[Linux-aus] LA 2006 ctte nomination period ends tomorrow!

Anthony Towns secretary at linux.org.au
Thu Jan 12 20:15:03 UTC 2006

On Tue, Jan 10, 2006 at 09:25:06PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> At the moment, we have the following candidates (sorted by surname):

Nominations are closed now. Since there aren't any other nominations for
secretary, I'll withdraw my nomination for vice-president. That leaves
the nominees as:

President: Jonathan Oxer (unopposed)

    It has been an honour and a fantastic experience to serve as part
    of the current Committee. They are an amazing group of people with
    extremely diverse talents and viewpoints who don't always agree
    on things, but who have nevertheless worked well together for the
    overall benefit of Linux Australia. Those seemingly contradictory
    attributes of diversity and solidarity characterise the whole Open
    Source movement and are something we should be proud of. The members
    of the broader FOSS community all come from different backgrounds,
    we have different objectives and interests and ideologies, yet we
    have managed to cooperate to an amazing degree for collective benefit
    of society in general.

    In my opinion the success of Linux Australia to date has been one of
    the most visible examples of that ideal of diversity yet solidarity. I
    can't think of a single national Linux organisation elsewhere in the
    world which has matched what LA has achieved in bringing together the
    various distributed LUGs, local groups, individuals, and companies,
    and giving them an identity and a voice.

    I don't say those things in the context of my election spiel in
    order to say "look what I've done, elect me again." I'm saying it
    to point out that no one person could ever lay claim to what has
    been done and what will be done. I certainly can't. It's only by
    making ourselves strong as a group and by using Linux Australia to
    provide specific resources to help individuals and small groups do
    what they do best that we'll continue to see as much success in the
    future as we've seen in the past.

    In fact this is almost an anti-spiel: I don't want to write about
    all the great things I can do for the organisation, because in the
    overall scheme of things what I can do personally is trivial. What I
    *will* do, if re-elected, is continue to guide the organisation to
    providing even more support to the people doing the real work: the
    developers, the LCA crew, the various sub-committees, the advocates,
    and the educators. As Stewart mentioned in his spiel much of our work
    over the last twelve months has been to allow more people to operate
    under the LA banner by expanding the scope of our sub-committees. As
    a result the number of people performing "official" LA business has
    risen significantly and the organisation has been able to reach out
    into areas which the Committee just doesn't have the resources for
    directly. I hope this can continue and we can collectively achieve
    even more in future.

    There are specific issues that we need to continue addressing, of
    course, such as the burden of financial management, the continuity
    of sponsor and speaker relationships for LCA, the division of
    governance and execution, the general workload on Committee members,
    and building relationships with the press, government and other
    organisations. However, all these things have already been mentioned
    by other candidates and my feelings on most issues should be fairly
    well known already. I'm happy to discuss them publicly so I won't go
    into detail on each issue here. Suffice to say that my objective is
    to provide the community with a healthy, growing organisation that
    provides the resources necessary for the relevant people to solve
    each of those problems for our collective benefit.

 Jon was nominated by:
    Tony Breeds ("Jon has done a gret job of leading LA since election. He
                  needs to be able to continue the work he has started.")
    Leon Brooks ("We all know Jon by now. Steady, no nonsense, pushes
                  where he needs to.")
    Wei-Yee Chan
    Jeffery Fernandez
    Stewart Smith ("Jon has shown himself to be balanced and have a good
                    grip of the many views of people as well being
                    well respected by the community. He has a good
                    understanding of the issues faced by LA. It
                    would be good to see him continue in this role to
                    complete things that he's started and help steer
                    any refactoring of LA that is needed.")
    Mark Tearle 

Vice-President: Pia Waugh (unopposed)

    I have been involved in Linux Australia for 3 years now, as president
    and then vice president. I feel Jon is doing a great job and hope
    to continue supporting him as president.

    I continue to work closely with Australian Government agencies,
    other Australian ICT organisations, and the international FOSS
    community organisations to ensure our community has a voice and an
    impact. I feel that there is work to be done to encourage enthusiastic
    individuals in the community to persue their interests using Linux
    Australia as a vehicle. I also feel there is still work to be done
    improving our message in Australia and getting FLOSS out to the
    masses. I believe Linux Australia is a mechanism that can get us there
    with the strong support of our community. Therefore I would like to
    accept the nomination for vice president to hopefully continue to
    serve the community, to further grow the LA sub-committees, to take
    the FLOSS message to the masses in Australia, and to improve and grow
    the LA relations with other organisations and Government agencies.

    Linux Australia has matured tremendously over the past 3 years
    in particular, and it is great to have helped it become more
    community driven. I truly feel that we are starting to get somewhere,
    particularly when our Government is asking us to comment on ICT and
    "IP" policy. Rock on Linux Australia and good luck to everyone in
    the election.

  Pia was nominated by:
    Donna Benjamin ("Pia Waugh has done good things for LA as President
                     and Vice President. Her contribution to the community
                     and efforts at increasing the profile and efficacy
                     of the organisation have enhanced should be noted. I
                     therefore 2nd her nomination for re-election as
                     Vice President so that she may continue to be an
                     effective advocate for Linux in Australia.")
    Leon Brooks ("Pia is an invaluable asset, unique in many ways
                  (just ask Jeff). LA should do all we can with her while
                  we can. I'm guessing that VP is the highest position
                  she can be conned into accepting. (-:")
    Andrew Donnellan
    Silvia Pfeiffer ("Pia is an excellent advocate of the Linux community
                      and has put much effort into this organisation to
                      turn it into what is is.")
    James Purser ("Over the last three years, Pia has shown her worth
                   as both President and Vice President. I think the
                   committee still needs her so here's my nomination.")
    Stewart Smith ("Pia has many valuable insights into community
                    projects and sees potential for interaction with
                    government. She brings diversity of opinion and new
                    topics to the table.")

Secretary: Anthony Towns (unopposed)

    As secretary, particularly with Mark leaving the committee, I'd be
    aiming to focus on keeping LA's records and procedures in shape, and
    ensuring the committee and sub-ctte's keep communicating effectively.

  Anthony was nominated by:
    Leon Brooks ("Anthony's good in most ctte seats, but I think he's
                  especially good at cutting through the administrative
                  red tape.")
    Andrew Pollock ("I'd like to second Mikal's nomination of AJ. He's
                     always very level headed, and a wonderful contributor
                     to the Free and Open Source software community."
    Stewart Smith ("He's done a great job in 2005 and would continue to
                    do so in 2006.")
    Michael Still ("Anthony has done a fantastic job in the previous
                    year. His emails are consise, clear, and timely.")

Treasurer: Alan Harper and Terry Dawson

Alan Harper:

    I have nominated myself for Treasurer, as so far I can see noone else
    has stepped forward. I have the experience, albeit briefly with LUV
    in the second half on 2004 before moving to Queensland. However if a
    better candidate than myself steps forward I would happily see them
    in this role.

  Alan was nominated by:
    Alan Harper
    Chris Walker ("Alan is keen to assist LA and I feel his enthusiasm
                   deserves support.")

Terry Dawson:

    I'm keen to provide energy and time to ensure the continued success
    of Linux Australia. The treasurer role is a position of great
    responsibility that I'd take seriously and exercise diligently.

    I've had previous experience in treasurer roles and learnt the hard
    way the challenges associated with supporting the financial processes
    behind events like linux.conf.au when doing same for the inaugural
    Austrlian Linux conference: CALU-99.

    I consider myself mature and trust-worthy and believe that I'm
    deserving of the same consideration by my peers.

    Less importantly, but with logistic utility, I'm located in Sydney
    within easy reach of the P.O. Box for collection of payments and

    thank you.

  Terry was nominated by:
    Anand Kumria ("Terry was the first treasurer of Linux Australia
                   and were it not for his tenacity in wrestling the
                   bureauracry of various Tax Offices, Banks and Fair
                   Trading organisations -- as well as keeping things
                   organised; Linux Australia would not have had the
                   sound financial footing it has today.  Were it not
                   for that my later job as treasurer (I succeeded him)
                   would have been immensely harder.")
    Leon Brooks ("Did well in his previous run, I'd like to see him at
                  least try for the position.")

We have a few more nominees for the three ordinary committee member
positions, so excluding the unopposed candidates above

Ordinary Committee Member nominees: Janet Hawtin Reid, James Purser,
    Greg Lehey, Andrew Cowie, Leon Brooks, and Stewart Smith

Janet Hawtin Reid
    Hi Folks.
    Currently volunteering with Bettong in SA. Hoping to contribute news
    from SA and to do more linux desktop ed stuff.  Looking forward to
    linuxconf and SFD2006. 
    Cheers and thanks

  Janet was nominated by:
    Donna Benjamin ("I'd like to second Janet's nomination to the
                     committee - In deed and action she has proven
                     herself to be committed and competent and would
                     add great value to the organisation.")
    Pia Waugh ("Janet has been very active in the Linux Australia
                community this last year. She designed the icons for the
                LA site, she wrote and published loads of great material
                for Software Freedom Day, she is an organised, active, and
                enthusiastic woman, and I think she would make a fantastic
                contribution to the LA committee. Rock on Janet!")
    Kylie Willison ("Janet has been instrumental in setting up a new
                     open source & tech focused 'umbrella group' in
                     South Australia - Bettong.org. Janet's advocacy,
                     diplomacy and organisational skills would make her
                     a great committee member.")

James Purser
    Thanks to both Jon and Mark for nominating me. I have been active in
    the community for the last six or seven months and in that time I
    have started up the LA Updates and taken on the roll of Press Team
    leader with the view to better promoting LA and the FOSS community
    in general. Being on the committee will help in this role.

  James was nominated by:
    Leon Brooks ("Putting plenty of energy into the community, would
                  like to see what he does as an OCM.")
    Alan Harper
    Jonathan Oxer ("James has shown a great deal of initiative and
                    enthusiasm with the work he has put into the LA
                    podcasts and more recently in kick[-start]ing the Press
    Silvia Pfeiffer ("James is a great Linux advocate and his podcast rocks.")
    Mark Tearle

Greg Lehey
    I've been actively involved in the Open Source community for well over
    ten years, during which time I've covered a lot of the area. As a
    software engineer at MySQL AB, I am also in a position to follow the
    Open Source path in my "day job". Though I'm probably better known
    for my BSD and UNIX actiivity, I've been using Linux for a long
    time--I first installed Slackware in about 1993. I strongly believe
    in a united community rather than one that is fragmented, and I'd like
    to help cement that goal.

  Greg was nominated by:
    Stephen Rothwell
    Martin Schwenke ("Greg is one of the most experienced Open Source
                      professionals in the country. His BSD experience
                      will add diversity to LA.")

Andrew Cowie
    Very kind of you to nominate me. Having served on LA's board for
    three years now, I'd certainly be willing to give up my place to
    bring in some fresh blood - but on the other hand Jon has asked me
    to stand again, a request to which I will accede.

    We've not yet reached the point of sustainability. As often happens
    with small incorporated community associations in Australia, we ask
    (expect?) too much from individual volunteers, often times burning
    them out.

    For what it's worth, we've been hammering away at this problem for a
    while now, and so the reason I'll stand to re-election is I'd like to
    see this through and support Jon as he leads us towards an effective
    resolution which will take Linux Australia to the next level.

    Regardless of how this election resolves itself, Linux Australia
    and its flagship conference linux.conf.au have achieved world class
    results, and I would be remiss if I didn't thank the organizers of
    conferences past with whom I've had the honour of working, and the
    other managing committee members I've had the honour of serving
    with. Cheers.

  Andrew was nominated by:
    Leon Brooks ("Echoing Jon. Andrew's knowledge of corporate rah-de-rah
                  has saved LA a lot of pain.")
    Jonathan Oxer ("Andrew's experience with a variety of organisations
                    is extremely valuable to LA as the Ctte moves towards
                    more of an oversight role.")
    Stewart Smith ("Andrew has been a valuable member of the committee
                    for the past three years and brings knowledge and
                    experience with corporates and non-profits to the
                    table. He has good vision on how LA could and perhaps
                    should be operating to ensure success. Even though he
                    has voiced is willingness to stand down and let new
                    blood enter the arena - his knowledge and opinions
                    would be valuable to LA. If not elected, he should
                    be listened to anyway.")
    Mark Tearle

Leon Brooks

    I've been on the LA Committee before -- the first Committee after the
    Great Reorganisation -- and I'm valuable primarily for my electronic
    loudness, my enthusiasm, and being a Sandgroper (which helps the
    Committee-member-in-each-state concept). I also code, although
    depressingly seldom these days. I'm a bit reluctant to stand up
    alongside so many truly excellent people, but I've been nominated,
    and more choice is good. Also, I'm one of the dwindling band who
    don't work for Google, MySQL AB or Canonical. (-:

    If I have a specific platform, it would be to see Linux more noticed
    in a positive way. I calculate that there is already a sufficient
    number of shining wits working on the negative side, and some
    balance is required. I'd like to expand our membership enormously --
    although I think we already have enough people to warrant stretching
    the Committee membership numbers -- to include more non-geeks and
    to include geeks from different areas of expertise (art geeks,
    word geeks, even geeks with guitars).

    LA has begun to do some noticeable good in Australia, and I'd like
    to see us grow enough members to be taken more seriously by the
    Powers That Be when a common issue (like DRM land-grabs, the failing
    AUS/US FTA and so on) arises which is really beyond the powers of the
    individual to effectively address. LA as a source of expert opinion
    for high places has been very useful, and since years of trying to
    con Rusty into getting himself elected have come up short, I'd like to
    increase LA's effectiveness in the causes he champions for us. "More
    people" as an aim by itself is pretty hollow, but Linux and its Open
    Source community is growing by leaps and bounds. Every opportunity
    to harness and employ this bounty is a golden one, not to be missed.

    The penguin moves! (-:

  Leon was nominated by:
    Donna Benjamin ("Leon Brooks' contributions to discussion are
                     reasonable, thoughtful and constructive. He offers
                     frequent insight, with humour. These would be
                     valuable traits for a committee member, I'm happy
                     to 2nd his nomination.")
    Andrew Donnellan
    Jonathan Oxer ("Leon is a respected and consistently active member
                    of the community as well as being a past LA Committee
    James Purser ("Leon has always struck me as someone who knows what
                   they are doing so I thought I would give him

Stewart Smith
    Over the past year we have made great progress in streamlining the
    operations of LA. Our committee is now meeting more effectively,
    getting decisions made and acted upon while taking up less time. This
    is partly due to only holding formal meetings when needed while
    having a weekly teleconference for a chat. Both things I supported
    and have rallied for previously.

    We have made sure that we support those outside of the committee
    wanting to contribute to LA. In the past we learnt that having
    the committee being both the governing and executive arm of
    the organisation didn't work. Especially this year we saw great
    progress in having people feel comfortable doing things under the
    LA banner when they're not on committee while feeling they were
    getting recognition and support. This is a good thing and although
    it seems like the obvious thing to do, is more tricky to get right
    than you'd think.

    We need to address the problem of burnout - we should not have any LA
    volunteers suffering burnout due to expecting too much from them. We
    are getting better at this - but still have some way to go. I would
    like to continue to try and solve this problem.

    We still have upcoming challenges that require thought and solid
    leadership and governance. Our most concerning one is how we manage
    our finances. It has become abundantly clear that there is too much
    work for one treasurer (or even two, including the LCA treasurer). We
    need hired professional help. To do that we *must* be able to afford
    it and work effectively with them. We must also take steps to ensure
    we always have a good treasurer. By the end of 2006, my aim is to
    greatly reduce the strain on the treasurer and put the committee in
    a position where there is better awareness of our current financial
    situation at any time and make the future easier to plan for.

    Last, and certainly not least is linux.conf.au. We need to ensure
    that the current quality of LCA is sustainable. To do that we need
    to improve relationship with sponsors. We probably need to have a
    single person in charge of LA-Sponsor relations. We need to fix
    relationships with smaller sponsors (SMEs - local, national and
    international) and not neglect the local business community. This has
    been a trouble area and it's something that needs to be fixed. I have
    spent time talking to people about this to understand the problem,
    and this is something I aim to solve in 2006.

    We need to better manage budget and finances by improving LA-LCA
    communication and integrating LCA with our aim of having an accountant
    help us with the accounts. This will help us better plan for the
    future and make LCA run more cost effectively.

    We should work to improve LCA-speaker relations, possibly by (again)
    having a separate speaker liason role. This will possibly come in
    for 2007 already, but it is something that does seem to make a lot
    of sense to me.

    Most importantly we need ensure that we do not eventually burn out
    every potential team in every city. We need to better understand this
    potential problem before we go around "fixing" it - and understanding
    it is something I plan to do.

    My aim for 2006 is to make LA a better managed organisation achieving
    more and putting less stress on those involved. I ask you to help
    me with this goal by electing me to the 2006 LA committee.

    (For those who don't know: I have served on the LA committee for
    three years - both as VP and an OCM. I live in Melbourne and work
    for MySQL AB hacking on MySQL Cluster)

  Stewart was nominated by:
    Leon Brooks ("Has been consistently useful to/with/for LA from
                  Day One, even down to details like the cheese knife. Not
                  afraid to voice a conflicting opion, and very good
                  at peacefully resolving any disputes which arise as
                  a result.")
    Jonathan Oxer ("Stewart has been a stalwart member of the Ctte and
                    has strong ideas on how the organisation should
                    continue to grow.")

Nominations are ordered by surname, candidates are ordered according to
length of spiel :) Apologies in advance if any transcription mistakes
that may have made it in.

Note that votes open in a week, and run for a week that is from the 18th
'til the 24th inclusive. See the election page (login required), at:



Anthony Towns <secretary at linux.org.au>
Secretary, Linux Australia
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