[Linux-aus] Linux Australia President's Report for 2011

John Ferlito johnf at inodes.org
Wed Jan 11 19:46:33 EST 2012


This will be my second President's report and my first where I have served as
President for an entire term. As I write this report I am always astounded at
the body of work that a small number of volunteers are actually able to achieve
over the course of a year. I believe that this is a testament to the dedication
and commitment of the hard working members who actually choose to stand up and
make a contribution to our community.

# Council

The Linux Australia council aims to meet once per fortnight. Since the last
AGM, the council held 20 telephone conferences as well as a face to face
meeting in Sydney.

At the end of July, Mary Gardiner resigned from her position as an OCM on the
council, mainly due to her ongoing work with the Ada Initiative [1]. I would
again like to thank Mary for all the work she put in during her time on the
council. James Polley was appointed by the council to fill the vacant OCM

Linux Australia held a Special General Meeting in August [9]. The meeting had
two purposes, the first was to present the Treasurer's Report and Audit for
2010 which were not able to be presented at the AGM in January.

The second was to make a number of constitutional amendments. The amendments

* To replace Linux Australia's current constitution with the NSW Fair Trading
  Model constitution (Under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009).
* Change the financial year of the organisation to start on 1 October
* Apply changes to the constitution to bring the constitution in line with
  current practices
* Apply changes to the constitution to allow for renewal of free memberships

# Values Statement and Policy Work

The council continued its work on developing policies that can be used across
the organisation and for all the conferences we run.

The first and most important of these was our values statement [6]. This was
released early in the year after consultation with the community and aims to be
the backbone of what Linux Australia stands for and become the backbone of what
we do and represent. Its key components are:

* Open Technology
* Community
* Freedom
* Respect
* Diversity

The following policies were finalised this year and multiple drafts of the Code
of Conduct have been created for community review.

* Sub-Committee [2]
* Expenses Policy [6]
* Financial accounts process [7]

In the coming year we are hoping to also create and/or finalise the following

* Code of Conduct
* linux.conf.au bid process
* Donations
* Grants

# Conferences

This year we have taken even more Open Source conferences under our wing and
ran five events under the LCA banner.

* LCA 2011
* Drupal Downunder 2011
* Wordcamp Melbourne 2011
* Wordcamp Gold Coast 2011
* PyConAU 2011

I believe the growing list of conferences that we are now supporting is a
testament to the ground work that has been laid by past councils and past
linux.conf.au committees over a number of years.

We have had expressions of interest from other conferences and I hope that over
the next 12 months we can assist other members of the open source community to
come together in a similar manner.

I would like to extend my thanks to all the subcommittees organising the
conferences. It is these individuals that put in the hard yards to make all our
conferences a success and without them none of it would even be remotely

linux.conf.au 2012

linux.conf.au 2012 will be held in Ballarat. This is the first time that the
conference will be held in a regional centre. I have been to Ballarat twice
now, first for the bid inspection and then later for ghosts. As I write this I
am looking forward to heading down for a third time. Ballarat is a wonderful
city and I think it is going to bring something new to linux.conf.au. Working
with the Ballarat team over the last 12 months has been an enjoyable experience
and I am sure they are going to put on an excellent conference.

linux.conf.au 2013 Bid Process

After receiving feedback from previous winners, the 2013 bid process opened
much earlier this year with the council seeking expressions of interest as
early as February.

Multiple expressions of interest were received and formal bids were due in May.
The bids were examined by the council and site visits were made in
September/October. This allowed the winning bid team to be notified in October.
The successful bidder will be announced at the closing ceremony of
linux.conf.au 2012 in Ballarat.

# Sub-Committees

This year the council spent some time more formally documenting what is
involved in being a Linux Australia sub-committee. A policy was put together by
Joshua Hesketh [2].

Joshua also spent some time with his Web Team sub-committee, creating a
reporting portal for all of our sub-committees [3]. This provides one place
with a list of all the sub-committees, their members and contact details.

The system also regularly sends a reminder to sub-committees to generate a
report on their activities. Their reports then become available on the website
and are available in the News RSS feed.

The current non-conference based sub-committees are:

* Admin Team
* Mirror Team
* Sydney Linux Users Group
* Web Team

# Grants and Donations

Every year Linux Australia budgets approximately $20,000 for the grants
programme. The scheme aims to support and encourage the community in fostering
open source, whether this be helping to organise a conference or manning a
stand at an expo.

Unfortunately it is rare that Linux Australia utilises the whole of its budget.
If you have any ideas on events or support that Linux Australia could provide
then please suggest a grant or spread the word to others that we might be able
to help.

This year the following projects were supported by the grants scheme:

* AdaCamp Melbourne
* BarCamp Geelong
* LUV Secondary Domain name Services
* BarCamp Gold Coast
* BarCamp Geelong

More details can be found at [4].

The original charity chosen to be supported by linux.conf.au 2011 was The
Glenleighden School [5]. However, given the devastation that occurred in
Queensland due to the floods, the Glenleighden school requested that we instead
donate any money raised to QLD Premiers Disaster Relief Appeal.

Traditionally Linux Australia matches dollar for dollar donations made by its
members at linux.conf.au. However, this year in collaboration with the 2011
team we decided that we should instead support both charities and that the
matching donation of $5,000 should go to the original sponsor the Glenleighden
School to support the excellent work they do to help children speak and find
their voice.

Linux Australia also made a donation of $5,000 to the Ada Initiative. We
believe the Ada Initiative’s work in advocating for women as crucial to open
source and open technology in general and by being early contributors to the
Ada Initiative, we hope to show that our community supports the Ada Initiative,
and encourage further sponsorship offers.

# Community Recognition

At the council face to face meeting, some discussions were had around how to
better recognise the members of our community. One of the first decisions made
was to bring the Rusty Wrench Award out of retirement.

The Rusty Wrench Award was first awarded in 2005 and seeks to recognise
outstanding service to the free software and open source communities in
Australia. It is named for Rusty Russell, one of Australia's most prominent
contributors and community members who started linux.conf.au (before it was
called linux.conf.au :)) and has been a source of inspiration and amusement for
a number of years.

Quite a number of nominations were received and the winner will be announced at
the linux.conf.au 2012 conference dinner.

# Other News

Linux Australia now has a new wiki [8]. This is a new media wiki with multiple
sections and permissions and will hopefully replace the numerous wikis that
have accumulated over the years.

This year we participated in IPv6 day, with most, if not all of our websites
being available on the IPv6 space provided to us by VPAC. Many thanks to the
admin team for putting this all together at the last minute.

The hardware that hosts our web sites and the mirror site has been becoming
quite dated. In the last 12 months we had suffered major hardware failures. We
have now performed a hardware refresh with the purchase of three brand new
Cisco servers, which should meet our hardware needs for a number of years. Many
thanks to Cisco for organising a discounted price for these.

The web site has also had a fairly major revamp thanks to the hard work of Joshua
Hesketh and Peter Lieverdink. The navigation on the site is much improved and
allows us to more easily convey what Linux Australia is up to at the moment.

# Finally

I would like to thank the other members of the outgoing Linux Australia
council, as they have been invaluable though out the year in trying to achieve
our goals. I would also like to thank all the members of sub-committees and
other volunteers who have helped to support and run the various events that
Linux Australia has been involved in throughout the year, particularly the
organisers of the many conferences we now support.

John Ferlito
President, Linux Australia

1. http://lists.linux.org.au/archives/linux-aus/2011-July/018940.html
2. http://www.linux.org.au/policies/sub-committee
3. http://www.linux.org.au/sub-committees
4. http://linux.org.au/grants
5. http://www.glenleighden.org.au
6. http://linux.org.au/policies/expense
7. http://linux.org.au/policies/financial-procedure-guide
8. http://wiki.linux.org.au
9. http://linux.org.au/meeting/2011-08-29

Blog                             http://www.inodes.org
LCA2012                          http://lcaunderthestars.org.au

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