2010-2011 AGM/Candidates/John Vandenberg

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For those unfamiliar with who I am, I am currently employed in an administrative capacity in the Research Services Directorate at the University of New England (UNE), in regional NSW. I was part of the interim committee of this fine organisation, and an ordinary member in the first year. Last year I did not contest a seat on the committee as I was unable to dedicate myself to Wikimedia Australia due to other commitments. A little more information can be found on an old version of my Wikipedia page, and my statement for the first AGM.

As the position of president is uncontested, and the members can't vote on the merits of this statement, I am not going to take this opportunity to put forward any specific agenda items for the next 12 months. I will be talking with the members at the AGM and offline to collate your vision, and working with the committee to determine what can be achieved in the next 12 months. Once appointed, I will quickly take stock of were we are at, grapple with where we want to be in 12 months, and an outline will be published in our inaugural newsletter and on the wiki where we can all thrash out the specifics.

I thank the members of the previous committee for their efforts in ensuring that we are ready for the Fundraiser this year, and look forward to working with those who are staying on and those who will be appointed with me at the AGM.

My personal priorities for the next 12 months will be to grow our membership, ensure that the funds raised during the annual fundraiser are allocated to viable projects which will deliver on our mission objectives, and stir up our Billabong.

The only issue I feel I should weight in on at this time is the rule amendments to be considered at this AGM.

I oppose the currently proposed rule amendment to allow corporations to become affiliates as it lacks clarity, does not belong in the membership section of the rules as proposed, and I fail to see how it benefits either party. We already accept donations, and we have yet to see any donations provided by corporations. If we are to become an affiliated with other organisations, it should be a mutually beneficial arrangement, where there is significant overlap in objectives.

The proposed amendment to allow members to nominate for both an office and an ordinary member is sensible, however the incoming treasurer has put forward some additional rule changes in his statement, and I would not be surprised if other members have been sitting on other rule amendments. As a result, I would prefer that rule amendments are discussed on the wiki over the next few months, and we hold a special general meeting once the proposed amendments are well defined. By doing this we avoid the incoming committee focusing on submitting these rule changes before October 17, and the amendment application fee of $71.70 can cover all of the rule changes which our members have proposed, rather than just the two proposed by the committee at this AGM.

I look forward to a productive year, where Wikimedia Australia supports the endeavours of its members, with their varied interests and affiliations. It will be an interesting year. See you at the AGM.

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