2009-2010 AGM/Vice President/Liam Wyatt

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Dear Wikimedia Australia,
I would like to submit my name once again for the role of Vice President of the Chapter, a role to which I was elected last year and would very much like to continue if you will let me. You can read my personal introduction and candidacy statement from last year here, my website and wikimedia-specific blog is here, I tweet here and of course I'm at Wikipedia here.

This past year has seen Wikimedia Australia do some great things. We have achieved prominence in the Australian cultural sector and gained the respect of the rest of the Wikimedia Chapters movement as a vibrant young member. I have focused on achieving these things and I believe we have been successful. I have also been fortunate enough to represent the Chapter at many industry and Wikimedia events both in Australia and internationally in the past year and we are always seen as a good Wikimedia citizen.

This is something of which I am proud and which I believe reflects well on our Chapter. However, whilst not abandoning the good work we've begun in outreach in this coming year I believe that there needs to be a change of focus for our Chapter. We have achieved a lot but there is a lot we are not doing as well as I believe we should.

I believe we need to go "back to basics". For our second year as a Chapter we should:

  1. Consolidate a strong and active membership base by developing a series of local, in-real-life activities and should appoint someone to specifically support this.
  2. Professionalise our administrative, legal and financial capacity and should appoint someone to specifically support this. [to be clear, this is not to suggest that people involved in the Chapter already are not already acting in a professional manner]

Of course, I would still like to continue working on outreach activities such as content donations, press, attending conferences, running "how to edit" classes etc. but these can (and should) be developed as opportunities arise in collaboration with the members and non-members in Australia throughout the year. My strategic focus this year would be on the above two aspects which, though they are not sexy, in my opinion they underpin a mature and vibrant Chapter.

"Consolidate"

This year I invented and convened our first major event - the successful GLAM-WIKI conference. This is now a model that at least three other Wikimedia Chapters in Europe are attempting to emulate. However this event was at the expense of running events for the Wikimedia community. Personally, I am proud to have run GLAM-WIKI but I recognise that it had this unintended and unfortunate consequence. As good as our outreach activities are, this should not be at the expense of a vibrant "in real life" Wikimedia community activities in Australia.

In terms of SMART goals for consolidation - by the next AGM, Wikimedia Australia should:

  • actively maintain a meetup series to solidify the system of ad-hoc meetups to one of organised events (at regular locations/times and increased attendance). This should become the main forum for growing the awareness of the Chapter in the Wikimedia community and invite attendance/interaction of thought-leaders in the Australian public. These should be approx. quarterly in Sydney and Melbourne and at at least once in other major cities. [first prority]
  • run or support more "backstage pass" events and develop these into both a benefit of membership and an attraction for potential GLAM partners.
  • create an "activities officer" (potentially part of the Chapter committee though not necessarily) whose specific task is the coordination of these aforementioned in-real-life activities (a WMF grant could potentially be obtained to support this role).
  • improve the frequency and communication methods for contacting Wikimedians across Australia but also in specific locations (via geo-ip notices, location-based meetup lists, general email lists, etc)
  • create merchandise and distribute as a benefit of membership (we already have a WMF grant for this purpose)
  • create an on-wiki process to solicit for requests from members for projects/technologies/activities that they would like to personally manage but require some financial support to achieve (in time for the next WMF-Chapter grants submissions, to make highly targeted applications that the Chapter would approve and sponsor).

Longer term, I would also like Wikimedia Australia to support a bid for Wikimania Sydney 2012.

"Professionalise"

By this, I do not mean that this is simply a matter of hiring staff [nor am I suggesting that the people in the Chapter already are not acting in a professional manner]. Within five years I do believe that Wikimedia Australia should have an office and professional staff whist the elected committee begins to take a more oversight role. However that is something that we should work towards step by step. What I do mean is that by the next AGM our Chapter should be able to participate in community-wide projects and should be actively assisting these projects (both globally and locally) rather than asking for assistance.

In terms of SMART goals for professionalisation - by the next AGM, Wikimedia Australia should:

  • install a membership and donor database (e.g. CiviCRM) to track the Chapter's formal relationships with individuals. [first prority]
  • lodge an application to be a Deductible Gift Recipient (aka tax-deductabile donations)
  • be prepared for, and be a full participant in, the 2010-2011 annual fundraising drive (the "Wikipedia's 10th birthday" edition).
  • set up more diverse donation methods and a clearer donation system
  • create a "financial administration officer" - reporting to the Treasurer - whose specific task is the coordination of these aforementioned financial activities and bookkeeping (a WMF grant could be obtained to support this role).
  • have the committee meet in person twice a year (including soon after the AGM) (we already have a WMF grant for this purpose)
  • kittens (just checking if you're still concentrating)
  • purchase a "Chapter phone" for press contacts
  • approve a privacy & contact policy to ensure we can interact with people in the future who have given us their details in the past and also to be compliant with the WMF fundraising standards.
  • approve an affiliate membership policy (aka corporate membership) to allow institutions to associate with the Chapter
  • begin reporting on Chapter activities in a formal structure - to the membership, to Australians in general and to the Chapter-reports mailing list.
  • sign up to (if/when they are prepared) to the "WMF-Chapters charter", the WMF-Chapters trademark agreement" and the "WMF-Chapters fundraising agreement".

Longer term, I would like to investigate sharing an office space with a related organisation such as Linux Australia and also investigate changing the Chapter board structure to include an appointed expert member.

Thank you for your consideration. Witty lama 05:51, 21 November 2009 (UTC)