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[Linux-aus] Thoughts on future of LA

Hi all,

I wanted to post some of my thoughts, without having them get lost in the
thread of the last few days.

I believe that LA has started doing more interesting things, and has become
more relevant for the community, and protecting the community rights (such
as the work on the FTA and such). I believe that it wasn't sustainable for
the LA ctte to do everything themselves, which was starting to happen.
Sub-cttes with specific purposes, such as education, or press, or advocacy
could migigate the issue of sustainability as well as avoiding the issue of
taking on an employee in a volunteer run org. There are many orgs out there
that have employees, however LA can neither afford it, nor really has need,
particularly when the main time sink (LCA) is run by volunteers.  Once an
org takes on employees, particularly a volunteer org with a democratically
elected ctte, then I think we would simply see more apathy from the
volunteer positions as we have seen happen in other organisations. What LA
needs it a ctte willing to put in some time, and 7 people putting in some
time is a lot of time total, in which great things can be done. The main
thing is that if you want to run for the ctte, you are doing so in order to
make a difference, and to put in some effort. If the main role of the ctte
is to ensure the sub-cttes are rocking, maintain governance of the org,
ensure all the legal stuff is done, and to facilitate specific stuff the org
has to do as part of its consitution.

Anyway, I think the sub-ctte model works fairly well, and it means people
who are passionate about particular issues are working on them. We could
certainly pay for certain tasks if we can't get them done on a timely manner
or don't have the skills/time inhouse (such as some accounting work), but
taking on an employee means a whole different way of doing things, and
although it may be useful in the future, I don't believe it is the right
time yet.

The burnout model isn't such a bad one, having enthusiastic people get
involved, do a great job, and then pass on the job works great for LCA, so
why not for LA? At any rate, LA has only in the last few months started to
take on sub-cttes so I'm keen to see how this pans out before splashing out
on an employee :) I think the model of 2 year terms for exec positions on
the ctte and one year terms for ordinary members positions is a good idea.

In response to Stewarts blog comments about volunteers not being employees,
it is quite a true one, however there is I feel a commitment expected from a
person elected to the LA ctte to follow through with what they agree to do.
If a person doesn't want to put in any effort, it is fairly simple, don't
run for the committee.


Linux Australia                                         http://linux.org.au/
                "Women hold up half the sky." - Mao Tse Tung