    Jeffrey Hanson

    School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland

    Anthony Ebert


    The Sponsors

    We are extremely grateful to all of the sponsors for the 2016 event. If you would like to sponsor the 2017 event, please email auunconf [at] ropensci [dot] org