Frequently asked questions
Wikimedia Australia Inc. (also known as WMAu) is the Australian chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit organisation that provides almost 300 online collaborative wiki projects, most notably Wikipedia, an internet-based encyclopaedia which is the world's largest and most popular reference website and one of the top 10 most visited websites globally. Together, the foundation's sites are visited about 15,000 times a second.
So, what's the mission of the chapter?
We have three main aims:
- to organise, support and participate in educational and social events that promote the development of free cultural works and related open-source software systems, in particular, wikis;
- to increase public awareness, support and participation in the projects hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF);
- to develop resources to assist Australians to create and maintain free cultural works.
WMAu is recognised by the foundation as a official chapter; so we provide our members with an official voice in the global Wikimedia community, whose aim is to create no less than the sum of human knowledge, and to make available gratis related free resources for use by anyone throughout the world.
There are now around 40 local chapters of the foundation. All are self-dependent organisations that share the goals of the foundation and support them within a specified geographical region. They support the foundation, its communities, and its projects in different ways – by collecting donations, organising local events and projects, and spreading the word of Wikimedia and free culture. They provide the volunteer community and potential partners and supporters with a point of contact capable of fulfilling specific local needs.
Are you a charity?
WMAU is a registered charitable organisation, as well as being a not-for-profit association incorporated under the laws of the state of Victoria. We do not currently have tax-deductible status for donations.
What is the difference between Wikimedia Australia and the Wikimedia Foundation?
WMAu is a non-profit association incorporated in the state of Victoria, Australia. The foundation is the US non-profit charitable organisation that operates Wikipedia and other sites. Please read the foundation's FAQs for more information.
Which projects does WMAu support?
We support all projects run by the foundation; most of our members actively contribute to one or more of these projects, often as editors of the English Wikipedia.
The following projects fall under the Wikimedia Foundation umbrella:
- Wikimedia Commons
- and many more...
How is the chapter run?
Most of the interaction between committee members, other members and the community happens online through wikis, mailing lists and electronic chat (IRC). Face-to-face meetings, known as wiki meetups, occasionally occur around Australia. These meetups are generally organised locally by members in their capital city. Project participants and new people are always welcome to attend.
Is WMAu responsible for content on Wikipedia?
Well, no. Wikipedia is run by the Wikipedia editing community, and the chapters have no particular power over content. However, as many of our members are Wikipedia editors, as individuals we can attempt to persuade others – like anyone else at Wikipedia. If you'd like to contribute to Wikipedia, we encourage you to become an editor (as well as joining WMAu!); that way, you can contribute online to the biggest repository of information in the world, and can work with other Australians to support the creation and uploading of free cultural content. These two aims neatly complement each other.
How can I contact WMAu?
Please see the contact page for information on contacting us. We look forward to hearing from you!