DrupalSouth News - May 2020

Thursday 14th May

It’s certainly been an eventful couple of months since the Covid-19 crisis flipped 2020 on its head! While many things have been disrupted through this period, we wanted to provide a quick update on DrupalSouth initiatives and related activities.

Drupal Association Fundraising Drive

With the cancellation of DrupalCon Minneapolis, originally scheduled for next week, the Drupal Association needed to initiate the #DrupalCares fundraising drive to maintain the management of Drupal.org and continuity of the Association’s event and community liaison staff. The global Drupal community stepped up in a huge way to meet the fundraising goal within a matter of weeks, thanks in part to Dries and Vanessa Buytaert’s $100,000 donation matching and a coalition of Drupal agencies doing the same. 

Particular thanks go to all the local Australian and New Zealand individuals who became Drupal Association members or made individual donations, along with the companies who have a local presence and are part of the Supporting Partner Program: Acquia, Amazee, Catalyst, Morpht, Salsa Digital, Pantheon, PreviousNext and Technocrat

DrupalCon Global - July 14-17 2020

Despite Minneapolis being cancelled, a virtual DrupalCon with the same speaker lineup is scheduled for late July. The goal is for the event to be available to anyone in the world to attend, with interactive sessions likely to be in North American and Europe friendly time slots but sessions available on-demand. More details will be available soon via https://events.drupal.org/global2020

Local Drupal Business Collaboration

At the beginning of the pandemic in March, the DrupalSouth committee initiated closer communication between organisation leaders to provide support for each other when things were looking very uncertain. We’re happy to report that many Drupal focused businesses appear to have ridden out the initial phase of the crisis in relatively good shape. This is largely due to Drupal running critical systems for many clients and being viewed as “essential” infrastructure. While the longer term economic effects are yet to be felt, Dries Buytaert has been quite vocal about the opportunity for Drupal to continue thriving despite the broader economy experiencing a downturn. Drupal Organisation Leaders have also been meeting for a quarterly roundtable discussion, so please email chair@drupalsouth.org if you’d like to be part of this.

Local Drupal Meetups Combine and Go Virtual

Following a successful collaboration between community organisers at DrupalSouth Hobart, local meetups have gone virtual across the region in recent months as social distancing measures kicked in. This has meant speakers have been able to share their knowledge with a broader audience whilst reducing replication between locations, with a fun social element for all of us stuck at home. Find your own local meetup and log on! You can also join #australia-nz on Slack and chat with other local community members any time.

Drupal Career Pathways Working Group

Another initiative to come out of DrupalSouth Hobart, the Drupal Career Pathways Working Group has been coordinated by Si Hobbs in recent months and has about a dozen community members collaborating on ideas and initiatives to help people establish careers in Drupal. This has initially focussed on outreach to university students, providing standardised training and establishing internship programs. However, with the Covid-19 economic impacts, we expect to see more people from related industries considering Drupal as a new career option. More information about the program will be available in coming weeks.

DrupalGov Canberra

With the uncertainty around timing of regional travel opening back up and the availability of venues, the focus of organising a government focused event in November has shifted to evaluating virtual conference options. Stay tuned for details!

DrupalSouth Wellington - Venue & Event Team

There’s more optimism about travel being possible by 2021, so we’re pleased to confirm that a fantastic venue has been booked from Wednesday March 10 - Friday March 12 in Wellington. While the event planning is pressing ahead, a decision on proceeding will be made in September 2020 based on likely travel and social distancing requirements. If it’s impractical to proceed, the venue has guaranteed flexibility to delay the in-person event for up to a year if necessary.

In the meantime, there’s an opportunity to volunteer for the event team for roles such as sponsorship management, speaker track leads, operations, marketing, design and during the event. If you’re interested or want to know more, please email event lead Alex Matthews - alex@xequals.co.nz.

Steering Committee Elections

As outlined in the original proposal, the DrupalSouth Steering Committee members have staggered two year terms, which will start renewing with elections at the end of 2020. Current committee members have the option to stand for election again alongside other candidates that choose to self nominate. The current plan is for a call for candidates to be released in September 2020, with voting taking place in November for all five committee positions. These will then be taken up over the course of the following year as seats come up for renewal in staggered 6 monthly blocks.

Future DrupalSouth Venue Proposals

As occurred in 2018, a call for future DrupalSouth venue proposals will be made in late 2020, with a view to announcing the next event in Wellington 2021. If you’re interested in what’s involved in running a DrupalSouth conference, please contact us!