[Wikimediaau-l] Wikimedia Australia chapter report, August--October 2008

Brianna Laugher brianna.laugher at gmail.com
Fri Nov 7 14:53:55 UTC 2008

Wikimedia Australia chapter report

Edition 1, August--October 2008

By Brianna Laugher, interim Secretary (blaugher at wikimedia dot org dot au)

    * 1 Introduction
    * 2 On the lists
    * 3 Meetups
          o 3.1 Past
          o 3.2 Upcoming
    * 4 Other events
          o 4.1 Past
          o 4.2 Upcoming
    * 5 WMAU & WMF
    * 6 Committee meeting minutes
    * 7 Other activities and news
    * 8 Coming soon

Welcome to the first Wikimedia Australia chapter report, one that will
hopefully become a monthly fixture. As this is the first edition I
will briefly recap our activities in the earlier part of this year.

Our draft Rules were approved by the Wikimedia Chapters Committee and
the Wikimedia Foundation Board in March, and we held our incorporation
meeting on April 20th, with around 20 Wikimedians from multiple
locations across Australia taking part. We were able to use a
conference call to link up Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and
Hobart. At this meeting we agreed to adopt our draft Rules, and
approved Brianna Laugher, Charles Gregory, Daniel Bryant, John
Vandenberg, Nathan Carter, Sarah Ewart and Stephen Bain as the interim
committee. After this meeting we were able to submit them to Consumer
Affairs Victoria (CAV), the relevant government body, for approval to
incorporate as a not-for-profit assocation.

Unfortunately at our first attempt CAV refused to accept our Rules
because our Statement of Purpose was too brief. This led the committee
to reformulate the statement of aims in a more verbose and explicative
manner. (This can be found at
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Australia/SoP>.) By the end
of July we had had our new Statement of Purpose accepted by the
Chapters Committee, and we re-submitted our Rules to CAV. This time
they were accepted and we officially began our incorporated life on
August 6th.

Since August we have been working on acquiring a bank account and
setting up membership sign-up processes that will minimise bureaucracy
for both members and the committee. We also set up web hosting, wikis,
email addresses and mailing lists, and documented processes to make
the first "real" committee's life easier. We anticipate opening
registrations very soon.

==On the lists==
The wikimediaau-l list
<https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaau-l> has been
very active, with discussion on a range of topics. In August
discussion about a possible Wikimania 2010 bid dominated. This idea is
not much discussed now; as we are yet to organise any of our own
events larger than a meetup perhaps discussion about hosting Wikimania
is a bit premature.

There has been a great deal of discussion about what kind of
activities Wikimedia Australia might do. Most are recorded on meta:
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Australia/Activities>. It is
encouraging to see the breadth of ideas and imagination in our
community. Our next challenge is to figure out which ones we can
actually achieve, and set about doing that.

There was also (as always) meetup reports, discussion about local
events that people might attend to take photographs at, and
locally-relevant Wikipedia articles being hit by vandalism spates.
Particularly noteworthy was the co-ordination of a number of editors
at different Olympic parades. Editors arranged to attend the parades
to take photographs of Australian sportspeople. High quality freely
licensed photographs make a great improvement to Wikipedia articles as
well as a free culture gift to the whole world. Special thanks to:
YellowMonkey, Craig Franklin, Sarah Ewart, Gnangarra, In total 96
photographs were added.

Also of note is the efforts by Chris 'Confusing Manifestation' in
contacting the NSW Board of Studies to see how we can offer our
assistance, since they have put some Wikipedia pages in a HSC English
elective called "The Global Village" for 2009--2012. This is believed
to be the first time in the world that Wikipedia has appeared on a
high school syllabus. (See
for the actual syllabus, and
for a news report.)

* Melbourne, August (the incorporation meeting)

* Sydney, August
** Celebrating WMAU's birth(day) -
** Report by Peter 'PM'

* Sydney, October
** Report by Peter 'PM'

Thanks to the Sydney Wikimedians, especially Peter and Liam, for being
so organised and putting the rest of us to shame!

* (Melbourne, 5 November -- actually past now, report next month!)
* Sydney, 12 November "Wiki Wednesday":
* Perth, 29 November: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/Perth/5>

==Other events==
* Melbourne, 20 September, Software Freedom Day: Brianna attended and
distributed some fliers and stickers, and gave a talk called "How Free
Software Makes Wikipedia Possible".
** Slides on Slideshare:
** Slides on Commons:

* Canberra, 30 September, Australian Computers in Education
Conference: Brianna attended and gave a talk called '"Safe wiki":
Teaching responsible use of Wikipedia'.
** Slides+audio on Slideshare:
** Other links and information:

Multi-report on these two events:

* Melbourne, 25 October, LinuxChix microconf: Brianna attended and
gave a brief talk called "Wikipedia & the education system". Although
this was a small event it provided to a number of leads to educators
who are keen to learn more about wikis and Wiki(m|p)edia.
** Notes and video:

* (Melbourne, 5 November, LUV meeting: "Hacking MediaWiki (For Users)"
talk, by Brianna, report next month!)

* Melbourne, 21 November, VCAL conference: "Wikis in the classroom"
talk, by Brianna. (VCAL is a practical-skills-focused VCE/HSC
* Melbourne, 24 November, Victoria IT Teachers Association (VITTA)
conference: "Wikipedia in schools: An unexplored potential" workshop
by Brianna. <http://archive.vitta.org.au/conference/2008/programme.php?day=1>
* Online, 2nd week in December: education.au online workshop for
teachers, by Brianna. (Exact details to be determined.)

* Hobart, 20 January 2009: "Free as in Freedom" miniconf as part of
linux.conf.au, organised by Brianna.
<http://linux.conf.au/schedule/121/view_miniconf> Also, Angela is one
of the keynotes at this conference!

==WMAU & WMF==
In late July the 2008 Wikimania conference was held in Alexandria,
Egypt. At least two Australian Wikimedians attended, Liam and Brianna.
Brianna took part in a hastily-arranged chapters lunch. (There was a
chapters meeting in May in the Netherlands; no Australian
representative attended.) It was a good opportunity to meet
face-to-face and swap ideas with our brothers and sisters from around
the world.

Another chapters meeting is planned for 3-5 April 2009 in Germany. We
should be able to work out some financial assistance with other
chapters and WMF so that some representatives can attend.

There are a couple of chapters-related topics currently in the air.
The first is the chapter-selected Board seats.
Although this announcement was made in late April discussion between
chapters has not been hugely productive. Thanks to a thread by
Florence 'Anthere' on foundation-l
this discussion may be kick-started again soon.

The second topic is fundraising agreements between WMF and chapters.
Because we are still getting our own house in order we are not really
in a position to look at this yet. It will be a topic for the first
elected committee to tackle.

==Committee meeting minutes==
* 2008-10-25 <http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaau-l/2008-October/001766.html>
* 2008-11-02 <http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaau-l/2008-November/001780.html>

==Other activities and news==
* The Victorian government recently (August-September) held an
'Inquiry into Improving Access to Victorian Public Sector Information
and Data'. The background and an excellent discussion paper is
available at <http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/edic/inquiries/access_to_PSI/call_for_submissions.html>.
74 submissions were made, of which Wikimedia Australia's was one. It
is available on that website, along with all the other submissions, or
also at <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Inquiry_into_Improving_Access_to_Victorian_Public_Sector_Information_and_Data-submission-Briannal_Laugher.pdf>.
(Because its creation was a rather last-minute effort, it is not as
complete as we would have liked, but at least it is better than
nothing!) We await the conclusions.

* A local issue that may be of interested to Wikimedians is the
government's proposed mandatory internet filtering scheme, also known
as "clean feed". For more information about opposition to this scheme,
check out <http://nocleanfeed.com/>.

* The National Library of Australia uses Wikipedia data in its
"author" pages. Find out more at
<http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Help/Work>. Thanks to Rebecca for sharing
this news.

* Congratulations to Liam 'Witty lama' on the recent completion of his
Honours thesis, discussing Wikipedia & history. It's not an easy
journey, and that he has completed it and can still stand to even use
Wikipedia is quite a feat!

* We have launched a mailing list for discussion relating to
education. Hopefully educators will also join this list to learn more
about Wikimedia. It's a public list. To join, please see

==Coming soon==
* A real website!
* Membership!!
* An AGM!!! :)

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