Committee Meeting - 16th May 2017

Ruby AU Committee May Meeting Agenda - 16th May 2017


  • Lauren Hennessey (LH)
  • Toby Nieboer (TN)
  • Jo Cranford (JC)
  • Ryan Bigg (RB)
  • Anton Kunin (AK)
  • Rachelle LeQuesne (RL)
  • Caitlin Palmer-Bright (CP)
  • Nick Wolf (NW)

Started: 7:31pm

Welcome new Committee members

  • Hello Caitlin & Nick :wave:

  • Caitlin is starting an internship at tworedkites and was a former Maths/Science teacher.

  • Nick has started working with Ruby in the last six months and “fell in love” with it

Constitution readiness (Ryan / Lauren)

  • LH: It passed!
  • LH: There were concerns of the RailsCamp not being a representative portion of the membership base. Explained that we publicised it the best we could, lots of comments + interaction and nobody raised any strong objections. It’s ready to go!
  • LH: We need to ratify it with CAV. RB: I will do that.
  • LH: We will need to put it up on the website.


  • Ryan to lodge it with Consumer Affairs
  • Ryan to work with Nick / Caitlin on adding new constitution to website

Conference Survey (Rachelle / Lauren)

  • LH & RL: confusion
  • RL: Decision has been made to have the conference in Sydney.
  • LH: Some sponsorships are holding back at the moment, but we can afford the conference. Organisers have decided Sydney.

Storage locations (Ryan)

  • TN: RailsCamp equipment is stored at Toby’s house.
  • Jo: There are some boxes / banners in storage for RubyConf, they’ll be moved to the CA office.

RSA at RailsCamp (Toby) / Alcohol sponsorship of RailsCamps (Toby)

  • TN: [quoting from notes] Given that Ruby Australia is not in the business of sponsoring alcohol, should we have it at our Ruby events?

  • TN: RubyAU sponsors drinks at Melbourne, does not at Sydney and does not at Brisbane.

  • TN: Rob Jacoby mentioned that it might be illegal for us to provide alcohol at camp.

  • JC: I suggest we stop sponsoring it for RubyConf AU.

  • CP: Could we sponsor the non-alcoholic drinks?

  • LH: ZenDesk provides a bartender & security for the meetup, which is costly to them. Potentially we could move the alcohol sponsorship money to pay for this?

  • NW: How many other meetups have alcohol?

  • LH: Sydney + Pivotal meetups.

  • TN: I would prefer finding a non-RubyAU sponsor for drinks.

  • NW: I wonder what the reaction would be if we stopped supplying drinks at the meetup.

  • JC: I do enjoy a drink at the meet ups, but if we cut that off then people can just go to the bar.

  • Lauren points out that Ryan + Toby are the current main organisers of the Melbourne Ruby Meetup.

  • LH: It makes sense to divert the funds for alcohol to food, that way we can sponsor more food.

  • JC: It’s not that we can’t afford the alcohol, it’s that we want to encourage an inclusive meetup environment. Go and socialise in the pub.

  • CP: Sydney has an explicit agreement with their sponsor to provide alcohol.

  • JC: What if we said that each meetup had a budget to spend however much they wanted, regardless of alcohol or food ratio?

  • RB: Melbourne meetup has ~110 people.

  • JC: Sydney has about the same. What if we said $10/head?

  • Committee agrees on $10/head for the meetups as a trial.

  • Melbourne meetup will remove alcohol at the meetup-after-next.


  • Follow up in 2-3 months to see if attendance has dropped off because of the alcohol reduction at meetups.

Website re-design (Lauren & Toby)

Putting stuff out to tender / vendors (Toby)

  • TN: Lauren covered the website re-design at the camp. John Barton raised a point of using the association funds to benefit a Ruby Australia member (Richie Khoo).
  • TN: There was a motion that we put out a document for the vendor selection process. This is something that we would put out for projects not like Rails Camps / Ruby Confs, but website redesign.
  • TN: I think the idea of a tender process is impractical. I think that we should set an expenditure limit and publish quotes for any amount larger than that.
  • JC: I don’t have any problem paying people in the community to do work for the community.
  • AK: It’s not a problem now, but could be a problem in the future.
  • JC: I think as long as we’re being transparent about it, then it’s OK. People can follow in the minutes of the committee meetings what we’re spending on. We could also publish where we are spending more than $10k on a single vendor over a year, just to be transparent. I think $5k is too low for that limit. We spend > $5k on accountants. There aren’t many else.
  • TN: Maybe the solution is that we publish expenditures over a certain amount. If people want to go through them and find patterns then they can.
  • CP: Getting 3 quotes isn’t a fool-proof solution. We can get two quotes and then get our buddies to quote $5 lower. At the SGM it was mentioned that “there comes a point where we just have to trust the committee”. If we do get 3 quotes are we obliged to take the cheapest one?
  • NW: We want to pick the best candidate out of all of the candidates, not just based on money.
  • JC: What if the process was that someone had to put forward a proposal to the committee, and then the committee would have to approve it before any work happened?
  • TN: Yes, that would make sense.
  • CP: Having a lower limit would make sense for that kind of process, perhaps $1-2k?
  • JC: [agrees] Perhaps anything $1-5k, we put in the minutes. Anything $5k+ we put in the minutes and let people raise any objections if they want to. Perhaps a rule that we can’t act on it until 30 days time?
  • AK: Give people a way to challenge it?
  • JC: 2 weeks?
  • LH: Maybe we should announce that we’re going to make this decision and spend this Ruby AU money in 2 weeks time, so please let us know if you have any objections.


  • Any non-event spending $1-5k goes in the minutes, $5k+ is mentioned publicly and we can ask for any objections before we spend the money

Richie’s progress on building the website

  • LH: We haven’t accepted his proposal yet because of the above drawn-out process. Richie wants to have one particular person on the committee who is the decision-maker.


  • EXPENDITURE: Committee is opting to spend $6k on the Ruby AU re-design, using Richie Khoo as our developer. This is the 3-stage development process (each stage = $2k) discussed in the previous month’s minutes.
  • Committee to determine by next meeting who is in charge of the website.

Move to (Anton)

  • Articles have been moved to the forum. One of them is hidden, as Lauren requested. There are redirect links from the website to the forum.


  • Ryan to double-check all minutes are moved to the Forum.

How can we improve the DownUnder adoption for Committee? (Anton)

  • AK: Everyone seems to be talking on the forum now, which is good to see.

Meetup checklists (Anton)

  • AK: Started sponsorship packages table to help with sponsorship. Will convert this data to todos for the meetup organisers.
  • JC: We have slides + logos for the meetups in the Ruby AU Google Drive.

Sponsor badges (Anton)

  • AK: Discussed on the forum [TODO: link goes here]. We should include the sponsorship logos to include the little stars. I would like to get a design person to do these badges, perhaps Richie?
  • RB: I don’t think this is a part of Richie’s work.
  • LH & JC: [disagree] Let’s make it a part of Richie’s project.


  • work in sponsorship badges to Richie’s project

Money in the bank (Jo)

I would like to have a team of 3 to work on the annual budget, including me. Ideally either Sec/VP/Pres plus one other.

Committee decided it would be: Jo, Toby & Nick. Good luck!

LH: Anyone helping with events… it would be good to see if they can help out with the budget as well.

RailsCamp 21 (Darwin '17 Winter) (Toby)

  • TN: Hope not to make this a “haha Ryan you didn’t get to go”
  • TN: This camp made a small loss. It was very awesome! There were casually racist dogs. And ponies.
  • JC: Darwin was comparitively more expensive camp (per head) than regular. We give each camp $10k out of the sponsorship budget.
  • TN: Over a particular threshold we should definitely bump that figure up.
  • JC: Should we be running such small camps? Ticket sales were $7-8k.
  • LH: Yes it should be more for bigger camps (i.e. Sydney) it deserves more sponsorship funds because it delivers more value for sponsors.
  • LH: It’s within our control of where camps are. I think Darwin was small because it was in Darwin. If we hosted one in Tasmania it would probably be small too. We could lean on organisers and say that you can go a little bit over, so it’s OK. But also tell them not to go too much over.
  • TN: Could we make the mid-year ones be the “remoter” ones (Tasmania, Darwin), but then the end-of-year ones be closer to the major centres.
  • RB: We could alternate the end-of-year camps between SYD/MEL and then make the mid-year ones in remote locations ([Ryan lists other capital cities, emits Brisbane accidentally, cops it])
  • LH: It really depends on who wants to run it. There’s always someone in the bigger cities who wants to run a Rails Camp.
  • TN: RailsCamp 21 was great because we were able to organise a camp completely remotely.
  • CP: Maybe the deciding factor is only having a really-remote one every two years, just for the budget’s sake?

RailsCamp 22 (Melbourne '17 Summer) (Toby)

  • TN: RailsCamp 22 got torpedo’d – The dates were changed because of PAX. Need to pick a new venue. Will get back to it this week.


  • Follow up with Toby next month to see the progress of this camp.

RailsCamp 23

  • LH: Dylan Lacey wants to run one in Brisbane.
  • TN: Vote One Tasmania.


  • Lauren will follow up with Dylan regarding this camp.

Code of Conduct “stuff” (Toby)

  • TN: There are three separate documents on the Ruby Forum now regarding the code of conduct. Toby has shared the link with the Committee members. Will discuss this on the forum.


  • Follow up next meeting with progress on these documents.

Larger budget for RailsGirls events (Jo)

I would like to provide a larger budget to all of the Rails Girls e.g. $5k per year. We currently only provide them with $1.5k – just for t-shirts.

  • Committee agrees to a larger budget for Rails Girls events.

Meeting finished: 8:31pm.