Software Freedom Day - 19th of September 2020


Celebrating Software Freedom Day 2020

SFD Logo

Free Software Melbourne and Linux Users Victoria are celebrating the 17th annual Software Freedom Day celebrations in Melbourne. We will present a range of leaders in the Free-Software community that will talk about the importance of Free-Software to a free society.

The SFD celebration will kickoff with what is "Free and Open Source Software" and why is it so important for a modern, digital society. We'll be hearing from leading contributors and organizers of companies building businesses around Free and Open Source projects. We're also going to talk about the ethics of software development and the advantages of building a prosthetic using open hardware. There is also the opportunity for networking opportunities in our general FLOSS chat room during the day.

Time Table:

Participation is both free and liberating. Software Freedom Day is a family friendly event welcoming to anyone, pass on the word to help make it a great day. We have a code of conduct available on our website, but in short: Be respectful, Be inclusive and Be aware.

Hope to see you all online for our most exciting Software Freedom Day yet!



SFD is sponsored by: Linux Australia

About the Talks and our Speakers

Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death

About the Speaker

Picture of Dr Morgan ProfileDr Morgan Leigh lives on a farm in sunny Tasmania where she ponders the ontological status of cyberspace and raises tasty animals. She is a pagan theologian, farmer, virtual world developer, and has a tragic science fiction addiction. Morgan's work centers on the ontological status of the remixes we call reality.

Having pondered about cyberspace a lot, she did a PhD about it. It’s called Virtually Real: Being in Cyberspace, and you can see it at It's all about how things that happen online aren't "just games" or "not real" or "only code", but are real, actual things that people really care about and that affect the meatspace world.

Morgan is deeply concerned about copyright and its destructive effect on our society, especially in the academy. She even has a theological argument against it! Ask her, she'll tell you all about it. She thinks current copyright law is a destructive illusion that we can't afford to entertain.

Good, better, breast: Building a sensing mastectomy prosthetic with open hardware


In Australia every year, around 18,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Many will go on to have breast removal surgery, called a mastectomy. Only 12% of women who have a mastectomy will have reconstruction, and will instead opt to wear a silicon-based prosthetic.

These prosthetics are "dumb" - they're just silicone. They have 0 USB ports. What a great opportunity for open hardware!

As part of her term project in the Masters of Applied Cybernetics at the 3A Institute at The Australian National University, Kathy Reid, herself a breast cancer survivor, developed a prototype called "SenseBreast" - a sensing, smart, mastectomy prosthetic based on an RPi 3B+ and a Sense HAT. This was a "mucking around" project to learn Python, and she didn't expect it to work, but it did!

In this poignant, funny, challenging, technical, entertaining and irreverent presentation, she explores;

  • motivations for the project, including a desire to keep sensor data private and personal - after all, who's watching?
  • hardware design and sensor challenges in open hardware and Python
  • prosthetic design and how to build a fake breast to contain hardware
  • lived experience wearing a smart prosthetic
  • implications for this technology, such as in post-mastectomy recovery
  • and reflections on the broader landscape of wearable technology

About the Speaker

Picture of Kathy Reid Kathy Reid works at the intersection of open source, emerging technologies and technical communities. She is a former Director of Developer Relations at Mycroft.AI, former President of Linux Australia and former Digital Platforms and Operations Manager at Deakin University. In 2019, she was of 16 people from across the world chosen to undertake a Masters of Applied Cybernetics at the Australian National University's 3A Institute.

First hand experience: How Nextcloud stayed productive during COVID-19 and how others did the same.


We're all now experiencing how remote working and virtual conferencing are important tools to staying connected. Not just in the current circumstances but also looking at the future.

Unfortunately millions of people have adopted the proprietary online tools like GoogleDocs, Office365 and Zoom. All of which have well know privacy and security problems. As well as the loss of data sovereignty by users. That's why it's important to offer an easy-to-use, efficient, and quick free-software based replacement to these proprietary online tools. Nextcloud is just such a replacement.

Nextcloud is a platform for online collaboration and communication and can help people, businesses and communities to quickly adapt and stay connected. Because Nextcloud is free-software, users freedoms are respected and protected, avoiding vendor lock-in.

Nextcloud is built by Nextcloud GmbH that has employees in home-offices across 11 countries and the Nextcloud Community which is spread all over the world. This talk gives an inside look at how Nextcloud GmbH works together with the Nextcloud community to develop and maintain the Nextcloud software platform.

The talk covers different communication channels that work for synchronous and asynchronous communication. How distributed teams are coordinated and how effective and efficient collaboration using shared documents is possible. Additionally, a very important topic to share is the challenges and solutions on how to successfully work across different countries, timezones, languages, and cultures.

About the Speaker

Picture of Frank KarlitschekFrank Karlitschek is a long time open source developer and former board member of the KDE e.V. In 2016 he founded Nextcloud to create a fully open source and decentralized alternative to big centralized US cloud companies. In 2012 he initiated the User Data Manifesto to define basic human rights regarding personal data. Frank was an invited expert at the W3C to help to create the ActivityPub internet standard. Frank has spoken at MIT, CERN, Harvard and ETH and keynoted several conferences. Frank is the founder and CEO of Nextcloud GmbH. He is also a fellow of Open Forum Europe and an advisor to the United Nations regarding Intellectual Property and Open Source.

LibreOffice: great history, great future


In 2020, LibreOffice celebrates its 10th anniversary in late September. So, the presentation is a good opportunity to recap 10 years of history, look at the recent LibreOffice 7.0 announcement, and provide some insights into the future of the project.

About the Speakers

Picture of Mike SaundersMike Saunders has been a Linux and FOSS user, advocate and journalist since the late '90s, and today works in marketing and community outreach at The Document Foundation. He lives in Munich, Germany.

Picture of Italo VignoliItalo Vignoli is one of LibreOffice founders, and has managed marketing and helped with community outreach since day one. He is a FOSS and open standards advocate, is a consultant at The Document Foundation, and a board member at Open Source Initiative. He lives in Milan, Italy.

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