Sydney CocoaHeads Policies

Welcome to Sydney CocoaHeads! For seven years we’ve been a community of software developers, focused on Apple platforms. Of course when we started in 2008 there was only one shipping Apple platform for developers (unless you count iPod games :).

In that time we’ve grown from attendees that you can count on one hand to three digit numbers, mirroring the growth globally in the Apple developer community. Our Australian CocoaHeads meetups have become some of the largest in the world (in the US, Europe and other continents growth tends to show in many smaller regional groups).

CocoaHeads, here and globally, is a wonderful collection of people from all sorts of technical backgrounds and all different parts of the globe. I want to ensure that we remain strong, fun, technically relevant, safe and inclusive. I hope we can not only be these things for ourselves but also as an example for other younger meetups. We are fortunate to have Apple setting such a great example, but our culture is our responsibility.

All our speakers, attendees, and anyone else taking part in CocoaHeads activities are expected to familiarise themselves with these policies. While these policies are open to discussion and change over time, attendance at any CocoaHeads event implies that you are willing to abide by the policies as in place at that time.

While the precise policies are mostly based on those of other groups (see credits below), I have tried to capture the existing culture and vibe of Sydney CocoaHeads. These policies are, of course, open to change over time. I am not the owner of Sydney CocoaHeads, merely the custodian. We do not even have formal membership, it is owned by you. Anyone who is a regular attendee can choose to be involved to the extent they wish.

It’s been an exciting seven years, but I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Mark Aufflick
Custodian Sydney CocoaHeads


This document sets out our values. We want new people who come into our community to understand our values and know that the people they will meet agree to abide with these values.


While we are a community of people in many different ways, often including friendship, it is also a professional community. People should be happy and comfortable to treat it as part of their professional life as well as, hopefully, their personal life. Everyone should feel completely comfortable to invite colleagues and friends to any of our meetings. In addition, we need to respect that the venues that host us are places people work, including some attendees.


We value respect for people, for community, and for society. This includes respect for the opinions, ideals and choices of others, for the communities which we create and participate in, and for society as a whole. It is vital that while we uphold our ideals, we respect the ideals of others. We obey lawful restrictions placed upon us, for example licensing and copyright law, to the best of our ability.


At Sydney CocoaHeads we have never been accused of taking ourselves too seriously. Professionalism does not exclude having fun and being a little bit silly. We are at our best when we are ourselves, but always keeping in mind the above respect for others.

More talent. Broader Perspectives. Better Innovation.1

Great ideas push the world forward. And they can come from anywhere. At Apple, we rely on our employees’ diverse backgrounds and perspectives to spark innovation. So we’re hiring more inclusively, choosing partners who make diversity a priority, and creating opportunities for the next generation.

Apple Inclusion & Diversity Statement

At Sydney CocoaHeads we too are making inclusion and diversity a priority. We’re introducing more open and inclusive processes, and specific programs to encourage all kinds of first time speakers. We want our community to be more diverse: whoever you are, and whatever your background, we welcome you. A diverse community where people treat each other with respect has more potential contributors and more sources for ideas.

Although we have phrased the formal diversity statement generically to make it all-inclusive, we recognise that there are specific attributes that are used to discriminate against people. In alphabetical order, some of these attributes include (but are not limited to): age, culture, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, national origin, physical or mental difference, politics, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and subculture. We welcome people regardless of the values of these or other attributes.

1. The title for this section comes from The Diversity Paradox by Rich Lesser, the CEO of The Boston Consulting Group. You can read their summary of diversity research in Diversity: Bringing the business case to life which, for those who need convincing, empirically shows that diversity and inclusion leads to: better financial performance; better business performance and reputation; better customer connections and market share; better innovation and group performance; and better and broader talent.

Code of Conduct

Be respectful

Respect yourself, and respect others. Be courteous to those around you. If someone indicates they don’t wish to be photographed, respect that wish. If someone indicates they would like to be left alone, let them be. Our event venues and online spaces may be shared with members of the public and employees of the venue; please be considerate to all patrons of these locations.

Be inclusive

All presentation material should be suitable for people aged 16 and above.

Any public presentation which is part of any event, including but not limited to presentations, lightning talks, recruiter/job position or other promotions, mailing list posts and forums, is subject to this code of conduct and thus may not contain:

Presenters are asked to avoid language which is not appropriate for an all-ages audience as much as possible.

If the subject matter of the presentation cannot be presented adequately without including language that could be considered offensive, this should be pointed out in advance, at the beginning of the talk and in the schedule.

If presenters are unsure whether their material is suitable, they are encouraged to show it to an organiser before their session.

Be aware

We ask everyone to be aware that we will not tolerate intimidation, harassment, or any abusive, discriminatory or derogatory behaviour by anyone at any event or online.

What does that mean for me?

All participants, including event attendees and speakers must not engage in any intimidation, harassment, or abusive or discriminatory behaviour.

Here are some examples of behaviours that have occurred at tech events which are not appropriate:

We want everyone to have a good time at Sydney CocoaHeads events.


Any time that you feel any policies, values, or standards of CocoaHeads are being broken, or any other conduct of speakers or attendees is distressing to you, you should always feel comfortable to report it, knowing that you will be taken seriously, and that it will be appropriately investigated and dealt with. There are a few different avenues for reporting.

All complaints made in any of these ways will remain confidential, be taken seriously, investigated, and dealt with appropriately.

Personal reports are always much better since there is only so much investigation that can be done without the ability to speak to the reporting party. When you report personally to any of the above people, please make sure you tell them if there is anyone specifically you do not want them to speak to about the issue. Normally the person you report to will discuss the report with other team members and/or the reporting mentors.


Together with advice from the Values and Diversity committee, the organisers of Sydney CocoaHeads may take any or all of the following measures:


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


The code of conduct is largely duplicated from the policies of Linux Australia. Some of the diversity policy was copied word for word from the Python Software Foundation diversity statement.

Further input came from the various policies of Ruby Australia, Geek Feminism Wiki and SydJS.