Nicole Murdoch is standing as a Demand Class candidate in this year’s auDA Board Elections. This is her candidate statement.
If you have any questions for her, you can post them below – or alternatively, you can email her directly.
I am Nicole Murdoch, and I’m running for election as a Director (Demand Class) of the auDA.
My reasons for running for election as Director of auDA are very simple. I was part of the 2015 auDA names policy panel, as part of that process I became interested in the decision making process of auDA and wanted to take part in that process and in auDA.
As most of you would know, the 2015 names policy panel members were appointed to discuss and comment on certain topics and one of those topics was whether domains at the .au should be open to registration. As the year progressed I became interested in why the questions posed to the panel were posed in the manner that they were (ie: in isolation) and I wanted to know why.
I was also interested in how auDA sought feedback from the Australian community at large regarding opening .au for registration.
My personal feelings on the topic is that we cannot answer the question of whether .au should be opened up without considering how it should be opened up and what the “rules of play” would be. To consider the question properly we needed to be able to consider the advantages and disadvantages of opening up .au for registration, and to consider those we needed to know the “rules of play”. I would have also preferred to see a more comprehensive community consultation than what was conducted.
From that process and considering what I observed from that process I made a conscious decision that I wanted to be part of the decision making processes at auDA rather than be an outsider questioning why certain decisions are made. I want to be part of the process of deciding how the .au release is implemented.
I am keen to increase the membership of auDA and the involvement of the community. Even if people are not members of auDA the community as a whole should have a say in how the domain space is administered. Ultimately it is a public good and is a critical infrastructure. As such it needs to properly serve the people.
My background is varied but I am qualified for the task. I have a technical background and learnt to program 31 years ago (don’t do the maths) when my father brought home an Apple IIE. I eventually became a programmer and the first website I built was built in 1998 for my mother’s business. From there I moved onto larger projects coding in PHP, HTML, C/C++, JAVA and SQL (Oracle and MYSQL) including working on the E*Trade (German) website and other e-commerce sites. I have worked as a website developer and worked in SEO.
I am now working as an Intellectual Property lawyer. I have served as a director in other companies and that background (and legal training) gives me some advantage in terms of corporate governance.
Because I am a lawyer and work in trade mark dispute matters, I am often accused of being anti-monetisation. That is simply not correct. I represent clients who are rights holders as well as clients who simply want to openly trade without intimidation from trade mark holders. I am keen to have the .au domain space used by the community and believe in monetisation of domains. But, yes, I say that there does need to be some fair “rules of play” involved.
My job gives me an interesting perspective on how day to day traders see the internet and the domain space. I see both sides of the debate on a daily basis. I am often told that it is “not fair” that other traders have a domain name my client wants. Then I see traders make massive investments in their domain holdings, not only to develop their websites but also to drive traffic to the domain. That investment should be protected but the rights of traders to trade freely should also be protected. There is a delicate balance involved and I want to ensure that everyone affected by potential changes to the current balance are properly consulted and the true ramifications of changes are understood. It should not just be domain holders that are consulted but anyone who would consider a .au domain needs to play a part. If traders are not entering the space then we need to look at why these traders are not entering the space so that we can address the issue.
Please vote for me as Demand class Director. I promise you that I will listen to you, especially when we disagree, I will ask you your views even when you are quiet and I will represent your views honestly to the Board.
You can read more about my background here.
If you have any questions on my where I stand, and what I want to achieve, then feel free to contact me.