[Linux-aus] Can Linux Australia survive?

Anthony Towns aj at azure.humbug.org.au
Fri Jul 1 17:51:02 UTC 2005

Leon Brooks wrote:
> On Friday 01 July 2005 13:17, Stewart Smith wrote:
>>You will find that these costs are totally justifiable. If there was
>>ever a group of people stringent about justifying costs and taking
>>care of what revenue is generated, it's this committee.
> Speaking as ex-Committee: Seconded! (-:

Personally, I disagree; I think LA's control over and utilisation of the 
funds it holds has been very poor. The Dunedin Ghosts meeting budget was 
a blow out both in airfares and acommodation costs; approximately $9,000 
and $2,500 AIUI, compared to the a total cost of around $4000 for 
flights and $600 for accommodation for the Canberra. Those blew out 
because last year most of the ghosts were able to stay with friends or 
organisers, and because this year flights were booked fairly late, and 
cheap deals weren't easy to come by. The accommodation probably 
should've been cheaper too, given $2500 or so for three nights for 
around eight people doesn't compare that well to the $810 for six people 
for two nights we spent in Adelaide.

That said, the Ghosts weekend is how we ensure that each LCA builds on 
the successes of past conferences rather than repeating their failures, 
and it also serves as a bit of a reward to the organisers of the 
immediate past conference -- most of whom spent a little longer in NZ at 
their own expense as a holiday. Especially given the interesting new 
aspect of running the conference outside of Australia, we decided 
against whittling down the number of Ghosts getting shipped across any 
further or trying to reschedule to sometime when there were cheaper flights.

I think that was the right idea, but it's the sort of thing we need to 
avoid in future -- we could likely have saved up to $5000 or so if we'd 
been able to book cheap seats on FreedomAir or so, and possibly another 
$1000 if we'd done a better job of organising accommodation. That's 
three months' worth of grants, or next year's ghosts there and then. In 
particularl, we're aiming to have Ghosts planned when the next 
conference is decided upon in future so things don't end up being quite 
so last minute.

Along those lines, we're also working on getting a better idea of what 
else LA's doing in other ways too; which we'll hopefully have out for 
comment in the next month or so. Which is to say, I think we're going to 
end up proving just how bad a job LA has been doing, by the example of 
doing it much better.

You know, just like LCA does each year.

Oh, if you care, you can watch the blowout as it happened, by looking at:
   * http://lists.linux.org.au/archives/linux-aus/2005-May/msg00018.html
   * http://lists.linux.org.au/archives/linux-aus/2005-June/msg00029.html

aj (LA secretary, but speaking just as a ctte member)

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