Ruby Australia AGM 2018

Ruby Australia AGM 2018

Sunday at RailsCamp Tasmania





Acknowledgement of traditional owners of land


Ruby Australia is an org for promoting ruby community, we do camps, confs and meetups and help ruby in Australia

Current members are Toby, Caitlin, Nick
Apologies from Sharon, Matt, Lachlan and Rachelle

Presidents’ report

Thank you to Nick and Caitlin for your excellent support in your roles, I think you have made the committee what it is today.

Since I got elected we’ve run 2 camps, 1 conf with Sandi Metz, 4 RailsGirls

We also had a huge number of attendees at Meetups throughout Australia.

Matt Stevenson has made amazing progress on developing the Ruby Australia Website and has gotten it in the stage were we can progress it even further

Rachelle has run about a billion Installfests around the country and will be extremely difficult to replace.


We’ve been discussing a way to implement paid memberships to directly support Railsgirls and other diversity options


We’ve been looking into Grants particularly for RailsGirls to free up funds for other things such as Confs.


Anton has been championing the forum as the official record of the community.


We’ve had 2 camps, 1 conf and a large number of Meetups under the new CoC. We’ve never had an issue.


Lachlan has been leading the charge for open sourcing our docs on how we do a number of things such as running camps and we’ve keen to share our knowledge to other similar orgs.


Thanks to committee members past and present, particularly to Lauren.

Treasurers report (Copied in from original document provided)

Treasurer - FY 2019 - Half Year Report


  • $84.5k of income (52k sponsors, 32k ticket sales)
    • This is down on last year, where we had:
      • $127k sponsorship – but this was mostly made up from sponsorship accrual from FY17. Without the accrual, it would be $30k of sponsorship.
      • $60k ticket sales – RubyConf AU 2018 had sold double the number of tickets this time last year, than this conference has. I anticipate an uptick in ticket sales toward the end of this year and in January.
  • $53k expenses
    • $46k of which is venue hire & catering for our events – camps, conference deposits, meet ups & RailsGirls events.
  • $5k on operating expenses, includes: accounting, banking fees, insurance, online services.
  • Net profit is at $26k, compared with $113k this time last year.
    • Again I stress this is because of the sponsorship accrual and bigger ticket sales. To make 26k in profit is actually quite good!
  • Money in the bank: $199k. 6 months ago this was $144k. A lot of this money will go towards running our conference in February.

RubyConf AU 2019 (Melbourne)

The conference is often our big “money making” event; it provides us with funds to fund things like food + drink at meetups and to run other events like RailsGirls, Elixir Girls and even to subsidise the cost of RailsCamp tickets.

The conference is 3 months away, and as I’ve said before I anticipate a large uptick in ticket sales in the coming year.

RailsCamp 24 - Hobart

  • $10k of income (compared with $24k last camp) – due to lower than usual attendance numbers.
  • But keep in mind, that most of the bills for this camp aren’t paid until after the camp. It usually costs a lot more than $1.2k to run a RailsCamp!


For the ROROs, the committee has decided to allocate $10/head for each attendee of the meetup. The meetup organisers can then spend this however they please. This isn’t a strict allocation, more of a guideline than anything.


~120-130 attendees regularly

$4.7k on pizza and soft drinks. Monthly pizza cost is above $1k.

Special mention thanks to Marketplacer for sponsoring the alcohol for this meetup.


40-50 attendees

$6.1k, again mostly on catered food.


~20 attendees

$1.5k, on food.


~10 attendees

$150, on food.

Future Treasury Plans

The association transferred to Commonwealth Bank at the start of this financial year and they’ve been incredibly helpful when I’ve asked for their help. Kudos to them. And yay for no more on-screen keyboard logins!

We have a very healthy bank balance in the range of $200k. This will allow us to fund events well into the future. The association is doing incredibly well, financially.

I am slightly concerned that both sponsorship dollars and ticket sales are down this year. I think the ticket sales will rectify themselves as we approach the conference. The sponsors are a harder task, which the association is actively working on.

RubyConf 2019


We’ve running in Feb in Melb, tickets are a bit slow due to a delay in announcing speakers, since that’s be done now we’ve expecting more sales.

We have some cool places lined up for social events, also welcoming to families and partners.

We have standard ticket rate, we removed the group rate, we have concession tickets for students and concession cards, we also have opportunities tickets, which closes at the end of December. Toby and Sharon are leading that project to give people time to organize those. It closes in dec, or if ticket sales exceed 80%.

there is a contribution towards flights and includes accom as well.
The conf is Single Track
You can donate when purchasing to support the opportunity program.

RailsCamp Bris


Held in May, in North Brisbane, very successful, we had 60 people, which is good for non Melb/Syd, it was less traditional because we had phone reception and markets. We had fewer talks and less coding. We ended up making a 3-4k profit.

We have plenty of iron on stickers.

RailsCamp Melb

It was in Tasmania, official attendance was 38. We had the best swag of any camp ever, it appears we’ve going to make a $1.2k profit. We found a number of cheaper options which helped our budget.

RailsCamp Perth

In the original schedule we’d have it in May-June, we don’t have an organizer and are seeking expressions of interest, we have run remote camps before. We’ve previously had attendance there of around 80-100. We want to support the presence of camps all around the country.

The conf is to raise funds for the community, while camps are for the community as a whole.

Camp Frequency

When we started camps we had 1 every 6 months and we didn’t have a conf, there also a number of rival camps now for JS and Elixir.

Attendance has been on the steady decline since Adelaide, which was 120, Gold Coast was 60, Darwin was 60, Melbourne was 80, Bris was 60 then Tas was 40. My concern was that if we put one in Perth we’d see people think there’s another in 6 months and end up with a small number of people. We currently sell the camps as a sponsor feature. I’ve been talked around to camps are not for profit or for getting huge numbers.

We’d love to learn more about what people want from camps.

It’s not a decision we need to make and it’s forever hard and fast, we’ve just been talking it.
I’ve never felt they’ve lacked community. We just need to match expectations of sponsors.

I like the idea of survey the community. That’s really important to do before we change the frequency.

It would be really good to collect that data

We currently define the members as those who attendee

Camps only run when we have an organizer

that’s a good reason to skip one

I think we have a commitment to sponsors.
Maybe it’s time to rethink the format.

That’s a good thing for the survey

That’s why we published the talks on this topic

We advise on our page that you can check with organizers if we can accept kids

I suspect this camps’ format is not necessary the reason for low attendance, it could also be technology choice driven

It could also be that we have fewer Ruby Newbies.

I’m a nerd and hadn’t heard of this, it could be that some people didn’t know it exists.


We’ll pause there for now.


I’m happy to have people talk to me.

RailsGirls Fixed Cycle


It happens when people get around to running it. we had 2 in Melb and they were quite far apart.
Sharon and I came up with the plan to have it twice a year at multiple cities in the country on the same time explicitly in two months six months apart.

It’s run in Bris by the same team for the past 5 years, they’ve expressed concerns that they don’t have the bandwidth or funding for twice a year, due to catering, room hire, swags.

I would have concerns about requiring 2 a year nationally.
I’m very on board with having an alignment of all the events on the same days.

You mentioned we need to support all areas.

We’d also get better value for buying large amounts of swag

Maybe we could centralize the area

If we’re relying on volunteers it’s a big ask to expect them to align across the country

We won’t have difficulty in Melb finding venues,

Maybe we get high attendance because of low frequency

I think timing is not the big issue

I think predictability is the major issue.

Maybe we could run just a RailsGirls Next as the other 6 month event.

Whoever becomes the Events General Member is the point who should be taking the lead on this

Can anyone run an event?


I’d be wary of Melbourne people dominating the discussion on this.

Proposal that there be a means for members who aren’t at camp to participate

The constitution currently states that we cannot participate via Technology

The constitution was written with that, but we are not bound by it forever.

That seems to make it easier for disconnected people to be left out of directing the organization.

the purpose of this discussion is how to address that issue, potentially changing the constitution.

You must notify the community the exact wording of the question more than 3 weeks away to propose a change to the constitution.

We could also put that GMs happen at other events such as Confs

This does make it difficult via an issue of access

the issue is we have this type of discussion at Camps, and should have discussions online a month before, and then have the actual vote at the camps. Then the non attendees can raise things via online

We have to have the AGM within 5 months of the new financial year

I think Anton’s suggestion is a great mid step until we can do the online discussion via a constitution change

We just need to keep in mind moderation online

It would be good to have a distinct online conversation convention.

I think online talks would need to be very structured, we could learn how Ruby NZ does there online AGMS to learn from them.


Toby Nieboer
President sets the direction for the organization (8-10 hours a month, responsible for running the meetings)
It’s role that lets you come up with ideas on how to serve the community
Responsible for publishing the minutes and and staying in contact with Consumer Affairs Victoria
General Member
They generally have a sponsor rep, an event liaison, a website rep and a documentation and grants.

There is seasonality to the roles as certain things.

Discussion on how voting works

Pat Allan elected President unanimously, replacing Toby Nieboer
Loud applause for Pat

Racheal Goodenough nominated for Secretary

Statement read by Toby

Caitlin seconds nomination
She’s an excellent human

Rachael elected

Two general terms

Nom from Matt
Second from Nick

Nom for Sox
Second from Drew

Matt and Sox elected

Ryan Bigg stays on as Treasurer (until November '19)

Official motion of thanks to Toby as outgoing President