Founded in Melbourne in 2010, Free Software Melbourne set out to be help progress the use of free software in usage in all fields. But it quickly become more than just Melbourne. Free Software Australia is a collaboration between regional free software activist groups in Australia. It began as, and continues to be, the home of Free Software Melbourne's website and mailing lists, but we're proud to now also share it with LibrePlanet Brisbane and Free Software Sydney. We'd love to see software freedom oriented groups in all states of Australia.
This website, freesoftware.org.au and a number of other applications are hosted on a virtual server provided by Adam Bolte. This server is hosted out of his home office. We greatly appreciate the time and expense he puts into providing and maintaining this server.
We aim to push the boundaries of where free software is commonly used, and demonstrate this to others. While this is good for our individual and collective freedom, it also makes us more effective activists. We organise our committee meetings with free text chat and audio/video conferencing tools, encrypt our communications with free software, use decentralised social networks and self-host our website and other web applications. These choices are not considered the stardards as dictacted by bigger player, but we're willing to do the extra work to prove that we're serious.
We considered leasing a virtual server from an existing hosting company but instead decided to host it out of Adam's home office. This approach means that our software is running on a server under our direct control, not one owned by a third-party. That's good for our privacy, even though we don't do anything particularly secret. It also fits with our vision for ultimate freedom from centralised software as a service — individuals running their own distributed services from the privacy and security of their homes.
The mailing lists on lists.softwarefreedom.com.au are provided and maintained by Ben Sturmfels.