[Linux-aus] Vision for LA

Pia Waugh greebo at pipka.org
Fri Oct 21 06:57:06 UTC 2005

Hi all,

I'd like to propose something of a personal vision for LA. LA has gotten to
a point in just under 3 years where we have achieved much as a community:

        - collaboration, and loads of it :)
        - discussions on multiple mailing lists
        - a broader understanding of the larger Aussie FOSS community
        - regular news on what is happening (recently thanks to the
        - a grants system to help Aussie projects
        - resources for Aussies and Aussie FOSS projects
        - participation across every state (albeit not always in the same
          place :)
        - a geographically dispersed committee (currently we cover NSW, VIC,
          SA, QLD _and_ WA)
        - a functional organisation, that is constitutionally correct
        - we now have 801 members!!!
        - the conference is more rocking than ever
        - an online voting system (and we will be doing the AGM and such in
          person from now on with only the actual voting online, so get your
          suggestions on this process to linux-aus today :)
        - we now have actual press coverage of stuff we do, and the new
          press team to be headed up by James Purser will be kicking that on
          even more       
        - we have direction and momentum, two key things for an org to
          survive beyond enthusiasm or specific individuals
        - we also have some politically sway, we have the ears of drivers in
          Government, and we have the awesome work of the LA ctte and people
          like Rusty getting our say in issues such as the FTA, patents and
          more (he really deserved the "Rusty Award" at LCA in Canberra :)

I guess we've achieved most of what I set out to try and do in 2003, and
I've been delighted to see that so many people share a vision of a strong
national org that supports and promotes our community with some awesome
teams and individuals involved :) So the question is, where to from here?

I see Linux Australia as becoming something of an umbrella org for a series
of specialised SIG sub-cttes, such as an education sub-ctte, a press
sub-ctte, anything looking to achieve great stuff under the banner of the
Aussie Linux/FOSS community and with the organisational support of LA. This
would empower people to do more of what they do best, and it would give our
community even more of a voice that is diverse and loud. I think that there
has been a lot of pressure on the committee in the past to just "do" things,
when they are really trying to facilitate others to rock on :) I think there
are many very motivated individuals with great ideas, and my thought is that
you don't have to be on the committee to "do" something, on the contrary you
should be using LA and its resources to help you kick ass in whatever you
want to do. This means the org scales very fast, and can achieve much more
than the sum parts of the committee itself.

What do others think? It seems to me to be a logical progression, and it
means that LA truly becomes a community org, run by and molded by the
community it serves on a larger scale. We have a precedent for this working
very well - linux.conf.au - every year a new sub-ctte with a specific goal
that does it brilliantly with the support of the LA ctte. If that model
works, lets replicate it :)

I guess that I feel whilever we are outsourcing the things we don't do well
(eg - accounting) but continue to run on the enthusiasm and energy of a
volunteer base, then we will always be dynamic, and reflective of our
community and its direction. We need to consider growth, and I feel that we
can grow organically without burning people out by leveraging more people in
specific sub-cttes to do cool stuff, leaving to main ctte to keep things
running, ensure everyone has the support and resources they need.

I also see the two core events of LA being the conference, and Software
Freedom Day. They are usually going to be ~6 months apart and encompass
between them our technical and community roots and values. SFD also gives us
a chance to get our values out to a broader audience, to recruit and
continue to grow our community (this should be at the top of LUG minds atm,
how to qualitatively grow their local communities), as well as help some
people out who may not have heard of how FOSS can help them otherwise :)


Linux Australia                                         http://linux.org.au/
                      Jeff: Whatchootalkin'boutwillis?
                            Pia: What's Willis?

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