Ruby Australia Annual General Meeting Minutes
10th of July, 2016 - 3pm
Held at Rails Camp 19 - Mylor Adventure Camp, Adelaide
Committee Members Present
- Len Garvey - President
- Melissa Kaulfuss - Vice President
- Jo Cranford - Treasurer
- Rebecca Skinner - Secretary
- Rob Jacoby - General Member
- Lauren Hennessy - General Member
- Amanda Neumann - General Member
- Angus Scown - General Member
Ruby Australia Members Present
- Adam Davies
- Alexia McDonald
- Andrè Vidic
- Andrew Harvey
- Anton Katunin
- Candy Goodison
- David Trumbull
- Edward Tippett
- Eleanor Kiefel Haggerty
- Felescia Schemmer
- Garrow Bedrossian
- Grant Colegate
- James Martelletti
- James Sadler
- Joseph Mullins
- Keira Hodgkison
- Keith Pitt
- Kevin Yank
- Kieran Andrews
- Kylie Gusset
- Liam Esler
- Luke Rollans
- Luke Shillabeer
- Maria Cano
- Mel Sherrin
- Mitchell Buckley
- Murray-Luke Peard
- Nigel Rausch
- Nigel Soon
- Pat Allan (MC)
- Paul Fioravanti
- Paul Millar
- Richie Khoo
- Sebastian von Conrad
- Simon Rentcke
- Steve Gilles
- Steven Noble
- Toby Nieboer
- Yuji Yokoo
(If you attended but are not listed, or your name is misspelled, please contact your local Committee secretary)
- Meeting being run by Pat Allan, with Rebecca Skinner taking minutes.
- Welcome to Country - traditional lands of the Peramangk and Kaurna people
- Apologies - committee members Amanda Newmann and Angus Scown
Purpose of Ruby Australia
- Further use and adoption of Ruby in Australia
- Foster community around the language and related technologies
Motion to accept minutes
- Motion made by Pat, seconded by Len
- Motion passed without dissent.
Presidents Report - Len Garvey
- Committee has been focused on two things
- Corporate sponsorship - making events easier
- Association membership - understanding who we are
- Constitutional effects like: 5% of members can call a SGM and members needing to rejoin annually
- Not focusing on the three areas (Community outreach, business outreach, and event organisation) from one year ago
- Survey was run and turned up some interesting statistics
Treasurer’s Report - Jo Cranford
- 200K currently in bank
- Events to be covered are RubyConf, camps, RORO Melb/Syd + a bit of Adelaide, Rails Girls in Melb/Adel + a bit of Brisbane
- 200K includes sponsorship for next year’s conference
- Slight loss on last conference - between 10-20K
- Financial report to be published
- Possibility of membership fees to increase revenue?
- Costs vary between events - most of the cost is covered by tickets but some can come from Ruby AU
- Camps should run at even money or a slight loss, confs should run at a profit to subsidise them
- (Richie) Why did the last conf lose money?
- Ticket sales were lower, costs were higher
- Costs were done based on ticket sales from Melbourne - were not as high. 100 ticket sales less
- A lot of no-shows for the conference
Sponsorship - Jo Cranford
- Sponsorship model used to be per-event - confs and camps trying to organise their own money
- Stressful for conf organisers and things like Rails Girls had no chance
- Easier for organisers and companies to only ask once and get the money at the start of the year
- Single top tier Ruby sponsor, some Emerald + Sapphire, etc.
- REA and Envato sharing the Ruby sponsorship
- Two Emerald sponsors - CultureAmp and Lookahead
- 120K from those four in the bank (yay)
- Looking for 5 Sapphire sponsors
- (Len) We do have a prospectus so people can share it with their companies or promote it themselves. Download it here.
- (Liam) is there a committee member responsible for sponsorship stuff? As it can be a big load
- At the moment it is just Jo, with help from other people in the committee
- Does need someone who can devote a lot of time to it.
- Possibility of assigning particular responsibilities to specific general members.
RubyConf 2016 Report - Rob Jacoby
- Held on the Gold Coast in February 2016
- 370ish attendees
- 20min/30min talks worked well
- Closing party was awesome
- Catering and social events for 350 people is not easy!
- Ticketing of social events didn’t really work as a lot of people were no-shows and others got turned away as a result
- Jo and Rob also working for next year’s conf so knowledge learned will roll over
- Mel, Len and Nicholas also helping for next year.
- Anonymous CFP went well, as did RubyConf Assist
- (Andrew) International speakers seemed to really engage with the conference and events
- Some international speakers said it was the best conf they had ever attended, and they say it loud
- We do offer travel allowance for international speakers.
- (Richie) Backup speakers from overseas - a bit weird? Coming all that way and not getting to speak? A good use of financial resources?
- Talks were selected based on CFP only - top ranked talks were accepted, next top were selected as backup.
- Backups were selected without regard to where speakers were from.
- Something to maybe improve on for next year.
- (Kylie) Do we need to look more outside the community for international speakers for softer talks?
- Would cost about the same. - Liam
RubyConf 2017 - Mel Kaulfuss
- Grand announcement is later tonight so no information!
- Venue and dates are locked in.
- Working hard to find a conf direction, maybe a theme, like the Future of Ruby
- (Len) It’s in Melbourne!
- (Mel) Can we say that yet???
- Hoping to keep the costs down - maybe not as baller as Gold Coast conf
- Focus on student and diversity tickets
- We could hold a Gold Coast conference because previous confs had gone so well and made a profit, so that may become a regular thing - every other conference being held in a non-Sydney/Melbourne location
- Short talk format has been good and quality has been very high - though not as much depth in shorter talks
- More details soon!
RailsCamp 19 - Lauren Hennessy
- The camp has been awesome!
- Budget is healthy - made that ‘only a little loss’ goal
- Happy with the diversity - tickets, etc.
- 112 attendees!
- Big thanks to LK and the volunteer team!
- Open for expressions of interest
- Never had one in NT…
- Next on the list of least-recently visited locations are Tasmania, Melbourne, and Queensland
- Lauren has been writing lots of notes and guides to help future organisers run camps, and she (and other organisers) can help and nurture you if you are interested in helping!
- Winter in Cairns/NT for RailsCamp 21??
- Would work well weather-wise, if Tas was done in summer this year.
- (Kylie) Is 5 months logistically possible? Can we skip one?
- Sponsorship agreements say we are holding 2 a year
- Have been 2 a year since 2007
- Do organisers have to be located where the camp is actually being held?
- It has happened somewhat before
- Some local knowledge is good
- The documentation is going to get knuckled down and done so it will be made easier for future organisers!
- Site visit has to be done, but that’s really the only requirement for being in the location
- Site visit doesn’t have to be done by you but does have to be someone you trust
- Do have to be in the location couple days before/after for organisation purposes
General member discussion - Len Garvey
- One committee member has not been participating - Angus
- Provision in the constitution for ending a term early
- Replacement member would fulfil the rest of the term (6 months)
- Rob reads out Angus’s email
- We can change the constitution at the end of the meeting - Len thinks the replacement member should serve the full term
- Mel Sherrin going to review the constitution from a lawyer perspective and see if it can be done. (Right now)
- Proposal by Len to vacate Angus’s committee position
- (Garrow) Should we just assign someone else to his role?
- Well it would normally be done as part of general business, but that’s after the election and we’re having an election today so would like to get it cleared up now.
- (Richie) Against the motion. The committee turnover should be stabilised at 4-4 instead of 5-3.
- (Mel S) - Clarification - changing the constitution requires a special motion that can only be done with advanced notice. No changing without 21 days notice. Also need to update constitution as we are running off an old act.
- Original proposal at replacing Angus for a 6 month term made by Len, stands.
- Seconded by Mel K.
- (Sebastian) Unusual, unprecedented to replace a committee member “against their will”. However, the fact that the committee have the most information and given it was raised/seconded by president/vice president makes him more comfortable with it.
- (Mel S) *reads over some more of the legalese that includes provision for when a member misses 3 continuous committee meetings without any advanced notice*
- (Richie) Let’s put it to a vote.
- Everyone will vote/abstain, Pat and Mel S will count votes.
- Lauren has a preference for an anonymous vote, but that was done last time because people being voted on were in the room. No harm in anonymous anyway.
- (There will be no patting of legs during this night phase, ala werewolf)
- Motion has passed. 25 for, 2 against, 13 abstain.
Committee election time!
Positions up for election are:
- Vice President (held by Mel K)
- Secretary (held by Rebecca)
- 2 full term general members (held by Rob and Amanda)
- 1 half-term general member (held by Angus).
Even though Rebecca is stepping down halfway, her replacement is full term because it is voluntary.
- (Being verified by Mel S).
Discussion of VP role
- Support role for president
- In absence of president, VP would step in and act as president
- Shepherding of issues and ideas into action
- Not standing for re-election because she is not committing enough time (she feels)
- 1-2 hours/week for general member + time for monthly meetings
Lauren Hennessy nominated by Jo, seconded by Mel K
- Would her current General Member role be replaced for remaining-term or full-term?
- Full-term precedent set by Len.
- Other members who have been ‘upgraded’ have only had their replacements for the remaining term.
- It will only be the remaining term.
No other nomination.
Lauren Hennessy elected unopposed as Vice President for a 12 month term.
Discussion of secretary role
- Organizing of agenda for monthly meetings
- Running of monthly meetings, typing up minutes, herding cats
- Some future corporate-facing work may be required.
- Does require decent organisational skills.
- Couple hours of month required, more if you’re a stress-head like Rebecca.
Ryan Bigg (not present) nominated as secretary, seconded by Michael Pearson.
It was discussed with him beforehand and he accepted the nomination.
Kylie Gusset nominated by Lauren
- Kylie declines, saying she would prefer to be nominated as a general member instead.
Mel Sherrin nominated by Lauren, but she shakes her head vehemently.
No other accepted nominations
Ryan Bigg elected unopposed for a 12 month term.
Discussion of General Member responsibilities
- Attend meetings once a month
- Discussions about furthering community.
- 1-2 hours a week maybe.
Kylie nominated by Lauren as general member
- Seconded by Len, nomination accepted
Tom Ridge (not present, Brisbane) nominated by Rob Jacoby.
- Seconded by Nigel.
- Also discussed beforehand and accepted.
Andrè nominated by Jo, seconded by Liam, accepted.
Ed nominates himself for the 6 month term only. Seconded by Rob.
Adam nominated by Lauren - not this time, he says.
Anton nominated by Simon, seconded by Nigel, accepted.
Discussion on how to split the nominations for the 6/12 month roles. 2 for 12 month roles, 2 for 6 month roles.
Introducing 12 month nomination people.
- Anton - Melbourne, contractor, doing Ruby for 5 years, was in Brisbane, hosted meet ups, haven’t taken any big roles so wants to move into helping more.
- Kylie - Melbourne, Rails Girls SOC supported by CultureAmp and working with Katrina Owen. Involved with community for 6 months. Also involved in CSS/JS Conf. Involved in diversity efforts and handling Twitter account for Railscamp. ()
- Andrè - Melbourne. In community for year and a half. Put hand up last year when there were heaps of nominations. Will give it a go again! Relative newcomer to community, welcomed awesomely, pretty passionate about it and getting new people and youngsters involved. Went to General Assembly to kickstart learning process. Giving talks to new students there to give back. Random Acts of Kindness but wants to concentrate on Ruby.
- Tom - Brisbane, 2 Red Kites. Speaks at lots of BrisRuby meet ups, always has interesting things to say and passionate about mentoring. Loves the community. Would be a good asset. (Spoken by Rob)
Everyone can vote twice between the 4 applicants for the 12 month positions. (Another anonymous vote is held)
Congrats to Kylie and Tom for being elected as 12-month general members.
Introducing 6 month nomination people
- Ed - Adelaide, 5 years in Ruby community, wants to put together a membership database for the Ruby community.
- All non-successful nominations for the 12 month positions also apply for the 6 month positions.
Congrats to Andrè and Ed for being elected as 6-month general members.
The new and improved Ruby AU committee is:
- President: Len Garvey
- VP: Lauren Hennessy
- Secretary: Ryan Bigg
- Treasurer: Jo Cranford
- General members: Kylie Gusset, Tom Ridge, Ed Tippet, Andrè Vidic
- (Richie) Scott Ludlam’s closing conf talk. We are members of a digital class and highly privileged. Extreme amounts of information. Let’s not close the internet. So. What can we do? Be more digitally active to ensure a “free and open internet”. EFF in the US, EFA here. As the internet grows, grey areas of rights as companies and countries inhibit rights. Don’t track all of the things. Bad policies suck. Should we support the EFA locally? Digital rights non-profit? Financially, or as a community. Companies find it hard to contribute because it makes them a target - as an organisation we may be able to give back instead.
- Suggestion from Pat - before the next Rails Camp, Richie to work with the committee and other interested people to put together a proper proposal about what we can do and how, to discuss at next Rails Camp.
- (Len) how does that further the mission of Ruby AU? Let’s make it clear before we make any action.
- Mel S to help with the conversation.
- Need a lot of due diligence to make sure the beliefs of the organisations align.
- Our sponsors also might have issues with Ruby AU formally sponsoring these organisations.
- Discussions to be had and see what can be done by next RC.
- (Pat) Phil works with Ruby Together and would like to discuss the possibility of Ruby AU putting some kind of help and support towards Ruby Together.
- More ideas to investigate and see what can be done.
- (Alexia) When people register and pay membership fees, maybe can check a box to contribute extra fees towards worthy causes like Ruby Together.
- (Len) The committee can take these issues into advisement and put together a proposal moving forward.
- (Rebecca) Wanted to raise that Ruby Together does have very strong social beliefs that some people specifically might not be comfortable in supporting.
- (Liam) Updates from AGM to AGM, subcommittees, etc. We don’t really have any!
- Was covered very briefly in the President’s report.
- (Garrow) Wanted an update on the member registry.
- (Kylie) Wanted an update on hiring an admin, which was brought up at last RC.
- Not really enough work for that. Some specific work can be assigned to committee members so things don’t fall off the radar.
- A lot of people don’t read the minutes, so maybe just a status report before the meeting starts, to get everyone up to speed.
- (Nigel) - An update on getting speakers to struggling meet up groups like Adelaide, Perth, etc.
- (Sebastian) - Perplexed about sponsorships and how we don’t have funds?
- 1 year ago, treasury had 100K sitting in the bank not allocated for events, pure profit.
- Was the report back then incorrect or are we running at a big loss now?
- (Len) Matt was towards the end of the term and familiar with ebbs and flows of the cash. Jo still fairly new to role.
- Now covering more RORO events so more expenditure.
- Sebastian proposes that some kind of investigation should be done to see what has/is happening.
- Len happy to accept proposal and take that action. Report to be posted to ruby.org.au.
- (Richie) Financial statements to be provided at AGMs. Profit/loss, not just cash in bank. Cash flow statement. Balance sheet. etc.
- Element of conversatism.
- Things being asked for are completely reasonable and will be done.
- There were a lot of expenses for RubyConf that had not been paid when Jo took over, and also a lot of unpaid invoices that caused a bit of a cash flow problem (thanks for the clarification Jo!)
- (Sebastian) RE: Angus. Committee should formalise description and expectation of all committee members. Has been very informal to this point.
- Seconded by Rob. No dissenting voices. Motion passed.
- (Liam) Committee also needs to really understand the constitution. Lucky we had a lawyer present this time. Don’t want to get audited.
- Mel S volunteers to help new secretary with understanding the constitution.
- (Richie) Thanks to everyone involved in the committee.
- (Lauren) Subcommittee for Railscamp budgeting and Railscamp website. Happy to help drive that.
- (Richie) New Committee Member Welcome Guide - very out of date. Should be updated and passed on to new committee members.
- To be part of the new secretary role.
- More minor chit-chat and wrap-up.
- Meeting adjourned! Until next time, friends!