Open Knowledge Australia Board Meeting 28 July


  • Dr. Fiona Tweedie (Co-Chair)
  • Dr. Maia Sauren (Chairing)
  • Ana Mihov-Nicotodis (Co-Secretary)
  • Steven De Costa (Co-Secretary & Treasurer)
  • Michael Phillips (Board Member)
  • Markus Buchhorn (Board Member)


  • Welcome from the Chair
  • Apologies
  • Finances
    • Update on Finances
  • Updates
    • Actions from last meeting
    • Network and Community
    • Planning Actions
  • Other business
    • Rejected other business


Welcome from the Chair and apologies

The meeting was opened by Dr. Maia Sauren


  • Nicholas Gruen (Chairman)
  • Anne Cregan-Wolfe (Board Member)
  • James Kliemt (Board Member)


Update on Finances

  • Steven: Looking to provide read-access to a general account with different levels of access for delegates. Ops manager @ Link Digital will do books via Xero to take some pressure off NICTA; NICTA are happy with this arrangement.
  • Steven: Creating budget items – e.g. Melb local funding so that cash can be in single account but funds can be tracked. Some cleaning up of account to be done re allocating Vic local funds
  • Bank Account + ABN/Tax updates and discussion- Ana & Michael
  • Ana: To check if we are tax exempt we need to follow the steps here:—booklets/income-tax/income-tax-guide-for-non-profit-organisations/?page=4#Working_out_if_your_organisation_is_income_tax_exempt.
  • From NICTA: Ana contacted CBA, some delay on account b/c no ABN. Form will be registered at CBA with signatories of account. Also need to look at tax exemption (poss ACNC registration)
  • Some clarification to be done re OKVic’s local funds


Actions from last meeting

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

Network and Community

  • Website & List updates/discussion – Steven: Doing review of comms channels, considering useful blog posts, will review OK list numbers (OK List numbers are at 406 subscribers)
  • Feedback on OKAU – Steven: Growing interest around the country, need to re-engage local ambassadors to support them. Try to make sure there is a local support network to seek funding, connect w govt. Board to try to pull together speakers & support a kick-off event in each new region.
  • Melbourne meetups – Fiona: weekly meetups (SuAH); Linux con mini conf – will probably get an answer mid-late Sept; VicRoads, Aurin v happy with GovHack, want to do more.
  • HealthHack – Maia: HealthHack happening late Oct, Melb, Syd, Brisbane, Perth – local organisers and a national group.
  • Brisbane Meetups – Maia: local events on the theme of “how to…” groundswell growing in Brisbane
  • How to support an emerging group? Sharing learning re how to run a group, could we support a local event – action item noted to share induction document.
  • Steven: Interest in hack days in ACT combining with Code for Australia

Planning Actions

  • Assisting with GovHack 2016 – Steven: To seek ongoing alignment with GovHack
  • Rotation of Board members – Steven: Maia leaving Aus for 12 months so will step down; Anne Cregan also stepping down due to maternity leave Steven suggests rotation process as per blog post. – Markus: noted loss of knowledge with rotating the board members too quickly; with quarterly Board meetings members should attend more than one or two. – Steven: Lacking an effective mechanism for Board member rotation is a fail. – Michael: suggests 12 month (min) terms with a nomination process – draw local ambassadors onto board?
  • Post GovHack Red Carpet catchup – Steven: Would love to see local organisers (Mitch et al) to be there
  • Idea: OKAU support for crossing data hurdles – Markus: Bottom-up question, what do people in OKau do? “I’m an ambassador, now what?” “I’m keen on OpenData to achieve X, who do I talk to?” Define some more specific roles for data ambassadors as appropriate? – Steven: creating an published data cookbook “Who’s who and with what”
  • Idea: Strategic OpenData/OpenMethod project(s) – Markus: Crystallising many threads of community efforts needs something more specific as a target. Wants to do some targeted (spectacular) activities with open data & tools and supporting a range of communities e.g. an open and live intergenerational report. It’s a top-down approach for demonstrating the benefit of OKau as a community. – Steven: Suggested starting with council data to tie together GovPond, Open Council Data and the local Open Data Index
  • OK Fest 2016 – City of Melbourne is keen to support, FT meeting with Lorraine Tighe on Thursday – Steve B meeting Lorraine as well – @ Steve B can you comment on City of Melb’s plans? Something around a bid process? – bit late now, but they seem to think there is a bid to host OKfest, but it needs to be led by local OK people. Nicholas Gruen’s instigation, apparently.

Other business

Rejected other business:

  • Steve B: any opportunity to discuss the actual structure of GovHack? We keep hearing some of the same feedback about how it doesn’t meet certain needs, can we talk about changing some of the basic parameters of the competition? – Not really our call to make here, Steve – Maxious: Govhack is arms-length from OKAu, would be a question for govhack team. – OK (I realise that was ambiguous, I didn’t mean to have the discussion here and now, I meant to schedule a discussion for a future date, but point taken) – Be the change – Govhack 2016 will need new committee, new committee could have new paradigm.




Steven, Ana, Michael to meet up and finalise financial setup Ana – done
Steven and Fiona to discuss setup Steven – done
Communicate how people can spend over the next month with the chance of reimbursement Steven – partial
Post subscriber numbers with the minutes Steven – tbd
Follow up on discussion threads to generate more blog post content Steven – done
Review induction pack and send to Mitch, CC Board Fiona – done
Introduce folks between ODI, Brisbane City Council and Mitch for the Briz meetup Steven – done
Discuss board nomination process, agree to run with something for the next 12 months – For all members via Basecamp Steven – done
Look into a framework for defining functions, roles, etc. on the OKAU network – people, datasets, etc. Markus – tbd
Share the Published Data Cookbook info with Markus Steven – done
Develop an OpenIGR project proposal for community discussion Markus – tbd
Connect Markus with Stephen Gates and Steve Bennett re local census and council data Steven – done
Approve minutes – will be posted on basecamp when ready and emailed for a quick reply (thumbs up for publishing or suggested edits/clarifications Steven/Ana – done

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