Ruby Australia SGM - 7th May 2017

7th of May, 2017 - 2pm
Held at Rails Camp 21 - Mt Bundy Station, Adelaide River NT

Committee Members Present

Lauren Hennessy - President
Jo Cranford - Treasurer
Anton Katunin - General Member
Toby Nieboer - General Member


Tom Ridge - Vice President
Ryan Bigg - Secretary
Ana Djordjevic - General Member
Rachelle LeQuesne - General Member

Ruby Australia Members Present

  • Rob Jacoby
  • Trish Jacoby
  • Sebastian von Conrad
  • Philip Arndt
  • Toby Nieboer
  • Melissa Kaulfuss
  • Anton Katunin
  • Jon Rowe
  • Pat Allan
  • Joanne Cranford
  • Marcos Matos
  • Kevin Yank
  • Lauren Hennessy
  • Nick Wolf
  • Craig Read
  • Ben Turner
  • John Barton
  • Edward Tippett
  • Dylan Griffith
  • Dylan Lacey
  • Wayne Robinson
  • Samuel Cochran
  • Nigel Rausch
  • Colby Swandale
  • Justin Tutty
  • Simon Wright
  • Liam Esler
  • Caitlin Palmer-Bright
    28 attendees


Meeting being run by Lauren Hennessy, with Toby Nieboer taking minutes in Ryan Bigg’s absence.
Welcome to Country - traditional lands of the Kungarrakan people


Committee members Tom Ridge, Ryan Bigg, Ana Djordjevic and Rachelle LeQuesne

Purpose of Ruby Australia

Further use and adoption of Ruby in Australia
Foster community around the language and related technologies

Motion to accept minutes of previous meeting

Motion made by Toby, seconded by Dylan
Motion passed without dissent.

Presidents Report - Lauren Hennessy

We’ve made some great strides in the goals outlined last meeting. To recap, these are:

Streamline onboarding of new committee members
We now have a plan for on boarding new committee members using a Trello board and will keep iterating on this as we see what works and what doesn’t. Also thinking of a possible buddy system. Really nice that we haven’t had anyone drop out mid-term, and Toby is re-running so I’m hoping to get some consistency in the group.

Refine the yearly sponsorship model
Rachelle has done some great work on the sponsorship prospectus off the back of the current one, feedback from the sponsors for this financial year, and input from the rest of the committee and future event organisers. She is now setting about opening up conversations with existing sponsors and new ones and we expect to start getting some sponsorships squared away in the next month or two. You can find the prospectus in the sponsorship section of the website, pushing this to the relevant people within your workplace would be a great help to us.

Gain greater knowledge of our membership base and communicate better with members
The membership database is now live! We have groundwork done by Edward Tippett and further refinement by VP Tom and general member Ana to thank for this. We have lagged communicating this to members, why it’s important and what value it provides for us as a committee and you as members and we will work to rectify this in coming weeks.

The forum, Ruby Down Under, championed by General Member Anton and contributed to by General Members Ana and Toby, has enabled some new and exciting ways to communicate with the membership base and also for the committee to communicate with each other. If you don’t yet have an account I encourage you to sign up.

(Anton) Talked a little about the goals and purpose of Ruby Down Under.

Continue to streamline the organising and running of major events though guides and support from previous organisers
Anton and Rachelle have done some excellent work on collating all of our documentation into one place and refining it for the benefit of future committee members and event organisers.

Refine our Code of Conduct to be clearer and instate internal protocol for handling complaints and breaches
This is just getting off the ground, led by Toby, who is looking to exceptional examples of CoC’s from other organisations and working to incorporate the best bits into something that works for us. At the moment the discussion for this is happening internally but we expect once we have something we are comfortable with we will release it to the membership for comment and further refinement. We will especially be looking to past and future event organisers for input on enforceability.

Compliance with our obligations as an association
Ensuring we provide Consumer Affairs with data and documentation that’s required for us to operate as an association.

Front end work on
Reached out to Richie Koo to get a quote and will probably get one or two more.

Restructuring of the committee
To further our success giving general members both the autonomy to run with jobs they are given and the support and information they need to succeed in those endeavours, we have decided to give more definition to the general member roles. The idea is that these will be lead roles for major jobs within the committee, with room for the members in those roles to bring extra people in from within the committee or the wider community.

The new roles as we see them are:

  • Sponsor Liaison
  • Event Liaison
  • Website ( Manager
  • Documentation (to hopefully be phased out as we get a handle on existing documentation)

The Event Liaison and Website Manager are the roles which are likely to be taken up by whoever comes into the committee as a result of the election coming up later in the AGM.

RubyConf 2018 and RailsCamp 22 are set for organisers and we need to start thinking about RC 23 and potentially Conf 2019.

Treasurer’s Report - Jo Cranford

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

RubyConf 2017:

  • Tickets $225k
  • Costs $270k
  • Sponsorship funds used $45k


  • 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


  • Syd $4k
  • Mel $9k
  • Bris $200

Rails Girls:

  • Syd $1.2k
  • Bris $1.6k (+ upcoming event)
  • Melb also has 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)

Sponsorship - Lauren Hennessy (on behalf of Rachelle LeQuesne)

Sponsorship prospectus updated for the new financial year and current sponsors have been emailed a copy. It can be viewed here

Ruby AU Website / Database - Lauren Hennessy (on behalf of Tom Ridge & Ana Djordjevic)

Membership is a thing. Admin level is just about there.

Have been in discussions with Richie about the design of the site. Looking to proceed with the quoted work after camp once the incoming committee and associated roles are set up.

Documentation and Forum - Anton Katunin

Ruby Down Under forum launched

  • 80 registered users (2017.05.07)
  • The forum is sponsored and supported by
  • Public launch post
  • Why Ruby Down Under forum was created?


  • 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 cleaned up
  • RORO wiki was cleaned up
  • RubyAU Slack channels cleaned up

Special thanks to Toby, Ana, Rachelle, Keith, Tracy, and Pat

(Sebastian) Do we have backups in case Discourse decide to pull sponsorship?
(Anton) Discourse manage the forums for us, they take daily backups. We can also do our own.
General agreement we should do this.

Rails Camp 21 - Rob Jacoby, Phil Arndt & Sebastian von Conrad

(Rob) We tried to reset expectations a little bit - we wanted to change the idea a little bit of what RC could be. More adult venue, didn’t provide alcohol - we’ll get feedback after the camp on how this was received. The money saved by not providing alcohol was funnelled into our catering budget and we think that’s been successful. From a financial perspective we didn’t sell as many camping tickets as we thought we might.

(Sebastian) We also wanted to show that it’s possible to organise a camp remotely - we’ve been limited in the past by where potential organisers live and where we’ve recently had camps.

(Rob) One thing we do need to apologise for is dropping the ball on communication. We tend to forget that there are people who haven’t been to camp before so we apologise to the newcomers.

Rails Camp 22 - Toby Nieboer & Melissa Kaulfuss

Previous Melbourne camps have been west (RC 2 in Bacchus Marsh) and South (RC 6 and RC 13 in Somers) so this time we’re heading east. Venue is Camp Toolangi, 80km from Melbourne near Kinglake. 12 acres (only a 99.95% drop from RC 21!) surrounded by Toolangi State Forest.

Dates are October 27-30. Saturday night will be Halloween dinner so get your costume ideas ready. Room for 140 attendees. Planning to offer diversity tickets. Melbourne-based volunteers wanted - email T-shirt artist wanted too.

RubyConf 2018 - Melissa Kaulfuss

Team of 4 people, Nicholas Bruning, Ana Djordjevic and Sharon Vaughn. Very special guest who’s been invited and has just agreed to come, who I think will blow your minds. No information on venues, still deciding between Sydney and Melbourne. Leaning toward Sydney as last conference was in Melbourne.

Code of Conduct - Toby Nieboer

It was raised at RC 20 that CoC needs to be revised to be one that is specific, enforceable, and has deadlines. There was a motion raised by Pat Allan and seconded by Len Garvey that the committee review the CoC and enforcement guidelines with a progress report by next general meeting.

Previous CoC has served us well to date but has no specific mechanisms for enforcement and no reporting guidelines. Our proposed new constitution makes reference to enforcement so the CoC needed updating to address that.

Current status: draft CoC, reporting guide and enforcement guidelines are being discussed internally. Once the committee is happy with them, they’ll be circulated to past and current organisers of Ruby AU events for their opinions before being circulated among the wider community.

(John Barton) Was the Go CoC looked at?
(Pat) Or Rust?
(Toby) Not thus far, but will definitely take a look.
(Phil) Ruby NZ is currently going through the same thing - maybe can share knowledge and save time? President Raquel Moss is the point of contact.
(Lauren) The idea is that by getting input from the people who actually have to enforce it or have responsibilities, we’ll get solid feedback that will make it stronger.

Proposed New Ruby AU Constitution

As notified March 29th via email to the membership (also to the Google group mailing list and the forum) there is a proposed new constitution.

TLDR of changes:

  • This new Constitution covers all our legal bases as an Association and has been approved by a Real Lawyer™.
  • It also “fills in the blanks” from the Incorporated Associations Act that was missing previously and better reflects our day to day operations.

Thanks to Kevin Yank for converting this to Markdown format, and Ryan Bigg for getting this organised.

Victorian law states that a special resolution is required to change the constitution and it must pass with the votes of at least 75% of the members who are eligible to vote at the meeting.

(JB) Any concern that this is not a representative enough sample?
(Lauren) It’s been communicated out to the membership base, we’ve had some comments from the membership base on the repository and have taken those into account. I’ve had the same question myself but I’m happy that we’ve covered our bases ethically.

(John) What were the methods of distribution? I didn’t see it until 3 days prior to camp.
(Toby) We emailed the membership on March 29, it was posted to the RORO group, the forum and probably even Slack.

(Dylan) Do we have physical addresses for members?
(Lauren) Just email.

(Jon) Where did the list of members come from?
(Lauren) It’s refreshed every RailsCamp.
(Rob) You can remove yourself from the membership but in practice this hasn’t happened.

(Kevin) What does it need in order to be voted in?
(Toby) 75% of members here, or 21 votes.

(Dylan) What provisions are there in the new constitution for changing the constitution?
(Toby) None - it’s Victorian law.
(Dylan) So the process for changing the new one would be the same?
(Lauren) Yes.

(Ed) Is the current constitution valid?
(Liam) It was until 3 years ago. There were some changes at that point.

(Jon) How did we discover it was invalid?
(Lauren) Mel Sherrin told us at RC 19.
(Jon) How do we ensure it remains valid?
(Lauren) We’re remaining in contact with the lawyer who drafted it; our contact details are now being maintained correctly so we’ll get notices from Consumer Affairs with changes to the law.

(Phil) Does this differ from the template CA provides?
(Toby) Yes, but the process is the same whether you change one word or everything. Have to have a meeting like this, then submit changes to CA.

(Toby) I move that we adopt the revised constitution as the constitution of Ruby Australia.
(Lauren) Seconded.
Vote: 27 for, 0 against, 1 abstention.
The new constitution is adopted.

Committee Member Elections

Three positions vacant:

  • Vice President (12 months)
  • 2x General Member (12 months)

Vice President
(Lauren) I nominate Toby.
(Jo) Seconded.
(Toby) Accepts.
No other nominations.
Toby Nieboer is the new Vice President of Ruby Australia.

General members
Caitlin Palmer-Bridge was nominated by Tom Ridge and seconded by Lauren.
Nick Wolf was nominated by Toby and seconded by Lauren.
No other nominations.
Caitlin Palmer-Bridge and Nick Wolf are new General Members of Ruby Australia.

General Business

Mailing address
(Dylan) Since the mailing address is Ryan’s, should we update to use a PO box or scanning service etc?
(Toby) There might be a requirement for a person’s address.
(Sebastian) Maybe the lawyer?
(Jo) The committee is elected to handle this stuff though. If we can have a PO box that would be easiest though.
(Lauren) We will look into that.
(Jo) Should go on the agenda for the next committee meeting.
(Dylan) Agreed.

(Ed) Regarding the Treasurer’s report - if Ruby AU are getting out of the business of providing alcohol at camps, should we be sponsoring alcohol at meetups?
(Toby) It’s not a Ruby AU stance right now, it’s organiser’s preference.
(Rob) It might actually be illegal to provide alcohol at camp.
(Liam) We should definitely check on that with a lawyer.
(Lauren) Agreed.
(John) I move we get expert advice since none of us is a lawyer.
(Lauren) Seconded.
(Jo) Is that something we should discuss in committee, since we don’t provide Sydney’s alcohol?
(Lauren) Yes, and with the organisers.
(Dylan) Where does the Sydney alcohol come from if not Ruby AU?
(Jo) Pivotal sponsors that.

(Nigel) Does that mean that other Ruby meetups have the opportunity to have their food sponsored by Ruby AU?
(Lauren) Yes, Rachelle raised that in committee and we’re now planning to sponsor RORO in Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane as well as Melbourne and Sydney. There aren’t any for us to sponsor in Hobart or Darwin.

(John) Did we talk about the front end revamp aside from in the President’s report?
(Lauren) Not really.
(John) Until now the association’s funds have been used for conferences, camps, meetups etc - do we need to have a discussion about the appropriateness of using association funds to benefit member businesses? (In regard to having our only quote for the revamp coming from a Ruby AU member.) Just from an arms-length perspective.
(Lauren) Yes, that’s fair. It was tempting to just accept the quote as Richie is a known quantity, but we do have a responsibility to get other quotes etc.

(Pat) With getting multiple quotes, will the quotes be published as part of committee meetings, in the interest of transparency?
(John) There’s a focus on how we’re spending our money so that seems appropriate. I’m sure Richie would do the job but there needs to be transparency.

(John) Moves that the committee provide a document outlining the vendor selection process for non-event projects.
(Sebastian) Seconds.
(Kevin) Why only non-event projects?
(John) Good point.
(Liam) Committee doesn’t organise events though, that’s a separate organising group.
(Toby) Who would benefit though? It’s not like committee is personally benefiting from vendor selection.
(John) Financial benefit is not the only symptom of cronyism though.

(John) Maybe things should go out to tender.
(Jo) What if it’s only $1000? Or $200?
(John) We should have the committee discuss and report back.
(Lauren) Agreed.

Vote: 24 for, none against, 4 absentions.

Close of Meeting

President adjourns. Meeting concluded at 3:20pm.

1 Like

Whoops - turns out that PAX Australia is on the same weekend as we planned to hold RailsCamp 22. We’re looking into alternative dates (most likely the weekend before).

If there are any events that we need to avoid conflicting with, we’d appreciate a heads up - we’re aware of Kiwi Ruby on November 2-3.