Ms. Benjamin who with her partner Peter Lieverdink, runs Creative Contingencies Pty Ltd, a company specialising in "organis[ing] events and services for people to share ideas and knowledge" focussing on Free and Open Source Software. Over the past few years Donna Benjamin has increasingly become involved in the Free and Open Source Software community.
In 2008 Ms. Benjamin convened the successful linux.conf.au in Melbourne. Creative Contingencies has also been retained to organise the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane meetings of the Open Source Industry Australia (OSIA) association.
As part of her presidency of LUV during 2008-2009, Ms. Benjamin and the LUV Committee introduced a number of innovative changes, helping to reinvigorate the Linux Users Victoria group. Ideas included:
- Beginners Workshops: these monthly workshops have a regular attendance of between 20 and 40 and aim to introduce FOSS to a new audience through assisting with installation and practical tutorials
- A major website update and wiki integration, involving a move to using Drupal
- Library of LUV: review of books are posted on the wiki and the books can be borrowed at the monthly meetings
The LUV AGM also passed a motion to consider becoming part of Australian Digital, an organisation aiming to become the peak body for users of digital technology, allowing users a voice to lobby governments and take stances on issues. The Melbourne PC Users Group (Melb PC) and the Apple equivalent, AUSOM are two of the initial members of the Australian Digital group.
Melb PC, touted as the world's largest user group and which has a number of FOSS related Special Interest Groups is also supporting LUV by providing a venue for the upcoming Software Freedom Day on September 19. Software Freedom Day is a key point of focus for Victorian FOSS groups, as it represents a great opportunity to get together and work to spread the word to the wider public.
Full disclosure: At the 2009 LUV AGM this author was elected to be an Ordinary Committee Member
More LUV for Donna Benjamin
At the Linux Users Victoria (LUV) Annual General Meeting, held on Tuesday 1 September 2009 at Trinity College, Melbourne, Donna Benjamin was elected to the position of President for the second year running. With a membership of 1793, LUV is a significant organisation in the Australian Free and Open Source software community.
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