The Linux Aus­tralia Coun­cil elec­tions are in full swing, and I thought it only fair to abuse my blog to pimp my can­did­acy for an Ordin­ary Com­mit­tee Mem­ber pos­i­tion. You’re an LA mem­ber (it’s free!), drop in and exer­cise your demo­crat­ic right (i.e. vote for me :p ).

My offi­cial plat­form is as follows:

I have been par­ti­cip­at­ing in the FOSS com­munity for over ten years. I have man­aged Linux Australia’s pres­ences at CeBIT and the Edu­ca­tion Expo. I have also rep­res­en­ted LA at oth­er events such as the Moodle Con­fer­ence in 2006, and was the lead video encoder at the A/​V Team at linux​.conf​.au 2007.

For the past two years I have been serving on the SLUG Com­mit­tee (includ­ing one term as Pres­id­ent), organ­ising most of its meet­ings in that time and run­ning events like Soft­ware Free­dom Day.

A key focus of my efforts in the com­munity over the past few years has been to foster co-oper­a­tion between groups and con­trib­ut­ors. As an Linux Aus­tralia Coun­cil mem­ber, I feel that I would be even more effect­ive in this endeavour.

The won­der­ful thing about free soft­ware code devel­op­ment is that it can scale so well. I would like to see a sim­il­ar level of scalab­il­ity with the wider com­munity out­side of the cod­ing realm. LA is uniquely posi­tioned to provide the resources and sup­port to enable com­munity mem­bers and groups to achieve great things. The bene­fits of this are many-fold:

  • it makes it easi­er to engage, hence break­ing down sep­ar­a­tions between con­trib­ut­ors and users;
  • it grows the com­munity of contributors;
  • it allows us to do more and bet­ter things on the whole; and
  • it aids to reduce depend­ence on a small group of act­ors, thereby address­ing the ever-present danger of burn-out amongst contributors.

We must remem­ber, how­ever, that the ‘com­munity’ is much lar­ger than the mem­ber­ship of LA and LUGs. I have come across many people who are inter­ested in some aspect of ‘Linux’ or ‘open source’ but know very little about LA or their loc­al LUG. In many cases, their interests are more dir­ectly served by oth­er groups, such as:

  • industry asso­ci­ations (e.g. OSIA)
  • lan­guage groups (Java, Python, etc.)
  • oth­er oper­at­ing sys­tems groups (OpenSol­ar­is, Mac OS, etc.)
  • stand­ards bod­ies (IEEE, W3C, etc.)
  • com­puter clubs
  • groups devoted to a field (edu­ca­tion, embed­ded, etc.)

LA has a fant­ast­ic com­munity, but in the grand scheme of things it is but one of many. I hope — in an offi­cial Linux Aus­tralia capa­city — to improve net­work­ing with these oth­er organ­isa­tions to grow the over­all com­munity and extend the reach of free and open source soft­ware to more sec­tors of society.

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