Board Meeting – 31 March 2015


Tuesday 31 March 2015 11.00AM – 12.00PM Location: Google hangouts

Attendees: Nicholas Gruen (Chairman) Dr. Fiona Tweedie (Co-Chair) Dr. Maia Sauren (Co-Chair) Ana Mihov-Nicotodis (Co-Secretary) Steven De Costa (Board Member) Anne Cregan-Wolfe (Board Member) Michael Phillips (Board Member)

Apologies: James Kliemt (Board Member) David Flanders (Co-Secretary)


  1. Welcome from the Chair
  2. Apologies
  3. Changes to the Board
  4. Updates
  5. Planning Actions
  6. Other business


  1. Welcome from the Chair and apologies
    1. The meeting was opened by Nicholas Gruen
  2. Apologies
    1. James Kliemt (Board Member)
    2. David Flanders (Co-Secretary)
  3. Changes to the Board
    1. David Flanders is now retiring. His establishment of Open Knowledge Foundation and great contribution was acknowledged.
    2. Nominations for replacement co-secretary were received. Steven De Costa was the only nomination. Steven De Costa appointed as co-secretary.
    3. Nominations for Treasurer were received. Steven De Costa was the only nomination. Steven De Costa appointed as Treasurer.
  4. Updates
    1. Entity and Establishment
      1. OK AU established as a Not-for-profit incorporated.
      2. Bank account to be set up. Delegation of authority for bank account – Administration and Authorisers.
      3. Michael’s suggestion: Treasurer as administrator, can nominate people within community for authorised access to account (with ability to add and remove over time)
      4. Steven’s suggestion: Administrators – Nicholas plus treasurer, Authorisers: Fiona and Ana.
      5. Steven De Costa who was voted in as co-secretary taking David Flanders’ place, also nominates as treasurer. This would result is Steven and Nicholas Gruen as administrators.
      6. Therefore, Steven De Costa (Co-Secretary + Treasurer) and Nicholas Gruen (Chairman of Board) will be administrators of the Commonwealth Bank account for Open Knowledge Australia. This will be opened up for discussion in the blog also. The purpose of the blog discussion is for people to comment on proposed spending processes and ways to request funds or reimbursements from OKAU.
      7. Fioana Tweedie (co-chair) and Ana Mihov-Nicotodis (co-secretary) and other executive board members to be authorisers of the bank account.
      8. It is important to organise the treasurer and ongoing financial management processes as it cannot be assumed NICTA will be able to continue to be on top of administration in the future.
    2. GovHack
      1. GovHack 2015 preparations underway. Set to take place 3-5th July. Red Carpet Event location TBC. Possibly Melbourne or Adelaide.
      2. Sponsorships from corporate and public sector confirmed. Approx $70k worth of sponsorship queued ready to be invoiced.
      3. NICTA will continue to help with the financial administration for this year but hopes that OK AU will be able to take over for 2016. It was a large work load for NICTA with half a million going through the books in $2k transactions.
      4. Was noted there is the 2014 GovHAck annual report on the website reflecting this information from last year.
    3. Network and Community
      1. Steven joined the CKAN Association Steering Group. CKAN recently released a new version.
      2. There is a lot of activity in Australia around open data.
      3. There have been many website updates (mostly coming from Melbourne).
      4. Want to encourage local ambassadors to use the blog. How can we effectively direct people who’d like to be involved to the right place?
      5. The website is currently unattractive and difficult to navigate.
      6. There is a large group of volunteers and organisers in Melbourne allowing for weekly meetups. Events include speakers and ‘Shutup & hack’. Several ongoing projects happening including continuation of GovHack projects.
      7. Monthly Sydney meetups happening soon (organised via the Open Data Australia meetup) – less of numbers than that in Melbourne. Sydney is in touch with Open Australia and Budget Australia.
  5. Planning Actions
    1. As mentioned earlier, OKAU should be ready to take over the NICTA’s book keeping and admin for GovHack in 2016 to demonstrate our competence. OK AU will likely need to employ an administrative capability – perhaps employ community manager.
    2. Currently NICTA is aiming at automating the process as much as possible.
    3. There needs to be clarification on the role of OKAU Board in context of the OKAU community- how can the board support the community organisations? Admin, bookkeeping, insurance etc. Board to provide support; local groups to be the ‘voice’.
    4. Suggested that 2 of the 8 board member positions be rotated every 3 months. Other believed this was too short a rotating cycle and that 6 or 12 months would be more fitting.
    5. SDC suggests that we open up process via blog; nominations open to anyone, voting by board members, local & topic ambassadors, weighted votes to general community.
    6. Development of funding program SDC talking to Partner & Prosper re sponsorship program, Steven considering making a loan to OK AU to get funding program underway.
    7. Maia raised negotiations with ThoughtWorks re ongoing support – Steven and Maia to follow up how these might link up.
    8. Down the line In the case of sponsorship, commercial organisations will want something in return so we will need to establish some rules and policies in terms of recognition
    9. Need board to be supporting ambassadors, encouraging them to blog. Fiona would like to see support for ambassadors to join red carpet event for post-event get-together.
    10. Local and collective funds – how managed/ divided? Event vs. community building
  6. Other business
    1. Interaction with international OK organisation. How to fund international interaction, do we want to participate in working groups. Steven suggests we should support those who want to be involved.
    2. Up to the community to self-nominate, board should amplify
    3. Michael suggests Hack longevity should be our priority for the year ahead – use the GovHack annual report as more of a showcase of activity
    4. HealthHack 2015 and beyond – Maia updates that it is going to happen in late October. Fiona co-ordinating, will be in Melb, Syd, Perth, Brisbane.
    5. OKFest – Aust to host APAC, OK central may be able to give some funding, Steven talking to CSIRO, NZ govt. Have a meetup post GovHack red carpet for some discussion & planning. Possible date of April 2016


  • Set up basecamp to pool ideas for communications – Steven
  • Set up blog post for community to discuss notion of rotating board positions – Steven




2 thoughts on “Board Meeting – 31 March 2015”

  1. I had an action to setup a basecamp project to help with the coordination of website updates.

    I have now set this up and invited a few people in from the Board and a few others I know will be interested (datakid and maxious).

    It would be great to also have all local and topic ambassadors involved in the basecamp experience. It would double plus also be great to have advisers involved. And, as always it would be exceptionally cool to have any others with the energy, drive and interest to put themselves forward for joining in.

    Please ping @okfnau via twitter if you’d like an invite.

    Please note: The intention is not to have a closed group, nor to deteriorate the cohesion and great conversations going on through the okfn-au list or other mediums. Its just to help get things done for OKAU with a little more coordination and support via a platform that is setup to do such a thing.


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