Ada Initiative to hold first AdaCamp in Melbourne, Australia

Update: AdaCamp Melbourne is now accepting applications.

Conferences and workshops are powerful tools of change. As anyone who has attended this kind of meeting knows, bringing passionate and knowledgable people together in one place often results in new ideas, renewed energy and motivation, and action. One of the major goals of the Ada Initiative is to organize a series of meetings of women in open technology and culture around the world, which we’re calling AdaCamp.

There are several events for women within particular communities, such as the Haecksen miniconf in Australia/New Zealand, held annually at and attended by women in open source. We intend AdaCamp to be the next step: bringing women together to build community, discuss issues women have in common across open technology and culture fields, and find ways to address them. In particular, we hope to find out what common responses and resources are needed and how the Ada Initiative can contribute to them.

As Ada Initiative directors Valerie Aurora and Mary Gardiner will be attending 2012 in Ballarat, Australia, we intend to hold our very first AdaCamp the weekend before, as a one-day event on Saturday 14th January 2012, in Melbourne, Australia.

Attending AdaCamp Melbourne

Approximately 30 to 40 women will be invited to attend AdaCamp Melbourne. Invitations will be based on an open application process; that is, women interested in attending submit a short application, and attendees will be selected from among the applicants. Attendees will be selected based on leadership in open technology and culture, and interest in contributing to supporting women in the community.

Expressions of interest

Update: AdaCamp Melbourne is now accepting applications.


Who is the Ada Initiative?

The Ada Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the participation of women in open technology and culture (e.g., open source software and Wikipedia).

Our strategy for change is simple: Give concrete, straight-forward advice to willing and eager audiences. We focus our effort on programs that are scalable, reusable, and effective – for example, not just advising one conference on how to increase womens attendance, but writing a guide to increasing the percentage of women attending a conference, releasing it under a creative commons license, and incorporating feedback from organizers on an on-going basis.

For more, see our About page and What we do.

How much will AdaCamp cost? Will you offer travel or accommodation subsidies?

AdaCamp Melbourne will have free admission. We would like to offer travel and accommodation subsidies, if our budget permits. If so, these will be announced in due course. Not that it is very unlikely that we will be able to offer subsidies that will greatly offset the cost of an international flight to Australia.

What do you mean by a leader in open technology and culture?

We include activities like:

  • substantial amounts of openly available creative work, such as open source software and freely licenced educational or artistic works
  • project leadership or substantial volunteer community work in a open tech or culture project
  • involvement in outreach for open technology and culture, such as running programming workshops or photowalks or mapping drives
  • involvement in or leadership in women’s groups related to open technology and culture, like Wikichix, Geek Feminism, GNOME Women and so on.

How is AdaCamp Melbourne related to Oceania Women in Open Tech (OWOOT)?

OWOOT is a local network for women in open technology organised by local volunteers (of whom our co-founder, Mary Gardiner is one). OWOOT is not officially affiliated with the Ada Initiative and AdaCamp Melbourne is thus not an OWOOT event, but we hope to have lots of OWOOT members attend!

How is AdaCamp Melbourne related to the Haecksen miniconf at

The Haecksen miniconf is part of and is only open to delegates. It focusses on women in open source in particular. AdaCamp Melbourne is a separate event from, which does not require that attendees be also attending, and will focus on a range of open technology and culture communities.

When will there be an AdaCamp in my country/region?

Depending on funding, the Ada Initiative intends to run a few AdaCamps every year, likely shortly before or after major open technology and culture conferences. Watch our blog for other AdaCamp announcements.

We also hope and expect that other events and summits for women in open technology and culture will continue to be run by other groups: let us know if you’re running one and we’ll be happy to help you spread the word.

Will AdaCamp welcome both cis and trans women?

The Ada Initiative uses an inclusive definition of women”, including all those who consider themselves women. So cis and trans women are all welcome to apply.

Contact us

If you have further questions, please email