• The Open Council Data Google Group is an online forum for councils publishing open data or considering doing so, and is open to anyone, including the general developer community. Participants discuss standards, issues in publishing data and broader issues about open data.
  • For members of MAV Technology, the MAV Technology Yammer Group is another discussion forum, connected with many other council technology issues
  • Open Knowledge Australia is a diverse community of people interested in open data, government transparency, data analysis, and free exchange of information. It includes people from all levels of government, researchers, developers, and policy and GIS experts.
  • The OKFN-au mailing list covers a very wide range of topics, and is an excellent place to gain a much broader perspective on open data. There are frequent Open Knowledge meetups in Melbourne, and events such as HealthHack, Data Expeditions, Meet the Data Owners.
  • Code for Australia runs “fellowships” and other programmes embedding open data experts within government bodies including local councils. They were successful helping Cities of Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat publish dozens of datasets in the lead up to GovHack 2015.
  • GovHack is a huge event held annually in July in which small teams of developers, designers and digital storytellers make interesting apps, visualisations and tools using open government data. It’s an excellent opportunity for councils to discover interesting possibilities in their data, connect with the tech community and generate enthusiasm for open data.
  • In Victoria, the Local Government Spatial Reference Group is a members-only committee of council GIS representatives who meet several times per year to solve spatial data problems across the sector. Standards for open data have increasingly featured in discussions.
  • In southeast Queensland, Open & Agile Smart Cities Australia is a network of councils pursuing the global OASC priorities of open APIs, shared data models and open source open data platforms. It’s supported by the Open Data Institute Queensland.

For comments about this site, you can contact Steve Bennett by email, or on Twitter.