Ruby Australia SGM - 11th December 2016

Ruby Australia General Meeting minutes

11th of December, 2016 - 2:11pm

Held at Rails Camp 20 - Koonjewarre, Springbrook, QLD

Committee Members Present

  • Len Garvey - President
  • Lauren Hennessy - Vice President
  • Jo Cranford - Treasurer
  • Edward Tippet - General Member
  • Tom Ridge - General Member


  • Andre Vidic - General Member
  • Ryan Bigg - General Member

Ruby Australia Members Present

  • Anton Katunin
  • Pat James
  • Matt Stevenson
  • Mitchell Buckley
  • Ana Djordjevic
  • Kevin Yank
  • Brendan Weibrecht
  • Pat Allan
  • Sebastian Von Conrad
  • Toby Nieboer
  • James Sadler
  • Keith Pitty
  • Gregory McIntyre
  • Garrow Bedrossian
  • Olga Goloshchapova
  • Sharon Vaughan
  • Thomas Gee
  • Jason Hinchcliffe
  • Iran Rajakaruna
  • Benjamin Maquire
  • Luke Shillabeer
  • Luke Chadwick
  • Martin Madsen
  • Erik Tapin
  • Jack Chen
  • David Christ


  • Meeting being run by Pat Allan, with Tom Ridge taking minutes.
  • Welcome to Country
  • Apologies - committee members Andre Vidic and Ryan Bigg

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 Lauren
  • Motion passed without dissent.

Presidents Report - Len Garvey

  • president for year, lot of fun and a bit of stress.
  • ruby australia sponsorship, extremely grateful to Jo for her work driving sponsorship forward and running with it and making it a reality. hopes this work will continue to place ruby au in a good place going forward. thanks Jo
  • rails camp 20 lot of fun thanks organisers
  • rails camp 19 run by lauren thanks.
  • good to see community vibe of railscamp still continuing
  • Committee still working on:
    • how do we interact and understand our membership more, but good strides have been made
    • call for people in community to step up and help
    • lets us communicate to community, engage. and know who is a part of our community, requirement as part of constition
  • Reflection:
    • outreach to new communities needs to continue. How can we reach more groups indigenous, women
    • as industry itself changes, need to think about the place for ruby and the community
    • I value people more, than necessarily the language. People feel very welcome, the Ruby community is a place for all other languages as well.
    • What is the future for the community itself? Broader focus here might be beneficial
    • Want to hang out with all of you for years to come, even when Rails is a footnote
  • Thank committee for putting up with me, community for trusting me

Treasurers report - Jo Cranford

  • 200k in bank acct
  • Events to be covered are Rails camp in may 2017, Roro in Melb, Sydney, Rails Girls and Ruby Conf Au
  • (Rob) Sponsorships for next financial year, when does work start?
    • Needs to start next Feb, large part of it where next conf will be, need to sell sponsors something
    • larger sponsors more straightfoward, sharing not an easy thing, there hasnt been as many smaller sponsors
  • is the plan for ruby sponsor to continue to be shared?
    • some of the work looking at sponsors with a smaller budget to sponsor meetups
    • alot of work to do, how to change packages, what worked this year and what didnt
    • big difference to have money up front, like to keep this going, package structure important
  • (Rob) any feedback from companies?Rob
    • Lots of success from it.
    • (Len) REA is not unhappy, but needs pushing internally - little bit depends on success of conf
    • REA spent double on sponsorship for yow
    • (Lauren) clarify - we sell yearly sponsorship packages - some include tickets to confs and rails camps
  • (Toby) some sponsors werent able to particiate for full year, how did this year compare with previous?
    • Same as last year, year previous maybe more
    • We’re paying for more things
  • (Len) are financial records available?
    • financial records not available publicly anywhere, accounting use xero, its available if people want it. no obligation in constitution currently.
    • (Lauren) need to make them available, but fell off radar

Constitution - Lauren Hennesey

  • current constitution out of date, Ryan Bigg secretary has championed getting a lawyer to do a rewrite, which brings us up to date, fleshes out and personalises it for our needs. Copies of old and new available here for reading
  • unfortunate not possible to publicise it prior to this meeting
  • our current plan is to have special gm some time in the new year, probably in melb, with proxy remote voting available. will be notifiying members of meeting
  • talk to members of the committe and in slack channel for having your say
  • (Jo) Any key changes in rewrite that you can mention?
    • Can’t remember alot of it, helped Ryan write it, clarify some of the things that we werent legally sure about what we are legally obligated to do as well as enshrine things we do already.
  • (Rob) they are available on website now?
    • Yes. we will post links on slack etc.
  • (Jo) meeting notice 21 days in advance?
    • Yes 21
  • (Anton) is this a closed document?
    • No looking for input from community for changes to bring on board and talk with lawyer

Committee member stacking - Jo Cranford

  • Since last election lauren and ryan have joined Culture Amp, now 3 Culture Amp employees in committee
  • Have been issues raised about this in the past, chance to open floor for comment
  • 3 members is a minority,
  • It is our feeling that three members represents a minority and therefore does not pose a significant threat to the goodwill of the committee to act in favour of it’s members. The yearly sponsorship model and open books further limits any possibility of special treatment towards Culture Amp.
  • Keeping in mind also: the membership is entitled, through the constitution, to call an SGM to vote out any committee member at any time.
  • Our questions to the membership are:
    • Are we happy to continue with three members from one company at this time?
    • If no, how do we resolve the current issue?
    • Do you want an amendment to the constitution enforcing a limit per company?
  • (Keith) question, any of these finishing terms?
    • Ryan is, but standing for re-election
  • Nothing in constiution that prevents us, more a general question. Committee wants to be on a front foot about this.
  • (Luke) Lookahead special case, recruiting not dev, perception vested interests around recruiting. there is a diff between involvement as a dev vs recruiter
    • (Len) disagree, aim of committee to be as inclusive as possible. Len when standing for committee, and Reinteractive concerns was raised as well
    • committee is work, we shouldnt be discouraging people helping, based on where they work or where theyre going to work
    • (Luke) wasn’t suggesting that, lookahead put massive work into syd conf
  • I dont think we should necessarily limit it, committee member responsibility to do the right thing for community. should be documented that this is something we agreed to
  • (James) If there has never been an issue, I propose we have an amendment to constitution to say its ok, and will be reviewed if theres an issue.
  • has it ever been an issue. its been raised before, but no. has there ever been a vote on this.
  • (Len) when committee member is making a decision regarding sponsorship, he had no input.
  • (Lauren) we tend to agree, we dont necessarily come to a vote on everything
  • (James) formal decision would be good, constitution ok, if issue, review then. Luke seconds, Keith - agrees
  • (Keith) - perception of potential problem, rather than actual problem
  • (Sebastian) issue of principal rather than actual issue
  • (Keith) never any actual issues, lets make it clear in consitution
  • (Len) Committee members are ideally spread around Australia. Want committee to represent community, but at same time shouldn’t stop people from moving, volunteering. Nice to have broad spectrum, better to have awesome people
  • (Jack) Sounds like pre-mature optimisation, thinks it’s easier for some committee members to be in same company.
  • (Kevin) Rather than put in constitution, would suggest we pass a resolution that says this is cool.
  • (Lauren) If we want to put in constitution now is a very good time to do it. This was more around putting limit in constitution, which is hard because of circumstances around it. Situationally specific kind of thing in terms of resignation
  • (Jo) likes Kevin’s idea
  • (Kevin) Moves that Ruby Au resolves , Len seconds
  • (Pat) sounds like Kevin’s motion is what we want to use. Something in minutes rather than constitution, given no major concerns. Len seconded
    • Motion passed unopposed

New website and membership db - Edward Tippet

  • (Ed) Work still ongoing, signup is live on website. Importing existing user data from last Rails Camps and confs. Can start being able to contact our members when we need to.
    • Website is now a rails app
  • Discussion around legal requirement that a member can require full membership listing by law.
    • (Olga) What is the conditions under which we need to release or not release this information?
    • (Lauren) We can direct people to the regulation , constitution mentions it as “The Act”, still back and forth with lawyer to clarify around the use cases
  • (Sebastian) Motions committee for proposal on how we deal with this issue - Lauren seconded
  • motion passed without dissent

Member communication

Along with the member database, we are aiming to become more communicative with our members, regarding the activities that the committee is undertaking. We will be posting major changes onto the website and then linking to that through emails and the rails-oceania Google Group. If you have any particular concerns about spam or communication, please direct them to a member of the committee. One thing we are aiming to make much more clear is that Railscamp and Ruby Conf AU attendees are automatically Ruby Australia members. If you do not attend either event, then you can choose to sign up on the Ruby Australia website.

Membership gains you voting rights within the Ruby Australia meetings, and it is possible to vote by proxy.

Concerns about code of conduct - Kylie Gusset

  • Member Kylie Gusset raised concerns about the code of conduct

    • recommended that sponsors pay for and/or provide a third party ombudsperson as outlined by project include:
    • having a code of conduct which is specific, enforceable, and has deadlines
  • some queries around number of Code of Conduct issues in past events.

  • (Pat) - indicated as author of original Code of Conduct, that he doesn’t feel it’s good enough.

  • need for clear path between code of conduct and incident handling.

  • (Lauren) - Committee wants input, feedback and volunteers with experience around Codes of Conduct.

  • (Pat) Propose motion to review Code of Conduct and enforcement with progress report by next GM - Seconded by Len

    • motion passed without dissent
  • discussion about how best to manage removing yourself from camp if uncomfortable

Concerns about usage of alcohol at previous camps - Kylie Gusset

  • I’m concerned about the use of alcohol at Rails Camp, and that at previous camps, there’s no enclosed safe space where people can be without alcohol.
    • creating indoor quiet, safe spaces without alcohol at each camp
    • having events where it is difficult to communicate with the outside world
  • (Toby) given our community having alcohol free space is not unreasonable
  • (James) any ways to report any alcohol issues anonymously
  • (Rob) This current camp, rooms allocated as dry zones. Guidelines for this going forward for organisers should be pretty clear.
  • (Lauren) Wants attendees of camp to be on board with that. Pretty much impossible to enforce. Needs to be group effort. Needs to be a culture issue.
  • (Sharon) Suggestion of contact officer, 1 of each gender so attendees can make contact anonymously
  • (Len) That has happened at several camps 1 of each gender possibly not. Sydney camp organisers had hats. Point about diversity well made and taken
  • (Pat) all of this will be taken on board for the committee around CoC and guidelines

Kylie’s resignation - Kylie Gusset

  • Kylie wished to have her resignation from the committee read out so there was no ambiguity as to why she left.

I’m writing to inform you that I’m resigning from the Ruby Australia Committee.
It’s necessary for me to resign, as I have been terminated from the Rails Girls Summer Of Code Scholarship due to breaches of their Code Of Conduct. As a result, I don’t believe that it’s possible or ethical for me to enforce the Ruby Australia Code whilst breaching another.

There also needs to be trust within the committee, and I feel that I’ve lost that. I’m sorry for the inconvenience that I’ve caused, and will do what I can to make the transition to another member as smooth as possible. If you need any further information, feel free to contact me. Appreciated if you could confirm receipt of my resignation.

Events reports

Ruby Conf AU 2017 - Jo Cranford

  • 350 tickets sold,
  • finalise numbers by middle of Jan,
  • remind people to buy tickets.
  • still looking for smaller sponsors.
  • speakers organised,
  • partys all lined up.
  • 2 tracks on friday. more of a tech conf this year, friday deep dive tech talks alongside some softer talks

Rails Camp 19 - Lauren Hennesey

  • It was good. We stayed on budget, 112 attendees, no major incidents.
  • feedback form which was shared. feedback overwhelmingly positive.
  • one thing interested in CoC etc, had high ratings.

Rails Camp 20 - Tom Ridge

  • Rails Camp 20 budget in good place
  • Seems to be going well
  • will be sending out feedback form after camp

Rails Camp 21 - Sebastian Von Conrad

  • Next rails camp announcement - Committe with some veteran camp and conf organsers, Rob Jacoby and Phil Ardnt in May in Darwin.
  • choosing between 2 venues, thinking 5th-7th May.
  • Bringing it forward to may means we can have spring camp in October.
  • Expecting camp will be smaller, given location. Rails Camp Darwin is happening.
    • (Lauren) asked if ballot system?
      • discussed, dont want ballot system. fixed capacity for bunks, more flexible for people that want to camp.
      • possible will launch two types of tickets, perhaps slightly less if you want to camp, but will be locked into actually camping. depends on chosen site.

Ruby Conf 2018 - Pat Allan

  • No location or team at this point. if you would like to see it happen in your location or would like to run it remotely, speak to committee, looking for expressions of interest.


  • electing president, sec, two full term general members, 1 half term general member


  • len nominates lauren, jo seconds. thinks she has been an exhuberant member of the committee and would be good to have some contiunity
  • lauren accepts nomination
  • laurens reason - fuck it why not
  • lauren elected unopposed

Vice President for 6 months

  • Lauren nominates Tom Ridge, Mitchell Buckley seconds
  • Rob nominates Anton, Garret seconds
  • Anton does not accept nomination
  • Tom elected unopposed


  • Jo nominates ryan, Len seconds, Ryan has accepted nomination
  • Ed everyone on committee thinks hes doing a great job
  • Ryan elected unopposed

2 Full term, 2 half term members

  • Outgoing is Ed Tippet and Andre Vidic

Full Member nominations

  • Tom nominates Rachelle, Len seconds

  • Lauren believes Rachelle is well posititioned to speak for S.A, W.A and QLD

  • Rachelle accepts nomination

  • Colby nominates himself, Lauren seconds

  • Alexia nominates anton, Tom seconds, Anton accepts

  • Ana, nominates herself, Tom seconds

  • Jo nominates Toby, Rob seconds, Toby accepts

  • Rachelle and Anton elected as two full term members

Two half term positions

  • Brendan nominates himself, Lauren seconds

  • Ed nominates Greg, Greg accepts

  • Brendan keen to assist

  • Greg feels like he could help and contribute

  • Brendan, Colby, Toby, Ana, Greg

  • two half term general members are Ana and Toby congratulations

General Business

  • (Lauren) Wishes to raise that anyone up for nomination and didnt get in, please approach committee if you would still like to help
  • Keith - get rails camp back to state where mac mini server is sorted
    • Luke - volunteers to assist
  • (Ed) Number about alot of small camps in a row, AGM should move online in future, to increase participation
    • (Luke) Would it not be better to hold at ruby conf?
    • (Pat) Disagrees
    • (Ed) attended AGM of political association done online
    • Committee to look into it further. suggestions on specifics very welcome