Meeting:2016 AGM/Secretary Report
The 2015-16 term was an interesting one from the Secretary's position. The first business to resolve was the vacant Treasurer position - due to a deficiency in the Rules, we had to fill it despite no nominee coming forward either at the AGM or subsequently. I worked closely with CAV and the committee, and was advised to use Section 76 of the Act to assume the role myself. I sought the Committee's concurrence with this, and we were moving for the term.
I worked with Gideon and Pru to administer the travel component of the Wikidata tour in February 2016. The initially uncomplicated process of getting air tickets from Flight Centre suddenly became more challenging after discussions with Wikimedia Indonesia which resulted in a Jakarta stop being added to Andy Mabbett's homeward journey, which required a significant amount of work between myself, Andy and the travel agent. However, we got it all sorted, the tour was a success and we have now had our first experience of inter-chapter partnership. Its success has laid the groundwork for future collaborations with Indonesia and likely other Asian-region chapters.
In dealing with the Treasurer issue, it was strongly suggested to me by two CAV staff that our rules were deficient, due largely to some changes that were made in 2012, and that conducting a rules review to ensure compliance with the Act and the Model Rules would be necessary. I drafted some changes and the committee were very helpful in reviewing these, and we subsequently organised a Special General Meeting for 11 June to approve them so that they would apply to this and future AGMs. This is probably my proudest legacy in terms of this role, and I am happy that it's left future committees with far more options as well as introducing sections from the Model Rules such as conflict of interest and ethical conduct provisions.
I am retiring from my roles with Wikimedia Australia at this AGM after three years as Secretary and five years' total on the committee. I have learned a lot and had many opportunities to participate in events both here and overseas, and am grateful for them. I would particularly like to thank Steven Crossin, who is also retiring with me and was president for my first two terms. When we arrived in 2013, there was very little formal handover from the previous committee (other than one or two members) and the chapter had commitments it was unable to fulfil and would most likely have resulted in its bankruptcy. Steven and I worked closely together to plan its turnaround, and I think Steven's work is the foundation on which a lot of this year's achievements are based. Pru Mitchell was Vice President for the final term and I have appreciated working with her, particularly in the Membership role which she took on mid-term to assist me with my workload across two demanding admin roles, and in being a pillar of stability within the committee. Gideon Digby, who worked constructively with me to assist with getting the above issues through the committee, and whose projects - detailed in his Report - have anchored the project work and direction of the Chapter more broadly. And Tom Hogarth, who has done a lot of background work on the wikis, with constructive ideas and new policies, and who will make a great Secretary in the coming term. Thank you also to Robert Myers, who I have enjoyed working with and who has been productive, and will undoubtedly make a great Treasurer, to Michael Billington who competently managed our finances for two years and our IT needs this year, and to Charles Gregory who I've served with for many years.
Wikimedia Australia has 39 financial members, up two from last year. A breakdown will be provided as an addendum at a later time.