Committee member welcome guide

“The founding purpose of Ruby Australia is to further the use and adoption of the Ruby programming language in Australia and to support and encourage a vibrant community around the language and related technologies.”

###Welcome to Ruby Australia

Congratulations on being elected into the Ruby Australia Committee. You will be inducted with our secret handshake and given your ruby coloured robes shortly. But first you must read this guide carefully. This guide will uncover the darkest secrets of our sect, things which others have never even hoped to want to learn of.


The Ruby Australia Committees of Old

###Some Guidelines on Philosophy
Ruby Australia is setup to be a light touch, open and transparent organisation deeply connected with the member base of attendees of Australian Rails Camps and Ruby Conferences.

###First guideline: WE ARE NICE (MINSWAN)
‘Matz is nice so we are nice’. We first treat people well and with dignity and respect. The systems thinker Edward Deming said ‘80% of problems are system problems rather than people problems. Don’t blame. Fix the system’.

###Second guideline: WE ARE OPEN
Ruby Australia is designed to be an open organisation, think open-source meets open-space. In the second instance we draw on existing design patterns developed by our brethren in the global hackerspace movement.

###Third guideline: WE ARE LEAN
Don’t over engineer solutions. Start by asking ‘what’s the simplest thing that could work’. Iterate. Encourage everyone to focus on simple immediate solutions and being prepared to iterate and learn as an organisation as we progress.

###Fourth guideline: WE ACT FOR THE GREATER GOOD
It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning. Focus on what’s important. Take a long term view and approach. We’re here to make things better and strive for a higher ideal. Call people to think bigger and create something better. Don’t be right. Set about setting things right. Basically just ‘Be the Force’.

###Fifth guideline: WE ARE HAPPY
Like Ruby, we exist for the furtherment of ‘programmer happiness’.

###Committee Composition
According to the Ruby Australia constitution, we need to have the following office bearers: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and four general committee members. Most committee roles span one year, but you’re welcome to come back again.

Generally at each general meeting half of the committee will be up for election while the other half will continue for another six months, thus enabling both continuity and renewal.

Aside from the office bearers, the other roles held by committee members are:

  • Sponsor Liaison
  • Event Liaison
  • Website ( Manager
  • Documentation (to hopefully be phased out as we get a handle on existing documentation)

The organisers of RailsCamp and RubyConf dont necessarily need to be committee members, but it’s expected the committee member in the event liaison role will be in frequent contact with the organising teams.

It’s usually really painful when you start a role and the last person didn’t really bother to hand anything over, so you just spend all this time stuffing around just working out stuff they already knew. Don’t be that person - update this document and help the next poor sod who is taking over from you.

Currently we bank with Westpac. As a non profit our accounts attract no monthly fees (woo!).

Generally two committee members need to have their names on the account. As of May 2017 this is Lauren Hennessy and Jo Cranford. Keep all monies in the main accounts of the association, it makes the books much less painful. We have a credit card in the name of Sebastian Von Conrad, details are stored in 1Password for online use.

The organisation has a Public Officer, who must reside in Victoria. After RailsCamp when the Public Officer changes the government needs to be notified within 21 days (we think). Current Public Officer: Ryan Bigg (correct at May 2017)

###Online Meetings
We suggest the committee should generally meet at least once a month for 1 hour.

###Preparing for General Meetings
Notice needs to go out to all the members at least 14 days in advance notifying them of a general meeting at Rails Camp. Victorian law refers to an alternate notice period of 21 days if a “special resolution” has been proposed (for example, when changing the constitution).

###Knowledge Management
All important documentation is kept on Ruby Down Under, or is in the process of being moved there.

###Ruby Australia 1Password account
This 1Password team contains most of our online logins. There are folders for Camp and Conference organisers. Admin access to the account lies with Ryan and Lauren. You will be added to different vaults as needed. Please don’t set up any online accounts without checking if one already exists. Please use the email for registering online accounts (eg youtube, twitter etc).

Key email accounts to know about:

Note: At the time of writing, Pat Allan (@pat) has access to the DNSimple account that manages forwarding of these email accounts.


  • Ruby Down Under
  • Website: The Ruby Australia website is a Rails app. It is hosted at via Heroku. It was initially developed by Ben Schwarz and David Goodlad and remains visually the same for now, though later it was ported to Rails by Edward Tippett. In the spirit of lean development, this site was launched in a minimal state.
  • Twitter: The @rubyaustralia twitter account is useful for promoting upcoming Ruby Australia events.
  • Google Group: The well established rails-oceania Google Group continues to be used for Ruby Australia announcements, though this is in the process of being phased out.
  • Campaign Monitor: The Campaign Monitor account also handles announcements, as well as communication with camp and conference attendees.
  • Slack

Next steps:


  • Post here
    • Your bio for Committee Members page
      Include: full name, summary, any link and profile photo
    • Your email address for accounts and invites
  • Confirm that you’ve been granted access to necessary accounts
  • Make sure you’ve been assigned the tasks to get you moving



There were some updates needed to the first post so I have done that :slight_smile:

Photo and everything else is fine for me, just want to update my bio:

Toby was a developer and dev manager for nine years before becoming a technical recruiter at Lookahead Search. He is also the co-organiser of the Melbourne Ruby meetup, a gadget hoarder, mac & cheese enthusiast and dad.