Meeting: 2013 AGM/Candidates/Steven Zhang

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This year on the committee has been both rewarding and challenging for me, but overall it has given me a stronger passion for our mission. It’s for this reason I’m standing for President of our chapter.

To provide a bit of background for myself, I've been editing Wikipedia for around five years now, and have been a member of WMAU since 2011. I work full time and worked at the Foundation for eight months last year as a research fellow. I'm currently studying a Certificate IV in Mediation.

Over the last year, a lot of my focus has been on administrative and organizational work. I was responsible for organising our public liability insurance and our registration as a charity. I also began a redesign of our website and helped write some of the policies we implemented this year.

As a chapter, we’ve done a lot of work. Our regional outreach workshops have started us on a path to improve coverage of less known about subjects in our rural areas, while at the same time introducing locals to Wikipedia and the idea of editing. The Freopedia project placed QR code plaques in the Fremantle and surrounding suburbs, creating an easy way for people to learn more about locations in their area. We’ve also strengthened our relationships with the state libraries in Queensland and New South Wales, and built new ones with other organisations around Australia. I feel we have much to be proud of this year.

At the same time, our chapter has had some difficulties this year. Tempers have at times been flared and regrettable things have been said, but I think that we have learned from our mistakes and will collectively resolve to be kinder to each other in our interactions; keeping our focus on the big picture: to create a world in which everyone can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

I believe that we should focus our energies on projects that play to our strengths, which have measurable impact and are financially feasible. My first priority will be to finalise our annual plan for next year and work on securing funding for it, and I hope the membership will provide their input and suggestions on the plan; being willing to work on the ideas we propose, as only together can we be successful.

I would like to see us further professionalise our organisation, and look into ways to secure funding for our projects both from the Foundation and other sources. I believe that us having a strong relationship with the Foundation (which I can help with) is important, however at the same time we need to retain our autonomy and find ways to be self-sufficient.

If elected, I resolve to work as a team with the committee and membership to move our chapter forward. As a disclosure, I am currently under consideration for a Wikimedia Individual Grant, to work on redesigning the mentorship process on the English Wikipedia (the proposal can be found here). If successful, a portion of my free time as a Wikipedia volunteer would be dedicated to working on this project. I do not see it being an issue time-wise for me to fulfill both roles, but in the interests of openness wish to advise the membership.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge the work of the outgoing members of the committee. It's not an easy role and I feel you've all done an exemplary job.

I look forward to the opportunity to lead our chapter, and welcome any questions about my candidacy.


Steven Zhang

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