2021–22 Annual Plan
This is Wikimedia Australia's annual plan for the 2021-22 year [in preparation April 2021]. It will form the basis for our Simple Annual Plan Grant application for the same time period.
After three years of planning, implementing and reporting against an annual grant, Wikimedia Australia is ready to step up our capacity in order to realise a larger vision. Hence this Annual Plan includes a contracted Community Support and Outreach Coordinator position dedicated to assisting the Wikimedia Australia committee enact this plan across our key programs. As well as managing the chapter, we will continue to focus our work in the two program areas of:
- Community Support
- Outreach and Engagement
Major achievements in 2020-21 included several successful outreach and engagement events, many of which involved community members as facilitators. The pandemic in 2020-21 caused us to re-think a number of our community support programs that focussed primarily on travel, and provided an opportunity to redirect funding to contract support for the community across several areas. A key priority for the next twelve months is to increase the capacity of editors working on Australian content across the Wikimedia projects. This will help reduce the workload of those involved in maintenance tasks. It will involve education and awareness campaigns and building strategic partnerships with organisations that can support this work.
Our other key activity is engaging with, and supporting the editor community. Our online community meetings have had regular attendance with the celebration of Wikipedia's 20th birthday event in January 2021 being a high point. We have contributed to the organisation of ESEAP online activities, as well as engaging in SWAN and global consultation related to the Strategy process.
Our governance processes are well-established. Professionalising the role of the governing committee and increasing the diversity of the Wikimedia Australia membership and committee are ongoing goals for the next period.
Community support program
Two key concerns regularly expressed by the editing community in Australia include the small number of active editors and administrators combined with an increasing load of maintenance work required on Australian content. Thus the best way we can support the existing community in Australia is to increase the number of editors working on Australian content, and to increase the capacity of existing editors by providing better tools and support for maintenance and administrative work. This will also bring our community support goals in close alignment with outreach goals.
WikiClubs and Meetups
Wikimedia Australia is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy editing environment and welcomes global policy initiatives such as the Universal Code of Conduct. In order to engage directly with current and emerging editors in Australia, we will continue our monthly online community meetings, which have been successful and a good solution for connecting our geographically dispersed community. Promotion of available wiki tools is an area identified as a gap in editor knowledge, and we plan to initiate regular communications about these tools to the community through online events and newsletters. We recognise that face to face events are also important for engagement and learning new skills. WikiClubs and User Groups, training events and meetups will continue to be locally organised, and will be encouraged to call on administrative and promotional support from the WMAU Coordinator, as well as funding for local activities.
Keeping 20 years of Wikipedia content up-to-date is a challenge, but is vitally important to retain readers' trust in our information. To attract more editors to this area of work we plan to research and commission the development of a tool or bots to assist in the maintenance of Australian statistical data. A group from the Australian community will develop the coding brief, and Wikimedia Australia will contract a coder to build an Australian Census Tool that partly automates the process of updating population data before the 2021 Census data is released in June 2022. The tool could work with minimal, or 'light touch' human endorsement, and the project will include training and promotion about how it works. After evaluating the success of this pilot we will look to extend the project to consider other data sources, for instance data from the Bureau of Meteorology.
First Nations engagement
First Nations content projects, including the Noongarpedia project remain an key area of importance for Wikimedia Australia, and the Wikimedia movement. In order to support improve First Nations content on Wiki projects we will look for opportunities for engagement between the Australian Wiki community and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities. This will build on lessons learned from Noongarpedia, an Indigenous language partnership project involving the Noongar and academic communities.
Facilitating this engagement will involve approaching our existing GLAM partners who are working in this area to make use of existing networks, protocols and content that is appropriately licensed. We will work towards development of Australian Indigenous cultural protocols on Wikimedia platforms, and policies on culturally safe and respectful engagement with Indigenous consultants. In the first instance we will support an issues and discussion paper on cultural knowledge concerns for Australian Wikimedians and bring together a small advisory group to meet and develop the paper. This could lead to a future research agenda in conjunction with partner organisations, and to Wiki Scholar or Wikimedian in Residence positions dedicated to relationship building, brokering conversations, and meetings of key groups.
Mini Grants Volunteer Support Programme
WMAU offers a mini grants programme for Australian contributors to obtain resources or share their knowledge about the projects and/or WMAU activities. Funds involved are generally small amounts and designed for maximum flexibility and responsiveness. Most activities are ad hoc, and may be granted for a range of expenses related to presenting at conferences, or hosting events, to purchasing resources in order to generate content, or developing a new skill. All applicants are required to be in good standing as well as to have a demonstrated contribution history available, including providing a report on their activity.
Outreach and engagement
Outreach to the wider Australian population is a priority, in order to 1) increase understanding of the projects within the Australian community, and 2) to increase the capacity of the editor community working on Australian content. As outlined in the Wikimedia Australia Communications Plan, target sectors include educators, the GLAM sector, rural and Indigenous communities, as well as media. Wherever possible we seek to work with recognised partner organisations to amplify our communication and advocacy.
A communications plan guides our outreach and engagement program. Wikimedia Australia activities aim to increase the number of people who know about Wikipedia and related projects, who understand how the projects work, and who are attracted to contributing. Components of this plan include user-friendly design and content for the Wikimedia Australia website, active social media channels, video content, standardised material for presentations and handouts at events.
Advocacy for equality of access in the collaborative creation of Free Cultural Works is embedded in Wikimedia Australia's objectives. Our plan is to build our representation with other Australian open access organisations, and seek representation on key Australian campaigns that align with our goals and fall within our area of expertise.
We will use our Coordinator's expertise to engage with media, focusing on stories that both improve general understanding of Wikipedia and stories about local Wikipedia projects. A focus will be on media in regional areas and small topic-based media, and will extend to investigating ways of engaging with citizen journalists.
Education sector outreach
Partnerships: leverage opportunities for partnerships which builds knowledge of Wikipedia projects/Wikidata etc, and amplifies the work our funding. Work towards contracting an education coordinator to facilitate programs in this sector.
- Establish Wiki Scholar program and promote Wikimedian in Residence positions in Australian universities, including a pilot with a specific Indigenous community or institution
- Promote to postgraduate and Higher Degree Research students following up on the ANU program 2019.
- Seek Wiki Coordinators in Universities, for example University Library, Postgraduate Studies Board, or Student Union.
- Establish WikiClubs for students through Student Union, and provide collateral for ongoing promotion at O-Week events
- Include Wikidata in the Carpentries and digital research tools
- Support particular academic divisions and research centres with projects
- Follow up students completing the University of Sydney course. Work with the University of Sydney academic team about publishing their lessons learned, and promoting this model to other universities, eg microcredentials
- Research projects
- Look for curriculum links in the K-12 education sector, particularly for local history
- A photography competition for schools
GLAM sector outreach
During 2020-21 Wikimedia Australia trialed facilitated online editor training. One goal this year is to collaborate with small to medium regional libraries, historical societies, museums and galleries in the provision of staff awareness presentations online to work for increased understanding of the value Wikimedia brings to partners. This can be followed by advertised training events for those who wish to learn to edit via online modules.
There is strong interest and expertise in data management, visualisation and coding within the general Australian GLAM and data community, and we will experiment with seed funding to engage new audiences in areas beyond text editing. Strategies include providing mini-grants for: - data hack-a-thons, hacker thons using activities from Wiki, become a data provider for GovHack - visualisations - from data scientist - developing bots/tools - set challenges from Wikidata - use the API to ... - research projects
WMAU must continue to fulfill its legal, financial and reporting responsibilities as an incorporated association registered in Victoria, and a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). As well as WMF responsibilities, this includes managing our 2021 Annual General Meeting in August, Consumer Affairs Victoria reporting, and Quarterly Business Activity Statements to the Australian Taxation Office, along with the provision of insurance to enable local outreach.
Committee handover and strategy meeting
It is now two years since the committee or the community has been able to meet for a strategic planning summit. We retain the need for one face to face committee meeting, as this is so important to induct new committee members and develop our culture. The committee is intentionally made up of members from as many different states and territories as possible. We have scheduled this for later in 2021, and hope travel will allow us to conduct this meeting face to face. We will again aim for the following in terms of our governance committee:
- At least 2 new recruits to the committee in 2021
- At least 4 states/territories represented on the committee
- Increase the diversity profile of the committee in terms of language, age, gender, etc