The Oceania Women of Open Technology (OWOOT http://owoot.org) group is running a one-day Haecksen miniconf for linux.conf.au 2013, to feature women speakers and panellists on technical and community topics related to free software and women in free software.
Aussiechix/OWOOT events have been a feature at linux.conf.au since 2007. In 2010, the miniconf was renamed to "Haecksen". The word haecksen is the German feminine word for "hackers", and it is designed to encompass the wide range of activities that women are involved in throughout the open source space. This miniconf has historically attracted women involved in areas as diverse as software development, OLPC hacking, and smart crafting, along with a wide array of other disciplines within free and open source software.
OWOOT (formerly Aussiechix) Oceania Women of Open Tech was formed in October 2011, but grew out of women's groups in the region active since 1999. OWOOT remains a chapter of Linuxchix.
Linuxchix functions as a geographically distributed user's group. It has been running for over a decade and contains well over a thousand active members in many different countries. Originally founded with the explicit intention of providing an alternative to occasionally hostile online environments, it is not yet in the enviable position of being redundant. As such, as well as the usual technical aspect of user groups, OWOOT has a heavy social aspect.
Possibly due to the community spirit provided by groups like OWOOT, the previous miniconfs have helped attract women in the greater FLOSS community to linux.conf.au. The presence of the miniconf since 2007 has demonstrably helped raise the numbers of women to the conference itself. The inaugural miniconf expected 20 women. Last year, nearly 70 people expressed interest in the miniconf, and the main conference is now regularly attracting around a 20% female attendance rate. With a reported 4% female contributions to open source projects, a 20% female attendance rate shows the good work the Haecksen miniconf does for promoting and welcoming female talent and perspective to FLOSS projects, and linux.conf.au in particular.
We would like to ensure a good mix of listening, talking, and networking - perhaps some panel discussions to encourage participation as well as the more usual speaker presentations. Speakers are expected, and indeed encouraged, to cover topics that range widely from technical talks to professional development, and community involvement. We would also like to encourage younger or less experienced speakers to contribute, by holding some shorter speaking slots for first time speakers.
Robyn Willison: Primary organiser.
Hackerspace-Adelaide member, Computer Trainer using free software
Bianca Gibson: Secondary organiser.
Linux Australia OCM, student, free software games developer
Robyn is a member of Hackerspace-Adelaide and is a voluntary Computer Tutor with Seniors Online.
As a member of Hackerspace-Adelaide she has worked on Lilypad and Arduino projects and is currently building a programmable robot.
Robyn has been tutoring for 23 years in Community Centres and TAFE where her classes have been favourites of women and men alike. Her training notes have travelled as far as Papua New Guinea where they have been translated into Pidgin and are a part of the computer training at a local hospital.