[Linux-aus] Helping the Australian Government learn how to collaborate better

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Tue Feb 20 09:38:01 AEDT 2018

The Australian Government has asked [1] for ideas for their next Open 
Government National Action Plan. I think we need to respond and call on 
government agencies to learn how to collaborate more effectively, and to 
learn from our methodologies within the Open Source community.

I think that it has been great that governments around the world have 
embraced very positive principles around Open Government [2], but their 
implementation has fallen short due to a lack of understanding of what 
makes Open Communities work effectively.

Selection of the term “open” (as in “open source”, “open data”, “open 
government” ...) is a bit of a marketing blunder. It focuses on “what” 
(free software) and distracts us from the more important questions of 
“how” and “why”. Governments have been publishing "open" datasets but 
not considering the more important aspects of collaboration and project 

I propose that Linux Australia submit an open letter recommending that 
the Australian government recognise the limitations of current 
government collaboration initiatives. We should provide practical 
guidance on how government should address collaboration in the upcoming 
Open Government National Action Plan.

If others believe this is worth pursuing, I'm prepared put in a 
significant amount of the work required to get such a proposal written. 
(I have quite a bit of material which I can draw upon already).


* What's involved in getting buy-in/approval to write something on 
behalf of Linux Australia?

* What process has been used in the past to collaboratively craft 
responses from Linux Australia?

* I suspect it would be valuable to collect signatures from multiple 
organisations and individuals in order to add weight to the open letter. 
Any suggestions on ways to achieve this?

* Anyone else interested in helping crafting such as response?

Who am I?

For those who don't know me, I've been involved in the geospatial open 
source community for over a decade. Of note, a few years ago I 
co-authored [3] an open letter on behalf of open source community which 
resulted in us successfully defending geospatial open standards.


[2] https://www.opengovpartnership.org/open-government-declaration


Cameron Shorter
Technology Demystifier, Learnosity
Open Technologies Consultant

M +61 (0) 419 142 254

More information about the linux-aus mailing list