[AUUG-Talk]: Re: AUUG: Time to pull the plug?

George W Gerrity g.gerrity at gwg-associates.com.au
Thu Sep 14 14:52:04 EST 2006

Hi, Greg!

I have tried to be a member of AUUG since its beginning, many years  
ago. I haven't been a very good member, especially since I retired,  
while my wife continues to work. Obligations that fall from that make  
it difficult for me to attend conferences. Moreover, I have always  
had significant other interests (like lecturing and research) that  
tend to make my participation in AUUG minimal: although I was one of  
the guys that got UNIX into Australia in the early days (I think that  
RMC, Duntroon was the third UNIX system after Sydney and Melbourne),  
my responsibilities as co-opted sysop ended as soon as we got some  
good permanent staff.

In the past three or four years, it has been difficult to know  
whether or not my membership was up to date, as notices were  
sporadic, and membership receipts non-existent. I usually had to go  
back through payment records to find out, and the impetus was usually  
doing my income tax. For the past two years, I have received no AAUGN  
magazines, yet I do seem to be still on the emailing list.

I would like to see AUUG continue, but most of us originally  
associated (however loosely) with AUUG are either now retired or  
getting close to it. Younger people need to take up the job, and as  
you have noted, things appear to be in chaos. Maybe it has to be  
wound up.

Dr George W Gerrity    Ph:  +61 2 6386 3431
GWG Associates         Fax: +61 2 6386 4431
P O Box 229            PGP RSA Public Key Fingerprint:
Harden, NSW 2587       73EF 318A DFF5 EB8A 6810 49AC 0763 AF07

On 2006-09-14, at 11:52, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:

> In four weeks' time, the AUUG 2006 conference should be in full swing.
> Traditionally the AGM is held on the Thursday of the conference, four
> weeks from today.  According to Paragraph 15 of the constitution
> (http://www.auug.org.au/info/constitution.html), the Secretary should
> send written notice of such a meeting at least four weeks ahead of
> time, i.e. today.
> I have an agenda item, but I haven't seen notice of the meeting.
> In fact, there are a whole lot of things I haven't seen:
> - My membership renewal, due at the end of June.  I have agreed to
>   automatic renewal, so all the treasurer needs to do is to deduct the
>   sum from my credit card.  If my membership hasn't been renewed,
>   whose has?
> - Details of the new board.  The information on the web site is not up
>   to date.  It's not even from last year; it's from the year before
>   (2004/2005).  Who's our secretary?  Adrian sent out a message (his
>   only one since becoming president) with the names.  Raymond Smith is
>   the secretary, but I don't have an email address, and mail to
>   secretary at auug.org.au bounces.
> - Information about sponsors of the conference.  Part of the deal is
>   to put these details up on the web site.  Either we don't have any
>   sponsors, or the conference committee has not fulfilled its
>   obligation to them.
> - The final programme.  Typically this should be sent out as a flyer
>   registration forms months in advance.
> - Repeated mail messages to auug-announce with details of the
>   conference and programme.
> - The opportunity for "early bird" registration if done 6 weeks before
>   the conference.  Clearly that's not going to happen.
> - Registration details.  How do I register for this conference?
> - A reply to my message sen to the AUUG board last week asking about
>   this, and whether it wouldn't be better to cancel the conference.  I
>   didn't even get official confirmation that the message was received,
>   though one of the board members confirmed unofficially.
> - Anybody complaining on the mailing lists.  Does anybody care?
> From what I can see from my vantage point, the conference is a
> non-starter.  Last week the board could have possibly cancelled the
> event without owing the hotel too much money.  That's one of the
> things I suggested in the message.  Maybe it has happened; but one way
> or another, we need to know what is going on.
> So: it looks to me as if AUUG is dead and just doesn't know it.  On
> the other hand, last time the treasurer presented a report, we had
> significant funds.  Maybe it's time to do something else with them.
> Paragraph 33 of the constitution reads:
>   33.  1. Upon receipt of a petition requesting the dissolution of the
>           AUUG from twenty or more members, or half the membership,
>           whichever is less, the Secretary shall arrange for the
>           question to be put to the membership by ballot no later than
>           one month after the date that he receives the petition.
>        2. If three-quarters of the members voting agree, the AUUG
>           shall be dissolved.
>        3. If upon the dissolution of the AUUG there remains after
>           satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities any property
>           whatsoever, the same shall be paid or applied by the
>           Management Committee, according to a resolution of the
>           membership at or before the time of dissolution, to any
>           fund, institution or authority which, itself, is either a
>           non profit company as defined by Section 3(1) of the Income
>           Tax Act 1986 or is exempt from income tax.
> The first problem is: how many members does AUUG have?  It appears
> that renewals for memberships expiring in December last year *were*
> sent out in January or early February.  But who's a member?  Are even
> the board members in good financial standing?  Is there still a list
> of members?
> So, finally, my agenda item: I think that it's time to disband AUUG.
> Am I the only one?
> I'd like to see some discussion on this.  I've set Mail-followup-to:
> to talk at auug.org.au, which is the obvious place to discuss it.  If
> you're interested in the discussion, but you're not on the list, you
> can join via http://www.auug.org.au/mailman/listinfo.
> My questions at the moment:
> - Do enough members think that it's time to dissolve AUUG?
> - How many members do we have?
> - How do we know who the members are?  At this stage, I'd say that the
>   only proof is a receipt for payment of membership fees.
> - If we dissolve AUUG, what do we do with the funds?  I can see a
>   number of possibilities:
>   - AUUG should merge with Linux Australia.  I think it's pretty clear
>     that Linux Australia is conceptually the successor organization.
>     The problem I have (and that LA shares) is that there's no place
>     there for users of proprietary UNIX.
>   - Donate all the funds to the John Lions chair of computer science
>     at UNSW.
> Greg
> --
> See complete headers for address and phone numbers.
> _______________________________________________
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> auug-announce at auug.org.au
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