March 21, 2014  |  Members Statement

Members Statement: Sebastian Gronow

Mr CARROLL (Niddrie) — I rise to congratulate Sebastian Gronow, a young resident of Airport West in my electorate, on his recent success with the mobile app game Happy Dactyls, which reached no. 123 on the bestselling app list in recent weeks. The game consists of six animated dactyl characters, three good and three evil, and the goal is to dodge the evil dactyls. It is a lot of fun. In fact it was downloaded more than 50 times in its first week of being listed.

Remarkably Sebastian is only 11 years of age, making him the youngest Australian, and the third youngest in the world, to create an app. I am proud to have him in my electorate. Sebastian and his father Russel visited me in my electorate office last week, and I was thrilled to hear of his innovation and initiative in creating the mobile app. I purchased the app through the Apple iTunes store for 99 cents and got a firsthand appreciation of the work Sebastian put into designing it. It took him seven months to put the app together; it is made up of 40 000 lines of computer code — lots of trial and error by Sebastian. Sebastian learned how to code by reading an e‑book.

The Happy Dactyls app was rejected four times before it was finally accepted. In the Moonee Valley Leader of 24 February Sebastian said, ‘I have a motto of “Keep moving forward” because I never gave up and I kept going’. In fact recently, when Sebastian was interviewed on Tom Elliott’s Drive program on radio 3AW, he said it was a game for all ages. I have no doubt Sebastian has a brilliant career ahead of him, and as I said earlier, I am fortunate to have someone so young with such entrepreneurial flair in my electorate.