Wikimania 2012 announces Mary Gardiner as keynote speaker

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mary Gardiner will give the opening keynote at Wikimania 2012
Image: Andrew Bennetts.
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The planning committee for Wikimania 2012, the international conference for Wikimedia, announced on March 22 that Australian women's open source advocate and computer programmer Mary Gardiner will be the keynote speaker for the opening session of the conference on Thursday, July 12, 2012. This will make Gardiner the first woman to keynote at Wikimania.

Gardiner is the co-founder of the Ada Initiative, a non-profit organization devoted to improving support for women in open source tech and communities, including Wikipedia. Based in Sydney, Australia, she founded AussieChix, the first and largest open source organization for women in Australia. AussieChix eventually moved into the broader Oceania area, and has since been renamed as Oceania Women of Open Technology. Gardiner is also highly active in the Australian Linux community, having served as program chair of and as a council member for Linux Australia. For her service to the Australian Linux community, Gardiner was awarded Linux Australia's 2011 Rusty Wrench award. As an activist, she has provided a voice for women in open source, and through the Ada Initiative she works to fight against "the social norms and beliefs of a minority of contributors who are not interested in women as colleagues or who do not believe women have the capability to successfully contribute".

"Mary has been a strong advocate for open source and has worked extensively to elevate the role of women and increase their participation in open source and open culture," stated James Hare, Wikimania 2012 coordinator. The decision for Gardiner to keynote coincides with the Wikimedia Foundation's goals to close the gender gap in Wikipedia, by encouraging the participation of and retaining women editors. Gardiner's appearance will coincide with AdaCamp, an unconference planned by the Ada Initiative which aims to bring women in open source tech from around the world to Washington, D.C. to work together to build community and dicuss women's issues in the world of open source.

Wikimania 2012 takes place July 12-14, 2012, in Washington, D.C.


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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.