[Linux-aus] How did non-event sub-comittees get formed?

David Lloyd lloy0076 at adam.com.au
Sun Dec 4 11:47:42 AEDT 2016


A strict reading of the constitution would indicate that provided the
instrument of delegation to a sub-committee does not delegate the
council's power to delegate its power, or otherwise delegate a power
that any relevant law requires the elected committee to perform, it may
do so (the Linux Australia Constitution ("Constitution"), 21 contained
in section 3). Whilst I realise that policies and procedures need to be
in place, there's actually no legal reason why it couldn't delegate any
of its powers to a sub-committee so long as it fell within furthering
the aims and objectives of Linux Australi ("Constitution", 13 (a, b,


The power to do so was in the original constitution as approved by the


On a quick look at version 2 of the subcommittee policy (here
/subcommittee_policy_v2.md> ), I'd suggest renaming that (git mv) to
"conference subcommittee policy" and creating a new "subcommittee
policy". In fact, if one wanted to go OOP style, one could gut part of
the "conference subcommittee policy" into the "subcommittee policy" as
I'm sure there would be an overlap between, say, a "Linux Australia -
Australian Government Advocacy Subcommittee" and the "LCA Subcommittee".


(To be concrete, V2 of the subcommittee policy talks about running a
conference. A possible advocacy subcommittee might not even want to run
a conference.)


But, to continue our Star Wars analogy, as the commander mentions to
Lord Vader, "The Emperor asks the impossible - we need more men." (I'm
sorry, that's a quote - it's probably against Linux Australia's
inclusion policy/policies to stipulate "men" but it seems that misogyny
lives on in a galaxy far, far away). That, I think, is the crux of the
problem; Linux Australia doesn't seem to have a governance issue as it
once did many years ago before the ratification of the original
association. It never really did but prior to then its governance fell
too strongly on one or perhaps two people's shoulders, a situation I'm
sure we'd all agree wasn't fair to those people - and let me make it
clear those people did a very good job.


In fact, I'm not sure why an advocacy subcommittee has to be as formal
as described in the constitution itself. Sure, to satisfy the legal
definition you'd probably need at least two members - although three is
probably a more workable number - and in case the Council was worried
about what they might actually do in its name they could fairly much
neuter it by saying, "You can't do anything BUT advise us to do
SOMETHING on this range of SOMETHINGS." So an advocacy committee could
come to the conclusion that "LA should host lemonade stands outside each
parliamentarian's office" which, I suppose, the Council might reject. Or
they might suggest "Linux Australia allocates [some funds] to work with
[some professional marketers] to [do something]" and maybe then Linux
Australia might delegate more authority to the subcommittee and make it
more formal - especially if its busy doing other things like running
multiple events, dealing with this and that.


I think:


1.       Fix the subcommittee policy;

2.       Garner the enthusiasm demonstrated to create a subcommittee to
perform "advocacy" (or some other worthy objective).


.is the wrong order to fix things at the moment. I'd suggest:


1.       Find a reason for an "advocacy subcommittee" to exist, make one
up even if the initial delegation is to "define its role amongst its
members and make a proposal within 2 weeks to formalise what powers are
needed to perform that role";

2.       Fix the subcommittee policy.


Or, as Queen Amidala herself sort of said, "I did not come here . to
discuss things in a committee."





> -----Original Message-----

> From: linux-aus [mailto:linux-aus-bounces at lists.linux.org.au] On

> Of Kathy Reid

> Sent: Saturday, 3 December 2016 6:56 PM

> To: linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au

> Subject: Re: [Linux-aus] How did non-event sub-comittees get formed?


> At the risk of sounding like a bureaucrat (let alone a Sith Lord!),
I'd just

> like to provide some background here.


> The legal basis for Subcommittees is S(21) of the LA Constitution [1]

> which in essence allows the Committee (Council) to delegate powers to

> a Subcommittee - the instruments for doing so - such as policies - are

> up to the organisation.


> This seems like a great opportunity for someone to have a look at v1

> v2 of our Subcommittee policy and see if one or both need revision for

> non-event Subcommittees, and propose changes / amendments /

> additions to our policy suite [2]. For example, Chris Neugebauer did

> some excellent work taking v1 as the basis and producing v2 a couple

> years ago to ensure that events have some long-term oversight, even if

> they're run by different teams year to year.


> Do we need revisions to our non-event Subcommittee policy to have

> more effective Subcommittees and better facilitate people making

> contributions on Subcommittees (and thanks too Russell for your

> here)?


> Let's turn the conversation into an action item or productive outcome.


> Kind regards,

> Kathy



> [1]  <https://linux.org.au/constitution>


> [2]  <https://github.com/linuxaustralia/constitution_and_policies>



> On 04/12/16 10:30, Anthony Towns wrote:

> > On Sat, Dec 03, 2016 at 03:10:03PM +1100, James Polley wrote:

> >>     We need subcommittees for things such as Linux advocacy.  I

> consider

> >>     volunteering for such a subcommittee.

> >> I was about to respond by pointing to

> >>  <https://github.com/linuxaustralia/>

> >> constitution_and_policies/blob/master/subcommittee_policy_v2.md

> - but

> >> on closer reading, that policy seems to be only for event

> subcommittees.

> > The treasury subctte is under the v2 policy according to

> >

> >    <https://linux.org.au/treasury-and-finance-subcommittee>

> >

> > I thought I remembered something about the v1 policy being kept

> around

> > for non-events (heh), but I can't recall any details.

> >

> > Cheers,

> > aj

> >

> > _______________________________________________

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> >  <mailto:linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au> linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au

> >  <http://lists.linux.org.au/mailman/listinfo/linux-aus>


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