Press Release Software Freedom Day in Newcastle

“Socially responsible software” is how Pia Waugh enthusiastically described Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) on her recent visit to Newcastle. Pia was here as the president of Software Freedom International to kick off local celebrations of Software Freedom Day on September 20. In her presentations at Newcastle University she emphasised the personal, social and economic benefits of free computer software.

Pia was talking about the big picture in her talk entitled “Careers and Improving the World with Open Source” She spoke passionately about improving the world by getting great technologies to people who need them, and creating a well-connected global society where anyone can play and succeed. As an international speaker and IT consultant she talks at many conferences including to many schools, non-profit organisations and to Government agencies about why Software Freedom is so important in a world where technology underpins the basic freedoms we often take for granted, such as the freedom of association, or freedom of choice.

Pia herself is heavily involved in giving children in the Pacific Islands and remote communities in Northern Australia access to internet and other children around the globe, all with FOSS of course.

But benefits can be much more personal. Open source offers satisfying and well-paid job opportunities. Many large companies and government departments already use FOSS because of the security and control over their data that it offers. And they intend to use it much more which means that those experienced in FOSS are in demand across Australia and in the Hunter as well.

Then there is just the satisfaction of using free software for yourself. For many today, software is a major expense and the high-quality FOSS programs available for all operating systems (Windows, Mac and Linux), means the end to using pirated software. This was the case for Bruce Thompson of Lake Macquarie who was called an “honest pirate' by the local paper as he began his computer hobby with pirated programs but now uses FOSS and helps others to install it as well as organise the Toronto Software Give-away on August 31.

To reap the full benefits of FOSS even home computer users can contribute to the FOSS community. Users of FOSS programs such as OpenOffice and Firefox have directly contributed to improvements in the programs simply by reporting bugs or requesting features. On a more local level there is something good about reviving an old computer and loading it with programs, such as appear on the Open Education Disc, for the family next door.

LOGIN (Linux Owners Group in Newcastle) will be giving away and demonstrating the Open Disc, a CD full of high quality Open Source software for Windows and Mac, and the Open Education Disc (Windows only) for school students, as well as full Linux distributions at the Computer Markets at the Newcastle Basketball Stadium on Sunday September 14.

On Software Freedom Day, Saturday September 20, at the Community Space in the mall at the top of Charlestown Square, LOGIN hosts discussions, demonstrations and distribution of FOSS. The public are welcome to bring their hardware along to this event for help with installation and using the programs given out.

Contacts: LOGIN <needs updating> <insert here name, email, phone of person sending the press release>

For more information on Pia Waugh:

Bruce Thompson: email:

Software Freedom Day:


sfd08_press_release.txt · Last modified: 2008/09/01 15:12 by serialmonkey
Recent changes RSS feed Creative Commons License Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki