[Linux-aus] [LACTTE] Should Linux Australia change its name to Open Source Australia?

Linux Australia President president at linux.org.au
Mon Dec 25 01:14:08 AEDT 2017

Hi everyone,

Firstly, thanks to everyone for the open, candid and robust discussion
of renaming. Secondly, apologies for the timing of this email, late on
Christmas Eve. I've been spending the last couple of days with family
and friends, and much as I love this community, they take precedence.

To address a number of points that have been raised;

        Should the vote go ahead? Should we add more naming options?

Council discussed this at length at Thursday night's Council meeting,
noting how close the proposed Open Source Australia name was to Open
Source Industry Australia. We followed up with Jack Burton on Friday as
an OSIA representative to seek input as to next steps - and I'd like to
publicly thank Jack for his time and professionalism.

Essentially we had three options:

1. Stop the election/ballot on a new name, and allow for more time for
community discussion on alternative names, and whether to rebrand at all

2. Add new names to the ballot

3. Allow the ballot to proceed, knowing the proposal to rename to Open
Source Australia will likely be defeated

Given the timeframes involved, and recognising that there are community
opinions expressed for and against a name change, for many reasons, we
have decided to proceed with the ballot, knowing that the name change
will likely be defeated. I would also like to be transparent that this
was not the preferred course of action from OSIA; we recognise that and
this is in no way intended to antagonise that relationship - we've
started something and we want to follow it through to a logical
conclusion. Further, adding more potential names at this late stage is
unlikely to be productive; the reason Open Source Australia was given as
an alternate name is that it had the highest polling in the last name
change poll around 5 years ago.

        Voting on the ballot is now open to Linux Australia members:


        What happens next?

We have committed to changing the name if we receive a mandate, via a
majority of votes on the ballot, to do so. This would be raised as a
Special Resolution at the January AGM.

If the ballot is defeated, we will not proceed to change the name in the
short term.

Regardless of outcome, the discussions around changing the name of Linux
Australia will likely continue; this is a positive step. What I *would*
encourage is some broader debate about not only what we label ourselves;
but what it is that label encompasses. Our activities, our functions,
our remit, our mandate. What do we want to do in the future? What do we
start doing? What do we stop doing? A name has meaning. A name is
powerful. Who are we?

Should the ballot be defeated, further community discussions on proposed
names may continue; these discussions may lead to another vote at a
future time.

        Some finer points of discussion

* If we change the name, do we need to change the Constitution?

No, but we do need a Special Resolution to be passed, and then we need
to apply to the Office of Fair Trading NSW to change the name. A Ballot
would be used as evidence to show that members had been consulted on the

* If Linux Australia becomes Something Else, would we still retain the
trading name?

Yes. We've traded as Linux Australia for over 15 years, and we would
retain the trading name to prevent other organisations leveraging the
name. If someone would like to form a "Linux" subcommittee, go right ahead.

* Can't we just own the trading name Open Source Australia?

We already do.

* How much is the Linux Australia brand worth?

We've never formally had the brand evaluated. Most conference brands are
much more well known than the parent organisation brand.

* Should OSIA merge with Linux Australia?

This is a decision for OSIA first, and only an issue for Linux Australia
should OSIA wish to broach it; this has not been formally broached. Our
understanding is that OSIA are attempting a "reboot" to breathe new life
into the organisation - and my feeling is that it is premature to ask
this until the outcome of this measure is clearer.

Discussions with OSIA over the last few days have highlighted a number
of areas and specific paths with with Linux Australia and OSIA could
co-operate as independent, yet collaborating organisations - my thanks
are again extended to Jack Burton for outlining these. They centre
around co-operation on approaches to government around policy formation.

* Do I base leadership decisions on episodes of Bar Rescue?

While I'm sure Bar Rescue is a fine series, I haven't had the pleasure
of watching it myself. I'm currently binge-watching Berlin Station. /Wer
rastet, der rostet./

Again, thank you to the community for a robust, and generally,
respectful discussion and debate on this issue.

Kind regards,


On 19/12/17 19:58, Linux Australia President wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> Linux Australia is an incorporated association, registered in the state
> of NSW, and has been in operation since around 2001. Initially convened
> as a vehicle to operate linux.conf.au, the organisation's remit,
> activities and scope have broadened significantly over the last decade
> and a half.
> We think it's time to change the name of the organisation to
> better reflect our widened mission, values, activities, partnerships and
> influence.
> But wait, hasn't this been tried before?
> Yes. In 2012/2013, the Linux Australia Council, led then by John
> Ferlito, attempted a name change. Consensus could not be reached on a
> name to change *to*, and so Linux Australia remained Linux Australia.
> This time, we're learning from the outcome of that process, and would
> like to present to you a decision:
> Should Linux Australia change its name to Open Source Australia (Yes/No)
> Other aspects of the organisation - constitution, makeup and so on, are
> not proposed to be changed.
> We're communicating this now to provide the community with time to
> discuss this proposed change before the AGM, where the resolution will
> be tabled in the AGM agenda. The result of the vote will be tabled
> at the AGM. That is, if the majority vote 'No', we won't change the
> name. If the majority vote 'Yes', we will.
> If you are a member of Linux Australia, you will be able to vote on this
> resolution at:
> https://www.linux.org.au/membership/index.php?page=view-election&id=25
> Voting will open 25th December 2017, the same time voting opens for
> Council Elections, and will close on 21 January, the same time voting
> closes for Council Elections.
> Let the discussion begin.
> Kind regards,
> Kathy
Kathy Reid
Linux Australia

0418 130 636

president at linux.org.au

Linux Australia Inc
GPO Box 4788
Sydney NSW 2001

ABN 56 987 117 479 

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.linux.org.au/pipermail/linux-aus/attachments/20171225/dce88de7/attachment.html>

More information about the linux-aus mailing list