[Linux-aus] Candidate statement: Kathy Reid

Kathy Reid kathy at kathyreid.id.au
Wed Nov 20 15:53:58 EST 2013

Thanks all for your feedback and input.

I personally like to better understand how candidates are regarded in 
the community, because often it is the mix of skills on Council that 
make it an effective one, and I would like to thank Tennessee et al for 
their time in expressing those viewpoints. Complementary skills allow us 
to work together. Chris has indicated that he doesn't have strong views 
on engaging with the general public on issues the membership sees as 
important. I do, and therein would be a complementary skillset.

Firstly I'd like to position this by stating that one of the reasons the 
Linux Australia Member Survey 2013 was run was to validate and explore 
what the LA membership sees as important, so that Council can better 
direct resources to achieving strategic objectives. We serve the 
community. The outcomes of the survey should help to answer questions 
like "should we invest more in events?", "should we invest more in media 
and advocacy?". We have finite resources - particularly in labour and 
volunteer commitment time, so we must prioritise what we do.

So, where do I sit on some key hot topics?

1. Should Linux Australia rebrand?

Yes. We are broader than Linux and represent a broader community. 
Strategically positioning ourselves as encompassing a broader open 
source agenda allows us to have a greater voice in areas like open 
government, open access, open education and so on. What should we be 
called? My preference is for Open Source Australia, or a derivative 

2. Should we be more engaged with the media and have a stronger voice?

Yes. We have a combined wealth of talent and intellectual capital and 
should bring that to bear to influence political outcomes in line with 
our values. The TPP, the NBN, adoption of open formats, and related 
issues are important not just to our community but all of Australia and 
we should be more vocal about that. How do we do this? Through defining 
a Media and Communications Strategy, and reinvigorating the Media and 
Communications Subcommittee. Very good intentions and efforts have 
already been spent here and we should leverage off that. Our key 
challenges will be finding volunteers from within the community with the 
interest and availability to assist. This is not something we are 
traditionally good at. If there is another community member willing to 
take on the role of Secretary I would be willing to withdraw my 
nomination and instead chair a Media and Comms Subcommittee.

3. Should we be outsourcing more?

Yes. Council generally have full time jobs / full time study / full time 
family commitments on top of their volunteer commitment. We should be 
partnering with like-minded organisations to outsource some of the 
functions that we either don't have time or capability to do well, or 
which represent a significant imposte on Council time that blocks or 
prevents higher priority tasks from being done. Partnering with ACSPRI 
for the Member Survey was a key example. If I were to be elected 
Secretary I would be identifying additional opportunities for 
outsourcing, where the provider wherever possible aligned with our key 

4. Should Linux Australia merge with other groups?

Yes, but only where there is a win-win outcome and the membership of 
both groups is comfortable with the merger. Organisations such as TasLUG 
and SLUG have become LA subcommittees in the past to reduce overhead, 
and leverage some of the existing infrastructure LA makes available. 
Merging with LA will *not* make sense for some groups, and each should 
be considered on its merits, and whether each organisation will be 
stronger if merged. Some of the organisations with which we may wish to 
have broad conversations in this regard include OSDC and OSIA inter alia.

5. Should Linux Australia remain incorporated in NSW?

Requires legal investigation. Due to the nature of its activities across 
multiple states, Linux Australia may need to review its current legal 
status as an incorporated entity in the state of NSW and may instead 
desire to form under a different legal arrangement, such as a company 
limited by guarantee. This requires a significant body of work to assess 
the pros and cons of each option. Is this a priority for 2014? That 
would be dependent on what findings are made from the Member Survey.

6. What have you enjoyed the most about being on Council this year?

This was the first time I was nominated and elected to Council, and I 
was honoured to be trusted to take on the role of Secretary. This 
Council has been a wise one, a productive one and an inspiring one. From 
each of my fellow Council members I've learned something - Josh as our 
President has a long term strategic viewpoint, Josh Stewart brings 
significant business acumen, Hugh is incredibly deeply respected for his 
insightful wisdom, Francois has been a very conscientious Treasurer, 
Clinton has sought to represent wide variety of viewpoints and has been 
instrumental in furthering communities such as Rails Girls and Pycon AU, 
and Bianca's boundless enthusiasm has lifted all our spirits. It is then 
perhaps unsurprising that we have achieved quorum at each of the 23 
teleconf/face to face meetings we've held so far this year.

7. What downsides are there to being on Council?

For me the downside to being on Council is witnessing behaviours that 
are not in alignment with our values. Wrangling the fallout from these 
incidents takes away time that is much more constructively spent on 
other endeavours - such as developing infrastructure, delivering great 
events and experiences, encouraging new members to join our community 
and serving and assisting in greater development and adoption of open 
source. This is a contributing factor to a more widespread problem of 
community burnout, which we also need to address.

8. What are the three key things you want to achieve in 2014?

- Upskilling someone to take on the Secretary role in 2015. I won't be 
standing in 2015, and want to ensure continuity
- Greater voice in media through enacting a Media and Comms strategy
- Continue the stability and effectiveness we've seen from Council in 
2013 through secretarial support

As always your comments, questions and feedback are warmly welcomed.
Kind regards,

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