[Linux-aus] Council Meeting Minutes - 2011-02-03

Terry Dawson tjd at animats.net
Tue Feb 8 17:19:44 EST 2011

On 04-Feb-11 5:33 PM, Anthony Towns wrote:
> Actually, LA is more of an LCA event, than the other way around.
> Without the efforts of LCA organisers, LA wouldn't have enough members
> to form an executive. We know that's true, because that's the way it
> used to be.
Without wanting to drag up ancient history, I disagree. I've maintained 
a respectful silence about this period for a long time, because for me 
it represents a period of innocent naiivety and personal failure, but I 
don't think it reasonable to see that period re-interpreted.

Membership numbers were very low between 1999 and 2001, but it wasn't 
because of a lack of an LCA. It was in fact because there wasn't a 
particularly well-defined or published membership process. LA had no 
trouble with quorum prior to CALU99, but we floundered around trying to 
work out how to work with the various LUGs before going on any sort of 
recruitment drive. It was my idea to stay small until we had the model 
right, even with retrospect I'm convinced that was the right thing to 
do. There was a climate of distrust with many LUGs opposing the idea of 
a national body, it was an exhausting slog for some time.

Rusty approached us proposing a conference and we agreed to provide the 
legal entity to support it. It was exactly the sort of opportunity we 
were looking for. LA was hurriedly formally incorporated to support 
CALU-99. We established a bank account and public liability insurance.

CALU-99 catalysed a lot of open discussion and interest about developing 
Linux Australia into the sort of organisation it is today, but many of 
us who'd been working on the idea by that time were disheartened and had 
run out of energy. A few of us kept LCA breathing for a year or two, the 
period to which you refer. At last fresh blood came into the 
organisation, they created LCA2001 and it actually took on the life it 
had aspired to. The symbiotic relationship between LA and LCA has grown 
ever since.

There is no denying that LCA is by far the most important and successful 
activity of LA, and the enthusiasm, energy and commitment of the LCA 
teams each year are direct contributors to its ongoing success, but the 
primary role of LA remains distinct and necessarily seperate from LCA.

There remain a number of activities completely unrelated to LCA that LA 
should be and are pursuing, albeit perhaps more slowly than some in the 
community might like. LA was created as a body to represent the Linux 
community in Australia and to act as a large consolidated voice to lobby 
government, business and other powerful organisations to adopt and 
promote it for the benefit of all. I believe that role remains as valid 
today as it ever was. It'd be a shame to see that focus lost because of 
the success of the conference.


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