Linux Users of Victoria President's Report 2013

This has been a very good year for Linux Users of Victoria, Inc. By all major metrics, we have improved. Our membership has increased, the attendance at our main meetings and beginners workshops have improved, and we are in a better financial state that we were last year. We held an excellent Software Freedom Day last year with larger attendance and international, and a very successful annual picnic. Following an overwhelming response for a new server we received a machine donated by Barwon South Water, we revamped our library with account at Librarything and with the donation of a large number of relevant books, we've seen the initiative of a hardware library, and we expanded our contacts with a new Meetup group and other social media initiatives.

Whilst I will leave the details of these to the reports of other committee members, I wish to thank the committee for their excellent work. Daniel Jitnah continues to contribute enormously as Vice-President. Les Kitchen, has carried out the challenging task of Secretary with a rare combination of good humour and good organisation. Wen Lin, our tireless treasurer and librarian. The anything but ordinary committee members, Deb Henry, Andrew Pam, Rodney Brown, and Russell Coker have also also assisted enormously to the functioning of the organisation. The contributions of these individuals are thoroughly appreciated in name, but thanks must also be given to other members of LUV who have stepped up to assist the organisation during the year, as speakers and the organisers of speakers, as people who have provided constructive help on our mailing lists and other social media, who have contributed to the social activities of LUV. I hope that some of these people will consider nominating for the committee next year, or in the event of a vacancy. A balance between stability and experience and dynamism and innovation should and can be sought in a committee of management.

In the context of our growth and successes, both as Linux Users of Victoria, and as an organised association that is part of the wider Linux, free software, and dare I suggest - a technically excellent free and open society - movement, I believe that each and all of our members should give consideration of how we continue to grow and succeed, and remain true to our core principles. This combination, of remaining principled to core values, and being adaptable to changing circumstances by making strategic decisions is, organisationally, the path to success. Assuming that we want to take on the world of proprietary information and technology with free and open source alternatives that are technically better than the closed varieties, we must think deeply about how to achieve this. If we want to increase our membership, our finances, our attendance ten-fold, think in terms of what constraints exist that prevent us in achieving these goals, and what can be done about it. The debates that will be held tonight concerning our status as an incorporated association should be seen as a constructive contribution to these objectives.

Finally, we must thank, with the greatest gratitude, those organisations that have sponsored us throughout the year. This includes the aforementioned Barwon South Water, for our new server, Red Hat, who have kindly provided the funds for our main meeting room, Benk Open Systems who contribute towards the cost of our events, and VPAC, who hosts the workshops and our servers.