[Linux-aus] Nomination: Andrew Cowie

Andrew Cowie andrew at operationaldynamics.com
Sun Jan 4 21:05:11 UTC 2004

Good day,

I'd like to put my name forward for re-election as Secretary of Linux

[That's the executive summary ;) What follows is a brief bio, a word
about our accomplishments for the past year, and a personal note of
thanks to my colleagues]


A bit about me:

I've been using Unix-like OSes for over 15 years; not so unusual
nowadays, nor the fact that I got an early start, but it was a tad
unusual to have been fortunate to learn from experience with some of the
early greats in the Toronto Usenet community. When I came across Linux
in 1996 I was amazed, and have been a user and advocate ever since. More
recently I have been active in the operations world, especially focusing
on the problems inherent in trying to administer, maintain, and scale
large numbers of systems in complex mission critical environments.

I also serve on a number of non-profit organization's boards - one in
particular for over 7 years - where I have been privileged to work with
senior leaders from Corporate, Academic and Not-for-Profit worlds.
Governance of an organization, especially one which owes its continuance
to the efforts of volunteers, is a great challenge. I've been lucky to
benefit from working with these talented groups developing strategy and
vision, and providing sound responsible guidance.

A year ago, having freshly moved to Australia, I came to linux.conf.au a
bystander. I'm not a "developer" of applications or kernel code, rather
I'm an architect and an operations leader - my work tends to be on
making groups of systems cooperate and working out ways for the people
who run the systems to work together effectively. I had, however, for
some time, been looking for some way to give something back to the Linux
and Open Source, from which I have benefited so much.

And so, in Perth last year, I volunteered to be on LA's Managing
Committee, as Secretary, in the hopes that I could bring a bit of my
experience to bear, and to thereby make a small contribution back to the


This past year:

Perhaps it is the nature of things to feel disappointed that we didn't
achieve more, but I'm pleased we got as far as we have:

We've completed the process begun by last year's Committee to get the
organization back on firm legal and constitutional ground - a task that
turned out to take enormous effort. Our finances are in good order. And,
we've just about got an automated membership system in place to make it
easy for people to join, show their support, and contribute. 

We have initiated a program of grants to help foster and support
innovative projects. We're looking to expand this into a generic
platform whereby we can facilitate support of many more projects.

Along with affiliates in many other countries around the world, we've
entered into an agreement with LPI to help promote certification as a
means of enhancing professionalism and standards throughout the

[I'm sure I've forgotten something, but that's ok - it's Pia's job to
tell you all about it in her President's report at the AGM ;)]

If nothing else, LA's Managing Committee's job is to see to the
continuation of one of the world's premiere technical conferences;
liunx.conf.au '04 is cocked and loaded and ready to go! We've got a
cracker jack team rev'd up to host LCA in 2005, and already have heard
expressions of interest from several cities to host 2006. That speaks
amazingly to the enthusiasm of the volunteers, the credit goes to them,
and previous year's organizers, for having made such an amazing
contribution to supporting the Linux community.

Supporting the enthusiasm of the community: that's *why* Linux Australia
exists, and what we should be doing as an organization. I look forward
to talking with people about this, personally in Adelaide and at LUG
meetings around the country whenever I get a chance.


This has been a team effort, and I would be remiss if I didn't thank my
colleagues on this year's Committee: Pia Smith, Stewart Smith, Anand
Kumria, Andrew Tridgell, Leon Brooks and Hugh Blemings. I know that
Tridge and Hugh are passing the baton on, but I want to offer a huge
word of thanks for their efforts, experience, and wisdom.

Two, however, deserve to be singled out:

Anand Kumria, for his herculean efforts to maintain the organization's
finances, provide comptroller guidance to this year's conference
organizers, and carry out the necessary reporting to the ATO. It's a
thankless job, but a critical one. Many thanks.

And, of course, Pia Smith, our President, whose unceasing energy,
enthusiasm, and perseverance has driven Linux Australia forward
[sometimes driven me around the bend in the process! :)]. Pia has put an
amazing amount of effort into securing the organization's present, and I
hope you will join me in endorsing and supporting her to take the
organization into the future.


I look forward to seeing you at the AGM in Adelaide!



Managing Director
Operational Dynamics Consulting Pty Ltd
Chairman, Program Committee and Member, Board of Directors
Shad International
Linux Australia

Member, Board of Directors
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