Wow, suffice to say this isn’t something that I thought I would need to send. But then again, is anything we are currently doing “Business As Usual”?
This is about the time that we start our full planning mode for linux.conf.au, assemble our Session Selection Committee, announce our Grants program and our subcommittees start making their announcements. But this year is a little different. You may have already seen that the PyCon AU subcommittee has announced PyConline AU for 2020 and everything is underway to deliver this to our community.
Which brings me to an update for you about Linux Australia’s recent activity and what is happening to LCA2021.
Linux Australia is continuing to advocate for our community. We recently signed an open letter  calling the Government of Australia to be open and transparent in regards to the “COVIDSafe” app. We joined nearly 100 Academics and Industry Experts calling for this. Signing was important for Linux Australia because we have an obligation to our community to advocate for open and transparent standards. It is one of our Values  and not signing this would be doing our community a dis-service. I have received lots of fantastic feedback and support which tells me that we are headed in the right direction.
Our Mailing Lists:
A reminder to all that we have mailing lists available . I would like to stress (very strongly) that we have a mailing list conduct policy which is found in our GitHub account . We want this to be a safe and inclusive environment just like our conferences. If you don’t want to want to abide by this policy please feel free to unsubscribe.
We would like to change tact for this year’s grants program and specifically focus on supporting initiatives, projects and groups to get through this time with technology and access. Funding could be provided to support projects such as improved documentation and user experience around web-conferencing software to make it more accessible for those who may not understand technology as we do. Or it may go to help develop a web-conferencing solution to suit our conferences and events. An official email opening the 2020 Grants Program will be sent out in the coming days. Please stay tuned for more info.
We now come to what everyone is really reading this email for….
Linux Australia, the LCA Ghosts and the LCA2021 team have come together in the last month and discussed the next steps for us and what we should do with our beloved conference. We have decided that it is for the best to postpone LCA2021 to LCA2022. We have secured the 2022 dates with the Australian National University events booking team. We felt that this was our best option after considering a number of factors:
- There may not be a vaccine available by January 2021.
- Opening Call for Sessions during a lockdown is hard to do as speakers can’t guarantee that they can travel today, tomorrow or January.
- Being realistic about the safety of our International Delegates: if there is still no vaccine for COVID-19 we can’t reasonably expect our delegates to go into 2 weeks quarantine on either side of our conference.
- The safety of our Volunteers is paramount.
But LCA is my yearly pilgrimage! What does this mean?
We will be running LCA Online!
I will be putting a call out for some volunteers to help me put together an online conference. This conference will be light touch, with minimal overheads. If you have any talk ideas keep them brewing. Was there a talk you gave at LCA 10 years ago and now that you’re 10 years on is your opinion still the same? Is that project still even a thing? So keep an eye out on our various channels for a call for volunteers and a call for talks. Looking forward to seeing what can be put together for you.
We hope that you are all keeping safe and well during this time of craziness. Please keep and eye out for more updates coming in the near future. Remember that these times are troubling and unknown for all of us so I urge you to please be kind to each other.
If you have any questions or concerns please do contact myself or Council.
Sae Ra Germaine
President Linux Australia