Geo Message (August 2011)

Welcome to the August edition of the ACT Region GeoMessage. This has been a busy month for our Region with our Annual Dinner and Awards night and our contribution to the 2011 Canberra Careers Market. Both are covered in this month’s GeoMessage so take time out to catch up on spatial happenings through the SSSI in the ACT and read on. We are also keen to receive your feedback on this form of communication so please click this link and email the Chair with your comments and ideas.


Inside SSSI

Committee News:

Our August meeting was one for the full Committee and was held at National Surveyors House on the 18th. Then issues discussed included:

As you have heard its election time again, and whilst the ACT Region Committee is not up for election, 6 of our Commission representatives are. At the time of writing we have nominations for one Hydrographic position and one Spatial Information and Cartography (SI&C) position. This leaves the two Engineering and Mining positions and the second positions in Hydro and SI&C. If you would like to join the ACT Region Committee in one of these capacities then we are keen to hear from you.

The next Executive meeting will be on Thursday 15 September and the next Committee meeting will be on Thursday 1st December with Christmas drinks to follow. If you have any issues or suggestions you would like raised please contact me.


Membership Renewals:

The new financial year brought with it a new membership year for all SSSI members. Renewal notices went out in June, and whilst most renewals have been received, it’s evident that with the hectic end of financial year some have overlooked the invitation to renew. The Office has now handed over the task of following up on these to Regions and a number of you will have received a reminder from me as Chair in the last few days. Your continued membership will strengthen our Region and contribute to your Committee bringing you more CPD and networking opportunities. With Liz Alder on board as our Regional Assistant we are well placed to increase our services to members here in the ACT, so I encourage you to renew as soon as possible to ensure that the opportunities that come to you through membership of SSSI continue.


YPs Ramping Up:

Matt Jakab is making progress tracking down our young spatial professionals in the ACT so if you are under 35 and keen to meet other YPs, contact Matt at These networks will be a valuable asset as you build your career. SSSI membership is not a pre-requisite, so if you know someone who would be interested suggest they contact Matt.



Vale Commander Gareth Cann

It is with sadness that I heard of the recent passing of one of our Committee members, Commander Gareth Cann. Our President and CEO have already noted Gareth’s passing with a fitting recognition of his contribution to the Hydrographic community and our Institute. To add to this I would like on behalf of all our ACT members and the Committee, to acknowledge Gareth’s passing and our appreciation for his role in supporting Hydrographic Surveying through our Region. Gareth had been unwell for some time and therefore unable to attend recent meetings; however prior to this period we appreciated his good counsel and contribution. I’m sure you will join with me in extending sincere sympathy to Gareth’s wife Sue and children Richard, Rhiannon, Sarah and Kathryn. Thanks to a committed supporter of our Region and farewell to a friend.



Recent Events

Annual Awards Dinner:

The Annual Dinner and Excellence Awards Presentation was held on 13 August 2011 at The Deck, Regatta Point.  Chicago Charles, a well known local guitarist and singer, provided entertainment before and during the event.  Awards were presented to Frank Blanchfield as SSSI Professional of the Year and Ron Jarman for Service to the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Community. Frank will go into the mix for the National awards at APSEA.


The guest speaker was Peter Bindon.  Peter is an anthropologist and is a Director of Australian Ethnography Institute, Pty. Ltd.  Peter spoke of his experiences in Western Australia.  Gypsy Bhalla, President of SSSI helped to present the awards and went on to encourage attendance at the Trans Tasman Conference in Wellington NZ in November.  She further encourage members to attend a dinner, yet to be organised, after the AGM in Canberra on 28 October 2011.  The AGM and dinner will follow our CPD event of the same day.  Once again the Annual Dinner was an enjoyable evening which will continue to grow.


Canberra Careers Market: 












Each year the Rotary Club of Canberra City, in conjunction with the ACT Government, stage a careers market in Canberra. In 2011 the event was held a the Australian Institute of Sport and included around 100 exhibitions and was visited by over 7000 students from years 9 to 12. In the past few years the SSSI ACT Region (or its predecessors) have taken up a both at the event, sometimes in conjunction with, or alongside ISNSW, and we did so again for this year’s market.


Over the past few years initiatives of organisations such as SSSI, SIBA, the Spatial Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC), CRC-SI and the Victorian Surveying Taskforce have responded the need for new entrants to our industry and have produced a number of reports and promotional materials to assist in building our human resource. With the assistance of Liz Alder our Regional Assistant and Noel Hamey (CIT) we were able to gather this together and present it in a way which we hoped would catch the eye of the many thousands of students who are bussed to this event.


The event was held on 3 and 4th of August and with the assistance of Matthew Jakab, Danielle Beaudreau, Aaron O’Heir and Gary Nairn we were able to offer ‘spatial’ as a diverse, rewarding and available career option. Our approach was at times relaxed and at others ‘hard-sell’ and its difficult to judge success given the numbers passing through. In future years we may diversify our approach and focus more on career advisors and selected teachers and schools. If you become aware of an opportunity to spruik our industry to new players, then contact Liz who now has material which could assist.


Upcoming Events

Twilight CPD:

Greg Ledwidge is planning our next twilight CPD event on Thursday 22 September. The program will include a Spatial Information 101 session and information on the GISP-AP Certification program. There are plans to include some pizzas after the session so that discussion can extend after 7.00 pm for those who can stay for a chat and a drink. The venue with be the usual room at ACTPLA (now the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate) and the cost will be $20.00 members and $40.00 non-members. You can register for this event on the SSSI online Events Calendar.


October CPD event:

This year’s October CPD event will dovetail with the SSSI AGM and an optional dinner. The preference now is to combine all events on Friday 28th , with the AGM following our parallel CPD sessions and the dinner following the AGM. There will be a Surveyor focused CPD day at ACTPLA and a parallel Remote Sensing and Spatial CPD event at National Surveyors House. This will be a full but varied day and evening, and a great opportunity to get together for both professional and social reasons. We are still gathering ideas for presentations so please contact Greg Ledwidge at Meanwhile put the dates in your diary.



We look forward to seeing you at our next event which will be the Women In Spatial Breakfast (yes all are invited) on 1 September and after that the Twilight CPD event on 22 September. Otherwise please let us know your ideas as to how we can better service our membership and the spatial community in the ACT.


Robert Twin




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