2010-2011 AGM/Candidates/Charles Gregory

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Hi everyone, Im Charles, and since I'm running for the committee I thought I should post a little bit about myself!

Outside of Wikipedia

I was born, raised and educated in Launceston, Tasmania. I have half of a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania, but I realised my schooling was getting in the way of my education. :)

I have worked in the IT industry all my life, through a variety of helpdesk, desktop support, server/network support and similar roles. I've worked in various sectors - education, scientific research, small business - and for the past 6 years in the energy sector.

I've been happily married to Emma and living in Hobart for the past nine years, and have two children, an almost-three daughter and a one year old son.

My other interests are quite varied - home theatre, football (soccer), running, photography, sustainable building, politics and genealogy.

Wiki life

My first involvement with Wikipedia was in 2002 - i started editing and soon became addicted! I was appointed an Administrator of the English Wikipedia in 2004. I've also made a small number of contributions to other Wikimedia projects, mostly images to Commons.

I was (proudly) a member of the interim committee at the time of Wikimedia Australia's establishment in 2008. I didn't nominate for the next couple of years but am honoured to accept Sarah and Brian's nomination for committee member for 2010-2011!

Other related organisations that I've been involved in include:

  • Linux.conf.au 2009 - I was a volunteer for this event, held in Hobart in January 2009
  • Digital Tasmania - the Tasmanian consumer action group (incidentally - in 2008 we lobbied the government to roll out a fibre-to-the-home network, and to start it in Tasmania - and the rest is history)
  • OpenStreetMap.org - a free, open access, worldwide atlas - with similar aims to the Wikimedia Foundation

Future of Wikimedia Australia

So, what if I am successful? A few of my ideas and suggestions:

  • Provide WM-AU members with more bang-for-buck - what do they see for their annual fee? The 'Backstage Pass' program was a great example of an event that had a clear benefit to members and to the Wikimedia Foundation and their projects. Where feasible, these styles of events should be not focused in one or two cities and be accessible to members across the nation. (It should also be noted that potentially, the new committee may have representation from every state!)
  • Promote awareness of Wikinews' contributor accreditation program - an excellent system that allows contributors to receive official media accreditation.
  • Reach out to other organisations about the possibilities of releasing more content under an open license. This has been done well to the 'cultural sector' in the past but can be expanded to other industries - for example, photographers.

I'm keeping this section brief on purpose, because these are just a starting point. In an organisation with a large online focus, we should also be looking to use our mailing lists more effectively to maintain two way conversation between the committee and the membership base - everyone should be able to voice their opinions, ideas and comments! The committee is the machine to make it happen, but they wouldn't be much use without the rest of the members!

So that is it. In true wiki form, I may add to this in the next couple of days, but that's it for now. See you at the AGM!