[AUUG-Talk]: the motion to wind up AUUG...

Enno Davids enno.davids at metva.com.au
Thu Nov 29 02:01:05 EST 2007

On Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 10:21:25PM +1030, David Newall wrote:
|Peter Miller wrote:
|>On Tue, 2007-11-13 at 23:31 +1100, Adrian Close wrote:
|>>The Annual General Meeting of the AUUG for 2007 shall be held at the 
|>>Rose Hotel, 406 Napier Street, Fitzroy (Melbourne), Victoria, on 
|>>Wednesday December 12th, commencing at 7pm.
|>I understand that the constitution does not at present permit members to
|>attend the AGM electronically.
|More importantly, the meeting requires a quorum of 10% of voting members 
|personally present.  Most interstate members will be understandably 
|reluctant to travel for the meeting, so Melbourne members absolutely 
|must make the effort to attend.
|I notice that the sole agenda item, other than the usual procedural 
|ones, is "Dissolution/continuance of the AUUG(!)"  As I understand the 
|constitution, no decision to dissolve AUUG can be taken on the 12th.  
|Section 33 of the constitution addresses dissolution of the AUUG:

Allow me to speak to this as its pretty much there at my request.

For some time now, AUUG has been in what I can only describe as a death
spiral. Ever decreasing membership (on the order of 50 or so as I write
this?), lower attendance at meetings, both local and the national
conferences. The core volunteers who have done the bulk of the work have
been called upon to do more and more. Frankly, it can't go on.

And then, this year it culminated in an election process which failed to
fill the committee positions. The degree to which we missed is open to
discussion and mostly revolves around how many if any of the general
committee positions need to be filled to deem the management committee
(or board or whatever term it uses for itself this year) full. Regardless,
we got no general committee members and since then one of the named
positions has essentially fallen vacant as well (due to a change in
personal circumstances of the individual). In essence to my mind, AUUG
doesn't need to be dissolved as we've failed to fulfill the criteria to
continue and have done so since the election. (For those with the need
to know, the original motion I proposed was that AUUG be wound up formally
unless all committee positions could be filled. I was happy to modify that
to a more generic discussion of our future.)

But thats moot I think. The fact is its a symptom of the larger problem
that AUUG, with one or two notable exceptions, has no new blood. The bulk
of the members, have been members for years. And as we all know the way
the process works is that people essentially withdraw from active
participation over time. Some, many of you on this list, simply because
you've done your time, some because family demands more of your time now
than it did then, some move away, some leave the industry. But essentially
the effect is that the running of AUUG has fallen to a smaller and smaller
circle of people over time, either the newest arrivals like Andrew and
to alesser degree Adrian, or those with no family to distract such as myself
or those for whom the enthusiasm and willingness to sacrifice is still there.

But it can't go on like this. At 50 members, when the speakers at a
conference outnumber the attendees, when I can call an AUUG-Vic meeting and
the only attendees are myself and Adrian (and the rest of his family) the
writing has to be on the wall.

We all appreciate those of you who offerred financial support for what I
assume was old times sake, but we've been killing ourselves here and the
chirping sound of crickets when we try to get some other involvement
started to grate a long time ago. AUUG needs to be vital and needs to make
a difference and have a role for you or the old girl needs to be put out
of our collective misery. I don't want to wind us up any more than any of
you, but the fact is IT CAN'T GO ON LIKE THIS.

Now there are some of you, I'm not going to name names, who frankly, are
playing the old AUUG game. Long on opinion, short on actually volunteering
to do any work. Thanks for the input. If thats all you have, I'll put you
down for being in favour of winding up. I'm not kidding. You are either
prepared to participate, to put in, to do work, to show up at meetings,
to be active... or you're wasting my time. Quite literally wasting my time.
And guys, I'm getting to that point where I'm starting to resent having
my time wasted.

So, put aside the discussion of how big the quorum is or whether e-presence
is good or bad. These are all superficialities quite frankly. The question
on the table is should AUUG go on? The real question on the table is are
YOU going to participate? I submit, if the answer to the latter is no, as
it has been for many of you for years, then the answer to the former
should be no also. 

I don't really want this to sound quite as negative as I've made it sound.
Certainly I have no great wish to fold up the tent and be in that last
round of drinks. But I neither want AUUG to stagger on in the crippled
manner it has in recent times. So please. Consider that bigger question
for me tonight. Are we all here for the future... or because of the past?


(Having said all those horrible words, I'd like to thank everyone who has
participated in the debate, has volunteered in AUUG either directly or
indirectly. Many people have done wonderful things in the group in the past
and continue to do so today. I've benefitted from that and I hope I've
managed to put something back in the kitty for those who came after me.
Either way, I, I hope we, thank you all...)

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