[Linux-aus] State representation on the board

Anthony Towns aj at azure.humbug.org.au
Fri Jan 9 10:12:53 UTC 2004

On Thu, Jan 08, 2004 at 10:22:16PM +1100, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> > Of course you're not. But without any actually communication with LA,
> > there's not much you're going to actually be able to do.
> That's what this list is for! I think you're making the mistake of thinking
> that the LA committee *is* LA. They are not. 

Well, some of the membership debacles might refute that, technically.

The issue is that the LA ctte is the only group that can make decisions --
so if you want to do more than just talk, you need access to that group.
Now sure, there's _some_ access to the ctte; like I said, I passed on some
ideas to Pia, and some of them went somewhere. That's great and useful.

But I can't, eg, have a quiet chat about some concerns I have that are
related to Linux Australia that I don't want to put down in an email, and
there's no one I regularly chat to at a LUG that reminds me "hey, LA's
doing useful stuff, I should keep involved; hey whatever happened about
that suggestion I made last month?"

> They are people we elect as
> trusted persons to administrate the boring organisational aspects of it and
> drive new initiatives and do what we ask. *WE* are all LA.

Uh, doesn't that mean that their job description is to act as *OUR*
representatives? I thought you didn't think that was the case?

If they're acting purely as our representatives, having them split
on a state basis makes sense, for consistency, accessibility and
accountability.  But I don't really think that's what LA is actually

If they're not acting as representatives, then they're doing things off
their own bat -- that is, the board's meant to be coming up with useful
ideas and implementing them themselves. I think that's LA's role, and
I think the things they should be doing is trying to promote community
projects within Australia (whether that be LUGs, or business communities,
or government communities, or some combination or subset), supporting
them, getting them to repeat and spread, and keeping communication
between all the Australian communities as open and effective as possible.

> A number of people have expressed concern over the transparency of the
> committee. 

I'd like to note that I'm not one of them; committees are hard, because
there's always plenty of conflicting things you have to worry about. The
reason I'm in favour of local contact is that it provides a convenient
informal channel that doesn't have the same concerns as many of the
more formal channels (like web pages, minutes, newsletters/reports) --
it doesn't matter as much if you make a mistake, you can limit who's
involved in the conversation, and whatever else.

> > *shrug* How much involvement and input in Linux Australia has there been
> > from Queensland this year. How about WA? Do you really think the
> > difference is best explained by claiming everyone in Queensland is
> > uninterested, incompetent or lazy?
> Uninterested? Yes. Busy? Yes. 

Well, I know some Qlders were nominated to the board at the AGM. I don't
see any particular reason to expect that they'd have been particularly
less interested or involved than Leon has been. And I don't really see how
they'd be more busy than people in WA when they're less involved in LA.

> And that's fine, LA has been rocking along
> without input from QLD this year. Does that negatively affect QLD? I don't
> think so. What would 'more input' do for QLD in concrete terms? 

It'd mean at least some people in Qld would know what LA's been up to.
It'd mean people in Qld would have someone they could talk to to see
what LA can do for them, or what they can do for LA. I'm inclined to
think it'd demonstrate that Qld isn't doing as good a job supporting
the professional Linux community as other states, and shame us (with
examples!) into doing better, but I might be wrong.

> (Yes, much
> of the work this year has been getting LA back to square one, so there was
> not a huge amount of room for way-cool-active-let's-all-do-it kinds of
> things that would really affect the states directly.)

There's not much that the LA ctte can do directly ever -- it's too small
to even host l.c.a on its own -- and when you talk of the "LA community"
doing things, that really ends up being the LUGs, or some other existing
community that exists completely independently of LA, afaics.


Anthony Towns <aj at humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

               Linux.conf.au 2004 -- Because we can.
           http://conf.linux.org.au/ -- Jan 12-17, 2004
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