Australian and New Zealand GLAM efforts
History of the Paralympics in Australia
Leigh Blackall, assisted by Charles Gregory, recently ran two Wikipedia training sessions in the state of Tasmania. The first - Wikipedia training day, Hobart VET - was targetted at the education sector and was held at the Tasmanian Polytechnic in Hobart. It was attended by representatives of various educational institutions, including the State Library of Tasmania, Skills Tasmania, the Department of Education and Independent Schools Tasmania.
The second session was a Wikipedia training day in Kingston and drew a wide variety of participants - from the Australian Paralympic Committee; to a small local history association, the Upper Huon History Group; Legacy Tasmania, an association for Australia's military veterans; and the Female Convict Research Centre, researching the state's convict history.
These were the first editor workshops run in the state of Tasmania and they have proven very successful, with potential scope for future workshops identified. Many thanks to Leigh for travelling down from Canberra to run these events.
Wittylama and Whiteghost.ink took Wikipedia to outback Australia this month, running training days for librarians and tourism managers in a remote part of the country as part of a partnership with the State Library of Queensland. The size of Australia has always meant that an effort needs to be made to include people who live in places very far away from the big cities. All public institutions and government take this challenge very seriously; Wikimedia Australia is no exception.
Participants in Tambo and Quilpie were motivated by the possibility of incorporating their extensive knowledge of the local area into the encyclopaedia and some had to travel from even further out in order to join in. The workshops used already existing stub articles about the towns as a medium for learning about editing. The helpfulness of other Wikipedians contributing offsite (especially Mattinbgn) demonstrated the responsiveness of the community and the way that small improvements accumulate for good effect.
Given that all of the learners were women (except for one who found out about the opportunity at the last minute), and also that all of them were newbies, the sessions provided much insight into both the gender gap as well as structuring successful training for these groups.
A photo essay of the trip can be seen here http://www.wittylama.com/2012/03/training-in-the-australian-outback-photo-essay/
ABC releases content to the Commons under CC-BY-SA
On March 23, 2012, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) released 22 historical videos to Wikimedia Commons showing key events from Australian and world history, from the first World Series Cricket match (find out more about World Series Cricket) to Australia's part in tracking Apollo 11. These videos, made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, are part of an ABC's Open Archives initiative to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the public broadcaster.
This release is significant not only because it is the first time the ABC has used a free license, but because this is the first time that "packaged" news reports have been shared with Wikimedia. Such audiovisual material is of very high encyclopedic value and is already used in approximately 70 different Wikipedia articles.
The announcement was made simultaneously on the Wikimedia Foundation blog, the Creative Commons Australia blog and by an ABC Press Release. This announcement was also reported on by the tech-news website "The Next Web" and also by the European Commission funded project for open access to television heritage "EU Screen".