[Linux-aus] Candidate statement: Kathy Reid
kathy at kathyreid.id.au
Wed Nov 20 15:53:58 EST 2013
Thanks all for your feedback and input.
I personally like to better understand how candidates are regarded in
the community, because often it is the mix of skills on Council that
make it an effective one, and I would like to thank Tennessee et al for
their time in expressing those viewpoints. Complementary skills allow us
to work together. Chris has indicated that he doesn't have strong views
on engaging with the general public on issues the membership sees as
important. I do, and therein would be a complementary skillset.
Firstly I'd like to position this by stating that one of the reasons the
Linux Australia Member Survey 2013 was run was to validate and explore
what the LA membership sees as important, so that Council can better
direct resources to achieving strategic objectives. We serve the
community. The outcomes of the survey should help to answer questions
like "should we invest more in events?", "should we invest more in media
and advocacy?". We have finite resources - particularly in labour and
volunteer commitment time, so we must prioritise what we do.
So, where do I sit on some key hot topics?
1. Should Linux Australia rebrand?
Yes. We are broader than Linux and represent a broader community.
Strategically positioning ourselves as encompassing a broader open
source agenda allows us to have a greater voice in areas like open
government, open access, open education and so on. What should we be
called? My preference is for Open Source Australia, or a derivative
2. Should we be more engaged with the media and have a stronger voice?
Yes. We have a combined wealth of talent and intellectual capital and
should bring that to bear to influence political outcomes in line with
our values. The TPP, the NBN, adoption of open formats, and related
issues are important not just to our community but all of Australia and
we should be more vocal about that. How do we do this? Through defining
a Media and Communications Strategy, and reinvigorating the Media and
Communications Subcommittee. Very good intentions and efforts have
already been spent here and we should leverage off that. Our key
challenges will be finding volunteers from within the community with the
interest and availability to assist. This is not something we are
traditionally good at. If there is another community member willing to
take on the role of Secretary I would be willing to withdraw my
nomination and instead chair a Media and Comms Subcommittee.
3. Should we be outsourcing more?
Yes. Council generally have full time jobs / full time study / full time
family commitments on top of their volunteer commitment. We should be
partnering with like-minded organisations to outsource some of the
functions that we either don't have time or capability to do well, or
which represent a significant imposte on Council time that blocks or
prevents higher priority tasks from being done. Partnering with ACSPRI
for the Member Survey was a key example. If I were to be elected
Secretary I would be identifying additional opportunities for
outsourcing, where the provider wherever possible aligned with our key
4. Should Linux Australia merge with other groups?
Yes, but only where there is a win-win outcome and the membership of
both groups is comfortable with the merger. Organisations such as TasLUG
and SLUG have become LA subcommittees in the past to reduce overhead,
and leverage some of the existing infrastructure LA makes available.
Merging with LA will *not* make sense for some groups, and each should
be considered on its merits, and whether each organisation will be
stronger if merged. Some of the organisations with which we may wish to
have broad conversations in this regard include OSDC and OSIA inter alia.
5. Should Linux Australia remain incorporated in NSW?
Requires legal investigation. Due to the nature of its activities across
multiple states, Linux Australia may need to review its current legal
status as an incorporated entity in the state of NSW and may instead
desire to form under a different legal arrangement, such as a company
limited by guarantee. This requires a significant body of work to assess
the pros and cons of each option. Is this a priority for 2014? That
would be dependent on what findings are made from the Member Survey.
6. What have you enjoyed the most about being on Council this year?
This was the first time I was nominated and elected to Council, and I
was honoured to be trusted to take on the role of Secretary. This
Council has been a wise one, a productive one and an inspiring one. From
each of my fellow Council members I've learned something - Josh as our
President has a long term strategic viewpoint, Josh Stewart brings
significant business acumen, Hugh is incredibly deeply respected for his
insightful wisdom, Francois has been a very conscientious Treasurer,
Clinton has sought to represent wide variety of viewpoints and has been
instrumental in furthering communities such as Rails Girls and Pycon AU,
and Bianca's boundless enthusiasm has lifted all our spirits. It is then
perhaps unsurprising that we have achieved quorum at each of the 23
teleconf/face to face meetings we've held so far this year.
7. What downsides are there to being on Council?
For me the downside to being on Council is witnessing behaviours that
are not in alignment with our values. Wrangling the fallout from these
incidents takes away time that is much more constructively spent on
other endeavours - such as developing infrastructure, delivering great
events and experiences, encouraging new members to join our community
and serving and assisting in greater development and adoption of open
source. This is a contributing factor to a more widespread problem of
community burnout, which we also need to address.
8. What are the three key things you want to achieve in 2014?
- Upskilling someone to take on the Secretary role in 2015. I won't be
standing in 2015, and want to ensure continuity
- Greater voice in media through enacting a Media and Comms strategy
- Continue the stability and effectiveness we've seen from Council in
2013 through secretarial support
As always your comments, questions and feedback are warmly welcomed.
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