Ruby Australia General Meeting - May 2019


  • Pat Allan

  • Mark Glossop

  • Rebecca Le

  • Celia Colquhoun King

  • Steven Webb

  • Nimeshe Madanayake

  • Vanessa Nimmo

  • Lauren Hennessy

  • Kieran Andrews

  • Chris Aitchison

  • Edward Tippet

  • Paul Douglas

  • Eleanor Kiefel Haggerty

  • Aaron Moodie

  • Samuel Cochran

  • Caroline Bambrick

  • Nick Wolf


Meeting opened at 14:40 AWST

Introduction (Pat)

  • Welcome to Country
  • Ruby Australia exists to promote Ruby and run events such as Rails Camp, RubyConf AU, RailsGirls, and Meetups.
  • Apologies from the rest of the committee for not being present.
  • Highlight the current committee:
    • President (Ongoing): Pat Allan
    • Vice President (Outgoing): Caitlin Palmer-Bright
    • Treasurer (Ongoing): Ryan Bigg
    • Secretary (Ongoing): Rachael Goodenough
    • General Members: Sharon Vaughan (Outgoing), Matt Stevenson (Ongoing), Sonya Corcoran (Ongoing), Lachlan Hardy (Resigned)

Ratifying Minutes

  • From previous General Meeting, held on 25th November 2018.
  • Motion passed (13 in favour, 0 against)

President’s Report (Pat)

  • I was sworn in as President back in November. I was also part of the conference organising committee (as were two other committee members), so it’s been a busy six months.
  • I’ve wanted to add more clear processes around how the committee operates and interacts with the community. This is ongoing, but we are now asking for expressions of interest around running the next conference and camps.
  • We’ve worked on improving communication about these meetings both on Slack and the forum.
  • We are working on communication with meetup organizers.
  • I’ve been thinking about how we best make use of our general committee members’ time. We have specific roles for them currently. The amount to do in each of those roles fluctuates. Grants can have lots of downtime, Events has lots to do all year round. I’ve been thinking about how to share all the work around.

Treasurer’s Report (Ryan, via Pat)

  • $94k in bank.
  • Previous conf was over budget by about 35k. This was due to lower than usual attendance - normally, the conference is a money maker.
  • Sponsorship has not been as strong this year as the previous year.
  • It would be great if more people sponsor - Sonya has been doing some great work with sponsorship.
  • Next conf could aim to be a bit smaller to keep in budget.

Sponsorship (Sonya, via Pat)

  • We are currently seeking additional sponsors.
  • We feel it’s better to do this through Ruby Australia rather than individual events, as it allows sponsors to have an impact (and get noticed) all year round.
  • Sonya is currently reaching out to a variety of companies. Anyone keen should get in touch with her.
  • The sooner you sign on the more coverage of the year you get.

Event reports

Rails Camp 24 (via Pat)

  • Hobart Nov.
  • Similar numbers to this camp. Lots of fun, may have broken even.

Rails Camp 25 (Vanessa Nimmo)

  • Current camp, in Perth
  • 41 tickets bought, 36 attendees, budget on track thanks to sponsorship.
  • My first Rails Camp, I’ve had a good time.

Rails Camp 26 (via Pat)

  • Aiming for Oct/Nov 2019.
  • We are seeking expressions of interest. There has been some discussion about Melbourne but next in line based on which region hasn’t hosted in a while are Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra. Will depend on volunteers.
  • Question: There was some discussion about camp moving to yearly last year?
    • Last general meeting there was a discussion about this, but it was decided that high attendance isn’t a goal, it was more about having full representation around the country.

RubyConf AU 2019 (via Pat)

  • Sam Cochran and I are the only present organizers. It happened in Feb, it was lots of fun. We had great speakers, it was a great success overall, even if it was surprising we didn’t make more money.
  • Generally a Melbourne conf will make money, we as a committee are wondering why that wasn’t the case this time. We are running a community survey to clarify information about the community, their opinions on events and a variety of other things.
  • I am very proud of what we’ve done.
  • Question: When will the survey data be released?
    • We’ve extended the deadline until the end of this month, and are planning to release the summary after that.

RubyConf AU 2020 (via Pat)

  • It will be in Melbourne. The organising team is Rachael Goodenough, Elizabeth Enders, and Ben Evans.
  • They are discussing venues and dates.

RailsGirls (Sharon & Sonya, via Pat)

  • Happening in Melbourne and Sydney. They’re trying to run both at the same time to help share promotion efforts. We’re unsure about other locations at this point. We’re seeking expression of interest for people in other cities who’d be keen to run these.

Meetups (via Pat)

  • They continue regularly in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth. I’m unsure about Canberra. Meetups are going very healthily. If anyone involved would like more support please let us know.


Vice President

  • Nomination for Pat Allan by Edward Tippet (not entirely seriously, Pat does not accept the nomination).
  • Nomination for Caroline Bambrick by Pat Allan, Caroline requests time to think.
  • Nomination for Samuel Cochran by Edward Tippet, declined.
  • Nomination for Aaron Moodie by Edward Tippet, declined.
  • Nomination for Eleanor Kiefel Haggerty by Edward Tippet, declined.
  • Caroline accepts her nomination, and is seconded by Nick Wolf.

Caroline elected as Vice President unopposed.

General Members

  • Nomination for Cameo Langford by Pat Allan, seconded by Vanessa Nimmo, accepted by Cameo.
  • Nomination for Kieran Andrews by Lauren Hennessy, seconded by Celia Colquhoun King, accepted by Kieran.

Cameo and Kieran elected to the committee unopposed.

Outgoing Committee

  • Pat expresses passionate and heartfelt thanks to all previous members of the committee.

Special Resolutions

  • 2019.1: Change to section 31.2, to allow SGMs occur once a year roughly half way between AGMs.
  • 2019.2: Removal of section 35, which had prohibited online attendance of general meetings.
  • Nick Wolf in favour of of both proposals
  • Question (Lauren Hennessy): Was the new wording discussed with a lawyer?
    • Pat: It was discussed by the committee, but we decided that the changes were minor enough not to warrant this.
  • Question (Lauren Hennessy): Will this mean the meetings will be separated from Rails Camps?
    • Pat: It is my assumption that general meetings would move outside of camps, due to the technical challenges of internet bandwidth.
  • Pat: From a platform perspective: We now have a zoom account and we could potentially use that. Ruby NZ have been conducting their general meetings online via slack with text, and could perhaps provide perspectives on that.
  • Lauren Hennessy: I agree these are positive changes, I think they help us to be more inclusive. They also help with the requirement of having AGMs within four months of the end of the financial year (which is required by the association law), without impacting the schedule of Rails Camps.
  • Paul Douglas: An observation - these changes to the constitution don’t ensure that the meetings must be available online.
  • Question (Mark Glossop): Does this allow the option to have more frequent GM?
    • There has always been provision for multiple special general meetings, though that was harder to do with the requirement of them taking place at Rails Camps.
  • Paul Douglas: We could also add to the constitution the requirement of AGMs within 4 months of the end of the financial year.
  • Question (Edward Tippet): At the moment anyone can join online, could a group of people all join on the ‘give us all the money in the treasury’ platform, and because of the more open nature of the meetings, change the dynamics of the association dramatically?
    • Lauren Hennessy: Currently anyone can join but the committee can reject any application without providing a reason.
  • Request for clarity around the ambiguity on abstention from voting: special resolutions require 75%, it’s not clear whether that’s 75% of all votes including abstentions, or 75% of all in favour and all against.
    • Constitution remains unclear, but presumed abstentions count in percentage calculations.

Motion for Special Resolution 2019.1

  • Motion passes, unanimously.

Motion for Special Resolution 2019.2

  • Motion passes, unanimously.

General Business

  • New website design is live. It was deployed last night.
  • Lauren Hennessy declares appreciation for Pat Allan, Matt Stevenson, and Aaron Moodie for the launching of the new web design.
  • Kieran Andrews: We could look into applying for Slack’s NFP rate.
  • Sam Cochran suggests the committee could look into introducing a nominal membership fee to prevent a flooding of members.
  • Edward Tippet: Could we have a European style unconference at a Uni in the middle of the city? People could attend without having to go to a full Rails Camp, can travel from local homes, stay at hotels, etc, allowing greater attendance.
  • Edward Tippet (not seriously): We should use Ruby Australia funds to purchase Pat a collection of hats so we know which hat he’s operating under.
  • Nimeshe Madanayake: Could Ruby Australia look into running some sort of course that covers a foundation of Ruby skills at various levels and then offer some sort of certificate or endorsement of their skills? Potentially we could call it a professional accreditation? It’s also a contribution to the Developer ecosystem.
    • Samuel Cochran: That may align with some of the sponsors objectives.
    • Paul Douglas: it also depends on who recognizes the certification from Ruby Australia.
    • Mark Glossop: these sort of things sort of feed off each other.
    • Samuel Cochran: There is a ruby certification that’s online.

No further business.

Meeting closed at 16:16 AWST

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