News Bulletin

By Simon Cole, Chair


Monthly Trading Days
Trading Day Format

At the May and June Trading Days, you may have noticed we trialed a different format.
This worked well in May and June. Having a definite program for the day makes it easier for members to decide what they want to go to, and when. It also makes it easier for organisers to plan the day.
Storytelling can be at either 1 pm or 3 pm, to fit in with whatever Skills Lab is on offer.
Before every Storytelling, you’ll have the opportunity to briefly describe your Offering. (Tip: Look up “Elevator speech”. That’s how brief your description should be.)
Then tell your story in under 5 minutes.

Next Storytelling theme: NEVER AGAIN! (One of several suggestions made by Alison Bird.) Your story can be true or totally invented, serious or fun. It can be read or not. Tip: Prepare it before you come.

Raffle ticketing
At the June Trading Day, another new idea was introduced. For just $2, participants received a raffle/entry ticket. This gives everyone a chance to win something while also ensuring every participant helps cover the cost of hiring the hall. First prize – a brand-new shopping trolley (donated by Simon Cole) – was won by Elizabeth Shaw.
About $38 was raised, still not enough to cover the $50 for four hours, but significantly more than in recent months.  Do you have something appealing you can donate as a prize for next month’s event? Perhaps you could donate a specific part of your service, or some of your goods. (Good advertising!)

June Trading Day

Highlights of this day were a well-attended Q&A session (see related story in this newsletter) at 1:30 pm (a late start) and one notable trade: Elizabeth Shaw sold a set of small speakers to Admin for its computer. These will provide future background music and sound for video presentations.
Unfortunately, Anne Tennock wasn’t able to present her workshop on accommodation at 3 pm, but please look out for that in the coming months.

Northey St City Farm (NSCF) and Winter Solstice Festival

On the first Sunday of June, we started the first Sunday market information stall. NSCF have offered us a space every week ― free for the time being, because we’re a community organisation. Because NSCR is a member, any expenses we incur can be paid in Units.

At NSCF’s Winter Solstice Festival on Saturday 22 June, BrisLETS members staffed an information stall.
The NSCF Markets Manager, Simon Calcinai, is very kind and helpful.
We now have Admin’s laptop and Andrew Gaydon’s marquee stored there for easy set-up.

Please join the NSCF roster

We need an on-going roster of local members to set up from 7 am and sell the virtues of BrisLETS to market-goers. About two new members are joining every week since we started this promotion, so it’s working well.People who go to Northey Street City Farm are very open to the idea of mutual credit, (they are the “low-hanging fruit”), so it’s a great opportunity for BrisLETS promotion. If you can help on the stall, please contact Robert Vidovic (BLCE1434) who has volunteered to be our Promotions Coordinator.  [CLICK HERE]

Office Party – Tram Museum

The first stall at NSCF was held on Sunday 2 June, followed by an EOFY office party that Simon Cole (BrisLETS Chair) put on for those who have helped Admin. We enjoyed a hot curry lunch under the NSCF office jetty and then visited the Tram Museum in Ferny Grove.


Outreach Presentations

I will be giving two presentations to promote BrisLETS in July.
First, on Tuesday 2 July at noon: Substation33 has given me 10 minutes to pitch the benefits of mutual credit to their staff and volunteers.
Second, on Wednesday 3 July: I’ll do the same thing for the staff and volunteers of NSCF. They’ve given me a respectable 45 minutes to include a Q&A session, starting at 1 pm.
Come along if you’re interested. See the calendar on our homepage for details.


Changes to the Constitution & T&Cs

Where are we at with these proposals?
At the June Trading Day Q&A, we recapped the main sentiments that members voiced after the May Q&A.

  • Make Units more valuable and useful. (This means more traders and a wider variety of goods and services, some of which are more valuable.)
  • Allow more flexibility as to where our Trading Days are held. (This means that our Trading Days may not always be at the Peace Hall; sometimes they may be on the south side of the city.)
  • Pay admin and helpers in Units, but there is still some concern and confusion about how to do this so that it is seen as fair by everyone.

The June Q&A discussed the following points:

  • Membership renewal process and maintenance of the “active” list of members
  • Budgeting the association’s dollar and Unit accounts. (In other words, how to raise funds and what to spend them on.)
  • Visioning – BrisLETS’s values and objectives. (See the bullet-points in Section 3 of the Constitution.)

It is generally agreed that a team or subcommittee needs to form to oversee the changes, and that it is probably best for the next MC to set it up. When people are ready to vote, a General Meeting can be called.
In the meantime, discussions (only) are continuing online and in person, which seem to be helping deepen understanding of the technical issues and clarifying the direction we want to go in.


Other news

A Donors Honour Roll has been added to the Acknowledgements page on our website. This is a work in progress.

Another Admin laptop

Holger Averdick (BLCE1469) has sold a laptop to Admin for U100. This means we have two laptops – one for the Peace Hall, and one for NSCF Sunday Markets. Holger has installed a Linux operating system on this second-hand business computer. It will serve us well for browsing, trading, showing potential new members the websites and how to trade, as well as for presentations if needed. It can be connected to a mobile phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot. (See picture, attached.)

Admin mobile Wi-Fi hotspot

BrisLETS now relies on CES via the internet to record transactions. Admin has a laptop, but needs a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect it to the internet so that we don’t have to rely on CES. Until now, we’ve depended on various members’ personal phones and their goodwill. To free us up and enable a connection wherever BrisLETS needs one, we require a dedicated SIM card account and a mobile phone.

Fortunately, I recently received the perfect gift from a non-member: a used Ubuntu (read “free”) mobile phone that will serve very well as a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Management Committee has tentatively approved the purchase of a $1/month TPG 50MB data SIM-card account. This hasn’t been actioned yet, as we need to be certain the account won’t be charged more than $1/month without a warning, so we can turn it off if necessary.

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