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.