At the recent Sydney meetup one thing that was discussed was the possibility
of beginning a regular wiki-wednesday meeting at some official venue whereby
the chapter could create a "presence" in the city's cultural scene and host
discussion and networking with likeminded individuals and organisations.
One of the venues raised as a goal was Customs House. Now, I happen to work
at the Sydney Town Hall and am in the same office as the people who make
approvals for community hiring of these venues. So, today I asked the
relevant person (see forwarded email below) about this possibility.
This is definitely possible but it does require some proper paperwork.
Attached is a copy of the "reduced rates" application form as well as
guidelines. Also linked in the email below are the various venues available.
The one we were talking about is the "Barnet long room" on the first floor
of customs house. You can see it in the first link - "business venues".
The thing that was emphasised to me was that we would need to make a case
for how this event caters to a *demonstrable* community and benefits the
greater community of the City of Sydney. This would be especially good if we
can show interest from a wide range of sectors - non-profit, education,
government, commercial. If we can't show appeal to a diverse audience then
we have greatly reduced chances. Furthermore, we would need to show that we
have looked in to private sponsorship/support for the events. For example,
if we were to invite IBM to the events (as they do use wikis in their
internal projects) then that would show a good range of interested
stakeholders but it would also raise the question of asking them to support
the event. I presume we would need to charge an entry fee of some sorts and
therefore we also have to show some form of a business case and costings.
As you can see in the email below the process takes several weeks once the
forms are filled out which themselves require some effort. So, this will not
happen next month if we want to do this. Perhaps it is too soon to be
thinking along these lines but I pass the information on nevertheless. I of
course have no 'sway' in the matter here. I can submit the application by
hand but it is by no means my 'department' to sign for this (just to make
So, if anyone wants to take this up and start putting something together I
am more than happy to assist. Furthermore, Kate (who's email is below) is
happy to be contacted if we need assistance. I would love to see this get
off the ground but it would require a fair amount of work and forward
planning if we were to make it a regular gig. I believe user:PrivateMusings
sort-of volunteered to look into this, so.... Over to you!
*Liam Wyatt a.k.a. [[Witty Lama]]
*Dictionary of Sydney*
(02) 9265 9828
GPO Box 1591, Sydney NSW, 2001
*From:* Kate Murray
*Sent:* Monday, 18 August 2008 1:20 PM
*To:* William Wyatt
*Subject:* Reduced Rates Application From
As discussed, see attached the Reduced Rates Application Form.
Check availability & book venue (with venue management), all specs/contact
details on website:
- Major Venues
- Community Venues
Complete and return the form to me (will take several weeks to process), I
make a recommendation which goes through our Director then onto the CEO for
approval, and you are notified by mail.
Cultural Development Manager
City Of Sydney
Tel: 02 9265 9480
Mob: 0404 884 830
This email and any files transmitted with it are intended solely for
the use of the addressee(s)
and may contain information that is confidential or subject to legal
privilege. If you receive this
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the email to the
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and as such, please disregard the contents of the email, delete the
email and notify the sender
The NSW Board of Studies has included Wikipedia as a text in an
elective of its 2009-2012 HSC English Syllabus (see
This is obviously a great opportunity for us, and given that I think
they're going to release some more support documents in June or July,
it would be good to get in contact with them before then, whether
we've sorted out our incorporation blues or not (although preferably
so). As such, I've drafted a letter to them, currently at
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:ConMan/NSW_BoS_Letter for your
perusal and comment. Once it's presentable, I'll have a little chat
with the interim committee about timing so we can hopefully get it
sent off at around the same time that we have an organisation behind
With a little luck, this will be the beginning of a beautiful
friendship, and a model for cooperation with other state, territory
and federal education departments.
So a couple of weeks ago I had a cool idea...what if we made our
Wikimania10 bid a joint-bid for both Wikimania and iSummit?
<http://icommonssummit.org/> (iSummit crowd is kind of creative
commonsy, arty, education-y)
There is a decent amount of overlap of interests, although not
content, between Wikimania and iSummit. iSummit also has about 500
attendees. By co-hosting both, it could be enough to convince the
northern hemispherans that it is worth travelling so far to attend. I
reckon maybe up to 150 or so attendees would be interested in
attending both. It would also probably give us good advantages in
seeking sponsorship and some extra leverage with the venue, hopefully.
I floated the idea with Jessica Coates, who works for Creative Commons
Australia (based in Brisbane), and she said they like the idea. CCau
is attached to QUT, so they have a little bit of nice institutional
support that we don't have...
My thinking is they would be one after the other, with a day or two
break (weekend) in between. I would also like to see Wikimania have a
couple of extra free/closetofree days - one being a kind of "Open
Day/Wikipedia Academy", open to the public with lots of "How to edit
Wikipedia" style tutorials/workshops - that would be good and easy to
share with iCommons - and another being an unconference/discussion
day. That could also be shared with iSummit.
I think if we did this the potential host cities that would make the
most sense would be Melbourne or Brisbane. There are advantages and
disadvantages to both.
Naturally there would be lots of details to be worked out, but what
does everyone think about the general idea of working up a joint bid
proposal with Creative Commons Australia?
They've just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment:
(I think I'm finally learning some of the lingo of the interwebs (I guess
that should be 'teh interwebs' really, no?!) - I gather a 'slowpoke' is
something designed to gently keep focus on something... in this case just
the general desire to try and pencil in a date (or two, or three) for our
inaugural AGM.... I suggested two dates in October in my last post - any
This also led me on to another question for folk on this list.... I've been
involved recently in a fundraising dinner thing for another foundation, and
as such have been madly pressing flesh to persuade various folk to part with
their hard-earned.. In talking to a few people who are aware of my interest
in Wikipedia, I've mentioned the fact that Australia now has its own chapter
- and it was on the tip of my tongue to mention that they could support the
chapter by paying $40 to become a 'member' (in due course) - I didn't follow
through on that, because it occured to me that we may want to have a
discussion about whether or not there's any difference between 'membership'
and 'support' - whether or not we should be looking at a 'membership drive'
- or whether membership should represent a closer relationship to the
project than a regular internet consumers' familiarity with Wikipedia.
My gut instinct says that we should welcome as many members as possible, and
that becoming a member is actually quite a nice, tangible, way of offering
support... I'd be most interested to hear others' thoughts on this....
(BTW, Software Freedom Day in Melb:
<http://www.softwarefreedomday.org/melb> I think I'm going to be
involved with it somehow but I'm not sure yet... -Brianna)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Donna Benjamin
Subject: Charles Leadbeater: free lecture 17 SEP State Library of Vic
To: LUV Lists <luv-talk(a)luv.asn.au>, osv <osv-list(a)lists.osv.org.au>,
Linux Australia <linux-aus(a)linux.org.au>
Cc: Brianna Laugher <brianna.laugher(a)gmail.com>
This looks worthwhile... and nicely timed in the lead up to software
freedom day. Feel free to pass on to others you think may be interested.
Charles Leadbeater: We Think: The Power of Mass Creativity
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 from 01:30 PM - 02:45 PM
Venue: State Library of Victoria
Contact Email: hcurry(a)slv.vic.gov.au
Contact Phone: 8664 7113
URL: Registration: http://slvleadbeater.eventbrite.com/
On Wednesday September 17th, the State Library of Victoria will be
hosting an afternoon with influential UK ideas-generator Charles
Leadbeater; his only public lecture during his visit to Melbourne.
Leadbeater's presentation at the Library will focus on the themes of his
new book, We Think: The Power of Mass Creativity.
In We Think, Leadbeater argues that we now have the technology to create
collaborative projects on a massive scale. Sighting success stories such
as Wikipedia the Human Genome Project and Open Source computing, the
book suggests ways to harness the power of collective, collaborative
thinking to generate mass innovation. http://www.cci.edu.au
Nb: The first 3 chapters of the book, and the whole first draft, are
Member - Open Source Industry Australia http://osia.net.au
Executive Director - Creative Contingencies http://cc.com.au
They've just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment:
I tend to agree with the views that have been expressed. The question is
what is Wikimania meant to be, and it seems that an exclusive rather than
inclusive mindset has pervaded the jury's considerations. How are we meant
to increase awareness of our activities if they insist on keeping it where
we are already popular? This would be like a Government launching an
election then campaigning only in its own safe seats and inviting only its
own supporters to hear their campaign - a bit pointless really. It seems to
almost go against the core aims of the Wikimedia Foundation. The front page
of the organisation's site states plainly: "*Imagine a world in which every
single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our
commitment.". *Also, that it is *"dedicated to encouraging the growth,
development and distribution of free, multilingual content".*
Essentially the argument boils down to "We won't vote for a location because
it's inconvenient to ourselves." That's really quite unfair on the great
bulk of free content supporters who are not on the jury. It's also unfair to
cities which make good faith bids, engage with authorities and venues only
to find they can realistically never win because the jury is taking factors
other than merit into consideration.
There was even talk of offering us special scholarships as compensation, but
even that would not be fair as only the particular individuals selected to
go would get to share with a predominantly remote group, and even assuming
that a formal reporting process was anticipated, it would do little or
nothing for the furtherance of the Foundation's aims in Australia, South
East Asia, New Zealand or other regions.
The question then is what is Wikimania intended to be? That question can't
even be answered by accessing its page on either meta or en.
> Well good to know for sure now that "accessibility" means
> "accessibility for Europeans". Why not be explicit? Really, just tell
> people that 2010 is for Europeans. I think everyone would appreciate
> knowing where they stand.
> I find such a position disappointing
> Knowing that such an issue exists is beneficial in that WM-au as priority
> should be working on addressing the bias within the Foundation, along with
> realising that any bid must have some component/sponsorship to reduce the
> travel expenses.
> There is nothing we can do about the travel time except to ensure that what
> ever the host location that direct flights/or one stop flights are readily
> available from both Europe and North America(pacific coast at least).
> I have to agree as well. Australia might not be accessible for Europeans,
> but its a lot more accessible to people from Oceania, Asia (especially SE
> Asia), and its borderline for South Africans too.
> I think that "more accessible to the majority" is really just code for"more
> accessible to people who live in Western Europe and/or the Eastern United
> States", a group that coincidentally was very well represented on the
> selection jury. Which is a bit of a let-down and a kick in the teeth for
> everyone that has worked so hard on this.
hows about we shoot for either the 21st or 28th September for our inaugural
AGM? - if we can pencil a date in, I'd like to ask the friendly City of
Sydney folk if we might grab a meeting room space at Customs House for the
event.... what further technical hurdles do we face for the AGM, and can we
regular members be of any assistance? (I'm certainly up for helping if
there's anything to do, and I'm sure others would be too!)
Also - p'raps we should confirm the nature of the executive committee we're
going to be electing, and how folk might put their hand up if they wish to
stand (apologies if this has been clarified elsewhere - in which case a link
would be wonderful! thanks!)
Currently Flickr has an arrangement for image uploaded there over 1900px on
the shortest side can be added to a group call Picture Australia provided
they are under a creative commons license. Then NLA runs a bot and transfers
the images across to them.
Commons has so many images related to Australia all under a free license of
some sort including Creative Ccommons, maybe WMau could consider
establishing a similar connection. That would mean that all images in an
Australian category would be automatically added to NLA collection as well.
Some links, for further info:
Link to the picture trails for those looking for images to help populate
I thought some might be interested to hear a little news of the Sydney
meetup last night in the esteemed environs of The Paragon Hotel at Circular
Witty Lama waxed lyrical about the successes of Wikimania (whilst Angela
bemoaned the water quality at Cairo Novotels...)
Tim spoke of some of the million things on his to-do list (including
updating the Bomis archive - and can anyone lay their hands on a Bomis
Nick brought party hats. (we didn't ask why.. just smiled, nodded, and had a
pointy head for a while.....)
...and I gave everyone full details about the riddle wrapped in an enigma
which is my professional endeavor (I could tell you, but quite literally,
I'd have to kill you.....)
I thoroughly enjoyed the gathering, and we did in fact cover (as ever) a
wide range of chit chat, gossip (which worryingly seems to be my department)
and discussion of many things Wikimedia. We also came up with some ideas for
things that could happen in the not too distant future;
We're going to try and encourage a Wiki Wednesday on the first Wednesday in
October, perhaps at the City of Sydney's 'Custom House' building in Circular
Quay (fantastic venue, good for perhaps up to 30?) - we'd like to begin
rattling the cages of those involved in the wider wiki world, and starting
the 'form ralationships' part of the chapter mission. All ideas for
presentations (and especially those interested in presenting) should feel
free to use this list to put their hand up, or share an idea...
We also felt that it would fantastic if the AGM could have happened by then
- keeping momentum would be really good, following the great news of the
official incorporation! Obviously enthusiasm was high last night, and I
don't want to speak out of turn too much - but on a personal note, I also
hope that Witty Lama (Liam Wyatt for those who haven't 'met' him yet) can
still be persuaded to stand for the executive committee of the chapter - I
think he'd make a fantastic addition, and it was good to hear a wide range
of interesting ideas and possibilities across various levels...
If the Wiki Wednesday idea has legs then I guess we may do another informal
meet sometime in Sep. - if anyone out there is considered coming out of the
woodwork, and saying 'Hi' - I'd thoroughly recommend it!