Council Meeting 29th March 2023 – Minutes

Council Meeting 29th March 2023 – Minutes

2023-03-31T13:47:15+11:00March 29th, 2023|Categories: Council Meetings, Linux Australia|Tags: , , |

1. Meeting overview and key information


  • Joel Addison (President)
  • Wil Brown (Vice-President)
  • Neill Cox (Secretary)
  • Russell Stuart (Treasurer)
  • Sae Ra Germaine  (Council)
  • Marcus Herstik (Council)
  • Jonathan Woithe (Council)




Not Present


Meeting opened at 20:09 AEDT by Joel Addison and a quorum was achieved.

Minutes taken by Neill Cox


2. Log of correspondence

  • Email: Kathy Reid: Update on LA’s new Mastodon account, changes to website and a WordPress issue to be followed up
  • Working With Children Checks for Victoria State
  • Westpac bank statements
  • PO Box renewal slip – has been paid
  • Number Resource Society (NRS) election cover letter and brochure – no action required
  • Email: Call for OSI board nomination – time for action has passed.
  • Email: Joomla Australia – Linux Australia Subcommittee Proposal – Joel has responded, and will follow up.
  • Email: DrupalSouth Wellington – Budget and Onboarding – Russell has responded
  • Email: Drupal South payments – Russell has responded
  • Email: Transaction Approval and Domestic Payments Limit (Drupal South)- Russell has responded
  • Email: PyCon AU starting funds – Russell has responded. Joel has also spoken to Russell Keith McGee in person about Everything Open’s experience with late registrations.


3. Items for discussion

  • LA website. Avada theme needs a licence to update for security patches and the latest version. $USD 69.
    • Motion by Joel, seconded by Wil, that we sign up for renewal. Carried unanimously. Russell will set up an automatic payment with the Treasurer’s CC
  • Appoint a Social Media Manager either within the council or externally and develop a social media/content marketing plan. Should be a remit of the Media & Comms Team? (from Kathy)
    • One possibility is that the social media manager could use WP’s ability to push content to social media.
    • Wil suggests that having someone fulfilling that role would be very useful.
    • Jonathan suggests that this sounds like a communications manager. Sae Ra notes that getting a single person to manage social media and communications is a lot of work for a single person.
    • Official communications should still be council led.
    • Currently the Media and Comms team only has one member, with part time help from a few others.
    • Council to put a call out for volunteers.
    • Sae Ra has been working on a comms toolkit for VALA which she could share. Worth including a style guide and instructions for preparing images etc for the website.
    • Wil to prepare an outline for the council to discuss. Jonathan to assist.
  • Grant Program – Joel proposes to open $10k of standard grants, $5k of community meetup grants (eg. small grants to LUGs and other open technologies meetups associated with LA to host events, helping to kick start local communities again)
    • Now that we are in a new year with a new council we need to open a new Grants program.
    • Wil thinks this is a good opportunity to provide guidance to LUGs on how to reboot. Advice on venues, getting speakers/topics etc.
    • Russell asks if we paid out any money during Everything Open. We did, just under $1,000. Russell also notes that the budget contains $35,000 for the grants program.
    • Jonathan suggests that we should not lock ourselves in too much, but allow some flexibility to allocate money in response to the popularity of the categories.
    • Marcus suggests avoiding specifying amounts for categories at all and just ask for proposals. The counter argument is that it’s useful to provide some guidance to applicants.
    • Sae Ra suggests including some showcases/examples of previous grants.
    • The expectation is that grants will be small, requests for large amounts will need extraordinary justification.
    • Proposal to extend the closing of the grants program to later in the year. This would mean that the grants program will no longer align with our financial year, and possibly annoy the next council.
    • We should set a calendar reminder to prompt people to get their proposals in before the program closes.
    • Motion by Joel, Seconded by Wil: Open $10,000 of community grants and $10,000 of standard grants. Carried unanimously.
  • Employee Assistance Program – Motion by Joel to approve funding to sign up for EAP as per budget, to give Council members access to an Employee Assistance Program.
    • The budget amount is $1,500 for 12 months.
    • Once we sign up details on how to access the program will be provided.
    • Motion by Joel that Council approves funding for the EAP. Seconded:  Marcus. Carried unanimously.

4. Items for noting

  • BAS report is due soon. Outstanding reconciliation need to be done.
  • Mailman is not working at the moment, admin team has been notified (by email which may not have worked). Sae Ra will make sure the admin team are aware.
  • Everything Open budget needs some work. Currently showing a $25,000 loss, mainly due to outstanding sponsorship. We do expect all of the remaining sponsors to pay. The EO budget should break even or make a small profit, but may not cover the LA tax.
  • Joel has sorted out Ariba now, which should reduce the pain of dealing with sponsors who use that system.
  • Marcus asked about who uses the LA Conference SSO system. Currently the only conferences using it are LCA and Everything Open, but it is available to any conference that runs under LA’s auspice. We should consider a change to the domain used for the SSO system.
  • There was a discussion about the future of LCA and EO. It was pointed out that the overlap between the conferences can be confusing. EO is an attempt to recognise the broader range of topics that LCA has been covering. Council’s official position is still that we will evaluate bids put forward and if the bid looks viable we will try to facilitate running it. Council takes no official position on whether future conferences will be LCA or EO.
  • Council will try to improve future communication around running conferences.

5. Other business

  • None
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