Meeting:2012 AGM/President's Report
This report focuses on July 2011 to June 2012, however it references are made to activity in the extended period from January 2011 to the present where necessary to explain the background and current position as at the time of the AGM.
The organisation held a strategic planning exercise culminating in a strategic plan being approved by the members at the 2011 AGM. Some components of this strategy were put into suspended animation when the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees moved strongly to cause all but a select few chapters to not fundraise and we did not have the capacity or desire to make use of their bridge grant program or obtain other substitute sources of revenue. The Wikimedia revenue source and grant system has stabilised.
The Secretary Anne Frazer replaced Brian Salter-Duke as the public officer on 27 November 2011. Brian has been the public officer of the organisation since establishment in 2008. Brian has also served as an Ordinary Member of the committee and two terms as the Treasurer.
Our organisation has completed its first audit covering the period July 2010 – June 2011 when we met the definition of a "prescribed organisation". The audit was late commencing as the auditor appointed by the 2009–10 committee was not willing to perform this audit. Once a new auditor was engaged, the audit was delayed by the lack of a well maintained membership register before this period, and also during this period. After several internal reviews of our membership register, the committee provided a list of members that we could say was true and accurate. The audit was also significantly delayed by the unusual nature of the Fundraising agreement, and they were especially concerned about the accounts not including a second transfer as required by the Fundraising agreement. This concern was resolved after the WMF provided the auditor with a letter to indicate this second transfer was still pending, and that this was not considered a problem according to the Wikimedia Foundation. The various delays in the completion of the 2010–11 audit caused the Committee a lot of stress. Consumer Affairs Victoria and other institutions had accepted our requests for an extension, but were growing impatient as the 2012 AGM drew nearer, as was the Committee.
The organisation has commenced its second audit with the same auditor, and expects a smoother process this time.
The committee did not send anyone to the February 2012 Finance meeting in Paris.
Wikimedia Australia has joined the Wikimedia Chapters Association with Charles Gregory as our delegate.
Email addresses were migrated from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com . In Janurary 2012 the organisation allowed any financial member to request an email address if they are publicly identified and are actively involved in Wikimedia Australia activities.
The challenge for 2013 is to increase participation in the public wiki, and the creation of public proposals. The committee needs to lead by example, doing more of their work on the public wiki, and revising programs so that applications for volunteer support are made publicly rather than privately, or at least allow delayed publishing by the committee so that proposals and volunteer support requests are publicly accountable, reducing friction and misunderstandings, and allowing other members to assist in these matters.
Committee of Management
The committee has met monthly, usually on the third Sunday of the month unless quorum could not be obtained.
The organisation was inundated with membership requests during and after the 2010 Fundraiser, many of which were not followed by payment of dues. The committee invested a lot of time migrating old memberships from memberdb into CiviCRM and auditing our membership records to fulfil our audit requirements.
The reports submitted to these meetings are being standardised to include organisation activity occuring in the prior calander month rather than the period between committee meetings. This allows time to prepare the reports before the committee meetings, and for activity statistics to be aggregated in a meaningful way.
The treasurer has been implementing the accounting service 'Xero', and has been providing regular monthly financial reports for the committee meeting. The committee has not been formally accepting these after review, however it has been beneficial to consult these reports during the meeting.
The President, Secretary and returning officer compiled a report regarding the election at the 2011 AGM. The most important recommendations have been implemented for the 2012 AGM, however there are many more that need to be considered by the incoming committee.
In December 2011 the committee formalised the method by which voting on resolutions could occur between Committee Meetings.
The committee has instituted regular public IRC meetings on the first Sunday of the month. These meetings have been a mixed bag, with some public meetings being well attended with good discussions and a few projects being conceptualised, and others where nothing substantial was discussed. The potential of these meetings has yet to be realised. In the upcoming 2012 AGM, Steven Zhang and Anne Frazer have put forward a proposal to add a nation-wide meetup component to these public meetings to increase the accessibility and utility of these meetings.
In December 2011 Wikimedia Australia halved its membership fees to $20 per annum for all new members and effective for 2012–2013 fees for existing or lapsed members. The committee introduced a new fee category at the same time for 'residents of Pacific islands without an established chapter', with dues set at AUD$10 per annum. The 50% reduction for concession holders still applies.
We have one New Zealand member.
The treasurer introduced a new invoicing system for membership renewals, resulting in a higher member retention than in recent years.
Wikimedia Australia does not have staff or contractors.
Our program activity has been very reliant on the in-kind support of project management by our large partners APC and SLQ.
In 2010 Wikimedia Australia was the direct recipient of donations from the Australian public, and our organisation granted half of the money to the Wikimedia Foundation to support the infrastructure and broader movement. In June 2011 Wikimedia Australia sign a one year agreement, with a second year option, for Wikimedia Australia to again be the direct recipient of donations from the Australian public. Our strategic plan had included fundraising as an important activity. Organisation funds were spent sending Adam Jenkins to the fundraising summit in Vienna, and in July 2011 Adam was involved in preparing for Wikimedia Australia to be involved in the 2011 Fundraiser. In August the organisation intended to join Fundraising Institute Australia, however soon after the Wikimedia Foundation indicated that chapters should focus on activity and shouldnt be fundraising.
Soon after the Wikimedia Foundation pushed through changes to the existing fundraising structure such that donations from the Australian public went to the United States, and Wikimedia Australia needed to apply for a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation initially offered the "meta:Grants:Annual/Draft" program for Wikimedia Australia to request a grant, which was replaced by the meta:Funds Dissemination Committee. The FDC has two funding rounds each year. Wikimedia Australia submitted a poor-quality application into the first round of the FDC, causing it to be rejected and we were advised to we reapply in the second round.
The organisation started the last financial year with $x in cash, and had $x in cash at the end of the financial year. We anticipate having $100,000 in cash at the beginning of 2013.
Planned program activity
The 2011-12_budget included $315,800 of program activity. The following sections summarise the results of our planned activity.
The organisation held a strategic planning exercise culminating in a strategic plan being approved by the members at the 2011 AGM.
In Queensland two sets of workshops were run in partnership with the State Library of Queensland.
Brisbane based workshops were funded entirely by the State Library.
The organisations who attended the Brisbane workshops include:
- Queensland Parliament Library
- Art Galleries, state and
- E-Government consulting firms
- Libraries in South East Queensland
- Other libraries in Queensland who happened to be in town
- PhD students
The Queensland regional workshop program was one of the two key successes of the organisation.
Over 100 Queensland organisations have received Wikimedia training from Wikimedia Australia. We have only tracked the participants at the sessions that we have conducted. (See w:WP:GLAM/SLQ for details.) The SLQ staff who have been our companions at the regional training workshop (Michelle, Troy and Ruth) continue to conduct Wikimedia training at SLQ, and regularly improve the workshop manual that they developed. We have not obtained reports on their workshops; however we have been informed that a significant percentage of the SLQ staff have now been trained using the same program.
The program achieved the programatic objectives, with workshop participants creating articles and experiencing remote members of our community improving their articles as they watched. The participants were almost all women.
The following members assisted in person at these workshops:
The following non-members also assisted in person at these workshops.
This program failed to bring in many long term Wikipedians to the organisation as trainers or assistants.
The list of Wiki people who assisted remotely as of April is available in a report published on the public Australian mailing list.
The program consumed 50% of the budget as the State Library covered all of the costs of the Brisbane workshops other than incidental expenses incurred by Wikipedians.
The SLQ program was regularly featured in the GLAM newsletter.
Liam Wyatt blogged about his workshops.
Our plan identified the Australian Paralympic Committee as one of the major partners in our budgeted "Other workshops".
The other organisations who partnered with us were:
- ABC Open
- Tasmanian Department of Education (outreach:Wikipedia training day, Hobart VET)
- Somerset Regional Council (using the SLQ training program)
Australian Paralympic Committee
Six workshops partnering with the UQ-APC were held at:
- Perth - 18 September 2011
- Brisbane - 31 October 2011 (in conjunction with SLQ workshop)
- Brisbane - 26&27 May 2012
- Hobart - 29 February 2012 (outreach:Wikipedia training day, Kingston Tasmania)
- Canberra - 30 July 2012
- Sydney - 10 November 2012
Wikimedia Australia supported the ABC Open collaboration being undertaken by Gnangarra. In August 2011 a pilot in Pemberton WA was conducted, costing roughly $350. Based on this, a budget of $2500 was requested for five workshops in Western Australia. The committee made $5000 available to Gnangarra in December 2011, however the additional workshops did not occur.
Anne Frazer and Craig Franklin attended the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin as representatives of Wikimedia Australia, and funded by our organisation.
There are no reports from these attendees.
- Note: $10,000 from the Wikimania budget was reallocated to WikiWomenCamp.
On 17 January the committee agreed that Graham and Charles should represent our committee so that international travel would be spread evenly among the chapter board members (we sent one other board member to WikiWomenCamp, and two other board members to the Wikimedia Conference). Graham required a carer, and we approved funding for his mother to accompany him in that capacity. The remaining money would be made available for the community as half scholarships.
The board informed the community of our intended strategy in the 5 February 2012 public meeting, and the resolution was made on 12 February 2012.
The 'selection' of recipients was made by the WMAU committee, however we were lucky in that we had a limited number of applications, all high quality, and we could approve all half-scholarship applications. Four people applied; four were approved; three used the awarded funds (Steven Zhang didnt use his scholarship as he secured other funding).
Wikimedia Australia was a sponsor for the third RecentChangesCamp Canberra, 2012. This is the second year we have provided support.
$1000 was allocated for attendee travel and accommodation. The venue was provided free of charge by University of Canberra. Catering was paid for by two members of Wikimedia Australia.
There are no reports from RCC.
The "NEXT" model was an output from the unconference.
Camera Equipment Program
The Camera equipment program was introduced in August 2011.
In July, before the program launch, Toby Hudson received funds for camera equipment under the small grant program.
user:Bidgee's large camera equipment grant application for $1000 was approved in December 2011.
JJ Harrison's small camera equipment support application for $500 was approved in August 2012.
Russavia's camera equipment kick start support application for $200 was approved in August 2012.
There is a pending application from Gnangarra. In September, while reviewing this application and Gnangarra's feedback on the program, the committee reduced the amount of repetitive work that was needed to obtain these reimbursements. (Meeting:Committee_(2012-09-22)#Camera_equipment_program) Gnangarra informed the committee on 1 October that he has completed the work required. The reimbursement application should be put on the next committee agenda.
The budget allowed for 20 small grants of $200 each.
The program was altered to remove the restriction preventing non-members from applying.
The committee has decided to replace this program with a 'Volunteer Support Programme'.
Ad-Hoc Grant Pool
The budget allowed for $8000 of ad-hoc grants, for activity not covered by an existing program, at the discretion of the committee.
The committee made the following grants from this pool.
JJ Harrison North Queensland
Wikimedia Australia provided $1000 to J.J. Harrison for expenses related to his photography trip to North Queensland.
Wikimedia Australia was a major sponsor for the amount of $2500 for the Ada Camp Melbourne to be held on January 14, 2012.
Anne Frazer and Jutta von Dincklage attended the event.
Wikipedia takes Perth Foreshore
Wikimedia Australia provided $500 for Wikipedia takes Perth Foreshore.
$100 was to be used for merchandise and $400 provided assistance for JJ Harrison to attend the event.
Wiki takes Australian War Memorial
Wikimedia Australia provided up to $330 for Robert Myers to attend Wiki takes Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
LangCamp 2012 is scheduled to occur on December 6&7 at University of Indonesia.
$110,000 of activity on the budget was not funded at all.
|Writing System Strategy Document||2000|
|Batak Script Meeting||USD300|
|Classical music scholarship||12000|
|Other state library regional workshops||30000|
|Project Manager (from February-ish to June)||45000|
Writing System Strategy Document
The person to be commissioned to write the strategy document did not accept the offer. The offer was extended to another person; however they also didnt accept the offer.
Batak Script Meeting
The planned meeting was not organised.
Laura Hale was funded to attend the February 2012 Finance meeting in Paris, but could not attend.
Classical music scholarship
This project was abandoned after a change in the administration at the partner institution.
The Wiki loves .. my town project was discussed frequently, however it failed to get off the ground. Discussions we had about running Wiki Loves Monuments in its place, however in the public IRC meetings it was decided that we should aim for 2013. Two members put forward their name to run WLM in 2013.
Other state library regional workshops
Productive discussions have been held with the State Library of Victoria (July 2011), State Library of New South Wales, and the State Library of South Australia, however these did not result in regional workshops.
Due to changes in the WMF approach to fundraising, this item was undesirable.
The loss of the fundraiser meant that we couldnt guarantee the selected person a permanent position. This reduced the priority of this item, resulting in lack of volunteer initiative and drive to bring this to fruition.
The committee prepared a draft job description, however the committee failed to identify all of the tasks needed to employee this staff member; there were two schools of thought regarding the selection process to use, and there were many people in the community hoping to be selected for the job.
Unplanned program activity
The following programs were introduced by the committee.
Wikimedians to the Games
The Paralympics 2012 WikiCup [also known as "Wikimedians to the Games"] was approved in December 2011, for Wikimedia Australia to fund one of the two winners to attend the London 2012 Paralympics as the media representative of Wikimedia Australia. The Australian Paralympic Committee committed to fund the other winner.
The WikiCup ran from 10 January to 30 June 2012. The winner and only participant to meet the stringent eligibility criteria is Toby Hudson (w:user:99of9). All of the WikiCup participants are commended for their quality content contributions during this period. Toby declined the award of going to the London 2012 Paralympics.
Wikimedia Australia and the Australian Paralympic Committee selected HOPAU project members Ross Mallett and Laura Hale respectively to attend the London 2012 Paralympics as the media representatives of Wikimedia Australia.
This program was originally budgetted at $7,500; however the final cost to Wikimedia Australia was $11,000.
Laura Hale was one of the main proponents of WikiWomenCamp. Wikimedia Australia decided this was a worthwhile activity and allocated $10,000 to fund the event from out of the Wikimania budget. 50% of the $10,000 was restricted to assist attendees with expenses.
Wikimedia Australia funded the following attendees:
- Laura Hale (WMAU)
- Kartika Sari Henry (WMID)
- Charlene Foster (WMZA)
Wikimedia Australia gifted $100 to Computerbank in October 2011, and has not yet paid for their facility since then.
The committee provided an in-principle commitment that, until a program available to everyone was approved, or a better venue found, the organisation would pay a reasonable venue hire fee for the Melbourne Meetups being held monthly at Computerbank.
Our members were involved in the following Wikimedia projects and achievements worth noting that did not involved Wikimedia Australia funding. My apologies if some are missing; I have included the projects that were minuted by the committee. (Please add any that I have missed.)
Wikimedia Australia member (and previous Vice-President) Liam Wyatt was one of the organisers of GLAMcamp Netherlands.
Laura Hale attended the event funded by a WMF Participation Grant.
Dictionary of Sydney
The WMAU proposal 'Dictionary of Sydney' support letter was written on 25 July 2012, actioned on 27 July 2012, and was consider to have been an important part of the campaign that secured the ongoing funding of the Dictionary of Sydney. Our involvement was mentioned in a Dictionary of Sydney blog post.
In 2012 the Fremantle Society has been supporting Wikimedia projects, culminating in the Freopedia project which is softly launching.
Wikimedia Australia members have regularly contributed an 'Australia' section to the GLAM newsletter.
The committee introduced a media policy. Charles is the designated agent for twitter and facebook, and has begun providing monthly reports on reach. John is the designated agent for linkedin.
Wikimedia Australia was an accredited media organisation at the 2012 Paralympic Games, with Laura Hale and Ross Mallet as our volunteer media team. Senator Kate Lundy blogged about the HOPAU project, and also mentioned it in Parliament: Senate Hansard, pp43-44 (PDF).
Thank you Brian for your service to the organisation over many years, and for your continued support of the Melbourne Meetups by opening Computerbank.
Thanks again to all of the committee members for their investment in Wikimedia Australia over the past 12 months.
A special thanks to the Wikimedia contributors who remotely assisted during the SLQ workshops, and to all the HOPAU project members.
Finally thanks to Adam Jenkins for his election software and acting as our as election sysadmin, and to Steven Clark for being our election returning officer. While the start of the election was delayed slightly, these gentlemen have ensured the election ran smoothly once it was underway.
Thanks also to
- Linux Users of Victoria, for providing web hosting
- State Library of Queensland
- Australian Paralympic Committee