Proposal:Wikimedia Australia Meetups

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Since the inception of the Wikimedia movement, meeting each other in person has been commonplace. It's an opportunity for Wikimedians to come together and celebrate our movement, learn new things and meet new people, but also presents an excellent opportunity for community outreach. Wikimedia Australia is no exception. There have been regular meetups in Melbourne and Sydney, with more sporadic meetups in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, and the rest of the country. There has also been GLAM events and three unconferences in Canberra.

This proposal addresses an innovative step of formally creating Wikimedia Australia meetups to be held on a regular monthly basis for WMAU members, active wikipedians and the general public who by their attendance demonstrate an interest in becoming active wikipedians and demonstrate in good faith an interest in learning about Wikimedia Australia and the Wikipedia projects. It is envisaged that WMAU meetups should play an active role through the analysis of participants needs in terms of training so that participants of the monthly meetings gain knowledge and develop the skills to participate so that Wikimedia Australia may effectively explain the function and practices required to produce Australian content for Wikipedia.

It is envisaged that Wikimedia Australia meetups would be held in addition to the usual practice of the movement's community meetups which traditionally are held in various venues across the country and that a formally held WMAU meetup in no way supersedes the traditional community meetup. This proposal for a Wikimedia Australia meetup does not refer to WMAU committee meetings or special or general meetings as outlined in the Chapter's Rules of Association.

In recent times, Melbourne has hosted frequent meetups - once a month until last month, and initially these were well-attended, but dropped off over time. The same holds true for many other state locations, while community meetups initially had good attendence levels, it has declined over time.

WMAU has gained members as a result of meetups, editors have become more active in the movement and the general public has become more aware of the purpose of Wikimedia. Even with all this effort, our membership numbers remain low, and some states are more lacking in members than others. To improve on this, I propose the following:

  • Each month (normally on the last Sunday of each month), starting in January (the 12th anniversary of Wikipedia), a Meetup will take place in each capital city. These, where practical would occur on the same day, and would be Wikimedia Australia meetups.
  • Small grants would be available if required for venue hire, however the use of public facilities (cafes, libraries) would be preferred.
  • That should this proposal be accepted by the members it is on the condition that the rules governing a WMAU meetup be laid down by the committee from time to time as deemed necessary by the WMAU committee and that the rules be announced in the monthly committee minutes and posted on the Chapter's website.
  • Announcements could be sent to Wikipedians via the usual list notices available to Wikimedia Australia, as well as by email and public notices (such as newspapers) where deemed appropriate.
  • Where possible a brief report would be written up and sent to WMAU committee, containing the content of the WMAU meetup's discussion and including the number of attendees, and the name or handle of attendees where consent is sought and granted by an attendee or attendees.
  • As it is proposed that the meetup be a Wikimedia Australia gathering, the committee will set the terms of reference for such a meetup which could include, among other aspects set down by the WMAU committee, the nomination from among its membership of those who are authorised to announce and to preside over the meetup.