Alice Boxhall | 5 Jan 01:27 2010

Re: Running for Linux Australia Council


I'm Alice Boxhall and I am standing for an Ordinary Committee Member position.

I support the platform James Turnbull outlines below. My particular areas of interest are transparency and community, particularly in efforts to reach out to the community groups and in making sure that Linux Australia is representative of the broader community.

I have been active in the Linux community for the last few years. I attended in 2007, 2008 and 2009, co-organised a LinuxChix micro-conference in 2008 with Mary Gardiner, and I have been involved in technology and open source advocacy for high school girls.

I grew up in Melbourne, and moved to Sydney to work as a software engineer for Google in 2006. I've been dabbling with Linux since my friend introduced me to it in 1997, and using it as my primary development environment at work since I spat the dummy at Windows and installed Ubuntu on my work machine at my previous job in 2005.

Finally, please note that I am running as myself, not representing my employer.



On Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 2:14 PM, John Ferlito <> wrote:

I'm John Ferlito and I'll be standing for the position of Treasurer on
the Linux Australia Council.

I also support the platform outlined by James Turnbull. My
particular focus will be on transparency, governance and community.
Especially with respect to simplifying the interaction with LCA teams
when it comes to budgeting, finances and tax.

For those who haven't heard of me before, I live and grew up in
Sydney and I've been a FOSS user since 1996. I consider myself a
serial entrepreneur (really I can't help myself), and have started a
handful of businesses including Bulletproof Networks and Vquence.

Day to day I dabble in systems administration, networks, rails
development and random trouble shooting and hacking.

In 2007 I was on the organising committee of in the
position of Technical Guru, I was on the SLUG committee in 2007 and am
currently the Treasurer of the Annodex Association.

I'm also currently a Debian Developer and am on teams responsible for
packaging Xiph and Bazaar related packages.


On Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 09:44:21AM +1100, James Turnbull wrote:
> President           James Turnbull
> Vice President    Lindsay Holmwood
> Secretary            Peter Lieverdink
> Treasurer           John Ferlito
> Ordinary Committee Members
>     Alice Boxhall
>     Elspeth Thorne
> We're not a political party - we're a bunch of Linux and open source
> people who think they can contribute to Linux Australia.  Between us
> we've written code, managed infrastructure, run small (and medium)
> businesses in the open source world, organised LCAs, run user groups
> and generally been passionate about Linux and open source.  We
> believe that Linux Australia has a big role to play in advocating
> Linux and open source, running (the best Linux
> conference in the world...) and representing the interests of the
> Linux community in the region.  We also agree on a broad platform:
>    1. Transparency - ensure the Council and its activities are
> transparent to the community
>           * Good communication via the wiki and mailing list
>           * Seek feedback from the community on issues and decisions
>           * Strong and regular reporting - Financial, events,
> progress towards milestones
>    2. Governance - ensure good financial governance
>           * Investigate engaging an accountant/book-keeper to manage
> Linux Australia's finances
>           * Develop clear and simple policy and process around
> insurance, payments and grants
>           * Develop good governance and structures between Linux
> Australia and the LCA committee
>           * Investigate on-going 'LCA Sponsorship' sub-committee,
> separate from LCA team
>    3. Mandate
>           * Review the mandate of Linux Australia and determine if
> it is meeting the needs of the FOSS community in the region
>           * Determine whether the membership is actually
> representative of the "Linux community"
>    4. Leadership & Advocacy
>           * Make Linux Australia a well-known voice in debate on IT
> issues in Australia
>           * Extend advocacy activities on legal and policy issues
> that concern and impact the FOSS community in the region
>    5. Community
>           * Reach out to and collaborate with other similarly minded
> organisations e.g. LinuxChix, OSIA, IIA, SAGE, etc
>           * Endeavour to engage with and expand the community
> through events and out-reach programs
>           * Become more involved with spreading the Open Source
> message at a School and University level
>    6. Cross-regional
>           * Make Linux Australia a truly regional organisation and
> increase our involvement with New Zealand and Oceania.


linux-aus mailing list
Anthony Towns | 8 Jan 06:21 2010

Pre-AGM Treasurer's brief

Hey all,

So this is my last year on the council (free! [0] free! [1]) which
is making prepping the treasurer's report a bit more complicated --
both due to trying to finish off as many of the things I wanted to get
done as treasurer as possible, and trying to document all the procedures
we've put in place to keep things somewhat organised, so that they don't
have to get reinvented again [2].

But with the caveat that this is is based on draft figures that are still
subject to finalisation and whatnot, here's roughly where LA stands from
a financial perspective.

a) Balance sheet

Our books are split into two this year, our regular Australian accounts
and our NZ accounts specifically for LCA 2010. The Australian accounts
represent the overall state of our finances:

         Deposits         $210,000
         LCA 2010 seed     $75,000
         Tax refund        $15,000 (est)
         LCA 2010 surplus  $80,000 (wild-ass-guess)


      Net Assets:         $380,000 (est)

The NZ accounts currently look something like:

         Deposits:        $255,000 NZD
         Receivables:     $110,000 NZD (est)

         Conf expenses:   $250,000 NZD (est)
         Tax compliance:   $10,000 NZD (est)

      Net Assets:         $105,000 NZD (wild-ass-guess)

b) Profit and loss

The figures for LCA 2010 should obviously be taken with a huge grain
of salt: LCA 2010 hasn't even happened yet, after all. For comparison,
the figures I gave prior to the last AGM for LCA 2009 were:

On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 01:09:47AM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
>     LCA:              2007      2008      2009
>     ------------   -------  --------  --------
>     Profit:        $40,875  $120,251   $86,451  ( 2008/12/31)
>     Receivables:         -         -  $120,000  (est, outstanding)
>     Liabilities:         -   $25,000  $200,000  (est, outstanding)
>     ------------   -------  --------  --------
>     Totals:        $40,875   $95,000    $6,000  (est)
> The LCA 2009 estimates are pulled completely out of the air, and are
> likely to vary significantly by the time the conference has actually
> happened. [...]

The draft finalised LCA 2009 figures come out to:

    Expenses: $340,794
    Income:   $392,659
    Profit:    $51,865

To me, this is particularly impressive considering that it was run during
the depths of the financial meltdown in late 2008, early 2009. (Note
the figures above don't include the additional $25,000 raised for
the Tasmanian Devil Foundation at the dinner auction, or LA's $10,000
contribution to the same, which in effect comes out of the conference

In any event, it's reasonable to expect that LCA 2010 may end up varying
from the estimate above at a similar scale in either direction.

I haven't yet analysed the various non-LCA expenses LA's done this year
to provide a summary of those, unfortunately.

c) The fruits of procrastination

Over the past few years the LA treasury has gotten somewhat out of
control; in particular the 2006 conference in Dunedin, New Zealand
brought up a number of international tax and accounting issues that were,
frankly, beyond us. With the conference visiting New Zealand again in
2010, and the proactive stance taken by the LCA 2010 team, we've now
resolved those issues, and the books for LCA 2006 are consequently closed.

As a consequence of the NZ tax issues, we've also been behind in filing
activity statements in Australia. Fortunately, since the surplus funds
from LCA are usually less than the amount of international sponsorship
received we have been generally paying more GST than we receive resulting
in a net GST refund. And as a result of resolving the NZ issues, I'm
expecting that we should be able to submit those BASes over the next
week, and answer any further questions the tax office may have, getting
us fully up to date to the end of 2009.

There have been a number of other payments from previous years that had
fallen through the cracks and have now happily been dealt with too,
including a speaker reimbursement from 2006, outstanding invoices
for our support of the UNSW Unlocking IP research project, and the
LCA 2008 Penguin Foundation donation. To the best of my knowledge the
only outstanding transactions that need to be dealt with are either
LCA 2010 related, are payments from other parties we've invoiced but
haven't received, or are reimbursements we've authorised but have not
yet received invoices for us to be able to actually pay.

d) Procedures

I mentioned briefly that we've got a number of procedures in place now
to make the treasury function of the organisation run more smoothly --
these include a somewhat customised trac install for tracking invoices and
payment status that's been used for the last of the LCA 2009 expenses,
most/all of the LCA 2010 income and expenses and almost all of the
LA expenses since approximately March 2009. Reconciliation, reporting
and activity statement preparation are being done using the Banklink
tools for the Australian accounts, which seems to be working well. It
may be feasible in the future to come close to fully automating the
reconciliation step by scripting the trac to Banklink link; I've toyed
with a python script along those lines this time round and it's been
useful already. We've been monitoring the LCA 2010 budget this year via
OpenOffice spreadsheets checked into git, allowing the council to be
completely up to date with LCA 2010's planning without requiring any
nagging or communications lag; it's been very effective.

I hope to be able to go into a little more detail on the procedures we've
established in the full report for the AGM.

e) Miscellania

In my time as treasurer, I've been focussed pretty heavily on the overview
side of things -- trying to make it so we can understand what's going on
with our money, and that we've got reasonably straight forward processes
to maintain that understanding while we keep running conferences and do
whatever other things people might think up to support Linux in Australia.
I'm pretty happy with where that's gotten us, and if I can manage to
tie together all the stuff that's almost done before the AGM, I think
it'll be very satisfactory.

The downside to this is I haven't done much of a job at keeping things
ticking over: updating bank details, pestering people for invoices, making
sure submitted invoices turn into payments, making sure payments actually
achieve the results they were meant to, making sure communications to the
treasurer actually make it to the rest of the council, etc. That that
lack hasn't resulted in more problems for LA and LCA than we've had is
particularly thanks to Terry Dawson and Steve Walsh who over the past
two years have gone well above and beyond their obligations to keep LA
functioning decently, and I'd be very remiss in not thanking them for
their efforts. So, thanks. Heaps.


[0] As in speech!

[1] As in beer!

[2] Or, at least, if they get reinvented anyway, to help ensure that the
    benefits of the current systems don't get lost in seeking new systems
    with new benefits.

linux-aus mailing list
Mike Carden | 8 Jan 10:20 2010

Re: Pre-AGM Treasurer's brief

With apologies for my levity regarding a serious (and successful) obligation...
I so wish that more Treasurer's reports could contain the claim,

Nice work AJ.


Terry Dawson | 9 Jan 23:31 2010

Re: Pre-AGM Treasurer's brief

I know how much work was necessary to have progressed this as far as you
have. The end result looks great, and I'm confident your new procedures
will mean it will be easier to maintain in future.

Thanks for your time, energy and effort.

James Purser | 10 Jan 01:16 2010

Last day of voting

Hi all,

Today is the last day of voting in the Linux Australia 2010 Council

Candidates are:


James Turnbull
Steve Walsh

Vice President:

Lindsay Holmwood
James Purser


Peter Lieverdink


John Ferlito

Ordinary Council Member:

Joshua Hesketh
Elspeth Thorne
Michael Carden
Alice Boxhall

Good luck to everyone

James Purser <james@...>
Michael Davies | 10 Jan 02:16 2010

Re: Pre-AGM Treasurer's brief

On Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 3:51 PM, Anthony Towns <aj@...> wrote:
> Hey all,
> So this is my last year on the council (free! [0] free! [1])

Hey AJ, thanks for all your efforts!  Great job at a tough job, so the
first drink is on me at LCA2010.

See you in a week or so at the Best OSS Conference anywhere,


Michael Davies           "Do what you think is interesting, do something that
michael@...    you think is fun and worthwhile, because otherwise  you won't do it well anyway." -- Brian Kernighan
Michael Davies | 10 Jan 22:17 2010

Re: Retiring as LinuxSA meeting organiser

On Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 12:11 AM, Geoffrey D. Bennett <g <at>> wrote:
> Hi all,
> After running the LinuxSA group for almost 10 years now, I'm going to
> be retiring from my role as LinuxSA meeting organiser soon, to pursue
> other opportunities (ie. my evenings are going to get more full this
> year).  I'm happy to keep running the mailing list, but I need someone
> to take over organising and running the monthly meetings.
> Sooo... if you would like to see the LinuxSA meetings continue to
> happen, step up to the plate.  Your duties will include: finding
> interesting speakers, updating the meetings web page, sending out
> announcements, and running the meetings.  Training can be provided
> :-).
> I already have speakers lined up for Jan, Feb, and Mar this year, so
> you have a few months head-start.
> Thanks,
> --
> Geoffrey D. Bennett, RHCE, RHCX               mailto:g <at>
> Senior Systems Engineer                          sip:g <at>
> NetCraft Australia Pty Ltd

Hi Geoffrey,

I'd like to give you a huge heart-felt thank you for all your efforts
in organising LinuxSA for the past decade, and for being "the face" of
Linux in Adelaide.  It's a huge, unrewarding position, far too often
gaining the criticism of others and not the accolades it deserves.
You have been faithful, consistent and generally awesome!

Looking back at the numerous installfests, being the back-bone of
LCA2004, serving on the LA committee, and of course everything
surrounding LinuxSA, especially including the monthly meeting
organisation - you've done a lot for the promotion of Linux and Open
Source in South Australia.  You _will_ certainly be missed - both for
what you did, and for the way you did it.  Thank you!

Michael Davies           "Do what you think is interesting, do something that
michael <at>    you think is fun and worthwhile, because otherwise  you won't do it well anyway." -- Brian Kernighan


LinuxSA WWW: IRC: #linuxsa on
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Chris Neugebauer | 11 Jan 07:23 2010

Re: Notice of Annual General Meeting and Notice of Special General Meeting

Just a reminder that this is tonight.

On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 16:12, Steve Walsh <steve@...> wrote:
> The 2010 Linux Australia AGM will be held on the Freenode IRC network,
> in the channel #linuxaus-agm
> Members can find suitable clients in their distro repositories, a list
> of available clients can be found at
> Information on using the freenode IRC network can be found at
>, and a short tutorial can be
> found at
> It is suggested that members take the time before hand to register an
> account on the freenode network.
> regards
> Steve
> On 12/21/2009 10:25 PM, Steve Walsh wrote:
>> The Linux Australia Annual General Meeting will be held on at 7pm
>> Daylight Savings Time (6pm QLD) 11th January 2010. Due to
>> being held in Wellington, NZ, the council understands
>> this limits the ability for Linux Australia Members not attending the
>> conference to still attend the AGM.
>> As a result of this, the council is calling an Annual General Meeting
>> to be held online on the 11th January 2010, and a Special General
>> Meeting to be held on Saturday 23rd January, 2010, at
>> Wellington.
>> Position reports for the President, Treasurer, Secretary and Grants
>> Tzar, as well as the results for the 2010 Council Election will be
>> presented at the Annual General meeting, with members having the
>> ability to pose questions to the council at the Special General
>> Meeting. For those that are unable to attend LCA2010 and still wish to
>> address questions to the committee, the council will organise
>> facilities to allow this to occur, these will be notified to the
>> membership 7 days prior to the Special General Meeting.
>> The online venue for the Annual General meeting will be notified
>> within 7 days.
>> The venue for the Special General Meeting will be shown on the LCA
>> programme, held during the Open Day activities.
>> Regards
>> Steve Walsh
>> Vice President
>> Linux Australia
> --
> --==--
> Steve Walsh
> Vice President / Sysadmin team member - Linux Australia
> Networks and Technology - 2008
> Evil Network Bunny - 2009
> Networking alpha geek - 2010
> _______________________________________________
> linux-aus mailing list
> linux-aus@...


--Christopher Neugebauer

Jabber: chrisjrn@... -- IRC: chrisjrn on --
AIM: chrisjrn157 -- MSN: chrisjrn@... -- WWW:
-- Twitter/  <at> chrisjrn
Anthony Towns | 11 Jan 12:26 2010

Re: Pre-AGM Treasurer's brief

On Fri, Jan 08, 2010 at 03:21:05PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> But with the caveat that this is is based on draft figures that are still
> subject to finalisation and whatnot, here's roughly where LA stands from
> a financial perspective.

Okay, so the finalised figures as presented at the AGM are at:

There's two PDFs there, one focussing on LA activities over the course
of 2009, and one giving an overall summary of LCA activities.

The LCA one includes a graph comparing the costs of running an LCA
between 2005 and 2010, along with the surplus profits that were left
over. The 2010 figures are obviously guesstimates at this point. Also,
the 2005 figures shouldn't be directly compared with the others as they
were accounted for differently, and may be incomplete -- of course, that
isn't going to stop /me/, and I don't see why it should stop you either.

Of particular interest is the 2006 figures, which thanks to the efforts
of the 2010 LCA team in resolving the accounting issues that we had for
the Dunedin LCA, has turned out to have left us with an overall $18,000
(AUD) surplus. We had believed that the 2006 LCA had left us with at most
a small profit ($4,618 was the figure in the 2006 Treasurer's report),
or possibly left us with a loss. So this is obviously much better!

The spike in costs in Sydney in 2007 reflects that teams' desire to
run a much bigger conference than previously, a philosophy which has
basically continued since.

I don't think there's much else interesting to be pulled from the numbers
there, but feel free to prove me wrong.

The LA PDF provides a financial perspective of LA's activities over the
past twelve months. That's not necessarily all that useful -- money
spent doesn't necessarily have any correlation with benefit gained,
but it can still be interesting.

The first thing to note is that since the NZ accounts are kept in a
separate books, this only reflects the Australian balances -- so no
income and very few expenses from LCA 2010 are represented. Aside from
the $75,000's "loaned" to the NZ accounts LCA 2010 information simply
doesn't appear. As per the previous mail, our current expectation is
that when the NZ accounts are closed after LCA 2010 is complete, that
$75,000 will be repaid along with an estimated surplus of perhaps $80,000
(all figures AUD).

Okay, so that said, we have four divisional profit and loss statements in
the report, summarising our administrative overhead, special projects, grants,
and the mirror project.

Administrative overhead has traditionally primarily gone to insurance and
face to face meeting costs, however this year we've also had significant
storage (and corresponding transport) expenses due to the various assets
we've acquired for LCA (networking equipment, unsold merchandise and
some other stuff). Our administrative costs are largely balanced by the
interest we've received on held funds, however.

Special projects this year included:

   - donations for the Devil Foundation ($27,323 received via the charity
     auction and otherwise; $35,036 presented to the foundation in June)

   - sponsorship of travel costs for media training in NZ ($606 in July)

   - support of Open Edge 2009, including sponsorship and support
     for speaker travel ($4364 in August)

   - branding of blank CDs/DVDs for Software Freedom Day and other events
     ($4214 in September)

   - donation for the Phillip Island Penguin Foundation which was the
     chosen charity for LCA 2008 ($10,000 in December)

   - final payment for our support of the Unlocking IP research program
     at UNSW Cyberlaw institute ($10,000 in December).

That totals to just under $37,000; $20,000 of which was support for
two LCA charities and $10,000 finishing a commitment made in late 2005
(which should have been paid in 2007 and 2008), leaving just under $7,000
of commitments made this year.

The line between some of those items and things included under the
grants scheme is somewhat blurry -- in theory the main difference is
grants are proposed by members and discussed on the linux-aus list
before being approved, and are limited to $2000; "special projects"
don't have those limitations, but may well meet them anyway.

But that brings us to this year's grants. These were:

   - Assisting Robin Gareus with travel for FOMS and LCA and other
     speaking ($1818 ex GST in January)

   - Support for StixCamp in New Stead ($500 in March)

   - Support for Melbourne BarCamp ($1000 in September)

   - Support for Malak Telecentro in Darwin for computer hardware ($1800
     in November)

That comes to just over $5000, for a total of $42,000 spent on grants
and special projects this year, approximately $12,000 of which was also
authorised by the LA council this year.

Finally the mirror project had two expenses this year -- a replacement
power supply and an external TB hard drive, both paid out of pocket by
Michael Still and reimbursed in July.


linux-aus mailing list
Chris Smart | 14 Jan 06:08 2010

Anyone got a D-Link DNS-323 revision A1?

I'm looking for a D-Link DNS-323 revision A1 to test a kernel patch
which enables poweroff and led control under Debian.
Does anyone have one who's willing to assist?