Linux Australia Autumn Newsletter


Hi there! We're pleased to bring you the first of what is hopefully many editions of the Linux Australia Community Newsletter. A newsletter is something we've been hoping to establish for some time, and we'd warmly welcome your support and advice in shaping it to bring you the news you want to read about Linux and Open Source in Australia.

We'd really love your support to help keep the newsletter ticking along, and if you'd like to contribute as an editor, or if you have a news story to share, please get in contact at

-- Brianna Laugher, on behalf of the Media and Communications Subcommittee
Council news

By Kathy Reid, Secretary

All Council minutes can be found at .

Recent meetings:

24 April
28 March
14 March
2-3 March (face to face)

TasLUG becomes a Subcommittee of Linux Australia

Following a request by Craige McWhirter on behalf of TasLUG, the Council considered and subsequently unanimously voted in favour of their proposal to become a subcommittee of Linux Australia. The anticipated benefits of working in this arrangement include reduced administrative overhead for finance matters, better access to insurance for events and the ability to leverage off Linux Australia's infrastructure - such as MemberDB for elections. We'd like to take the opportunity to warmly welcome TasLUG into the Linux Australia family, and we're very positive and excited to be working more closely together.

Video and Streaming Subcommittee is formed

With thanks to Tim Ansell for his hard work on promoting the need for a collaborative community in this space, we're excited to announce that the Video and Streaming Subcommittee has also recently been formed. It is intended that the Subcommittee provides advice and guidance, where sought, for events run under the Linux Australia umbrella.

People interested in being part of the Subcommittee should contact Tim Ansell on
Media and Communications Subcommittee

With thanks to Brianna Laugher and Bianca Gibson, and many people who were interested in forming such a group, the Media and Communications Subcommittee has been formed. The mandate of the Subcommittee includes production of a regular Linux Australia community newsletter, and helping to give Linux Australia and related events and groups a stronger voice in the media. We'd love for you to be involved! Just drop a line to
Upcoming events

Keep up to date with all Linux Australia events on our Events Calendar -
WordCamp Melbourne


WordCampMelbourne will be held on the weekend of 27-28 April at RMIT's Storey Hall in Melbourne. WordCamp is a conference for WordPress enthusiasts, designers, developers, or anyone who is using WordPress for business or pleasure. We will have a range of speakers covering a broad series of topics, showing the incredible variety of uses for WordPress, from content management, blogging to e-commerce, community building, and beyond. In a first, tickets have sold out a week before the event. Awesome work by the event team!



With huge props to open government advocate and past-Vice President Pia Waugh, GovHack this year has gone national, and will be held on the weekend of June 1-2 2013. For more information or to register an expression of interest check out the website below. All over Australia, hundreds of hackers will join together to form teams and work to create the best new mashups, data visualisations and apps with Gov data.

Register your interest:

Pycon Australia
Pyconau logo.png

Pycon Australia will be held July 5–7 2013, Hobart, Tasmania. PyCon Australia is the national conference for users of the Python Programming Language. The conference promises a weekend packed full of amazing content on all aspects of the Python ecosystem, presented by experts and core developers of the tools and frameworks you use every day. Early Bird tickets are on sale until Friday 3rd May at a substantial discount.

Announce List:

Devops Downunder

Devops Days Downunder 2013 will be held on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th July 2013 in Ultimo Sydney. The Call for proposals is open until 24 May.

Recent past events
BarCampMelbourne 16th March 2013, Melbourne, Victoria

Convened by BarCamp stalwart Ben Dechrai, BarCampMelbourne 2013 had a last minute venue change with many thanks to Pomke and the team at Small World who lent the team their fabulous Causeway House Boardroom, enabling the event to go ahead. A huge thanks also to the team at No ISP for sponsorship. There were a number of great presentations, and much social interaction. Moreover the team is looking for feedback on a possible November BarCamp at a scout camp at outer Eastern Melbourne.

Hardware Freedom Day

Saturday 20th April saw the second global Hardware Freedom Day. Australia held three events, in Sydney, Gold Coast and Melbourne in respective HackerSpaces. If you'd like to get more involved in this area, check out the Hardware Freedom Day website and the events.


Upcoming Linux User Group (LUG) meetings

We don't know when all the upcoming LUG meetings are being held, so if you'd like us to include your LUG or open source group meeting in this newsletter, please email
Members corner
Vale Malcolm Tredinnick

We were saddened to learn of the passing of longtime community member Malcolm Tredinnick in March. Malcolm has been a familiar face at LCA for many years and we will be poorer without his knowledgable, welcoming and friendly presence. Mary Gardiner has written a post with some links to videos of his talks from years past.

I (Brianna) remember going to his tutorial at my first LCA in 2008, "Memory-Efficient and Fast Websites -- Pick Two!" (slides/recordings), where I sat on the floor because the room was so full, and I still couldn't take down his tips as fast as he was offering them. He obviously loved to share his knowledge and it is something we are all richer for.
Interview with Donna Benjamin
By Michael Davies, licensed CC-BY-SA.

For our inaugural newsletter, Kathy interviewed 2013 Rusty Wrench Award winner, Drupal Association at-large Board Member, 2008 Conference Director and all-round bundle of awesome, Donna Benjamin.

K: So Donna, you've recently become more involved in the Drupal community. Care to tell us more?

I'm one of the first "At Large" Directors of the Drupal Association elected by the community. I ran the 2nd community elections, and have since been appointed to a 3 year term on the board.

K: Congratulations!

Dries recently asked me to join the newly formed "Community Working Group" - one of a number of working groups set up to streamline governance processes for the project.

K: Sounds like a great way to engage the community - where can we find out more?

Here's the charter

K: Nice work on DrupalCon Sydney in February - how did it go?

It was pretty exciting to have DrupalCon come to Australia! and happen for the first time outside the northern hemisphere. Next up is DrupalCon Portland at the end of May, I'm pretty excited about that. I went to Portland for OSCON a couple of years ago, and I love the town - but also DrupalCon is just a huge amount of fun mixed with a huge amount of learning!

K: Sounds like it was a very positive experience. So where is Drupal itself heading?

As to the project itself, all eyes are on the ongoing development of Drupal 8 - lots of big changes coming. Under the hood, and up front. HTML5, Symfony, focus on improving the authoring experience, and responsive out of the box, plus a whole new theme layer.

K: So what plans does Drupal have in the mobile space, given the ubiquity of tablets and smartphones?

Massive plans... already well under way... check out

Basically - There was a "Mobile Initiative" for D8 led by John Albin (who came to DrupalCon Sydney from Taiwan!)

And this blog post gives a good overview

K: Sounds like you don't have much spare time! What other awesome are you baking at the moment?

The other thing I'm really looking forward to - is this coming weekend I'm heading to Perth for ghosts.

I really think the ghosts of conferences past is one of the secret success factors behind - giving the next team the opportunity to meet and connect with past organisers, and have those old hands on deck to review plans is really valuable. It's great that each team doesn't have to start from scratch.

K: Thanks heaps for your time Donna!

You're welcome :-)
On the planet

Check for the latest articles. Want to get your blog featured in Plant Linux Australia? Ping us on or Twitter @LinuxAustralia, email or join the IRC conversation at on
On the mailing lists

Daniel Jitnah reports that OSIA (Open Source Industry Australia) is holding a survey "relating to the Open Source software industry in Australia", closing 8 May.

Could you do a better job at summarising linux-aus than this? Maybe you should submit a summary for the next newsletter! :)