Toodyaypedia, City of Canning, WoW2019, and the Pilbara
Launch of Toodyaypedia stage 3 in Toodyay Memorial Hall, June 2019
Toodyaypedia is a collaborative project between the Shire of Toodyay, Toodyay Historical Society (THS) and Wikimedia Australia (WMAU). It started following a discussion between the President of the Toodyay Historical Society and Wikimedians who were attending the Western Australian State Heritage Awards in 2013. The Wikimedians were invited to join a walk with the Shire CEO and THS members, to obtain and check GPS coordinates of the camp of Western Australia's notorious bushranger Moondyne Joe as well as a marker point built by John Forrest that is found in the more recently named Moondyne Nature Reserve.
Since then the collaboration has seen the creation of a Wiki Town using QRpedia codes, the first stage of which was to write articles on the heritage listed buildings. This was followed by the second stage which focused on some of the notable people from Toodyay over time.
On Saturday 29th of June 2019 the result of stage three, was publicly launched. It had involved the Shire engaging a local historian Alison Cromb to research and verify the information used for a trail booklet that had been created in 1988 during Australia's Bi-centennial year a trail through West Toodyay - the original town site of Toodyay now known as West Toodyay.
Alisons' research on the topics and places started to turn up some inconsistencies in what was written and what the official records showed. One them was that there had been two different Royal Oak Hotels built at different locations and that when the 1988 trail was created, their two histories had been amalgamated into one place. Another challenge was finding the original ford crossing point of the Avon river, which would help to locate the very early places built.
Significantly arising as an issue was the QRpedia software which having been utilised in the two earlier stages of the project had problems arising, as a consequence, both Wikimedia Australia and Wikimedia UK began working on fixing the issues.
From the research conducted to date, the Shire now has 3 large markers with brass plaques to be moved to the correct locations, another marker that needs to replaced by two markers. Wikimedia Australia and Wikimedia UK still some software issue to address, Toodyay Historical Society has a whole new perspective on the history of early development in the Toodyay area.
What started out as a small group of people some 6 years previously, has grown into a whole-of-town project.
The next step will be using the WMAU digitization kit, which is made available through the local Wiki Club West editing community to facilitate digitizing photographs, recording personal histories, and collecting and recording other materials from the wider community. The material collected as a result is collaboratively shared between the wikipedian locations such as wikidata, wiki commons and wikipedia articles, as well being material that can consolidate and compliment the historical society and shire's understanding of the resources that are available.
The collected information will help inform the topics of stages 4 and 5 of Toodyaypedia, and all the collaborators looking forward to celebrating 10 years of collaboration in the process.
Update:10 June: WMUK has been hard at a work and a temporary fix is now in place with all QRcodes working.
City of Canning
WOW2019 Keynote Ingrid Cumming, Noongarpedia
Over the month Wikimedia Australia's Western Australian branch in the form of Wiki Club West has been conducting a series of talks and workshop in the local libraries operated by the w:Perth, metropolitan City of Canning with the aim of collaborative learning about the history of Canning, and being involved with digitizing the City of Canning local history collection.
This project started when one the people behind the development of Noongar Wikipedia, (currently in the Incubator) started working at the City and wanted to continue with those efforts in whatever way was possible.
The next step is to conduct a series of training workshops where there will be digitizing of the collection and uploading material to Wikimedia Commons as well as telling the stories about the City of Canning.
Wiki Club West, and Wikimedia Australia would like to acknowledge the City of Canning for the enthusiasm in being involved in this collaborative project. The City of Canning kindly supported Ingrid Cumming speaking at the World of Wikimedia Conference in Sydney, and at the WMAU Community conference.
World of Wikimedia Conference
Participants at WOW conference
It must be noted that the conference being described here is possibly the first event of its kind in Australia, a specifically wikimedia related conference, where academic participants and the wikipedian community of Australia were able to be involved in a collaborative exploration of issues and topics that relate to the world of, and future of wikipedia.
Worlds of Wikimedia Conference was held at the University of Sydney in June 2019.
The conference had an interesting variety of speakers about various activities related to Wikimedia world. The opening night was a talk by Dr Martin Dittus from the Oxford Internet Institute, the talk explored visualizing online practices and some the ways it can be used to identify holes in knowledge and participation. The following day we were welcomed to country by Uncle Alan. A Welcome to Country is a common practice that has taken place for millennia that acknowledges the Indigenous country, elders both past and present, and aims to create a safe environment for everyone to engage freely. One of the keynote speakers was Liam Wyatt who had returned home from his adventures with GLAMwiki Europeana especially for the conference. We heard from Professor Jakelin Troy (a Ngarigu person from the Snowy Mountains area) who is working with Indigenous language groups in Pakistan with Adan Bhatti. Bunty Avieson gave us an insight in to her work in Bhutan and the use of Wikipedia.
Other speakers included Dr Carwil Bjork-James; Dr Toby Hudson on Wikidata; and Kerry Raymond on semi-automating article creation using freely-licensed Australian Government heritage records.
WMAU Community Conference participants
Following the WOW conference, WMAU held its first community conference in Australia, in facilities enabled by the organizers of the WOW conference, allowing the WMAU the opportunity to hear from members of the Australian wikipedia community. The WMAU benefited greatly by having the two conferences coincide, and is very appreciative of the opportunity that the University of Sydney organizers created for the community.
Pilbara regional libraries' meeting
On 11 June a member of WikiClubWest gave a presentation about Wikimedia to the Pilbara regional libraries meeting in Western Australia. This is an annual conference for people working in the public libraries of the Ashburton, East Pilbara, Karratha, and Port Hedland local government areas. There were about 15 librarians present, and lots of discussion about how to get the libraries more engaged online. They are considering setting up their own internal private cross-Pilbara wiki, as well as possibly a public local history wiki similar to the Birtwistle wiki. There is not always good internet connectivity in the region, distances are large, and the weather can be extreme (e.g. Marble Bar recorded their highest-ever temperature this year, of 49.3°C), so there are challenges with getting people contributing to Wikimedia projects. But there is a will to be involved, and a great wealth of historical and contemporary stories that are not widely known, so hopefully more partnerships will develop and we'll be see more of their content on Wikimedia projects.
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