2015 Committee Briefing

Prospective 2015/2016 Committee Member Briefing

Background
CASE is essentially a peak body supporting the community welfare sector's use of Information Technology. It is not our primary role to operate specific projects but rather to support the projects of our members. We see ourselves as a community development organisation using information and communications technology as a methodology for enhancing the development of social capital. For further background see our online brochure (42kb pdf).

There are some projects that may not be viable as stand-alone or member ventures and CASE may act as either an incubator for such initiatives or operate these projects on behalf of members. Examples of such services are web hosting, network installation projects and the development of online technologies such as the Online Volunteer Management System (OVMS). This project supports the work of an organisation that provides volunteer educational tutors to outback families. Such projects may also provide training opportunities to members and income for the organisation.

Current Work
CASE provides professional web hosting at a low cost for thirty community organisations including:

Volunteers for Isolated Students Education
Self Help Organisations United Together
Woden Community Services

For several of these groups we also provide email services.

Network Cabling and System Administration
The Cable Rats project came from a need for CASE to have the certification to install communications cabling for members during network installations. Training was provided by the Canberra Institute of Technology allowing a member to qualify as a registered cabler. This service has been used by five members for eight projects to enable a cost effective installation of network infrastructure and also to provide training to members employed by the project. 

Online Database Development
Ongoing development of the Online Volunteer Management System to enables member Volunteers for Isolated Students' Education to effectively manage up to 600 volunteers traveling throughout rural Australia providing educational support to isolated students.

Public Technical Presentations
Over the years CASE has offered free public presentations on a wide variety of topics such as obtaining free anti-virus software and using the Internet safely, as a public service. Notes from these meetings are published online and are available at no cost.

Advocacy
CASE has presented papers and information at several local and national conferences. We have played a significant role in the development of Digital Divide policy over a three year period by the ACT Government by representing our membership and providing expert advice. CASE is often called upon by members to assist in tendering of services and to provide technical information/advice.
 

Management Committee Member Responsibilities

Meetings
CASE has an established schedule of three member meetings and three management committee meetings per year. The two types of  meetings rotate every other month. Committee members are expected to attend all of these meetings as well as the Annual General Meeting if possible. Typically there is also an initial briefing of the committee prior to the first management committee meeting to introduce members, outline the use of email, demonstrate the committee website, issue passwords and provide an overview of the previous years activities to aid continuity. At this point in time the committee has set management committee meetings for Sunday afternoons but meeting schedules are entirely up to the current committee. The need may arise to allow remote participation in committee meetings in consideration that CASE is a national organisation and therefore some committee members could be unavailable to attend meetings in person.  

Communications
Much of the day-to-day activities of CASE are discussed using the CASE management committee email list. Our rules allow for the management committee to vote on issues via electronic communications. Committee members are expected to have reliable online access and to check for email messages a minimum of once per day. Committee members are encouraged to participate on the members mailing list as facilitators as well.

Legal
Members of the management committee need to be aware of  both the goals of the organisation and the approved rules. Committee members are also advised to review the ACT Incorporations Act 1991 under which CASE is incorporated to fully understand the legal implications and requirements of becoming a member of the management committee.

Tasks
Some typical tasks that management committee members perform are:

  • Policy development

  • Financial management (budgeting, approval of reports, expenditure approval etc).

  • Project approval and management

  • Membership Secretary duties (maintain member database, issue membership cards, manage renewals, seek new members.

  • Public relations - Press releases, organise meetings and respond to queries, arrange press interviews etc.

  • Administrative duties - Meeting minutes, ensure proper record keeping, reporting to authorities, regulatory compliance, insurance etc.

  • Conflict resolution

Current Strategies
Strategies that the management committee will be asked to review and implement during 2015/2016 include (but are not limited to):

Completion of a business plan to support stated goals and to obtain resources to enable the implementation of those goals. It has been identified that the most critical immediate task for CASE is to obtain finances to allow the hiring of three full-time equivalent staff.

Current strategies that the business plan addresses includes the establishment of the following:

 Education

  • Development of Best Practice in IT for the Community Sector workshops

  • Web site development/management training

  • Establishment of training for member IT managers and support group

  • Open source based training lab

 Assistance/Support

  • Establishment as a domain name registrar to service the non-profit sector and generate income

  • Establishment of sector specific helpdesk and related on-call IT support services including a virtual private network to consolidate server services and enable remote technical support of equipment

  • Continuation of cabling installation services and network management

  • Re-establishment of the web design and hosting project

  • Increase advocacy role in areas such as Digital Divide issues, the use of open source software, recycling of computers and general interest issues

  • Creation of projects to increase the availability of technology to those living with disadvantage (often times referred to as digital divide issues). Networking public flats, recycling of equipment etc.

 

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