Dear Ruby Australia Members,
It’s been an exciting time as President of Ruby Australia and I’m here to update you on the progress we’ve made.
Before I address our 2017 goals, I’d like to take a moment to thank the serving committee for the last 4.5 months:
Vice President Tom Ridge
Treasurer Jo Cranford
Secretary Ryan Bigg
General Member Rachelle LeQuesne
General Member Anton Katunin
General Member Toby Nieboer
General Member Ana Djordjevic
It’s been a short half term and we’ve done some amazing work. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished. I look forward to continuing to work with many of these wonderful people and will be sad to say goodbye to others.
We’ve made great strides in the goals outlined last meeting, to recap these were:
- Streamline onboarding of new committee members
- Refine the yearly sponsorship model
- Gain greater knowledge of our membership base and communicate better with members
- Continue to streamline the organising and running of major events though guides and support
- Refine our Code of Conduct to be clearer and instate internal protocol for handling complaints and breaches
We’ve also accomplished or begun a couple of items not listed in our goals for this year:
- Bring the constitution and Consumer Affairs reports up to date
- Exploration of frontend work on ruby.org.au
- Restructuring of the committee
And of course we have facilitated the organisation of a RubyConf, an upcoming Rails Camp, and many meetups, Rails Girls and hack night events.
Let’s take stock of all these achievements!
Streamline onboarding of new committee members
We now have a plan for on boarding new committee members using a Trello board and a buddy system. We will keep iterating on this as we see what works and what doesn’t. An aside to this, for the first time in the last year and a half, we have not had any members leave their positions prematurely. Two of our three outgoing members are also looking to rerun. I can’t express how big of an impact I believe this will make on our overall success for the year. Consistency and momentum are on our side and we plan to make the most of them.
Refine the yearly sponsorship model
Rachelle has done great work on the sponsorship prospectus. She’s incorporated feedback from current sponsors and input from the committee / event organisers. She is now opening up conversations with existing and potential sponsors. We expect to start getting some sponsorships squared away in the next month or two. You can download the prospectus here (92.8 KB).
Gain greater knowledge of our membership base and communicate better with members
The membership database is live thanks to groundwork by Edward Tippett and further refinement by Tom and Ana. We have lagged communicating this to members and we will work to rectify this in coming weeks. You can sign up to the membership base here.
This forum, championed by Anton and contributed to by Ana and Toby, has enabled new and exciting ways to communicate with members. We are adopting it as our main communication platform. A little more info:
78 registered users (2017.05.04)
The forum is sponsored and supported by www.discourse.org
Continue to streamline the running of major events though guides and support from previous organisers
Anton and Rachelle have done excellent work collating our documentation into one place. We continue to build on it for the benefit of future committee members and event organisers. In Anton’s words:
A huge work was done to clean up and consolidate information from previous committee and community to a single place.
- Documentation from google docs and github is consolidated on github and later moved to the forum
- Memorable moments started
- Pat wrote guide for RubyConf
- Articles and meeting minutes are moved from website to forum (almost done)
- Github repositories, Roro wiki and RubyAU Slack channels cleaned up
Refine our Code of Conduct to be clearer and instate internal protocol for handling complaints and breaches
This is getting off the ground, lead by Toby, who is looking to exceptional examples of CoC’s and working to incorporate the best parts into something fit for us. Currently this discussion is internal. We expect to release it to the membership for comment / further refinement within a month or two.
Bring the constitution and Consumer Affairs reports up to date
Thanks to Ryan’s work, we are voting to adopt this new constitution at the upcoming general meeting. The proposed constitution can be found here (92.3 KB)
A requirement to report to consumer affairs has gone unnoticed for a few years. We have responded to this and are now completely up to date. Thanks go to Ryan for this too!
Exploration of frontend work on ruby.org.au
Tom, in leading the membership database, has also taken ownership of the website as a whole. We’ve considered the idea of a frontend refresh of the site in the past, and are reviving this now as we plan to attract more traffic. We’ve gotten a quote on a short contract and are looking at getting one more before deciding how to progress.
Restructuring of the committee
To further our success giving members the autonomy to run with their jobs, we have decided to give more definition to the general member roles. We want people to own key aspects of the committee whilst providing the support and information they need to succeed. The new roles as we see them are:
Website (ruby.org.au) Manager
Further information on these roles can be found here.
RubyConf 2017 was enormously successful. With the highest attendance so far, insightful and inspiring speakers, and social events which fostered our community spirit, it was everything a RubyConf should be. Thanks to organisers:
Planning for RubyConf 2018 is progressing with a small crew of trusted organisers. Stay tuned for more info soon!
Rails Camp 21 starts tomorrow! The first camp in the Northern Territory, we’ve now covered all major Australian states and territories. What a milestone! Further updates to come after the camp, but for now anticipatory thanks to organisers:
Sebastian von Conrad
Rails Camp 22 will be held in Melbourne in late October, organised by Toby and Mel. Stay tuned for more info soon!
The full treasurer report is below. The short of this report is that we are in a very healthy financial position coming into the end of the financial year. We owe a huge thanks to Jo for her sponsorship work and amazing budgeting skills.
(Numbers are rounded)
2017 to date
- $388k of income (sponsorship + tickets)
- $325k cost of sales (confs + camps)
- $26k operating expenses, includes: accounting, banking fees, insurance, hosting. Note that $15k Event Planning costs are included in this (I intend to separate this for the next FY into Event related operations)
- Profit $35k
- Tickets $225k
- Costs $269k
- Sponsorship funds used $44k
- Adelaide: cost $35k, tickets $22k, sponsorship funds used $13k
- Brisbane: cost $18k, tickets $7k, sponsorship funds used $11k
- Darwin (incomplete): cost $7k, tickets $6k, sponsorship funds used $1k
RORO: Syd $4k, Mel $9k, Bris $200
Rails Girls: Syd $1.2k, Bris $1.6k (+ upcoming event) Melb have upcoming event
Current bank balance: $105k (plus ~$14k of money owed including GST refund of $11k)
We have no current plans to use the bank balance. We can decide to simply leave it alone to ensure that next years’ events are successful, or could consider using it to help the community.
- Fund more Rails Girls events
- Hire staff to help Ruby AU run more smoothly (admin/sponsorship/events)
We could not have achieved all this if not for the support of our generous sponsors. Thanks to all the wonderful companies below.
Thank you for reading this far! It’s a huge measure of success that we have this much to report to you. We owe much of the groundwork for these items to previous committees and we thank them for their contributions. Here’s to an equally successful second half!
Your Proud President,