[Linux-aus] Nominations and their spiels for the LA election

James Purser purserj at k-sit.com
Tue Jan 2 22:22:01 UTC 2007

On Tue, 2007-01-02 at 22:47 +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:

> So in the interests of pre-election debate, I'd like to suggest something
> like this:
>     - in the interests of promoting Australian free software projects and
>       hackers internationally, the President and Vice-President of
>       Linux Australia shall each take one overseas trip a year to a free
>       software event, to promote LA and keep up to date with events
>     - each committee member shall participate at an event other than LCA
>       that's at least 100km from their hometown at least once during the year
>     - each LUG of 50 members or more shall be entitled to ask LA to invite
>       an Australian free software hacker to give a presentation at one
>       of their meetings once a year
>     - each LUG of 150 members or more shall be entitled to ask LA
>       to invite an international free software hacker to give a
>       presentation at one of their meetings once a year
> If LA were to pick up the bill for those things, and you assume Australian
> travel costs about $600 on average, and international travel about $2000,
> that's 2x$2000 + 7x$600 + 20*$600 + 7x$2000 = $4,000 + $4,200 + $12,000 +
> $14,000 = $34,200, less if some of those can be done by car, or combined,
> or similar. For comparison, the grant scheme has a budget of $12,000 a
> year, and uses up probably $6k-$8k. Is an international speaker for each
> major LUG worth a similar amount? How about having some good non-local
> speakers at smaller regional usergroups?
> Go on, tell me how it's a stupid idea and what would be better :)
> Cheers,
> aj

Ya know something? I'm not going to say its stupid, in fact I think its

[Warning - The following is somewhat stream of consciousness, there will
be a more practical post following soon.]

For the entire time I've been involved with Linux Australia, first as a
member, then as a podcaster then as a committee member, a perennial
thread has been "How do we communicate with our members/The LUGs/Joe
Blogs". We've tried tinkering around the edges but nothing this

This also brings up the question of "Where does the money come from?"
linux.conf.au started out as the entire focus of LA, and has always been
our primary income earner (with great thanks to all previous and current
linux.conf.au organisers!). However we are now at a place where we need
diversify our income streams. There will come a time when for whatever
reason linux.conf.au doesn't bring in the money (may that day be a
loooong way off). We need to setup that fund raising committee and we
need it to start raising funds :)

I guess it boils down to this. Linux Australia needs to start acting
like a professional organisation. This means reaching out to our members
and to the wider community, taking a more professional approach to how
we do things like sub committees (which Jons already working on) and so
on. We also need to be more definite in what we are offering our

Also just for the record I would support exactly this proposal even if I
was completely kicked off the ctte at the coming election and was never
elected again.

James Purser
Ordinary Committee Member
Linux Australia
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