2019 Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. will be held on Sunday 24 November 2019, via videoconference, at:

  • 16:00 AEDT (NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS)
  • 15:30 ACDT (SA)
  • 15:00 AEST (QLD)
  • 14:30 ACST (NT)
  • 13:00 AWST (WA)

Zoom/Teleconference Information

The videoconference technology used will be Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 546 672 541

One tap mobile
+61871501149,,546672541# Australia
+61280156011,,546672541# Australia

Dial by your location
+61 8 7150 1149 Australia
+61 2 8015 6011 Australia

Meeting ID: 546 672 541
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abvNGxw6AT

For In Person Attendance

Members in Melbourne may also attend the meeting in person at the University of Melbourne, location information is to be confirmed. The board would appreciate if members wishing to attend in person could register their interest by emailing secretary[AT]efa.org.au to ensure sufficient space is available.

Voting at the AGM is open to all financial EFA members, regardless of their membership type, who joined prior to the close of nominations (23:59 AEDT on Sunday 27 October 2019).

If you are unsure of your membership status, please email secretary[AT]efa.org.au.

If you are unable to attend the AGM, you are able to appoint a proxy.

Meeting Agenda

The meeting will consider the following matters.

  1. Minutes of 2018 AGM
  2. Chair’s report
  3. Annual financial statements and auditor’s report
  4. Appointment of auditor for FY2019-2020
  5. Strategic Plan
  6. Election of board members

The meeting is anticipated to run for no more than 1.5 hours.


Minutes of Annual General Meeting 2018
Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc Audited Financial Statements 30 June 2019
Treasurer’s Report 2019
Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc Balance Sheet 2019
Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc Profit & Loss 2019
Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc Cash Summary 2019
Electronic Frontiers Australia Strategic Plan – Organisational Strategy 2019
Electronic Frontiers Australia 2019 Chair Report – year in review (slide deck)

Board Election

There are currently 9 members of the board.

  • Eliza Sorensen is stepping down from the board at the AGM;
  • Liz Williams is stepping down from the board at the AGM;
  • Steve King is stepping down from the board at the AGM;
  • Michelle Meares was co-opted for the board, and will be seeking re-election.

​Lyndsey Jackson,  Peter Tonoli, Shaun Haddrill, Justin Warren and Richard Prangell are the other board members, who aren’t in this years election.

There are five vacancies for the EFA board. The candidates are:

  • Alejandro V. Betancourt
  • El Gibbs
  • Rita McIlwraith
  • Michelle Meares
  • Tirath Ramdas
  • Matt Watt

Election Process

Members have been sent the electronic voting link.

As per last year, we are using Scottish STV as the voting method.(https://www.opavote.com/methods/single-transferable-vote#scottish-stv) Nominations have been received from the following members for election to the board:

As more nominations have been received than there are available positions, a secret ballot will be held to elect board members. The ballot will be conducted using the Opavote online system, as in previous years. 

All eligible members will be sent an email containing a unique URL, which will enable them to cast their vote through OpaVote’s web interface.


Peter Tonoli

Returning Officer

[email protected]


You are able to nominate a proxy for any votes at the AGM. The Rules of Incorporation state:


  1. A member shall be entitled to appoint in writing the chair of the meeting, or a natural person who is also a member of the Association, to be his / her proxy, and to attend and vote at any meeting of the Association.
  2. A member, other than the chair of the meeting, shall not be entitled to exercise more than ten (10) proxy votes upon any motion.

If a member has more than 10 proxies assigned to them, I will only be allowing the first ten received to be counted. I will allow members to nominate the Chair as a second preference should this happen.

As such, if you would like someone to be your proxy at the AGM, please copy the below text into an email body and fill in the appropriate fields. Add the final line if it is your preference.

Return it to the Secretary by 23 November 2019 by emailing to [email protected]

Note that there will be no opportunity to proxy for the election of Board members as that will be managed through an automated system which will send people a separate email. Members will have a week in which they can vote for the new Board members, so a proxy isn’t necessary.

2019 EFA AGM Proxy Nomination



a current member of the EFA, nominate


to vote as my proxy in the 2019 AGM of the EFA.

I allow the Chair to be my proxy in the case that my preferred proxy has over 10 nominations.

Candidate Statement: Alejandro V. Betancourt

Alejandro V. Betancourt is an Australian Lawyer and entrepreneur, with a Bachelor in Laws (LLM) and Bachelor of Arts (BA, Politics and History) from Monash University.

Alejandro has been operating at the intersection of technology and the law for several years. As a lawyer turned entrepreneur, Alejandro has developed a deeper of emerging technologies and an awareness of the rapidly widening gap between the technology, legal and government spheres. Alejandro has been active trying to bridge that gap, with a deep interest in how our legal rights translate to the digital sphere and how regulation can foster or inhibit innovation.

Alejandro’s professional profile can be found https://www.linkedin.com/in/alejandro-v-betancourt-9814212b/


My intentions can be divided into the following three categories:

  1. Organisational. Help the EFA grow substantially by modernising website and digital channels and focusing heavily on expanding the corporate memberships. I would like to target law firms (capitalise on the #legaltechhashtag) and tech companies that feel underrepresented and frustrated by certain government action. Aim for having a physical presence at a co-working space for volunteers, and even get paid staff to increase impact.
  2. Awareness. I intend to bring together technology, legal, and the general public and raise awareness of digital trends, relevant issues such as privacy, and the legal landscape. Would like to organise outreach efforts with universities, co-working spaces, digital campaigns, etc. I believe people ‘don’t care’ simply because they don’t know.
  3. Action. Lobby with government to protect privacy and digital rights in Australia while maintaining an environment that is conducive to innovation. I would go as far as creating a litigation fund and challenging critical pieces of legislation in the High Court if necessary.

Candidate Statement: El Gibbs

El Gibbs is an award winning writer on disability and social issues, who has been active in online communities for two decades. El currently works as the Director, Media and Communications, for People with Disability Australia, the national disability rights peak organisation, and is a former Co-Vice President of Women with Disabilities Australia. She has written for the ABC, The Guardian, Eureka Street, Croakey, the Sydney Morning Herald and many more.

El has worked in media, campaigns and communications for over 15 years, for non-profit organisations focused on social change and justice. She is motivated by a strong focus on inclusion and equality, and for disabled people to be driving policy and movements that affect them.

El is a disabled person with a strong interest in automation, artificial intelligence and other digital trends, particularly as they impact on disabled people. Disabled people are consummate hackers of a world that doesn’t suit our bodies, puzzle solving and building communities to solve problems. Disabled people need to be in the driving seat for reforms that affect us, building on the knowledge we have and the way we use that technology to make the world more accessible.


As a board member of EFA, I will be interested in bringing the perspective of disabled people to the area of digital rights, and highlighting the innovations that disabled people bring to solving problems, and using technology. I am experienced in media and communications, as well as organising, campaigning and governance, and have served on several boards, including Women with Disabilities Australia.

Many disabled people face a digital divide, driven by a lack of accessibility, cost and availability. At the same time, many new developments in automation and AI, particularly from governments, are being testing on disabled people, creating questions about privacy, consent and control. Automation, AI, and moves towards integrated digital services are often tested, particularly by governments, on those with the least, and with little regard to the needs of disabled people. Automation, for example in houses, is touted as being helpful to disabled people, but can by used to restrain and control instead.

Candidate Statement: Rita McIlwraith

Rita is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), Managing Director of cyber security company Paperdog Pty Ltd, Director at the Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF) and and an Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Security Consultant with over 30 years of global industry experience spanning across Australia, UK, Asia, and Europe.

Rita is also a keen supporter of community. Since 2007 she has been volunteering, producing and presenting a weekly literary radio program for the local community radio station, BayFM, and the National Community Radio Network. Rita does a monthly cybersecurity segment for Byron Business radio show, and produces documentary pieces for local current affairs and news based programs. Rita works with various community groups for positive change. Additionally, she is a qualified Yoga teacher and Somatic Intelligence Trainer.


I am motivated and committed to digital rights and civil liberties. As a graduate of AICD, and with my skills, experience and network, I can add benefit in not only expanding EFA presence in the grassroots activism, with a focus in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, but also ICT security governance and leadership.

Candidate Statement: Michelle Meares

I am a lawyer practising in NSW and formerly ran a website development business in the period 2000-2012 building websites, content management systems and applications predominantly for not for profit clients. I am a current EFA Board Member since June 2019. I have been a member of the Law Society of NSW Privacy and Data Law Committee in the period 2017-2019 where I am a member of the Facial Recognition subcommittee/My Health Record subcommittee/Artificial Intelligence subcommittee and the Surveillance Working Group. I have published articles in legal publications and journals about data retention, surveillance, My Health Record and other privacy related issues and appeared as a speaker at national/international conferences. I worked at the Australian Law Reform Commission on their report into Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Age. I have over 10 years experience in leadership roles on committees of national not for profit organisations involved in lobbying Federal and State Government.

Intention statement

I was co-opted to the EFA Board in June 2019 and since that time I have enjoyed working with the current Board and serving the organisation where possible. I would like to be able to assist EFA to achieve the important goals of the organisation and to work in shaping policy and legislation in this area and continue to raise community awareness of the risks. There is significant legislative reform in this area with limited resistance or scrutiny occurring. The crossover between law and the internet is a vortex of power which is being exploited by those who will benefit from controlling this space.

Candidate Statement: Tirath Ramdas

In 2008 I practically lived in building 72 of Monash Clayton, struggling to write up my PhD dissertation, distracted by YouTube clips like the one where the late John McCain proclaimed that the fundamentals of the economy were strong.

In 2009 I completed my PhD, in the midst of a widespread hiring freeze. After detours into academia, management consulting, and international development in Switzerland and Malaysia, I landed in London’s “Silicon Roundabout” to work for a Big Data technology startup in 2011. In mid-2012 I moved to Malaysia and founded Big Data Malaysia, a community of practice, to evangelise and advocate for proactive engagement with the opportunities and risks arising from Big Data.

Big Data Malaysia grew rapidly in terms of regular participants/volunteers, the core organisers group, and corporate supporters. Due to lucky timing, despite being unincorporated, we found opportunities to influence policy in various parts of Malaysian government, which we pursued with unpaid enthusiasm: e.g. I contributed to the government’s Big Data Industry Advisory panel, which was steering the creation of a national Big Data Analytics Framework, and with partners we successfully advocated for the creation of data.gov.my.

In 2014 I returned to Australia, in time to hear AG Brandis try to explain metadata, and we all know what’s happened since.

Presently, I run my own consultancy focussing on development of cybersecurity solutions. On most days I’m neck deep in C++ or Python. A concern that continually plagues me is that, if we don’t change course, one day software engineers may be viewed the same way investment bankers were in the aftermath of the GFC. That’s just one reason why I want EFA to succeed. The fundamentals of technology cannot be strong if digital rights continue to be sidelined.

I also have an interest in Australia-South East Asia relations. My research has been included in an ASPI report on Australia-ASEAN relations.

The accumulation of my experience has taught me to value and strive for operational excellence, active inclusivity, partnership, and transparency. I think these values could contribute towards EFA’s success.


EFA’s resurrection and continuing reinvigoration is a remarkable achievement. This hard-earned success shouldn’t be taken for granted. EFA should continue to prioritise operational resilience and efficiency. Keeping the lights on (including troubleshooting any remaining problems from the past) is vital, but it’s also important that keeping the lights on gradually takes less effort, allowing more energy to focus on the mission.

Regarding the mission, I’d explore different approaches to partner/network cultivation and empowerment. Partnership has risks, e.g. an incongruent alliance may cause an association to lose control of their own conference agenda, but if managed properly, further emphasis on partnership could create more opportunities for EFA to advocate more effectively. We have to go far, so we have to go together. EFA often collaborates on joint submissions, and this should continue, but more proactive partnerships that reach beyond the normal circles could place digital rights front and centre.

Organisational membership/regular organisational donors have a nice impact on the P&L, but I see that just as a nice-to-have that may result from more partnership emphasis. The main goal should be to find new ways to grow the digital rights tent, to include more voices.

Candidate Statement: Matt Watt

Matt has been a digital rights activist since being inspired by WikiLeaks and Arab Springs in 2010. Starting with couch activism via twitter, Matt’s passion for protection the privacy, rights and freedoms of internet users grew to activism on the street and involvement in digital campaigns and website development of multiple organisations.

Matt has been involved in CryptoParty events since 2012, which went viral around the world hosting workshops to encourage everyone to protect their privacy online using cryptography tools. Matt has hosted multiple CryptoParty events in Sydney, and pro-bono individual trainings for activists, lawyers and not for profit organisations.

Matt has worked in the technology industry for 14+ years, with a combination of electronic, electrical and computer programming skills. He is also continuously improving his skillset through university studies in mechatronics and artificial intelligence.

About my interest in EFA I care about the privacy creep that has been happening on the internet over the last decade, and I want to ensure that everyone can use the internet with the rights and freedoms they expect. In addition to being an active member of the EFA organization, I will use my experience of internet activism and knowledge of Australian privacy, internet and cybercrime laws to commit to working on EFA projects that will ensure the rights of internet users.

Examples of Australian TV appearances by Matt Watt on internet privacy in Australia:   https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/11863107729/cryptoparties-teach-privacy-to-the-publichttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98_K5YvwY08

The meeting will consider the following matters.

Skip to content