[Linux-aus] Presidents report for 2004

Pia Smith pia at linux.org.au
Wed Jan 5 05:37:03 UTC 2005

Hi all,

As my second year as President of Linux Australia draws to a close, I feel
I have learnt and experienced a lot. I have the wonderful Linux and Open
Source community to thank, as well as the committee members of Linux
Australia who have been very supportive and active in their own right.

In 2003 - my first year as president - we worked hard to build trust,
increase transparency, scale the organisation, gain input from the
community on what LA should/could be and make Linux Australia more
relevant for the community. We built a charter
(http://linux.org.au/about/charter) around supporting and promoting Linux
and Open Source in Australia through facilitating enthusiasms within the
community. Throughout the second year we had good press coverage,
interacted more and more with Australian Government, attended local and
international conferences waving the Linux Australia banner, and drew out
several of the issues that concerned our community into the larger public
forum. When the AUSFTA was announced, Linux Australia investigated the
potential effects on the Australian Linux community (developer and
industry), and then successfully got the issues aired, educating the very
legislators and politicians that might unknowingly criminalise Linux and
Open source users, developers, and implementors. We built a new website,
encouraged up and coming projects, had some successful grant applications,
and brought the community a little closer together.

Linux Australia has built up some powerful and relevant allies and
friends, and I believe we have had quite a successful couple of years. I
have also come to realise that the community is truly the lifeblood of
Linux Australia, and by supporting active members of the community Linux
Australia can achieve much more than the LA ctte personally trying to
undertake too many projects. Linux Australia itself does not have any full
time employees, most work is done by volunteers, and this simply means
that a top down approach is not sustainable or efficient. I hope that
Linux Australia becomes much more community driven, with the Linux
Australia committee offering what support and facilitation they can to
projects driven by the community. This way the community can use the
national name and resources of a large NGO to achieve aims that promote or
support Linux and Open Source in Australia. Linux Australia can offer a
single point of contact to Australian projects and community, a press
outlet, funding, insurance, a point of contact for Government and
advocacy, as well as a web portal to Linux/OS businesses, case studies,
help and information about Linux.

I intend to work closely with the Linux Australia committee this coming
year on several projects I am interested in, but not as a committee
member. I will not be running for a position on the committee as I hope to
further show how LA can be a mechanism to facilitate enthusiasms of the
community. I believe that we have put some good mechanisms in place to
ensure the transparency, usefullness and regularity of the organisation,
and look forward to the new committee maintaining these mechanisms,

 - monthly status reports
 - public minutes
 - the Grant Proposal Scheme
 - maintenance of the new web site
 - documentation of the workings of LA and LCA
 - support for the LCA team
 - support to active members of the community

With the support of the new committee I hope to continue running the Open
Source Forums and helping out with government queries. I also hope to work
on projects related to closing the digital and opportunity divide in
Australia. I will support the new committee in any way I can, and wish all
the nominees good luck for the election. New blood is always good for an
organisation, and I hope that LA is always able to better itself to be
relevant and useful to the community, always listening to the community
feedback and improving.

Cheers to all, and good luck for the election!


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