By Simon Cole,Chair.
When people hear that BrisLETS has been going for more than 30 years, they’re impressed.
There’s something about longevity that instils confidence. It suggests relevance to needs being met, and a method that’s working.
For a long time, BrisLETS has sustained a group of friends with a sideline interest in mutual credit. Over the years, they have gathered some valuable experience and knowledge.
For example, our Membership Secretary, a member of long-standing, knows that your local MP will do free printing for community groups.
Cj Cronin recently shared an anecdote about an attempt to set up LETS in Brisbane that pre-dates BrisLETS. He said it he thought it failed because they didn’t include food in the trading mix. He also described the person who was central to bringing LETS to Australia: Jill Jordan of Maleny. She also set up Maleny Credit Union, which is still going strong.
In November last year, to mark our big milestone, Jessie Scott collated and presented evidence of the wealth of experience this group has benefited from over the past 30 years. It would be great to see that presentation on our website in an abbreviated form for all to enjoy.
Several years ago, Elizabeth Shaw served on a subcommittee that reviewed the constitution. Her experience with that and her participation in the current round of revisions is proving invaluable.
Liz Stanhope, who also served on the management committee for a number of years, has provided helpful insights and advice on including business accounts in the T&Cs. She also helped emphasise the role of the constitution that has guided new committee members in their work, and the revision of this document.
Gaining our own technology
Not long ago, I sold a good laptop to Admin for U90. Andrew Gaydon installed a new operating system on it – the open-source, free Linux Mint, and installed the appropriate settings. It is now regularly available for traders to record transactions, and for new members to use to join online.
We have been relying on committee and team members’ personal data to connect to the internet. Management Committee has approved purchase of a TPG SIM card that costs only $1/month.
We have been hoping a mobile phone would appear out of nowhere, when suddenly it did! I started searching for a new phone to replace my Android because it’s getting slow. I have a circle of my friends who are as interested in open source products as I am. One of them sent me – absolutely free – a Ubuntu phone that will suit our limited purpose very well. It’s not 4G, but it runs well and is simple to use.
Now all we need is a “Square” to accept credit card payments and we’re ready to enrol people online, on the spot!
With the suggestions from our long-term members to keep costs down, we will soon have B5 and A4 flyers, some customized caps and T-shirts for little more than $200.
To finish the fit-out of our new information stall at Northey Street City Farm Sunday Markets from June 2, we need to order two 2.5-metre teardrop banners for about $300.
Marketing materials are expensive. To add more to our store, we need to apply for a grant. Let’s hope a grant writer steps forward soon.