2020–21 Annual Plan Report
Online Community Meetings
In our 2019-2020 year, Wikimedia Australia established a monthly online community meeting. This was designed as a solution to the fact that our geography means meeting face to face to be a rare and expensive activity. The benefits of meeting and staying in touch with other Wikimedians can increase participants’ level of engagement, provide a network for finding support and for learning new things. It can also improve on-wiki interaction when people know each other.
We were pleased to be offered a low cost online meeting platform from Fred Dixon at Blindside Networks hosted on the open source BigBlueButton web conferencing software. Having a consistent place to meet each month has been helpful, and by the time Covid-19 made online meetings the only option, we were well-established.
The program has usually included brief state, national and global Wikimedia news, an opportunity for every participant to report on their activity in the previous month, and to ask questions, or raise issues. Presentations have included a WikiSource demonstration (Sam Wilson), 1Lib1Ref launch and presentation from State Library Queensland (Jacinta Sutton), Research partnerships (Heather Ford & Amanda Lawrence), Global strategy and re-branding (Alex Lum); and Wikipedia Day 2020.
Wikimedia Australia was asked during the World of Wikipedia Conference if we could assist Ingrid Cumming in presenting on the Noongarpedia project and the challenges faced with the inclusion of Australian Indigenous knowledge at Wikimania. Ingrid was funded to attend Wikimania. She presented in the Languages Space on Australian Indigenous language on Wikipedia.
Ingrid was recognised in the 2020 Western Australian Heritage Awards for her role in setting up and maintaining Noongarpedia, Australia's first Indigenous language Wikipedia. The commendation for an individual who has made a significant contribution to heritage and has demonstrated best practice standards acknowledged that: Noongarpedia has enabled young people to embrace knowledge as a means of breaking down barriers, enabling ancient Noongar knowledge to become a heritage tool locally and globally.
WikiClub West held regular gatherings at Riff, an inner city co-working space, catching up and discussing work on Wikimedia sites, and welcoming others to find out more and get involved in Wikimedia. In 2019, digitisation sessions were held, working with content from the City of Canning Heritage Collection, including material relating to local Volunteer Fire Brigades and Frederick William Davies, a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal. Wikimedians were involved in an invitation-only Be Connected Seniors Tech Expo, as well as a large outdoor lifestyle event for seniors.
Alice Springs’ first pub, an opera singer, an artist and a local favourite picnic spot were just some of the pages created at edit-a-thons in Alice Springs. Wikiclub NT supported two workshops at the Alice Springs Public Library on 15 October for Get Online Week 2019. Twelve locals learnt to edit Wikipedia for the first time, supported by Wikimedia Australia’s Caddie Brain and the library’s Special Collections Coordinator Alice Woods. Focusing on local people, places and histories, the group created ten new pages and have since gone on to create 50 new pages related to Central Australia.
QWiki Club, the regular monthly meetup of State Library of Queensland's Wikipedians, continued until the library closed due to COVID-19. Jacinta Sutton launched #1Lib1Ref 2020 at an online community meeting, sharing some secrets on the way State Library of Queensland goes about this campaign. Across the three week campaign running until 5 Feb, 26 State Library editors made 348 edits to 183 Wikipedia articles with support from Jacinta Sutton and Kerry Raymond.
New South Wales
Women Write Wiki continued to meet at the Women’s Library, and then later the convenor, Ann Reynolds supported the community to move online to keep their editing and conversation going through the pandemic.
State Library of New South Wales hosted Sydney editors and local GLAM organisations for a Wikidata Workshop on 16 December 2020. Guests and presenters included:
- Wikimedian Liam Wyatt, WikiCite
- Wikidata Update - Toby Hudson, University of Sydney
- Wikidata Projects - Geoff Barker, State Library of NSW
- Wikimedia updates - Matt Moore, Wikimedia Australia
There were a total of 19 participants including representatives from the State Library of New South Wales and the National Maritime Museum. Many of the participants were new to Wikidata so the workshop discussions focused on raising their awareness of the capabilities of Wikidata and identifying the applications that the platform might have to their operations. The session yielded positive feedback from participants with opportunities to further develop the use of Wikidata capabilities by participants and their institutions.
Adelaide held one meetup this year on 6 March 2020 with five participants, including one new member.
In July 2019, the Wikimedia Australia, Parlour, and the Women’s Art Register in Richmond partnered to run a Winter Wiki Edit-a-thon on women artists and architects. The thirteen editors created 23 articles. We look forward to partnering with the Women's Art Register on future events to help encourage more women to contribute to Wikipedia, and improve the coverage of under-represented subjects on Wikimedia sites. Dashboard Melbourne meetups were held in January and February.
Australia’s first WikiCite Workshop was held at RMIT University, Melbourne in October 2019, as part of DisruptEd Fringe - with thanks to Leigh Blackall for the invitation. The goal was to learn about Wikidata and how it supports WikiCite projects, and to get a core group started on contributing. Speakers included Alex Lum (Wikimedia Australia), Thomas Shafee (WikiJournal of Science) and Nicole Kearney (Biodiversity Heritage Library), who spoke about the exciting work underway using Wikidata to develop a bibliographic database and a knowledge graph of academic and literary citations.
Following the interest among participants, Wikimedia Australia applied to run a WikiCite satellite event of the Australian library technology conference, VALA 2020 on 14 February 2020 in Melbourne. We successfully won a WikiCite grant which covered the venue and catering. WikiCite ANZ 2020 Report The 19 participants were Wikimedians, educators, librarians, researchers and open access advocates.
Volunteer Support Program
There were three applications from community members under the Volunteer Support program in 2019-20. One was for event registration to a GLAMSLAM conference, one related to analysing data on the History of the Paralympics Australia project, and the third was for a photographic documentation of current events.
Community engagement beyond Wikimedia Australia
As a member of the ESEAP regional group organising Wikimania in Bangkok, Wikimedia Australia had requested funds to ensure members of the organising committee could attend Wikimania. Once it became clear that Wikimania and other overseas travel was not going to be possible, Wikimedia Australia requested that these funds be redirected to an Outreach project: Wikidata: Engagement with Australian GLAMs. See the report on this project under Outreach and Engagement.
Outreach and Engagement
Outreach to the wider Australian population is a priority in order to increase engagement. In this program Wikimedia Australia sought to increase the number of people who know about Wikimedia, who understand how it works and who are attracted to contributing. Specific target audiences included educators, the GLAM sector, and rural and Indigenous communities. The objectives for the 2019-20 outreach and engagement program were: a. Increase awareness and participation of new individuals and organisations b. Establishment of two new collaborative partnerships c. Participation in global content competitions and wide promotion in Australia