In April 1999, Jonathan Michaels, Carl Stern and Peter and Michaela Fackrell met to plan forming a FreeBSD user group in Sydney, and Sue Blake attended by telephone.
We set up a mailing list and started advertising on the relevant FreeBSD mailing lists. As soon as discussion started within the group we realised that we wanted to include all BSD operating systems. When strict rules were imposed many people withdrew from the group, returning to a new structure without rules and leaders but based on responsibility and cooperative effort.
The name was changed to BUGS, we advertised among the various BSD communities, and people started joining up.
Together we organised the first meeting of the group, at a Chinese restaurant. People arrived from all over Sydney and the Central Coast of NSW. We got to know each other over lunch before adjourning to a sunny patch of grass to discuss future meetings and how we wanted the group to work.
It turned out that between us we had, or could find, most of the resources we would need to run the group. Within the next few weeks we had a venue, a domain, a web site, a date and a presenter for the next meeting, and another five meetings sketched out in advance.