Committee Member Welcome Guide

“The founding purpose of Ruby Australia is to further the use and adoption of the Ruby programming language in Australia and to support and encourage a vibrant community around the language and related technologies.”

Welcome to Ruby Australia

Congratulations on being elected into the Ruby Australia Committee. You will be inducted with our secret handshake and given your ruby coloured robes shortly. But first you must read this guide carefully. This guide will uncover the darkest secrets of our sect, things which others have never even hoped to want to learn of.


The Ruby Australia Committees of Old


Some Guidelines on Philosophy

Ruby Australia is setup to be a light touch, open and transparent organisation deeply connected with the member base of attendees of Australian Rails Camps and Ruby Conferences.

First guideline: WE ARE NICE (MINSWAN)

MINSWAN ‘Matz is nice so we are nice'. We first treat people well and with dignity and respect. The systems thinker Edward Deming said ‘80% of problems are system problems rather than people problems. Don’t Blame. Fix the system’.

Second guideline: WE ARE OPEN

Ruby Australia is designed to be an open organisation, think open-source meets open-space. In the second instance we draw on existing design patterns developed by our brethren in the global hackerspace movement.

Third guideline: WE ARE LEAN

Don’t over engineer solutions. Start by asking ‘what’s the simplest thing that could work’. Iterate. Encourage everyone to focus on simple immediate solutions and being prepared to iterate and learn as an organisation as we progress.


It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning. Focus on what’s important. Take a long term view and approach. We’re here to make things better and strive for a higher ideal. Call people to think bigger and create something better. Don’t be right. Set about setting things right. Basically just ‘Be the Force’.

Fifth guideline: WE ARE HAPPY

Like ruby we exist for the furtherment of ‘programmer happiness’.

Committee Composition

  • According to the Ruby Australia constitution, we need to have the following office bearers: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and two general committee members
  • Most committee roles span one year, but you’re welcome to come back again
  • Ideally, three members of the committee will stand down at each general meeting whilst three will continue, thus enabling both continuity and renewal.
  • We expect the lead organisers of both the previous and next Rails Camps to be on the committee
  • We expect a member of the core RubyConf AU organising group be on the committee
  • We expect one member of the committee to be responsible for the website


It’s usually really painful when you start a role and the last person didn’t really bother to hand anything over, so you just spend all this time stuffing around just working out stuff they already knew.

Don’t be that person.

Update this document and help the next poor sod who is taking over from you.


Currently we bank with Westpac. As a non profit our accounts attract no monthly fees (woo!). New committee members need to go to the bank with old members and add new names to the account. Keep all monies in the main accounts of the association, it makes the books much less painful. We have a credit card in the name of Sebastian Von Conrad, details are stored in 1password for online use.


The organisation has a Public Officer, who must reside in Victoria. After RailsCamp when the Public Officer changes the government needs to be notified within 21 days (I think).

Currently Public Officer: Ryan Bigg (correct at June 2016)

Online Meetings

We suggest the committee should generally meet at least once a month for 1 hour.

Preparing for General Meetings

  • Notice needs to go out to all the members at least 14 days in advance notifying them of a general meeting at Rails Camp.
  • Constitution refers to alternate notice period of 21 days if a "special resolution" has been proposed.

Knowledge Management

  • There is a ‘Ruby Australia’ folder within Google Docs

    • That is where this document is saved. If you don’t have access to this folder already, ask the secretary or someone else on the committee for access.
  • Ruby Australia 1Password account

    • This 1password team contains most of our online logins.
    • There are folders f or Camp and Conference organisers.
    • Admin access to the account lies with Len, Ryan and Lauren.
    • You will be added to different vaults as needed.
    • Please don’t set up online account without checking if one already exists.
    • Please use the email account:
      • for registering online accounts (eg youtube, twitter etc)
  • Email accounts Rego account for online services -

    Key Email accounts to know about:


    Note: At the time of writing, Pat Allan (@pat) has access to the DNSimple account that manages forwarding of these email accounts.


  • Website
    • The Ruby Australia website is a Rails app. It is hosted at via Heroku. It was initially developed by Ben Schwarz and David Goodlad and remains visually the same for now, later it was ported to Rails by Edward Tippett. In the spirit of lean development, this site was launched in a minimal state.
  • Twitter
    • The @rubyaustralia twitter account is useful for promoting upcoming Ruby Australia events. Current responsibility lies with general committee member.
  • Google Group
    • The well established rails-oceania Google Group continues to be used for Ruby Australia announcements.
  • Campaign Monitor
    • The Campaign Monitor account also handles announcements, as well as communication with camp and conference attendees.
  • Slack

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