Meeting:2012 AGM/Secretary's Report

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Greetings to members of Wikimedia Australia,

As many of you know, I was only recently appointed to the position of Secretary on 24 October 2012. Prior to this I was an ordinary committee member since 9 September 2010, and also a member of the interim committee (prior to WMAU's establishment) from May 2008 until January 2009.

First of all I wish to thank my predecessor Anne Frazer for the uncountable number of hours she has put into the role. While she described herself as fairly "green and keen" to the wiki environment, she brought important skills and values - integrity, professionalism, and vast experience in organisational structures and procedures - all of which are very important for a growing organisation such as ours. Anne still serves a very important role of Public Officer, acting as our intermediary with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV).

Of course, I would like to thank my fellow committee members during the last twelve months: John, Laura, Craig, Anne, and Graham. Being a rather geographically dispersed committee, we are very reliant on email, IRC, and of course wikis to carry out committee business. This has been rather evident in the past few months, where we have needed all four active members - spread over four different time zones - in order to achieve quorum. Your dedication as volunteers has been outstanding.

Memberships

The Chapter has 54 current financial members. This is an increase of 7 from the same time last year. We have members in all States, one Territory, and one overseas.

Australian Capital Territory - 3 members;
New South Wales - 18 members;
Northern Territory - nil;
Queensland - 8 members;
South Australia - 6 members;
Tasmania - 4 members;
Victoria - 9 members;
Western Australia - 5 members;
New Zealand - 1 member.

We have 11 female members, thereby representing 20% of our membership. This is consistent with last year.

We have also received three new membership applications since the membership roll closed for the AGM on 1 November - these are to be confirmed by the new committee after the AGM. They include one member each from Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.

Membership retention is an issue for the chapter; our membership usually peaks at the end of June each year, then drops off in July as past members do not renew.

The chapter offers a discount to members from Oceanic/Pacific island nations; the reasoning being that people from these countries are often unable to receive the full benefit of Australian-based chapter events.

Programs and GLAM activity

Thank you to the members of Wikimedia Australia for their participation in the last year - there have been several major programs and events held. The following is just a sample of the major events in Australia supported by the chapter in the past year:

  • RecentChangesCamp in Canberra
  • HOPAU and Wikimedians to the Games (with the Australian Paralympic Committee)
  • Regional training sessions in partnership with the State Library of Queensland
  • Wikipedia training sessions with the Tasmanian Department of Education
  • Wikipedia Takes Perth Foreshore photography sessions
  • Wikimedia Takes the Australian War Memorial
  • Classic 100 Music workshop, at the State Library of New South Wales
  • Freopedia information sessions in Fremantle

We have also supported chapter members to attend major international events related to the movement - WikiWomensCamp (in Buenos Aires, in May 2012) and Wikimania 2012 (Washington DC, July 2012).

Meetups in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart also took place in 2012.

In conclusion

Thank you to the chapter members and committee for the past year. Working with the Wikimedia movement is a challenging, but extremely rewarding experience and I look forward to seeing what it brings next!

Charles Gregory
Secretary
Wikimedia Australia