[Linux-aus] State representation on the board

Stewart Smith stewart at linux.org.au
Thu Jan 8 23:05:02 UTC 2004

On Thu, 2004-01-08 at 21:12, Anthony Towns wrote:
> For example, it was recently announced that the location for l.c.a 2005
> had been decided. That's something I've an interest in, and that I've
> been involved in helping with in the past, and in the past it's usually
> decided at the preceeding conference. This time around, I didn't have
> any idea anything was going on, let alone any opportunity to have any
> input or offer any assistance.
> That doesn't mean the decision that was made was bad, but it does indicate
> LA's not making use of all the resources it's got available to it, and
> that's worth examining.

The reasoning behind this move was as follows:
- we believed that the group of people who had the most familiarity with
the groups wanting to host lca05 was the LA committee (as we had been
talking to all relevant groups)
- the venue for the lca05 conf had other parties interested in the venue
(and in fact, one possible set of dates was ruled out by being booked by
another group) and so confirmation ASAP was desirable so that we ended
up with the best possible venue.

The issue of only a small number of people making the decision (the LA
ctte) was raised as a concern - and it was pointed out that any decision
made previously was only done by a small group, so we weren't really
breaking with any tradition.

We also agreed that more involvement in the decision making process
would not be a bad thing - and ways of doing this (that are efficient,
workable and ensure the best possible outcome) should be followed up.

> that means entire states miss out on any idea what's going on with
> Linux Australia.

Hopefully some updates posted to linux-aus help - otherwise we should
probably make a firmer effort to post summaries of meetings/happennings
to the list, esp in the case of minutes being restricted (for whatever
reason) or taking a bit longer than usual in coming.

> Well, that depends. Given the nominations we've had, to give as many
> states a rep as possible, that'd mean we need an officer from Sydney,
> Melbourne and Perth; and ordinary members from each of Adelaide, Brisbane
> and Canberra. Electing, say, Anand or Jason King as an ordinary member
> might be beneficial, but it'd come at the cost of an entire state's
> involvement in LA.

I have tried to encourage communication both between LUGs and with LA
through the lug at lists.linux.org.au list, but little has happenned there
(i'm not really sure how to combat that). Suggestions welcome - please,
i'd love to have that list operating as a good communications forum
between the LUGS in each state (with each other) and with LA.

This then leaves the LA ctte open to be the best-people-for-the job and
not just someone from each state (who may do a worse job than one from
an already represented state).

> > Besides, I'd prefer to elect a committee of professional NSW
> > people than a bunch of incompetent others...
> I don't think any of the nominees are incompetent, so that doesn't sound
> like a plausible alternative.

think of it as adequate versus brilliant and it sounds a bit bitter.

> Personally I expect people who've had a chat with Leon or Pia about
> Linux Australia anytime in the past few months could give a much better
> summary than that. Unfortunately, if you're not in Sydney or Perth,
> you don't get much chance to do that.

I think you've just convinced me that regular summaries/newsletter type
things are a Real Good Idea(tm) to keep the communication levels up.

> Personally, I think as a first step we should increase the number of
> ordinary ctte members to perhaps six or seven, so we don't have to make
> choices like "drop Anand from the committee, or don't have any involvement
> from one of ACT/South Australia/Queensland for a year".

There is a problem with larger cttes - it gets really hard to get them
all in the one place (for a phone conference, let alone a physical
meeting). Even with the number we have now, face-to-face meetings were
organised months and months in advance so that as many people as
possible would be able to make it.

Plus - although being on the committee is a great way to get recognition
("I'm on the committee of BLAH" sounds good), it's not the only one -
and in fact can be a rather poor one (nobody outside the ctte wants to
do anything in fear of not getting recognition). Maybe a LA "doers"
group is what's needed - with a decent amount of recognition and

> It's easy to say "we don't want quotas!" and it makes sense in most cases,
> but I don't think Linux Australia is one of them.

Disagree here, but we're allowed to - we're all free :)

thanks again for your valuable input,
Stewart Smith (stewart at linux.org.au)
Vice President, Linux Australia

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