[Linux-aus] Minutes of Linux Australia Annual General Meeting 8th January 2014

Linux Australia Secretary secretary at linux.org.au
Wed Jan 15 16:29:38 EST 2014

  Minutes of Linux Australia
  Annual General Meeting 2014

University of Western Australia, Perth

Wednesday 8th January 2014, Woolnough Lecture Theatre

        Present: Please refer Appendix A - Attendance List

All Council Members were present

No apologies were received by the Secretary

Meeting opened at 1732 hours by Mr Joshua Hesketh

1. President's welcome

Mr Hesketh welcomed attendees and advised them to fill out the 
attendance form.

2. MOTION by Mr JOSHUA HESKETH that the minutes of the Annual General 
Meeting 2013 of Linux Australia be accepted as complete and accurate.

          Refer: http://linux.org.au/meeting/2013-01-30


MOTION CARRIED by a majority of attendees with 6 abstentions.

3. To receive the REPORTS of activities of the preceding year from 

        MR JOSHUA HESKETH - President

Mr HESKETH thanked the community for their efforts during 2013 and noted 
that Council helps drive initiatives but that the community does a lot 
of the work; Council plays an administrative and oversight role. He 
noted that members do really hard work such as lobbying and raising 
important items and that they are the ones that deserve the thanks.

Mr HESKETH noted that in 2013 seven conferences were run under the 
auspices of Linux Australia and thanked the organisers of the events. He 
highlighted that a timeline of events has been compiled to showcase the 
large number of events.

        A timeline of all of Linux Australia's events can be found
        here:http://tinyurl.com/koye3mw <http://tinyurl.com/koye3mw>.

Mr TERRY DAWSON confirmed that Linux Australia was incorporated in 1999 
and has run LCA and other events very successfully for many years.

At this point, it was noted that the laptop Mr JOSHUA HESKETH was using 
was low on battery.

A MOTION was moved by Mr MICHAEL STILL that Mr JOSHUA HESKETH plug his 
laptop in.

SECONDED by Mr MICHAEL DAVIES and CARRIED by a majority of attendees.

Terry Dawson confirmed LA incorporated in 1999 and has run LCA for 
several years, as well as many other events, very successfully

Mr JOSHUA HESKETH continued, after plugging his laptop into mains power, 
by noting that in addition to the conferences and events, Linux 
Australia supported 7 travel grant requests to natural persons, which 
were used to support the objectives of the organisation. Sponsorship 
activities included the Australian Internet Governance Forum and 
GovHack. Mr HESKETH noted that many Linux User Groups (LUGs) are 
Subcommittees of Linux Australia, and encouraged LUGs that may be 
struggling to talk to Linux Australia if they wish to consider this option.

MR JOSHUA HESKETH noted that the cities for linux.conf.au (LCA) have 
been selected for both 2015 and 2016 and the winning bids will be 
announced at the end of the conference. The two year model has been 
chosen to ensure the continuity of the event. Mr HESKETH advised that in 
2014 bids will be taken for 2017. Mr HESKETH invited attendees to 
consider running a linux.conf.au.

ACTION: Mr JOSHUA HESKETH was tasked with arranging a Birds of a Feather 
(BoF) session at linux.conf.au 2014 Perth for Friday 10th January.
COMPLETE - This action was undertaken and a Conf BoF was held 10th Jan

Mr HESKETH encouraged the community to continue to be engaged and noted 
that Council doesn't have time to do every event, and would prefer to 
play more of a facilitation role to support and encourage other 
participants to undertake activities.

Mr HESKETH noted that Linux Australia is poor at communicating 
externally to our organisation and we need to do more out reach 
activities. In particular in 2014 our focus will be on improving the 
website. Mr HESKETH encouraged any interested parties to make contact 
regarding the website.

Mr HESKETH thanked all volunteers within the Linux Australia community.

        The audience applauded.

Mr HESKETH invited questions from the floor regarding the President's 

          Question from Ms BRIANNA LAUGHER clarifying the donation to
          Software Freedom Conservancy

Mr JOSHUA HESKETH responded that a donation was made to the Software 
Freedom Conservancy, who are building accounting software that is free 
and open source. Although this software is targeted for non-profits, and 
generally suits Linux Australia, it doesn't have some of the features we 
require. We use Xero, which is proprietary, and we would like to use 
something open source. The donation was really penance for our sins, and 
was the same amount we spent on Xero. Mr HESKETH indicated that Linux 
Australia would like to make similar donations in the future.

Mr HESKETH invited Mr FRANÇOIS MARIER to the floor to present the 
Treasurer's report.

        MR FRANÇOIS MARIER - Treasurer

Mr FRANÇOIS MARIER noted that his report covered the last financial 
year, which ended 30 September 2013. This time period partly occurred 
under the stewardship of the previous Council. There were some minor 
discrepancies in the budget, and this was due to the transition between 
Councils.  Mr MARIER noted that it looks like Pycon AU returned a loss, 
however sponsorship owing from sponsors were paid in the 2013-14 
financial year and will be reported this year.

Mr MARIER indicated that overall, Linux Australia made an end of year 
loss of approximately $AUD 8587.

Mr MARIER referred to the Treasurer's Report and summarised the budget 
for 2014 and noted the Auditor's Report which is included in the 
Treasurer's Report.

Mr MARIER noted that he spent a good proportion of the year on handover 
activities from previous Treasurer, Mr JOSHUA HESKETH and thanked Mr 
HESKETH for his assistance.

          Question from Mr CHRISTOPHER NEUGEBAUER seeking clarification
          on the expected profit from PyCon AU 2013

Mr MARIER responded that the expected profit was over $AUD8000 as at 30 
December 2013 and that this would be reported in the 2013-2014 
financials, but noted that this figure had not yet been audited.

          Question from Mr ANTHONY 'AJ' TOWNS regarding the cash Linux
          Australia has to run a linux.conf.au

Mr MARIER and Mr HESKETH responded jointly and advised that the goal of 
Linux Australia was to keep as much cash as it takes to run an LCA in 
the account as a contingency measure. Mr MARIER and Mr HESKETH confirmed 
there are no plans to change this approach. Mr HESKETH identified that 
Linux Australia runs off the profit of linux.conf.au. It was identified 
that Linux Australia has around $AUD 400k in equity and that a 
conference takes around $AUD 500k to run.

A follow up question was asked regarding how much cash is required to be 
kept in the bank for this purpose. Mr HESKETH responded that it would be 
lovely to have a volunteer do a cost benefit analysis on having 
insurance for events versus keeping a large contingency as cash in the 
bank, noting that insurance coverage is extended to LUGs. He noted that 
assuming that a conference gets zero deposits and zero funds back that 
there would be tens of thousands of dollars lost if a conference was 
cancelled. He noted that insurance costs at least $50k, and that it is 
easier to keep funds in reserve for this contingency. It was noted that 
refunding delegates would be a non-issue.

          Comment from Mr MICHAEL STILL regarding costs of conference

Mr STILL commented that it is difficult to estimate the cost base of a 
conference, given that different conferences undertake different 
operations. For example, in Canberra the accommodation was done in-house 
while in Perth the accommodation was done entirely by the colleges, so 
it's difficult to compare accurately.

          Follow up question from Mr MICHAEL DAVIES following up
          question by Mr TOWNS

Mr DAVIES commented that he thought there were normally enough funds to 
fund an LCA from savings from cash if the need arose. Mr HESKETH 
responded that Linux AUstralia budgeted to run LCA on no sponsorship, 
with a projected cash flow of $100k needed to run a conference.

          Comment from Mr ANDREW RUTHVEN regarding cash flow required to
          run a conference

Mr RUTHVEN commented that $100k seemed a bit low to run an LCA. Mr 
HESKETH commented that we need some further analysis on this matter but 
that we generally have enough in reserve, and that Linux Australia 
shouldn't budget for a loss.

Mr HESKETH went on to explain that Council is an administrative body and 
advised that previous feedback had been received from members that Linux 
Australia was not doing enough with those funds. He advised that if 
there is a feeling that Linux Australia should be more conservative than 
we could be; it's not hard to spend less. Mr HESKETH advised he believes 
that Linux Australia has struck a comfortable balance at the moment and 
that in the worst case if we have a low income, high cost year Linux 
Australia would make a small loss.

          Comment from Ms BIANCA GIBSON

Ms GIBSON noted that Linux Australia had run conferences this year that 
returned an unexpected profit, such as Pycon AU.

          Comment from Mr CHRISTOPHER NEUGEBAUER

Mr NEUGEBAUER noted the positive returns of Pycon AU, and noted that 
grants and spending in this area, such as the sponsorship of Pycon US 
for Australian and New Zealand speakers, had increased commensurately.

          Question from Mr ANTHONY 'AJ' TOWNS

Mr TOWNS asked whether the community could be provided with the 
Treasurer and Auditor's Report closer to the end of the financial year. 
  Mr HESKETH responded that it was not realistic given the time to do 
the audit, but noted that it would be straightforward to the have budget 
available earlier in the year. Mr MARIER noted the timeframe required 
for the audit. Mr TOWNS was comfortable waiting for the audit before 
receiving the report. Mr MARIER indicated he was not comfortable 
publishing the report prior to it being audited.

          Comment from Ms BRIANNA LAUGHER

Ms LAUGHER noted that she is very happy that the Council is spending 
money towards the community in grants and events, leading to a vibrant 
community, rather than hoarding the money and not doing anything other 
than having a large bank balance.

        MOTION from the floor

A MOTION was moved by Ms PIA WAUGH that the community agrees that the 
expenditure of funds on projects of community benefit such as that seen 
in 2013 is in alignment with what the community wants to see and that 
this should be continued.

MOTION seconded by Mr PAUL WAYPER.

Motion is carried with 5 abstentions.

Ms KATHY REID was invited to the floor by Mr HESKETH to present the 
Secretary's Report

        MS KATHERINE (KATHY) REID - Secretary

Ms REID thanked Mr PETER LIEVERDINK, previous Secretary of Linux 
Australia, for his excellent handover. She described the role of 
Secretary and advised that during 2013, 24 teleconferences had been held 
and that quorum had been achieved at each. Minutes had been issued 
generally within one week of the conference.

She advised that Face to Face was held in Melbourne in March during 
which time Council undertook Media training which was very beneficial. 
She offered to share the findings of Face to Face with members and noted 
that most of the minutes had been made publicly available.

Ms REID noted that we had seen gradual membership growth throughout the 

          Question from Mr JAN SCHMIDT regarding membership numbers for
          2013 being less than 2012

Ms REID indicated that the discrepancy was due to the removal of 
duplicates which had not been done for 2012.

Ms REID identified that the renewal of memberships was not undertaken in 
2013 and that this needs to be done as a priority for 2014.

Ms REID noted that the Member Survey was a deliverable the Council can 
all be very proud of. The Survey received nearly 600 responses when only 
300 were expected. Ms REID thanked the 600 people who did the survey. 
Around 20 attendees had read the survey report. Some key points 
identified included the large senior cohort in the community who need 
more information about basic open source and linux, the fact that we 
have a poor pipeline with younger and student members, and that we need 
to do more influence and advocacy. A key theme through the survey was 
the need to keep LCA affordable. For many members the survey was the 
first correspondence they had received from Linux Australia.

Ms REID advised that the data from the survey has been released in an 
open format and is available for others to analyse and repurpose.

Ms REID advised on the Media and Communications activities of the 
Council, and advised that Twitter followers had risen to over 600, and 
that a target of 800 was identified for 2014.

She further advised that an inaugural newsletter was released in April, 
and that a Media and Communications Subcommittee was starting to get off 
the ground, but that more volunteers were needed.

          Question from Mr CHRISTOPHER NEUGEBAUER regarding direct

Mr NEUGEBAUER  first commented that this was the first time we had used 
data from MemberDB for communication and that it may be worthwhile for 
Council to find a way to directly communicate with members. He went on 
to ask about the In-Camera Minutes of meetings and whether any events 
have become appropriate to be discussed in the open.

Ms REID responded by stating that the role of Council is to balance 
transparency and confidentiality. For example, the outcomes of 
Complaints would not be made public. Mr NEUGEBAUER thanked Ms REID for 
the additional transparency. Ms REID identified that she intended to 
continue in this vein in 2014.

          Question from Mr CRIAG MCWHIRTER regarding the tool used to
          measure social media

Ms REID indicated that the ThinkUp tool written by Gina Trapani was used.

Mr Joshua Hesketh called for motions to accept the Office Bearers' and 
Auditor's reports.

MOTION by Mr CHRISTOPHER NEUGEBAUER to approve the Auditor's report.


Carried by a majority of attendees with 5 abstentions.

MOTION by Mr MICHAEL STILL to approve the President's report.


Carried by a majority of attendees with 1 abstention.

Mr ANDREW COWIE noted that we could accept all Office Bearer's reports 
at once, by Ms KATHY REID advised to do it separately.

MOTION by Ms BRIANNA LAUGHER to approve the Treasurer's report.


Carried by a majority of attendees with 1 abstention.

MOTION by Mr TIM SERONG to approve the Secretary's report.


Carried by a majority of attendees with 1 abstention.


Please refer to reports


    President's report




    Treasurer's report




    Secretary's report



MOTION by Ms PIA WAUGH to accept the actions of Council for 2013


Carried by a majority of attendees with 2 abstentions (from Council) 

Mr HESKETH identified Mr JAMES BROMBERGER to discuss the tabled item.

4. To CONSIDER items tabled in the call for agenda items


    Amazon Web Services gift vouchers, raised by JAMES BROMBERGER

Mr BROMBERGER invited interested user groups to contact him if they 
wanted to use the gift vouchers.

5. To HEAR and RESPOND to questions from the floor

          Question from Mr STEPHEN WALSH noting that the Mirror Team
          maintain a mirror of Debian, Ubuntu and other distributions
          and videos of linux.conf.au, and given this should Linux
          Australia pursue uploading of videos when outsourced to a
          third party and not the committee

Mr HESKETH responded that he would prefer all videos uploaded from 
conferences to the mirrors. He noted that as a community we help people 
who are doing open source things who don't have as many skills. For 
example, WordCamp don't have the tech skills to do video and might 
choose to outsource to a third party. Mr HESKETH indicated that the 
question required further consideration, as different conferences and 
events have different requirements.

ACTION: Ms KATHY REID took back an action to have this tabled as a 
discussion point at a future Council meeting.

Mr CHRISTOPHER NEUGEBAUER indicated he was happy to chase up past Pycon 
AU videos.

ACTION: Mr CHRIS NEUGEBAUER to chase previous Pycon AU videos for upload.

        Mr HESKETH invited Mr TERRY DAWSON to the floor as Returning Officer

6. DECLARATION of Election and WELCOME of incoming Council

MR TERRY DAWSON, Returning Officer

Mr TERRY DAWSON stated that in his capacity as Returning Officer for 
Linux Australia he has validated the results and confirmed the conduct 
of the Linux Australia Election and satisfied himself that the election 
was conducted fairly and properly. He noted that even though MemberDB 
had some multiple registrations, there is no evidence of rigging and the 
election was held in accordance with the constitution.

The results of the election were noted.


    The office of PRESIDENT was uncontested and Mr JOSHUA HESKETH was
    re-elected with 90 votes


    The office of VICE-PRESIDENT was uncontested and Mr HUGH BLEMINGS
    was re-elected with 91 votes


    The office of TREASURER was uncontested and Mr FRANÇOIS MARIER was
    re-elected with 88 votes


    The office of SECRETARY was uncontested and Ms KATHERINE (KATHY)
    REID was re-elected with 92 votes

The offices of ORDINARY COMMITTEE MEMBERS were contested and the 
following candidates were elected;


    With 87 votes, Mr CHRISTOPHER NEUGEBAUER was elected


    With 84 votes, Mr JOSHUA STEWART was elected


    With 81 votes, Ms SAE RA GERMAINE was elected

Mr DAWSON led attendees in congratulating the new Council.


Mr HESKETH noted to attendees to fill in the attendance register.

Mr HESKETH closed the AGM at 1829hrs.



    Appendix A: Attendance register

      Council in attendance

Mr Joshua Hesketh, President

Mr Hugh Blemings, Vice-President

Mr François Marier, Treasurer

Ms Kathy Reid, Secretary

Mr Joshua Stewart, OCM

Mr Clinton Roy, OCM

Ms Bianca Gibson, OCM

      Members as recorded in MemberDB as at 1730hrs on 8th January 2014

Mr Julien Goodwin

Mr Christopher Neugebauer

Mr Russell Keith-Magee

Mr Craig McWhirter

Mr Tim Ansell

Mr Marco Ostini

Mr Terry Dawson

Mr Cameron Tudball

Mr Michael Ellery

Ms Sae Ra Germaine

Mr David Bell

Mr Matthew Cengia

Mr Tim Serong

Mr David Tulloh

Mr Steven Hanley

Mr Michael Davies

Mr Michael Still

Mr Paul Wayper

Mr Eyal Lebedinsky

Mr Brian May

Mr Russell Coker

Mr Jonathan Woithe

Ms Brianna Laugher

Mr Mark Walkom

Mr Peter Lees

Mr Anthony Towns

Mr Russell Stuart

Mr James Iseppi

Mr Shaun Nykvist

Mr Matthew Oliver

Mr Andrew Ruthven

Ms Pia Waugh

Mr Nick Bannon

Mr Jan Schmidt

Mr Anibal Monsalve Salazar

Ms Lana Brindley

Mr Steve Walsh

Mr Mark Ellem

Mr James Bromberger

Mr Tony Breeds

Mr Peter Lyons

Mr Alistair Irvine

Mr Andrew Cowie

Mr Andrew McDonnell

Mr Kim Hawtin

      Observers (those not registered in MemberDB as at 1730hrs on 8th
      January 2014. Observers may have subsequently applied for and been
      granted  membership.

Mr Sebastian Cook

Mr Simon Pamment

Ms Stephanie Huot

Ms Cherie Ellis

Mr Steven Ellis

Mr Steve Kowalik

Mr Andrew Sands

Mr Samuel Bishop

Mr Mimoune Djouallah

Kathy Reid
Linux Australia

secretary at linux.org.au

Linux Australia Inc
GPO Box 4788
Sydney NSW 2001

ABN 56 987 117 479

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