August Board Meeting for Open Knowledge Australia

Notes from board meeting:

  • Intro discussion topic:<– Nick, Fiona, Flanders and questions from the board via Etherpad
  • ODI Discussion: “activists vs economists”?
  • Economists: efficiency gains, civil info, etc.
  • Activists: petition signing, transparency of wealthy coporations, etc.
  • 6:03pm start welcome to August meeting
  • 5 items of agenda – timed in one hour
  • activitists vs economists – econ do not play a very imp role; N Gruen presented on open data in Berlin OK Festival  and presented Omidyar netwokr
  • media network – presentation of N Gruen; link available. Omydar report – economic value of open data; estim 16 bil AU; presented this in Berlin; activists
  • activitists’ driven; extractive industries and tax were tackled in the report; public private partnerships example was not previously on people’sradar; more data – benefits in improving productivity 
  • activists would not focus on this 
  • 6:09 Fiona: who should be doing this then?
  • NGruen: not an adversarial agenda; help the world find new ways of tckling issues nit being against what activists are doing; not arguing that we should stop pushing this
  • DFlanders: Any pragmatic actions? Why isn’t the Australian Public commission agenda is not getting involve in this? Why we’re not using dataimprove the quality of teaching in classes?
  • 6:14 Pia runs data company, yes data needs to be out there, but big picture opportunity, government opens up data by defulat andcontinues to deliver services, but creates opportunity for service delivery in market. Which creates more opportunities for society, industry, government.
  •  Shifting persepctive from government centric.
  • 6:16 Steven went to Berlin saw activities. technical and community level OKF can help join different conversations together to produce a single message.
  • 6:17 Marcus, research community perspective, sensitivty for an educator. There is a gap in communication, needs skiils and awareness to take advantage of data.
  • what issues can it highlight, what can the data solve? We need to demonstrate the benefits of opening up data in australia.
  • 6:19 Fiona, how do we make the leap from govhack on a weekend to something that can be useful long term. We need to show benefits long term.
  • 6:19 Anne was at NSW Govt Innovation roundtable, they want to do it but worried aboutu quality of data, not sure how to do it, what is the best format, dont know how to engage with community, need pull from commercials and community to know what they want to do so they can prioritise release.  Need to engage with these stakeholder groups and identify what they want in order to prioritise the release
  • hackers
  • community
  • industry etc
  • 6:21 Michael, sounds like evidencebased policy development being developed in vacuum, NICTA engaged with education in using data analysis in the curriculum
  • 6:22 Nick to sum up, Britain taking lead in this area, open data institute, run something that is going to talk about open data to raise all these questions
  • My data is UK initiative liquifying rather than opening data, put in secure repository and controlling it 
  • investment advisors, can we find a good one over a bad one? No and yet building a system would be easy
  • Item no.1: Secretary Handover & Responsibilities): <– Laura, Ana, Michael, 
  • Ana (thank you and best wishes) => Laura 
  • 6.26  Vote of thanks to Ana, welcome to Laura Thomas; formally  acknowledged  by Nic, and Pia
  • Laura to take over the work for OK incorporation
  • Paperwork for incorporation (agenda item no.
  • Maintaining the Contacts “Rolodex D/B” of Ambassadors, Board Members, etc.
  • Scheduling Board Meetings, Meeting notes, etc.
  • Liaise with co-secretary Flanders for tech support on meetings/agenda, etc.
  • Coordinate volunteers around web
  • Ambassador orientation.
  • Item no.2: Incoporation of “Open Knowledge Foundation – Australia” in Vic, etc.
  • Incorporation using a UniMelb address for location, UniMelb has agreed.
  • Vote of agreement
  • 6:28 Nick,incorpoation agreement, we will be in Victoria, can still incorpoate in other place. Everyone gives a thumbs up to this. We have an agreement.  
  • Item no.3: Pia Waugh to update on GovHack
  • Recruitment of Ambassadors from GovHack community and afterglow of event <– the small drum beats.
  • OKFN+NiCTA partnership for GovHack event managers and community managers?
  • It is growing rapidly, a lot of interest for next year including a lot of sponsors, a lot of hackers excited. A lot of lessons learnt, we exepct it will be bigger next year. A few core outomes, hoping to have a $10,000 surplus, but dont because of awards, may be more like $3,000. Pia to provide report on this. Cost blow outs generally around the red carpet awards. Full financial report will be provided. Meeting 8 october 6pm start 2-3 hour duration. Any one can be involved. Happy with it achiving what it should be achieving. Putting friendly pressure on agents to open up data. People will have smething to compare it against. We outsoucred a lot, NICTA plus 2 liaison roles. Ended up about 20 sponsors from national. 11 teams did push us so we can automate as much as possible to take burden off local organisers. Pia to share lessons learnt   If interested. Red carpett awaards went very well. Overall very happy with how it is going. Internaational conference want to run events alongside ours..
Question from Anne Cregan:  The hacks have shown incredible potential to produce valuable functionality to the community in many diverse ways.  How do we plan to assist to realise that value through getting those apps out where they are most needed?  eg intros to Govt agencies, obtaining venture capital, etc
Comment from Fiona: In Victoria, Technology Innovation Fund is going to make up to $140k available for investment to carry forward promising hacks. We’re aiming to get at least 3 projects thru the process and to a viable project
put  a lot of thought longeevity,, we dont want iit to bbecaome oout of control.  but we have talked about economic opportunitiess  to be involved in community oppportunities  There is a longevity page on the GovHack site, please add any ideas to it.  
There is also a showcase of use cases.   WHERE? PLEASE ADD LINK HERE
Anne, that’s yet to come – teams could indicate whether they were happy to go onto a data portal as a use case (eg
  • Item no.4: Website and New Brand? <– Flanders 
  • From CEO Laura James: “On acronyms and abbreviations – we’d like to stop using all of these and just say “Open Knowledge”.  We know there has been lots of confusion around abbreviations (OKF, OKFN, OKNF, etc) and they are all quite hard to understand for people who don’t know us. So we will start to say “Open Knowledge” in full 🙂  (although we will still have OKFestival and OKCon, which we think aren’t confusing in the same way)”
  • 6:39 Nick all  looks fine
  • David 6:41  we should acceept the logo and neww brandding; llso it would be called OK Australiaa
  • Item no5: 1xKeyActivity Happening in each city (text based update below from board members, i.e. please enter a quick description and link if you have it), such as any new ambassadors, events that have happened or are going to happen, any news or politics, any money being made available, any open topic (not just open government / data), etc.
  • 6::443  peeople adding news  items for their locations
  • Canberra: Lots of activity within Govt Agencies who are looking at various data publishing tasks for their various datasets.
  • Sydney:New Ambassadors? Kelvin Nicholson is a new ambassador, we have invited two Thoughtworks people who organised ran GovHack to become ambassadors also.Preparing for HealthHack, connecting with OpenAustralia community who have a large presence in Sydney
  • Melbourne HealthHack 24-6 October; Steve Bennett undertaking hacker in residence role in Vic Gov in partnership wiht Code for Aus; planning a training for City of Melb and UniMelb staff
  • relaunched on CKAN this month.
  • Brisbane – lots on all the time as usual – Anna’s both doing/participating in open events every week, looking at 2 more ambassadors here (1 marketing/comms, 1 geek), hoping they respond to our ‘looks’. Anna D wants to leave open the option of inc in Qld too for fund raising via NICTA as per GovHack(?). Last week: book sprint. Next week – Anna D is at Qld Govt open communities hack kickoff Fri. (cf Premer awards), and we’re all ‘Drinking about Open’ Thurs night. OA week coming up Oct20-26 – lotsa events/opportunities for that and interweaving OK into them as appropriate.  More specifically/tangential, liking this simple back of envelope calculation of learning outcomes/$ of open resources: Anna G also v.busy & needs a break!  gotta go to a meeting, AnnaD 
  • Hobart: Richard Tubb recovering from GovHack but doing lots of speaking engagements and mentioning Open Knowledge; looking for ambassadors
  • Adelaide: Further queries from the local government there.
  • Perth: Still looking for some new ambassadors
  • Item no.6: AOB
  • Please provide a “+1” vote for any topic below you would like to discuss for the next meeting below, also feel free to leave a comment or add your own.
Suggested items of discussion for OKF Australia board meetings:
  • GovHack 2014 and steps forward – Pia 
  • Plans to connect hackers with government departments who may be interested in the functionality, venture capitalists for commercially oriented apps, etc
  • Nicholas Gruen – summary of recent talks on open data, eGov and Gov 2.0
  • NSW Innovation and Open Data Initiative – there will be an EOI in early September which will be open for 4 weeks+1probably too late to discuss next month? Yes – if anyone has thoughts please add them below!
  • technical recommendation for how to  make data  usefull, find out what they want – there’s some good wisdom coming out of Pia’s working group bringing together agencies around, setting standards for various agencies/aspects.
Anne can you make a recommendation re what you’d like to do given you’re most across the program & what they might be looking for?
  • – how can OKFN best advise/assist?  There will be a public call for EoIs in early September.  Some of the possibilities:
  • Technical recommendation on formats, schemas, platforms etc to use – what is best practice?
  • What has worked well overseas that might provide some insights?  eg ODI, OKF in other countries, etc
  • Can we co-ordinate a “response from hackers” to inform government as to hackers needs and wants:
  • what data do they want Government to provide and how do they want it provided to them for best hackability?
Resolution: Anne C will prepare some ideas for moving forward with an EoI to NSW State Gov and will seek the Board and OK Community’s input via the list.  Fiona will share a previous policy submission to Vic Govt
  • HealthHack from Maia:
  • – HealthHack is a national event with sites in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, the national website will be up on, a collaboration between OKFN and Health Informatics Society  
  • – We’d love any help with connecting with sponsors and researchers as problem owners
  • In the News <– Potentially interesting things for start of board call debate?
  • G20 Report Launch, transparency debate, etc.
  • the eGov agenda (gov’t doing things for/to people) vs. Gov 2.0 (gov’t doing things with people)
  • Melbourne conversation re Smaller government bigger economy?
  • Code4Aus “Hacker in Residence” programme funded. +1 +1
  • OpenScience workshops a success
  • Open Tech Community Breakfasts in Melbourne, bringing together various “open” communities like RHOK, Code4Aus, etc.
  • Bidding for Funds (once OKF Aus has legal status) +1+1+1
  • Google Impact Challenge
  • Open Source Hardware community?
  • Data Jornalism Community? +1+1+1
  • Communication channels discussion?
  • Open Knowledge Festival Berlin
  • AsiaPacific OKFestival, lead by Open Knowledge Australia? +1
  • Coding in schools
  • Invite some more useful people to join us – a suggestion that came in as we were signing off – worth leaving on the list – NG
Anne C: Would just like to informally note I am wearing purple and writing in purple here to show my personal support for “Wear it Purple” day – Friday August 30.  Celebrating rainbow young people “Everyone has the right to be proud of who they are.”


Notes from chat window:

Flanders:18:04 Please do ask questions as Nick presents this debate


Fiona:18:07 Who do you see taking this work forward, Nick?

Flanders:18:11 We’ll doa quick whip around to get a sentence or two from each board member on this?

Flanders:18:11 please hold up your hand if you want to comment

Flanders:18:11 we’ll do five more minutes on this

Flanders:18:13 going to Steeven next

Flanders:18:13 then Marcus,

Flanders:18:13 then Fiona

Flanders:18:13 then Anne

Flanders:18:14 Ok?

Flanders:18:14 😉

Steven De Costa:18:14 yep

Fiona:18:20 All the classic reasons then… 🙂

Flanders:18:21 Pia Waugh 6:20 PM The team have released a Government Data Toolkit (with Dept of Comms) to assist data custodians to identify, manage and publish data. with the guide at

Fiona:18:27 No objections to thanks to Ana!

Evan Hill:18:28 Hello All !

Fiona:18:28 Keep in touch,

Flanders:18:28 Welcome Ivan

Flanders:18:28 please watch the youtube stream of teh call

Flanders:18:28 and comment/quesiton here


Steven De Costa:18:29Confirm, agreed. +1

Fiona:18:31 GovHack report available here:

Evan Hill:18:38 Could GovHack partner with CMU in Adelaide?

Fiona:18:39 Would suggest you take it up with the local Unleashed team

Steven De Costa:18:41 no concerns

Evan Hill:18:42 Happy to chat with CMU and get them onside

Fiona:18:42 looks like Antarctica to me

Fiona:18:45 @Evan sounds like a plan!

Flanders:18:46 if people could put a +1 net to the ones they would like to talk about

Flanders:18:47 let’s also go around to each member as a last round robin

Flanders:18:47 Anne first>

Flanders:18:47 then fiona

Flanders:18:47 then markus

Flanders:18:47 then michael

Flanders:18:47 then steven?

Laura:18:53 MMy keyboard is not reaally workiing very weell at the moment ssorryy so II woont take any moore nootes sorrry!

Flanders:18:54 if someone could help take notes for poor Laura keyboard 🙁

Steven De Costa:18:55 thanks folks

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