[Announce] AGM Agenda and President's report

Stewart Smith stewart at flamingspork.com
Mon Jan 11 15:22:55 EST 2010

Agenda available at:
 - http://docs.google.com/View?id=ajh7z7mczmxp_4c8mmcvd5

Presidents report available at:
 - http://docs.google.com/View?id=ajh7z7mczmxp_3dtxbxjfp


Only Starred (*) items are to be discussed. Non-starred items are
taken as written.

1. * President's Welcome
2. * Any items to star?
3. Confirmation of minutes of the 2009 AGM.
   Motion: The membership accepts the minutes of the 2009 AGM as
4. Reports from 2009 office bearers
   Motion: The membership accepts the 2009 office bearers reports.
5. Presentation of financials
6. Endorsement of committee activities
   Motion: The membership endorses the actions of the 2009 Linux
   Australia Council.
7. Announcement of results of the 2010 LA Council election
8. * General business and questions from the floor
9. AGM Close

Linux Australia Presidents Report for 2009
Tabled at the Linux Australia AGM: January 11th 2010 
This January marks seven years since I first joined the Linux
Australia Council (then Committee). It was one Pia Waugh (then Pia
Smith) who managed to rally enthusiasm around what Linux Australia
could be. With the task of making sure each linux.conf.au is as
awesome as it can be, the Council has spent a lot of time year after
year ensuring this is possible. The credit for each linux.conf.au
should always rest with the organisers, volunteers, speakers and
attendees. The work of being a linux.conf.au organiser is not to be
underestimated. I would like to take this opportunity to ask each and
every one of you to find a linux.conf.au organiser from this year or
past and buy them a meal, or a beverage as a thank-you.
There have been several distinct visions for Linux Australia and its
role in the Australian Free and Open Source Software community. These
visions aren't necessarily contradictory, but are often limited by
available people power and funds. Although Linux Australia looks like
it has a lot of money, I firmly hold the view we need to maintain a
buffer zone of funds in case of the unfortunate event of a
linux.conf.au being unable to proceed (the typical example being if it
was scheduled for mid September in 2001). An added benefit of having
this sum of money is that the bare minimum costs for continuing to run
the organisation can come out of the interest earned on deposits.
Added activities are funded out of the profits of LCA. One ongoing
concern is the continuing reliance on healthily profitable LCAs to
fund other activities.
The grants scheme has again seen a good year, with a decent number of
grants going through. We've also managed to help out a number of Bar
Camps around the country. Software Freedom Day was again a success,
and we must thank everybody who made it happen. I feel the biggest
achievement is not money going out, but instead how we manage it. Over
the past several years, we have seen an immense improvement in how the
Linux Australia finances are handled. We end the year in a good
position. Not only have we closed off many outstanding items, but we
now have systems in place to greatly reduce the probability of
mistakes or things getting dropped. I encourage you to read the
Treasurer's report.
For all of his work on setting up the Linux Australia treasury to run
smoothly and efficiently, Anthony Towns deserves all of our thanks. We
are now in the best position we ever have been in both executing and
keeping track of our financial operations and position.
This year has felt quiet, with work going in to making the machine run
more smoothly. We have records up on the web site of an amazing 29
gatherings of the Council. Meetings have been short, to the point and
generally efficient. Personally, this year has been incredibly busy,
where finding a few hours each week for Linux Australia business has
proved hard.
In the department of getting things done I cannot go without thanking
Steve Walsh who as Vice President has kept on the ball of a number of
things while at the same time making sure a great many things have
gotten done. He has been a tremendous asset to the Council over this
past year.
I also must thank our Secretary for the past year, Leah Duncan who has
managed to keep up with the demands of keeping track of what the
Council is doing. Writing minutes and meeting notes takes more time
than just the meeting, and anybody who has ever been Secretary for
Linux Australia will attest to the amount of work it is.

The Ordinary Committee Member positions on the council do not have a
task assigned to them, instead we have three people who have taken on
a variety of tasks to help the organisation succeed. I must thank
Melissa Draper, Sridhar Dhanapalan and Ben Powell for their dedication
to Linux Australia this year. Everything from a voice of reason, to
running the grants scheme to making sure LUG Comms succeeded in
fostering inter-lug communication - they've been there and done it.
Special thanks must also go to the LCA2009 committee for such an
excellent conference. Seeing it succeed without a hint of trying
economic environment in which it happened was truly wonderful. I have
spoken to many first time attendees of LCA who came in 2009 and who
are coming back for 2010  often from the other side of the planet.
Even though LCA2010 has not yet occurred, we cannot say enough good
things about the organisers. As early as the bidding process I was
struck at how determined to succeed and how well the team worked
together. They have since proved this more than I could imagine. I
cannot wait until next week.
We are forever indebted to linux.conf.au organisers. I feel that we do
not thank them enough. Over the past several years, the head
organisers have been to a large extent running their own businesses.
This makes it way too easy to spend lots of time on LCA to the
detriment of your own business. There is no doubt that our organisers
have felt a personal financial impact from running LCA. How we cope
with this in the future will be possibly the biggest test our
organisation faces. LCA is no longer a 250 people quiet event. It's
big and even though we don't expect or require it in any way,
organisers continue to have many events and things on (which each take
a non-trivial amount of time). How we make sure that our organisers
feel loved, thanked and compensated is an important item that needs
The Linux Australia Mirror (http://mirror.linux.org.au) has just run
smoothly, which is a credit to the team behind it. As has the Linux
Australia web site, which means a large thank you to the LA admin team
as well as the Web Team.
There is an eager group of hackers who have worked on Zookeepr, the
conference management system that has been used by every linux.conf.au
since (and including) 2007.
You do not have to be on the council to do 'Things'. In fact, being on
the council prevents you from doing things. It involves a lot of work
just keeping the organisation running and not doing 'Exciting Things'.
If you think Linux Australia should be doing something, volunteer to
do it! That is the way this organisation succeeds, by people spending
a small amount of time doing things they think are important. If ten
people each took on one small thing they wanted doing, it would have a
strong and positive impact on the organisation.
I wish the incoming council all the best in the upcoming year. I am
eager to see what this amazing group of people will do.
Stewart Smith

Outgoing President,
Linux Australia

Stewart Smith

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