Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal Autumn 2009

April 3, 2009

From the Chair, Spatial Sciences Institute, Queensland.

Welcome to the 2009 Autumn edition of ‘Spatial Science Magazine, Queensland Supplement. In this issue, you will learn how your professional body, and importantly your fellow members, are preparing for the future and increasing the Institute’s services and value to you.

Volunteer Committees continue to grow
Our Young Professionals and other Committees such as the Spatial Education Advisory Committee Queensland and Continuing Professional Development Committee continue to perform and exhibit excellence in what we as a profession do and aspire to do. Our YP Committee is growing and demonstrating strong governance skills, working together to provide you with a program of innovative and friendly events. Their lively nature is contagious and brings to life our desire to network and work together to provide professional services to our clients.

Our Spatial Education Advisory Committee (SEAC Qld) is focused on tomorrow, ensuring that there will be others to whom we can pass on our skills and businesses. Indeed, the committee is actively developing strategies and projects to ensure that others will seek careers in our professional domain; developing informative and alluring posters to exhibit at universities; maintaining liaisons with the CRC for Spatial Information, other Institutes and Universities; seeking development of accreditation of surveying and spatial courses; and coordinating and fostering networks of those seeking scholarships, traineeships and other spatial support services.

As your professional body, the SSI seeks to keep you informed of the latest developments within your professional area of interest. One of the roles of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Committee is to provide you with a program of study so you may be positioned to make informed decisions on issues such as legislation, data initiatives, access and licensing policies, data quality and other similar national issues. For us to do this effectively and to your satisfaction though requires your involvement, we need you to inform us of your needs and where possible your participation in providing it to others.

Now that we are growing stronger we are also positioned to better serve our members. To this end the Queensland office is now providing administrative support for three more commissions – Spatial Information and Cartography (SIC), Engineering and Mining Surveyors (EMS), and Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry. The SIC Committee is already engaged in providing an important industry event scheduled for this coming May 2009. The ‘Innovative Location Intelligence Services for Business, Government and Community’ Conference will highlight how ubiquitous our profession is and how important it is for the wider industry to embrace spatial technologies to enable businesses, streamline services, and to stimulate the economy.

Your Regional Commission Chairs are promoting strategies that will assist in enhancing activities, events and information streams to better serve members of their commissions. We seek the strong involvement from Queensland members of the above commissions to participate in and contribute to the provision of these services.

Our Committees continue to grow and are served by diligent and committed volunteers, professionals and practitioners wishing to contribute to their fellow members – to you. I for one am continually appreciative of their assistance, and honoured to have them by my side. I take pride in watching our commissions and committees grow stronger and foster exciting and invaluable networks.

Should you be interested in participating in any of our vibrant Committees please contact the office on 07 3217 2566 to be put in contact with your most relevant member.

Communicating our Worth
The SSI and our co-industry partner, the Australian Spatial Information Business Association (ASIBA), have always maintained a strong alliance. Together we advocate the value of our members and what they provide to our nation.With our economy now slowing, it is an apt time to inform others of how we as a profession and an industry are poised to grow.

The CEO of ASIBA (David Hocking) strongly promotes the value of our Industry in Canberra, identifying how, unlike many other industry sectors, the spatial information industry is confident of its future both in the short term and further into the future. He says that much of this confidence is based in the vision that our Government has promoted; a nation built on innovation, skills development and a renewed commitment to building our national infrastructure. We of the spatial sciences have a natural ability and an existing standing in bringing this vision to reality.

We should all be keen to impress on others the value that the nation can derive from our technology in all its many guises. For instance, we are recognised internationally as one of the leading sectors for employment growth and an industry and profession that has helped to build Australia’s reputation overseas through its humanitarian work.

Our profession is one that has led the way in challenging the status quo on water and climate change; that guarantees a methodology for the reduction of carbon emissions without massive budgetary outlays; and that contributes significantly to Australia’s GDP. All achievements that will continue.

For those who attend our innovative CPD events, you learn of the exciting concepts that are emerging within our sector, from the way we use GPS to new and cost effective ways of gathering high resolution aerial and satellite imagery – both potential success stories. We are by no means an insignificant industry, to believe so is to ignore the wider value of spatial information and its technologies. The massive investments in spatial technologies by companies such as Microsoft, Google, Telstra, Nokia and others will ensure that our spatial technologies become part of mainstream business systems and consumer products into the future.

These are some of the insights that are of our industry, of our profession, we should be proud of what we have done, be aware of the value of what we do and be cognisant of what we can achieve into the future.

Q150 – Celebrating with Queensland
Our proposal to partake in the Queensland 150 Year celebrations was enthusiastically welcomed by the Queensland Premiers Office. All eight of our coordinated applications representing all 20 plus Towngroups were successful. This stong coordinated effort now provides us the opportunity to make a concerted Queensland wide promotion of who we are and what we do. The desired outcome is to raise spatial awareness within our communities and to provide recognition to those that helped build the communities within each of our state’s regions.

To recap, 2009 marks one hundred and fifty years of contributions of our industry to the economic growth and development of Queensland. The SSI Q150 project is now to erect a network of landmarks around the state depicting accurate GPS coordinates alongside information of our pioneering surveying colleagues.

In addition to recognising our forebearers, our objective seeks to occupy our young. With our children now enjoying pastimes such as geo-caching (modern day orienteering using GPS navigation units), this is an opportunity to both landmark our contributions into the future and outreach to our children, guiding them with our landmarks.

If you have any interest in supporting this initiative during 2009 please view the Project’s wikispace at http://spatialsciences.wikispaces.com/q150works and contact your local SSI Qld Q150 project organiser. Or else you may contact the SSI Qld Office (07 3217 2566) directly where you will be put into contact with fellow supporters in your area.

Looking forward
By the time that you are reading this article you will have received notification of the long awaited merger vote. Over the past five years the SSI Qld Region has grown strong in the solidarity of the professions that make up the Spatial Sciences and our commitment to one another. With almost 1,000 members we have demonstrated to all the other regions what can be achieved uniting ISA(Q) members and SSI members, we have grown wiser and strengthened our position in Queensland. Yet it should be remembered that we still belong to a greater family and we have responsibilities to ensure all fellow surveying and spatial science professionals can achieve what we have.

I write this report before the vote has been taken and I for one hope that the merger will be successful. That the efforts of the SSI/ISA Merger Working Group over the last year, and the now mutual desire for unity, has brought us the opportunity to complete the unification process that has drained so many of us since proclaimation of the 2001 Spatial Action Agenda. With a greater membership will come the ability to lift greater loads, to reach greater heights and to diversify more easily. It provides us with more opportunities than can be found in a small flock and it can give us fuel to carry forward even in these hard times.

What ever the merger result though, Queensland is destined to grow stronger. The directions set by your Regional Committee over the recent years has kept us prepared, providing us with strong liasions and representation with other Queensland entities so that our place in Queensland will always remain strong.

Additionally, your Regional Committee is well placed within the new merged entity. We have remained cognisant of what is happening in the other regions and positioned ourselves with representation on the new Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute Executive when it meets.

Let us now move into winter prepared to keep our home warm and welcoming.

Tom Taranto
Chair, SSI Qld

Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal Summer 2009

December 10, 2008

Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal Summer 2009
From the Chair, Spatial Sciences Institute, Queensland.

Welcome to the 2009 Summer edition of ‘Spatial Science – the magazine of the Spatial Sciences Institute (Queensland Supplement)’ and the start of a year to celebrate. In this message, as many of you are hopefully taking some well earned rest over the festive season and possibly contemplating your New Year resolutions, I would like to look back at the year that was and look forward to the year that will be.

2008 – A year of achievements for SSI Qld
First and foremost, my congratulations and appreciation to our staff and to our fellow colleagues who have worked so hard and volunteered their efforts and skills to make 2008 the success that it was.

Our Young Professionals (YP’s) continue to shine, hosting invaluable events such as the TSExpo for those in the education arena, the Emerging Spatial Technologies event which gave us all a glimpse of the technologies that lie ahead, and the numerous networking and social events that have provided both young and old the opportunity to be invigorated with the positive attitudes that our successors in the spatial industry embody.

Our Towngroup members have also held fast and continued to service those members in our outlying regions. The SSI Qld office recognises that living on the outskirts of the greater populace creates its own challenges and its staff are available to support these valuable members whenever needed.

I congratulate our CPD Committees and staff who have worked tirelessly to provide numerous events to both our membership and other spatial practitioners. These events provide us the opportunity to learn of the many new changes and practices that both bedevil and excite us in our industry. Your commitments to our profession provide us the opportunity to succeed in our workplaces.

I also thank our Commission Committees who are continuing to maintain the well-being of their Commission followers. Whether it be through monitoring Govt Regulations and advising agencies such as the Surveyors Board; developing Certification programs such as that by the Engineering and Mining Commission; or partaking the duties of the GISP-AP Certification Panel who I know have been deluged with applicants over the recent months – your support and commitment is what bonds us and gives us presence within the community. I also include the newly re-formed Qld Spatial Information and Cartography Commission delegates who are currently busy preparing for a significant Institute SI&C Commission event to be held in Brisbane this coming May, I am sure your efforts will be well recognised in the year to come.

Our silent achievers such as the Editorial Committee also have much to be proud of. Not only have they continued to assist those of us who submit content to this Journal, they have also been working with other SSI Regions to re-create our Qld Magazine into one that is now read throughout the whole Asia-Pacific. Special gratitude goes to Meredith (our Qld Regional Executive Officer) who has faithfully taken on the onerous task of coordinating this much bigger and better spatial industry magazine.

Our Spatial Education Advisory Committee have continued to provide input into shaping our children’s school curriculum. Hopefully in times to come there will be many graduates who desire to succeed us and maintain a sustainable spatial industry. The developing Spatial Industry Careers package, which has been progressed by the office, will also highlight to our youth the value of becoming a spatial professional and joining our throng.

As mentioned in the Spring edition, our Regional Spatial Conference was a huge success thanks to the exceptional efforts of our fellow SSI Qld volunteers Office staff on the Organising Committee. A special thank you also goes to the many Companies and Govt Agencies who have continued to show their support for the Institute through their sponsorships and desire to Partner with us. The outcome of the Conference was a positive budget that allows us to provide more services to you our members. Whether it be specific CPD events or representing your views to either Government or Industry, we are now on a stronger footing to provide these services for you.

Not all has been as successful as one would have hoped though. As your Chair I have learned an important lesson during the past year – we must always be vigilant and continue to strive to do our best. At last years Spatial Industry’s Gala event, the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA), our strong contingent of Queensland achievers were mostly outdone by our more western colleagues, my commiserations to those that came a close second place. Queensland can be proud of the finalists who went forward to the APSEA judging, and for the enormous efforts they put in to win our QSEA awards.

The lesson learned however, was that we must always be ready to put forward those whom we believe have achieved a betterment for our industry. We need to continually recognise our achievers, doing so invites others to achieve better and so put us in good standing for the next round of Spatial Excellence Award ceremonies in mid year. I encourage all members to think about those among them who do an outstanding job in their own field, and who support our invaluable network of spatial science professionals. They deserve your nomination for their efforts in future QSEA and APSEA events. Look about you and inform the SSI Qld Office of those colleagues whose work you have pride in.

The proposed new Institute
Over the past five years the SSI Qld Region has grown strong in the solidarity of the professions that make up the Spatial Sciences and our commitment to one another. Today SSI Qld maintains nearly a third of the entire SSI membership and is a significant contributor to the well-being of the Institute as a whole. Unfortunately fellow SSI Regions have not been so fortunate with unity of the professions as decreed in the 2001 Spatial Action Agenda. For them it has been difficult to provide the services that are available to you here in Qld. However, there is light. The efforts of the SSI/ISA Merger Working Group over the last year and the now mutual desire for unity has brought us the opportunity to complete the unification process that has drained so many.

Already a name for the proposed new Institute has been democratically agreed – the ‘Surveying and Spatial Information Sciences Institute’. To some of you, this may be seen as a step back, but to me this is seen as an opportunity, an opportunity not only to unite and grow, but importantly an opportunity to effectively promote ourselves to our communities and to outreach into other industry sectors. Over the years I have been all too often at pains to describe just what the Spatial Sciences are about. With a new Institute name that explicitly links the traditional and well known term surveying with the futuristic term spatial sciences, not only do we gain quick recognition of whom we represent, we also gain anticipation of what lies ahead within this thing called the spatial sciences. It is an opportunity to more effectively communicate the directions from which we have come and the directions which we see our industry going. It is an opportunity to both gain the respect from our communities for what we have achieved and the excitement from our youth for what can be achieved in the future.

The proposed Institute’s governance, finance and membership models have also progressed and formed our proposed structure. Mostly they take from what has been the success of the SSI and makes us stronger. I recommend you continue to provide input to the merger group on matters that you believe will progress our unity. Doing so ensures that the best can be achieved for all.

Not only is such a name purposeful for communicating to the general community and a Institute structure an important edifice for us to build upon. As noted in November’s Communiqué to Members – The value of a “Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute” will be recognised by a single voice to government, a single member of international associations and a single entity for service delivery to its members. The cost of unity has been compromise. The cost of non-unity will be the continuation of discipline based organisations who will continue to struggle to adequately service the breadth of membership within the industry. A strong and unified Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute will continue to grow and will be able to plan confidently for its future whilst simultaneously catering for the needs of all the specialties and disciplines encompassed by our industry. I personally fully support these statements and put to you the value of a strong professional body to support your views to decision-makers has significant benefits for both you and your staff, both now and into the future.

In the coming month you will be asked to vote on whether or not the merger should proceed. I recommend you put an end to this disunity. Whatever the new Institute is, it must be resolute in its solidarity.

2009 – A year to unite and celebrate
Soon you will be informed of the outcome of our proposal to the Queensland Premiers Office to partake in the Queensland 150 Year celebrations. During August 2008, many of you were actively involved in preparations for 2009, a year of celebration and promotion of our purpose in the Spatial Sciences to Queensland and the world.
To recap, 2009 marks one hundred and fifty years of contributions of our industry to the economic growth and development of Queensland. The proposed project, to erect a network of landmarks around the state depicting accurate GPS coordinates alongside information of our pioneering surveying colleagues, has now been submitted to the Queensland Premiers Q150 Funding body. A desired outcome of our proposal was to raise spatial awareness within our communities and to provide recognition to those that helped build the communities within each of our state’s regions. In the coming weeks you will be informed just how many of the Survey Marks and accompanying signage will be recognised within the 2009 Q150 Celebrations.

For those of you unaware of this proposal, last year teams of SSI colleagues, coordinated through your SSI Qld office and the Q150 Steering Committee, Chaired by Past Surveyor General Dr Neil Divet, worked towards the Q150 Proposal. In addition to recognising our forbearers, the proposal seeks to occupy our young. With our children now enjoying pastimes such as geo-caching (modern day orienteering using GPS navigation units), this is an opportunity to both landmark our contributions into the future and outreach to our children, guiding them with our landmarks. If you have any interest in supporting this upcoming initiative some time during 2009 please view the Project’s wikispace at http://spatialsciences.wikispaces.com/q150works and contact your local SSI Qld Q150 project organiser. Else you may contact the SSI Qld Office (07 3217 2566) directly where you will be put into contact with fellow supporters in your area.

A time to network

Issues within our economy may provide some of us some breathing space during the year. If you find yourself with some downtime, I suggest you take the opportunity to step closer to your fellow practitioners and professionals, to learn from one another, to appreciate our fellowship and to network and strengthen relations. During the recent G20 Summit hosted by the US President, George Bush stated how in similar economic slumps, protectionism, collectivism and defeatism are a constant challenge. I suggest it is no better a time to build relations, to learn how to work together, to become both more efficient and effective.

I suggest we should take the opportunity of a slowdown to build alliances with spatial practitioners in related industries such as the engineering and environmental sectors, not only to reach out to potential members but also to create recognition and awareness of our profession.

If you consider now is the time to reach out to others and have any suggestions on what can be done in your locality to achieve them, then either contact me directly or the SSI Qld office.

In closing, I recall a tested saying for when times get tough – ‘together we stand, divided we fall’. Within the spatial sciences we are privileged to have a number of intricately linked disciplines that are both fundamental to society and reliant on one another through our common chain of supply. We are privileged to have many other professionals with whom we can share our experiences. I, for one, say now is the time for us to unite and grow stronger.

Wishing each of you the successes you wish to achieve during this year of celebration.

Tom Taranto
Chair, SSI Qld

Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal Spring 2008

December 10, 2008

Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal Spring 2008
From the Chair, Spatial Sciences Institute, Queensland.

Welcome to the 2008 Spring edition of ‘Spatial Science – the magazine of the Spatial Sciences Institute (Queensland edition)’. Over the past winter the SSI Qld Region has been glowing thanks to the efforts of many of our colleagues. Now that spring is upon us many of the seeds of thought that your SSI Qld Regional Committees and staff have sown are beginning to sprout.

Celebrating our Achievements
Our biennial gala event, the Queensland Spatial Conference was a huge success thanks to the exceptional efforts of our SSI Qld Office staff and fellow volunteers on the Organising Committee, thank you to all. This year the event not only provided us the chance to learn and network with one another, it also provided us some surprises and and insight into where our future may lie. Held on the Gold Coast July 17-19, the Conference itself was host to over 300 delegates and another 250 who attended the adjacent pre-conference workshops. Surprisingly, this year the attendances were very different between the two adjacent events. Rather than our mainstay practitioners attending both events it appeared their priorities were more towards updating their skills and knowledge on today’s work practices, while those that attended the conference proper included attendees from industries that previously were peripheral to our surveying and spatial information sectors. The Conference delegate list this year included Principals in the Environmental, Engineering and Research sectors – could it be that our industry is now being recognised for its relevance in other sectors of our economy and society? Armed with the feedback from this years Organising Committee, the next committee will have some interesting ideas to consider.

In concert with the Conference was our Gala event, the SSI/ASIBA Spatial Excellence Awards function (QSEA). This year the Conference Dinner and QSEA were at Warner Bros MovieWorld on the Gold Coast. It provided an exciting networking opportunity that stepped us back in time. It also provided many of us the opportunity to get our dusty Bonny and Clyde outfits out of the closet and have some fun – which we did. I am sure that photos of the evening have been well circulated, possibly with “Wanted – Dead or Alive” scrawled across the top. But the amusement of the evening did not diminish the accolades given to our QSEA nominees. They were all deservedly recognised by our profession and industry for the excellence and outstanding commitments they have given. Congratulations to all our winners and thank you to all for your contributions in demonstrating the excellence that our profession and industry provide to Queensland.

Our young professionals (YPs) have also been busy. Recently they convened their own gala event, the 2008 Emerging Spatial Technologies Workshop. It, like its predecessor, was a great success. Over eighty attendees were provided the opportunity to get a glimpse of the technologies coming into our workplaces, providing new opportunities and progressing our profession so it can address the challenges of tomorrow. I, and I am sure many of you, thank those in the YP Committee for the efforts made to give us these insights.

Preparing for the Merging
As many of you are aware, the merger of the Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI) and the Institute of Surveyors Australia (ISA) has been a long time coming. Where Queensland has enjoyed an enthusiastic well-being through the unification of the professional associations (ISAQ, AURISA and RSPAA) since 2003, our spatial colleagues in other regions have not, as of yet, been so enlivened. At the recent Qld Conference delegates were given the opportunity to face the Working Group delegated by the relevant Boards to construct the path for the successful merging of the two entities. It provided a great opportunity for both our Qld membership and the Merger Working Group to better understand the forces at play. I am confident that a mutually beneficial outcome will be achieved in the coming months thanks to the Group’s efforts and the contributions of those members who have provided valuable and constructive feedback.

Already we have seen a myriad of likely new names for this new merged entity cross our pages. We have voted our preferences along with all those from the other eight regions that make up our profession in the Asia Pacific. Now we await the outcome on the short list of those that we preferred. Whatever the outcome of this naming exercise, I believe the primary goal is to ensure that we have a united entity that is resolute in its service to its membership, mindful of the expectations of other spatial information practitioners and committed to ensuring excellence in service by the profession to society. With eyes from other industries now looking upon us, we cannot afford not to be united and sitting under a common name.

In Readiness for Celebrating 2009
In the last months many of you have been actively involved in preparations for 2009, a year of celebration and promotion. 2009 marks one hundred and fifty years of contributions of our industry to the economic growth and development of Queensland. The proposed project to erect a network of landmarks around the state depicting accurate GPS coordinates alongside information of our pioneering colleagues has now been submitted to the Queensland Premiers Q150 Funding body. A desired outcome of our proposal is to raise spatial awareness within our communities and to provide recognition to those that helped build the communities within each of our states regions. In December we will learn just how many of the Survey Marks and accompanying signage will be recognised within the 2009 Q150 Celebrations.

For those of you unaware of this proposal, over the past months teams of SSI colleagues, coordinated through your SSI Qld office, have worked towards the Q150 Proposal developed by the SSI Qld Q150 Steering Committee. In addition to recognising our forebears, the program seeks to occupy our young. With our children now enjoying pastimes such as geocaching, modern day orienteering using GPS navigation units, this is an opportunity to landmark into the future and have our children guided by our landmarks. If you have any interest in supporting this upcoming initiative please contact the SSI Qld Office (07 3217 2566) where you will be put in contact with fellow supporters.

New Faces, New Ideas
Over the winter, many of our valued volunteers had to move on or reduce the workload that they carried on your Committees. I would like to personally thank those that have given so much and wish you success for your future endeavors. The response from the membership to fill these vacant places has been overwhelming. I am sure that with the new breed of committed volunteers we can continue on our path of success. I am also sure that this new blood will not only maintain the invigorating pace as experienced in the past but also proactively seek to map the paths we should follow and the services we should extend to our growing throng. Just as in today’s business climate being proactive is essential, and I am confident that we can continue to identify what is required to support and progress our profession (you) into the future. I look forward to our upcoming meetings to discuss and develop plans for maintaining our regions services to its members. None-the-less, we always value feedback, if you have thoughts on how we can better serve you, please inform us. If you see the need for a service you require to gain your maximum professional potential then let us know, contact the SSI Qld Office so we can register your thoughts for action.

The Institute’s partnership with others is continuing to grow. Queensland business units are now seeing the value of maintaining a professional workforce and for having their agency being seen as supporting their staff’s professional development through the Sustaining Partnership Program. Here, benefits flow mutually when employers and the professional association unite in the common goal of building the capacity of the spatial industry, encouraging career progression through professional development and being recognised by certification.

If you wish to learn more of the benefits of the Sustaining Partnership Program for your Agency or Company then contact either myself, the Qld Office (07 3217 2566) or the Institute Central Office (02 6282 2282) or visit the website http://www.spatialsciences.org and click on the ‘Become a Partner’ button.

Help us nurture our profession so it can grow and be strong.

Tom Taranto
Chair, SSI Qld

Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal Winter 2008

June 18, 2008

From the Chair, Spatial Sciences Institute, Queensland.

Welcome to the 2008 Winter edition of ‘Spatial Science – the magazine of the Spatial Sciences Institute (Queensland edition)’. This winter, our much beloved Queensland environs is to warmly greet a multitude of important activities that will realise a new era of collaboration within our disciplines.

Preparing for a spring blossoming
The merger of the Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI) and the Institute of Surveyors Australia (ISA) has been a long time coming. Where Queensland has enjoyed an enthusiastic well-being through the unification of the professional associations (ISAQ, AURISA and RSPAA) since 2003, our spatial colleagues in other regions have not, as of yet, been so enlivened. However, today the entire ISA Federation of states (Divisions) desire to merge and harmonise with the values that we have nurtured within the SSI. I am excited to see the renewed vigor that our SSI-ISA Merger group are now addressing the issues that have kept our two bodies apart. They are actively working towards solutions for our spatial industry to harmonise throughout the Asia-Pacific and provide positive hope for opportunities that will encompass the best of all our industry.

This significant initiative will for many of you not be noticeable. Here in Queensland, as the SSI Qld Chair, I can attest that the continued commitment of your SSI Queensland Committee volunteers and that of your SSI Qld staff will continue providing you with the services you both want and need for your professional development and success. Opportunities such as CPD and other networking and professional services which we have provided to Queensland members will only increase as we get stronger.

The merger initiative is more to do with the Institute itself and where its future growth resides. Though the SSI is strong and already very much united here in Queensland, our sister regions are still lacking the mutual support needed to sustain themselves.The SSI at present has over 3,200 members throughout the Asia-Pacific which is short of the 5,000 members that the Spatial Sciences Coalition team had anticipated in the years before unification. This in turn puts undue pressure on those supporting your services and inhibits the potential for growth that we have before us. Now, with the good will of our ISA colleagues, our numbers will extend past the critical 5,000 level and mark a new era in our industry. An era where our merged entity will be recognised as the common professional body of choice for all spatial professionals and practitioners within the Asia-Pacific. The new Institute will grow even stronger and deliver even more services to its entire membership.

The SSI-ISA Merger team are aware of the many issues keeping the bodies apart. As your Qld representative I have espoused your concerns to them and, over the coming months, the SSI-ISA merger team will be approaching you for your vote on the identified options deemed available. I suggest that you all take this opportunity to vote, it is a part of democracy that we should all seriously value and respect. In addition, the ISA-SSI Merger team will be at our upcoming Qld Spatial Conference where a meeting has been arranged for Saturday (19th July) lunchtime for you to have direct personal input into these important decisions.

A spatial conference to warm you during winter
As you are reading this Winter Edition of your magazine, many will be making their way to our biennial gala event, our Queensland Spatial Conference and this year its accompanying SSI/ASIBA Spatial Excellence Awards function (QSEA). This year both events are being held together on the inviting Gold Coast (17-19 July). Your fellow volunteer colleagues within the Conference Organising Committee and dedicated SSI office staff have worked hard with our related business association (ASIBA) to bring you these spectacular events. With an in-depth speaker program and an exhilarating social program, they are events not to be missed.

The YP’s have also taken charge of showcasing our industry to those who will hopefully succeed us in the future. In conjunction with the Qld Spatial Conference, our YP’s will be introducing our profession to School children and guiding them around the exhibits that will be in place for us during the Conference.

The Conference Social Program Committee has prepared exciting networking opportunities for you. Prepare yourselves to not only look into the future but to step back into the past. In close association with your industry body, ASIBA, the Institute has secured Warner Bros. MovieWorld on the Gold Coast to provide the Conference Gala Dinner in conjunction with the Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards (QSEA). It will be an exceptional networking occasion applauding those that are leading our profession while dressed in the theme costume for the evening – 1940’s, the gangster era. Get your Bonny and Clyde outfits out of the closet and have some fun. This will be an event not to be missed and will undoubtedly be remembered long into the future.

The 2008 Queensland Spatial Conference Program (including presentation titles) and online registration can be found at http://www.qsc2008.com.au .


Recognising our past into the future
By now many of you will be actively involved in preparations for a year of celebration and promotion. 2009 marks one hundred and fifty years since Qld separated from the then NSW colony. Over the past months many have been developing plans to have the achievements of our pioneering surveyors recognised alongside of tomorrows technologies. Teams of SSI colleagues, coordinated through the your SSI Qld office, are implementing our Q150 Program. A program to erect some 50 monuments around the state depicting its accurate GPS coordinates alongside information of our pioneering colleagues, raising our communities spatial awareness and recognising those that helped build the communities within each region.

With our children now enjoying pastimes such as geocaching, modern day orienteering using GPS navigation units, this is an opportunity to landmark into the future, the contributions of our professions to the development and economic status of Queensland over the last 150 years. If you have any interest in supporting this initiative please contact the SSI Qld Office (07 3217 2566) where you will be put in contact with fellow supporters.

Our commitment to succession

Ensuring that we have others to follow in our place is a priority for our businesses and our profession. Your Regional Committee is not only providing leadership to deliver our Spatial Conference, our Excellence Awards, and the Q150 initiative, it is also exploring new ways to effectively convert those from our communities that become spatially aware into spatial professionals.

Through the Spatial Education Advisory Committee Queensland (SEAC Qld), the various education sectors (tertiary and secondary) are sharing information and coordinating activities with the profession and industry. Our SEAC Qld team recently responded to the call from Education Queensland for consultation on the future planning of teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) into the school curriculum.

SSI Qld is also participating in the QSIC Education Working Group, assisting the involvement of the spatial profession through teacher networks. Your Qld office is focusing on preparing material to promote the values of becoming a spatial professional and our YP’s will be convening their own TSExpo, showcasing our profession to tertiary graduates and lecturers.

Congratulations to all those who are working on these initiatives to provide the opportunity to seed spatial awareness to our children and nurture those that will follow us.


As the SSI Qld Chair, I – and undoubtedly many others who are reading this message – wish to thank our committed volunteers and our invigorating Young Professionals (YPs) for their work in implementing all these important services and initiatives. With the enthusiasm and camaraderie being generated here in Queensland I am confident that the future of our profession will flow into good hands.

Actioning a strong future

The Queensland Region membership continues to grow, and with it comes the need to proactively map the paths we should follow and the services we should extend to our growing throng. In today’s business climate being proactive is essential. In this light the Institute needs to identify what is required to support and progress our profession (you) into the future. To successfully achieve this end we need your contributions, your feedback, and your thoughts on how we can better serve you. If you see the need for a service you require to gain your maximum professional potential then let us know, contact the SSI Qld Office so we can register your thoughts for actioning.

Identifying innovative services is not all that we seek. To implement these and existing services to a growing membership requires help. If you are endowed with a commitment for our profession and wish to share in the enthusiasm with similar colleagues then we both need and want you – many hands make light work and it is the foundation for valued camaraderie. Simply let the office know of your interests and availability.


The Institute is also seeking new ways in promoting the opportunities for others to support the work of the Institute. Here the Sustaining Partner Program is growing in support. Queensland business units are now seeing the value of maintaining a professional workforce and for having their agency being seen as supporting their staff’s professional development. Benefits flow mutually when employers and the professional association unite in the common goal of building the capacity of the spatial industry, encouraging career progression through professional development and being recognised by certification.


If you wish to learn more of the benefits of the Sustaining Partnership Program for your Agency or Company then contact either myself, the Qld Office (07 3217 2566) or the Institute Central Office (02 6282 2282) or visit the website http://www.spatialsciences.org and click on the ‘Become a Partner’ button.


Help us nurture our profession so it can grow and be strong.

Tom Taranto
Chair, SSI Qld

Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal Autumn 2008

March 18, 2008

From the Chair, Spatial Sciences Institute, Queensland.

Welcome to the 2008 Autumn edition of ‘Spatial Science – the magazine of the Spatial Sciences Institute (Queensland edition)’. This autumn, as many of you are mapping what surrounds us, others are extending themselves to bring you exciting news, events and activities for the coming seasons.

Increasing Communications

As your professional body, the Spatial Sciences Institute does more than represent your interests to decision makers and provide you the opportunity to continue with your personal professional development. It also seeks to continually inform you of what is happening in your areas of interests so that you are well placed to make decisions for your future. From professional journals to impromptu newsletters, your Institute is servicing you with many media outlets that provide you news of what is happening.

This Spatial Science Magazine provides you the news of your region and outside, covering both the light hearted banter and hard working efforts that we are recognised for. There are also the impromptu mailouts, newsletters that bring you the latest news for your area, keeping you abreast of happenings so that you can respond sooner rather than later.

The Institute’s biannual Spatial Science Journal is an academic peer reviewed journal that provides you the opportunity to have your works recognised both now and into the future, with editions lodged in libraries throughout the world.

Then there is the latest addition to our media network. The new official website to the SSI has been launched at http://www.spatialsciences.org . Our new website is one that may not look too different at the front end, but it is what lies beneath that provides the Institute the opportunity to effectively increase the services that matter to you. The new website is powered by modern technologies that provide effective management and authorship by both staff and contributors.

These new internet technologies also provide us the means by which we can open up the newly implemented membership database to you so that you can securely tend to your personal and professional details online.


Then there is the Institute’s wikispace, http://spatialsciences.wikispaces.com , an online website that provides you the opportunities to connect with others, to discuss matters of common interest, and to collaboratively author documents.


Today, the SSI is providing you the communication services that are world class, and it is continually looking into increasing its worth to you as our industry moves into the future.


A new dawn

The recent WALIS Forum 2008, put on by the WA Government Land Information Section, highlighted the renewed intensity that our professions are being recognised for, a renewed recognition of the important contributions that our industry provides to our nation. The Forum, similar in format to our own Qld Spatial Conference, attracted a record number of attendees. Some 820 delegates attended the Forum to learn from, and network with, fellow spatial science professionals. It was a truly successful event and one that demonstrates the interests that our professions are generating in this 21st century.

Here in our homeland state, your fellow volunteer colleagues and dedicated SSI office staff are working hard to bring you similar successful stories. The next major event on our calendar is our Queensland Spatial Conference, to be held on the Gold Coast on 17-19 July. With an in-depth education program and an exhilarating social program, it is an event not to be missed.


The Conference Program Committee have reviewed a record number of abstracts that were seamlessly submitted and managed using today’s online technologies and have published their efforts to the website.


And the Conference Social Program Committee has prepared exciting networking opportunities. Prepare yourselves to not only look into the future but to step back into the past. In close association with your industry body, ASIBA, the Institute has secured Warner Bros. MovieWorld on the Gold Coast to provide the Conference Gala Dinner in conjunction with the Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards (QSEA). It will be an exceptional networking occasion applauding those that are leading our profession while dressed in the theme costume for the evening – 1940’s, the gangster era. Get your Bonny and Clyde outfits out of the closet and have some fun. This will be an event not to be missed and will undoubtedly be remembered long into the future.


The 2008 Queensland Spatial Conference Program and online registration can be found at http://www.qsc2008.com.au .


Recognising your worth

A major initiative of the Institute is to provide you the opportunity to have your professionalism officially recognised by your peers and for businesses to be seen as employing professional staff. The SSI Certification Program provides you the opportunity to gain Certification through assessment of a combination of academic and vocational achievements. Certification can be attained at either the General or Specialised levels. While the General Certification simply identifies your professionalism of any discipline, the Specialised Certification is related to a specific spatial discipline.

Each Commission has formally developed their own Certification requirements. Ranging from recognition of long term service to the requirement to hold a four year university degree.


Last year the Spatial Information and Cartography Commission launched their Specialisation Certification documentation (GISP-AP). It recognises that individuals with Tertiary tickets and diplomas, but with extensive work experience, are deemed just as professional as those with a four year degree and with limited work experience.


Please be aware that the “cut-off date” for GISP-AP Certification via the 10 year “Long Term Practice Provision” is 31 December 2008. Also, that similar ‘educational’ cut-off-dates may be introduced in the future as the Institute moves forward securing itself and the future of our professions through mergers with other professional associations.


The
Engineering and Mining Specialised Certification is now in final draft and being reviewed by Institute and industry representatives throughout the Asia-Pacific. At this stage it is similar to that of the GISP-AP, providing those of varying academic and vocational achievement to be formally recognised. If you wish to learn more of this effort, contact the Qld Regional Engineering and Mining Commission Chair through the SSI Qld Office (07) 3217 2566.

The status for the Remote Sensing, Land Surveying and Hydrographic Commission Specialisation Certifications can also be found either on the website or by contacting the Regional Office.


Commitment to your learning and the future

Queensland’s extensive continuing professional development program – indeed that of the entire Institute – is in the process of being substantially expanded. The Institute is currently working in collaboration with the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRC-SI) to provide on-line educational packages. These online services will provide locational equality for those in remote locations. It will provide the opportunity to continue your professional development at your leisure and independent of whether you are in the big smoke or out in the bush. Yet another service that your dedicated SSI staff and committed volunteers have worked hard to secure for you. My congratulations to all those involved.

Indeed, those in our greater outlying areas are being well serviced by committed colleagues. The Northern and Central Groups, in support with their network of Town Groups continue to provide their members with the opportunity to attend their own conferences. I am sure that these hardy events will be enthusiastically attended. Though online education provides ease of access, nothing can be more informative or rewarding as that which is gained during a social occasion with fellow colleagues.


Through the Spatial Education Advisory Committee Queensland (SEAC Qld), the various education sectors (tertiary and secondary) are sharing information and coordinating activities with the profession and industry. Our SEAC Qld team recently responded to the call from Education Queensland for consultation on the future planning of teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). SSI Qld also participated in the QSIC Education Working Group, assisting in the involvement of the spatial profession through the teacher networks. Congratulations to those who have worked on these initiatives to provide the opportunity to seed spatial awareness to our children and those that will follow.


Other teams are also coordinating the Q150 Program, collating ideas and putting together material in preparation of the Queensland sesquicentenary (150 year) celebration. It has been recognised that the contributions of our professions to the development and economic status of Queensland over the last 150 years has been substantial and that the Q150 Celebrations are an opportunity to inform others of our works. If you have any interest in supporting this initiative please contact the Qld Office.

Our YP’s (Young Professionals) are ever full of vigour and enthusiasm. They continue to coordinate networking events that bring both members and non-members together and to share our knowledge and enthusiasm for the profession. The upcoming ‘Speed dating’ event which matches young enthusiastic professionals with experienced ‘older’ mentors will undoubtably be as successful as earlier events.

The YP’s have also taken charge of showcasing our industry to those who will hopefully succeed us in the future. In conjunction with the the Qld Spatial Conference, our YP’s will be introducing our profession to School children and guiding them around the exhibits that will be in place for us during the next Conference. Following the Conference the YP’s will also be convening their own TSExpo, showcasing our profession to tertiary graduates and lecturers.


As the SSI Qld Chair, I – and undoubtedly many others who are reading this message – wish to thank the Young Professionals and our other committed volunteers for their work in bringing all these services and initiatives to you. With the enthusiasm and camaraderie being generated here in Queensland I am confident that the future of our profession will flow into good hands.


Help map the growing force

The Queensland Region membership continues to grow, and with it comes the need to proactively map the paths we should follow and the services we should extend to our growing throng. In today’s business climate being proactive is essential. In this light the Institute needs to identify what is required to support and progress our profession (you) into the future. To successfully achieve this end we need your contributions, your feedback, and your thoughts on how we can better serve you. If you see the need for a service you require to gain your maximum professional potential then let us know, contact the SSI Qld Office so we can register your thoughts for actioning.

Identifying innovative services is not all that we seek. To implement these and existing services to a growing membership requires help. If you are endowed with a commitment for our profession and wish to share in the enthusiasm with similar colleagues then we both need and want you – many hands make light work and it is the foundation for valued camaraderie. Simply let the office know of your interests and availability.


The Institute is also seeking new ways in promoting the opportunities for industry and government to support the work of the Institute. Here the Sustaining Partner Program is growing in support. The Qld Main Roads Department is the latest in a succession who have identified the priority of maintaining a professional workforce and for having their agency being seen as supporting staff. Benefits flow mutually when employers and the professional association unite in the common goal of building the capacity of the industry, encouraging career progression through professional development and being recognised by certification.


If you wish to learn more of the benefits of the Sustaining Partnership Program for your Agency or Company then contact either myself, the Qld Office (07 3217 2566) or the Central Office (02 6282 2282) or visit the website http://www.spatialsciences.org and click on the ‘Become a Partner’ button.


Help us map our professions so it can evolve and be seen. As the ancient mariners who had discovered the Galapagos Islands (Charles Darwin’s origin of the Origin of Species) had once held true – ‘if it is not mapped, then it does not exist’.

Tom Taranto
Chair, SSI Qld

Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal Jan08

December 7, 2007

From the Chair, Spatial Sciences Institute Queensland.

Welcome to the January 2008 edition of ‘Spatial Science – the magazine of the Spatial Sciences Institute (Queensland edition)’. As the returning SSI Queensland Chair I hope that your festive season was a joyous one and that your new year resolutions are still intact.

2007 – a year of growth, new communications and changes
Last year was a busy year that saw continued growth and proactive changes thanks to the committed efforts of fellow colleagues and staff of your professional body, the Spatial Sciences Institute Queensland Region. It was a year that continued to see the Queensland region grow from strength to strength. Membership over the year passed the 900 mark. As of December 2007 Queensland membership was at 926 which is over a quarter of the Institute’s entire membership. Much of this consistent growth can be credited to the efforts of our young professionals (YPs) and committed colleagues who continue to reach out into their communities and forge new lasting relations with allied professionals.

Communication
The previous edition of this magazine was its inaugural release. The new format publication was seen to complement the new makeup of our profession, one where not only are our disciplines united but also our regions. The new publication replaced the many independent state based magazines and newsletters that were being published. It builds on those publications to unite us in our common interests, sharing knowledge across the whole membership and providing a rich source of information for all.

The new Institute magazine was well received by all regions. Some regions who previously were only provided news in digital format, now welcome the opportunity to be provided their industry news also in hardcopy, a format that your Queensland office has always aspired to provide. Indeed Queensland has been recognised as a leader, both setting the format, and coordinating the capture of content for this impressive magazine.

During the year there has also been a steady growth and appreciation of the other communication technologies which the Institute has embraced to foster communication. The Institute’s Wikispaces ( http://spatialsciences.wikispaces.com) is seeing increased use by both spatial professionals and para-professionals (those in allied vocations), both members and non-members, who are sharing thoughts on issues of common interest and who are enjoying the freedom of being able to discuss freely over their own website. If you wish to personally establish a special interest group or other discussion forum, simply contact the SSI Qld office (07 3217 2566) to have your own area established on the wikispace.

A Busy Year
2007 was a busy year, with Regional Committee meetings focussed on policy discussions for Governance, Competition (internal and External), Culture, Budget, Regional Rules, Town Group communication, Membership, SSI Relationships, the Sustaining Partner Program, and Succession Planning. The Queensland Region also reviewed the SSI Strategic Plan, ensuring its goals and actions were aligned with that of the Institute.

Our capable CPD Committee and Office staff were also very busy planning 12 events throughout the region which covered a broad spectrum of spatial disciplines; the Central and Northern Groups of SSI held very successful sub-regional conferences in April, May and October 2007; and both SSI Queensland and ASIBA successfully hosted the third Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards in August 2007, showcasing the excellence that our industry offers. Thank you to the CPD Committee, our office staff and other volunteers whose efforts have provided such valued services for our community.

Similarly, I thank those who have continued to serve our interests acting as SSI Queensland Regional representatives on the ASIBA Regional Management Group, the Spatial Education Advisory Commiittee (SEAC Qld), the Qld Spatial Information Council (QSIC), the QSIC Education Working Group and the Bicentennial Education Foundation Advisory Committee.

The YP Committee, those young professionals who continue to enthuse and inspire us with their vitality, had a very active year with their main focus on promoting spatial careers. They hosted a successful Tertiary Studies Expo stall in August 2007, where they exhibited spatial software, technical equipment, and held a catchy competition to give out a donated prize. They maintained an active meetings and social calendar, attracting many new YP members, and hosted several successful CPD events for the wider audience. YP events included a speed networking event and the ‘Emerging Spatial Technologies’ workshop, which attracted 110 registrants. The YPs have now also gained a seat as an observer at ASIBA meetings, creating a strong link between the YPs and the industry.

Changes
Last year was also a year of changes, besides the new Institute communication processes, 2007 saw the retirement of many who have steadfastly served you. We now have a new Chief Executive Officer based in Canberra. Dennis Puniard now replaces Jim Connolly who retired at Xmas to enjoy a more relaxing life on the southern NSW coastline. Dennis joins us with highly regarded skills evidenced in his past government Executive roles, his commitment to forming the Spatial Sciences Institute through the 2001 Spatial Action Agenda, and in his professional leadership of Australia’s Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry sector.

It was also a year that saw the retirement of some of your representatives on the Regional and other Committees. Some of the committed volunteers who represented your interests and helped direct the goals of the Queensland Office have moved to the sidelines (for some R&R). I thank those outgoing representatives, your contributions to the Queensland committees and workgroups have seen the region continue on its growth curve and be highly regarded by other regions throughout the Asia-Pacific. The vacancies have now provided the opportunity for new faces to enter and invigorate our services. I welcome the new committee members, members whose fresh ideas and contributions will be valued as we continue to better serve the membership.

2008 – A year of further growth and excitement
During 2008 the SSI Qld Region will focus on hosting yet another successful regional conference and to showcase another Spatial Excellence Awards evening, while also placing a priority on enlisting new Sustaining Partners and enlarging its membership base. It will look to the future and continue to achieve goals under the Institute’s Strategic Plan 2007- 2010, while operating under the governance policies adopted under the Regional Rules. 2008 is destined to be a year of ongoing successes, growth and vitality.

Queensland Spatial Conference 2008
The Queensland Spatial Conference 2008 Committee welcomes participation by all people with spatial industry related interests, including those working or studying in the disciplines of land surveying, remote sensing and photogrammetry, hydrography, engineering and mining surveying, cartography and spatial information. This is also the premier event for land surveyors for 2008 and is endorsed and supported by the Institute’s Land Surveying Commission. The Conference will be held at the Holiday Inn Surfers Paradise from 17-19 July 2008, a setting appropriate for the networking environment that the Institute values so much. The spatial sciences are changing rapidly and conferences such as this are vital to ensuring we keep up to date with these changes. The technical programme has been structured to provide quality education and development – and the social programme is one not to be missed!

The Conference theme of “Global Warning: What’s Happening In Paradise?” gives presenters scope to address the changes relevant
to our industry. Our own ‘Paradise’, like many other regions throughout Australia, is under stress from drought, intensive development,
population increase, effects of sea level change and other factors associated with global warming/climate change. Like-minded
professionals are contributing innovative spatial solutions to these and other challenges across the Asia Pacific Region, in areas
of water resources, agriculture, land development, environmental management, emergency services, infrastructure, transport and
marine biology. As spatial professionals, we are employing leading edge technologies and methodologies in mapping, surveying, GIS,
remote sensing and photogrammetry to address the impacts of climate change. The conference provides the opportunity for us all to share and learn.

I invite you to share your innovative ideas, facts and solutions to ensure a solid foundation is formed that will
provide direction for future decisions affecting the environment, our way of life and climate change. Be sure to visit the website (http://www.QSC2008.com.au) and mark your calendars to be apart of this premier event.

Looking to the future
The Spatial Education Advisory Committee of Queensland (SEAC Qld) continues to provide an important coordination role in education for the tertiary, professional, government, and industry sectors – preparing our sectors for the future. In November (2007) SEAC assisted our Regional Executive Officer to draft a response to the Qld Department of Education, Training and Arts: Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM) 10 Year Education Project Plan. It is a long term plan to increase participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics study and careers, from primary school to university and beyond, preparing students to develop skills relevant to careers such as the Spatial Sciences. A valued contribution that looks to the future.

Sustaining Partners
In closing this message I would like to thank the many regional, national and international companies that see the value in maintaining a professional organisation such as our own. The Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI) is an organisation that represents the interests of the spatial information community to decision-makers, that upholds a code of conduct which is in keeping with the demands of our vibrant industry, and seeks to provide services for a community recognised as a major player in the development of the nation’s economy.

A recently released economic study is entitled: “Spatially Enabling Australia, a Vision for the Future of the Spatial Information Industry”. This unique study states the substantial contributions that our industry makes to Australia’s GDP, that capacity building in the SI&T industry is needed to continue growth, and that amongst other findings, our industry plays a significant role in the new emerging markets such as climate change. The study then outlines recommendations to ensure Australia remains a leader with respect to SI&T (See article in this edition).

It is this recognition of the strategic importance of our industry for policy, planning and operational activities which touch on all aspects of the way people and communities live, this is driving governments around the world to invest in the skilling of the workforce and the development of policies that will ensure the viability and growth of the (spatial) industry.

With Government and Industry Partners supporting the Institute, the SSI will continue to provide the services that enable the spatial profession to be recoginised for its leadership and unique contributions to all sectors of the economy.

Tom Taranto
Chair SSI Qld

Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal September07

August 27, 2007

From the Chair

Welcome to the September 2007 inaugural edition of ‘Spatial Science – the magazine of the Spatial Sciences Institute (Queensland edition)’. The much respected Position magazine has not been lost. Members will continue to receive Position Magazine but the articles and social elements pertinent to your region and peer groups will now be incorporated within this new magazine.

An era of communication
Your profession is in high demand and its reach is growing as quickly as your professional body. The Institute was established in 2003 in answer to the Commonwealth Spatial Action Agenda, an agenda that saw the then five independent professional bodies representing those involved in surveying, cartography, remote sensing and spatial information systems unite to form the Spatial Sciences Institute. Since then there has been a steady growth in numbers, particularly from new graduates seeing the advantages of an association that covers the many spheres of interest that todays spatial professionals work within.

The new format of our publication heralds an era of communication that complements the new makeup of our profession, one where not only are our disciplines united but also our regions. This new publication replaces the many independent state based magazines and newsletters that were being published to our common membership, it unites its readers in our common interests and shares knowledge across the whole membership, thus providing a rich source of information to share and deliver to a larger audience.

Though this new publication is designed to reach all our peers across the Institute, much is still the same in its community approach to sharing social interaction – a valued element that makes the Institute what it is. Within the new magazine, each region has its opportunity to provide its community ‘insert’, an area where news and information that is relevant and important to the mutual bonding within the region is published. So, though much is new, much is still the same for us in Queensland, a magazine that provides both news of industry movements and joy of mutual friendship.

The Institute is not only involved in changing with the times when it comes to its publication formats, it is embracing the new technologies that foster communication. The Institute’s Wikispaces ( http://spatialsciences.wikispaces.com) are seeing increasing use by both spatial professionals and para-professionals (those in allied vocations), both members and non-members, who are sharing thoughts on issues of common interest and who are enjoying the freedom of being able to discuss freely over their own website.

The proof is in the pudding
Certification gained from your peers is both fulfilling and rewarding. Not only does it provide recognition of your professional knowledge and skills, it provides a benchmark by which employers can rate their staff.

Our sister organisation in the US (URISA) has recently published its Salary Report which highlights that Certified GISP’s receive over 15% higher salaries than non-certified spatial professionals. It is no wonder then that more than half the US respondents noted their intent to seek Certification within the next three years.

Those who have taken advantage of the Institute’s General and/or GISP-AP Certifications should in future be rewarded with like recognition. In an environment such as we have today, where the skills shortage is forcing employers to take on staff of questionable ranking, the Institutes Certification Scheme offers much to both employers and spatial industry professionals alike. To service this need the Institute is now well on the way to provide recognition for both Land Surveying Certification and Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Certification.

Creating tomorrows workforce
Jon Fairall (Editor, Position Magazine) is highly regarded in his editorials on our industry and he has been quick to identify that our young surveyors have increased their rates of pay markedly. Much of this is due to the current skills shortage which is impacting negatively for the companies that rely on a skilled workforce. The Institute, as one of the four pillars of the spatial sciences, is working on many initiatives to address this skills shortage.

One of these important initiatives is to formally recognise the courses being offered to students and the general workforce. The Institute has recently appointed an Accreditation panel whose role it will be to ascertain the fitness of courses for the needs of our professionals, today and tomorrow. It is no small task but its rewards are many, providing the opportunity to re-invent the spatial professional as a leader within our society, ‘re-birthing the surveyor as an honourable brand’.

Promoting our place
The energy and enthusiasm of our YPs is infectious. The recent Tertiary Studies Expo that they held made many attendees aware of who we are and what we do. The individual promotion of the Institute by simply wearing SSI name badges, reference of association in bios and highlighting the Institute values carried far. With the use of high technology to showcase our many disciplines, the public were often spellbound by our specialised field of knowledge with its rich diversity and professionalism. This was equally achieved at the recent Gold Coast Construction Industry Expo where our Gold Coast Town Group showcased how our profession can ‘Open Up Your World’.

With other events such as the ‘Emerging Spatial Technologies Workshop’ also on the horizon I am sure that our professionals of today will do much to lead us into the future. I wholehearted support and appreciate the work of our YPs and Towngroups, who are taking a wider knowledge of and respect for the spatial disciplines to the community.

Exhibiting excellence
An important value within the Institute is recognition of the industry’s outstanding achievements and for members to be given the opportunity to be seen as well as to connect and share successes. The recently held Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards pays tribute to the success of our profession, both at the individual and industry levels. This important event is now in its third year and is growing stronger each year. It is the peak platform for conferring accolades on the industry’s top performers in Queensland. Attaining recognition at this premier event denotes outstanding achievement and applauds those who deliver outcomes above and beyond the ordinary.

The excellent achievements of both individuals and organisations engaged in the spatial information industry across the State provides a stepping stone for individuals and projects to be nominated in the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA), this year to be held in Sydney, the venue for the prestigious FIG 2010 International event.

Sustaining Partners
In closing this message for the inaugural edition of Spatial Science, I would like to thank the many regional, national and international companies that see the value in maintaining a professional organisation such as our own. The Institute is an organisation that represents the interests of the spatial information community, that upholds a code of conduct which is in keeping with the demands of our vibrant industry, and seeks to provide services for an industry recognised as a major player in the development of the nation’s economy.

As noted in the recent Cane Report, the spatial information industry brings sophisticated skills and technology to major challenges facing the nation. It is the recognition of the strategic importance of the industry for policy, planning and operational activities which touch on all aspects of the way people and communities live, that is driving governments around the world to invest in the skilling of the workforce and the development of policies that will ensure the viability and growth of the (spatial) industry.

With Government and Industry partners sustaining the services that provide for its workforce, the spatial sciences will continue to be respected for its leadership and professionalism.

Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal July07

June 19, 2007

From the Chair

Welcome to the July 2007 edition of the Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI) Queensland Journal. For those of you unable to attend the recent Institute Biennial Conference in Hobart, you will learn of many new and exciting initiatives that were launched by the Institute and of opportunities for our moving into the future.

Future Focus
In the changing world we live in, employers constantly seek a skilled workforce to best address the challenging needs of their clients. Similarly, spatial information professionals – whether they be surveyors, cartographers, GIS, remote sensing or other specialists – expect from their employers the right to grow in their chosen career and to be recognised for their efforts. The Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI) sets many of its tasks to address both these needs. The Institute is active in advocating the profession to decision-makers, in initiatives to promote new students into the spatial professions, to promote excellence in their achievements as well as by those already in our industry, to provide opportunities for existing professionals to learn new practices in their realm through various continuing professional development (CPD) events, and importantly, by developing a network of like minded professionals to counsel and support one another.

To deliver these important services and others, the SSI is constantly dependent on volunteers, selfless individuals willing to support the growing number of fellow practitioners and interested parties of our emerging industry. Due to a combination of the need for increasing services to our rapidly changing industry, and sadly, fewer willing to share the burden, our volunteers are ailing. The Institute holds dear its volunteers, without them we would not be united, without them we would not be there to support one another. The SSI Board is well aware of these growing burdens and at the recent Biennial Conference in Hobart, the Institute launched a new initiative designed to alleviate pressure on our volunteers and to maximise their outcomes for supporting both spatial industry employers and their staff involved in the spatial industry.

The Institute’s Biennial Conference in Hobart saw the launch of the new Sustaining Partnership Program, a program designed to give employers – who rely on, and respect the needs of, their spatial information professionals – the opportunity to support the Institute in delivering its valued services into the future. The Program provides Government Agencies, Academic Institutions and Companies the opportunity to pro-actively support a partnership with the Institute (updated annually) to maximise benefits and services for both Partners, and importantly the spatial professionals who we both depend on and serve.

If interested in further information about this new opportunity visit the SSI website: http://www.spatialsciences.org.au and/or contact the SSI Qld office (07 3217 2566).

Specialist Certification scheme launched
In its role to service our profession and the public, the Institute has launched the first of its Specialist Certifications, the Geographic Information System Professional – Asia Pacific (GISP-AP). This post-nominal adheres to the standards of Professions Australia, a national organisation of professional associations, including members such as the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, Engineers Australia and CPA Australia. The GISP-AP certificate not only adheres to the standards of Professions Australia, it embraces international recognition. The GISP-AP certificate was developed in association with the the United States GIS Certificate Institute (GISCI), a partner of our sister association, URISA.

The launch of the GISP-AP Certificate has provided our Institute the process to deliver the other equally important specialisation certificates. The development of the Remote Sensing, Land and Engineering/Mining Surveying Certificates are now all well advanced, and will be launched in short succession. With these important credentials available, decision-makers and our other clients have a quantifiable measure for those in our industry deemed qualified professionals by their peers. In answer to queries – the Institute provides these services openly for all fellow professionals within our industry, recognition as a spatial industry professional is not restricted just to members of the Spatial Sciences Institute.

Professional Development
A significant role that the Institute prides itself on is the delivery of seminars and premier events that provide professional development and networking opportunities for both members and other spatial professionals. More and more seminars are being promoted for your learning. Besides those seminars developed by the Institute, seminars and events held by colleagues are being submitted, endorsed and promoted, providing members and other industry professionals an ongoing service to keep up-to-date on their professional development. The Institute’s special area of expertise is the delivery of the big events, events designed specifically for our rich, diverse, and yet related disciplines. The time, place and theme for the next major event for our state has now been set by a very excited team of fellow volunteers, devoted to providing you the best that can be given in their home town. Set aside time in your diaries to be in Surfers Paradise for the Queensland Spatial Conference 2008 (QSC08) set for July 17-19, 2008. This event promises many opportunities for fellowship and learning with interesting presentations based on the eye-catching theme, ‘Global WarNing – what’s happening in Paradise?’.

Communication
Communication is a two-way interaction. The Institute recognises that not only must it convey to members what is happening in their professions, it must also set mechanisms to allow those who have an interest in our profession to both have their say and be heard. For that reason the Institute now posts newsletters from both the Institute’s Office (providing you email newsletters from the Board on what is happening across the Institute) and the Queensland Regional Office (providing you email newsletters related to your region) as well as the implementation of a new forum gateway.

Though emails are now a commonly used technology, in today’s ever changing world it is being seen as an antiquated push technology that is limited in providing for those wishing a collaborative participatory environment, an environment that facilitates both content development with feedback or discussion, an environment much needed across the Spatial Sciences. That is why the Institute now provides those interested in our professions, and ready to participate and share with others, a portal to its wikispace. A space for collaborative editing and discussion, a space for spatial professionals. If you have not done so already, visit the wikisite http://spatialsciences.wikispaces.com and experience the technologies that our children are using – and the environment that the next versions of Microsoft Office are designed to work within. If you see a (wiki)page of interest, and wish to be notified of changes (by traditional email or RSS – the next push technology) or to participate in one of the discussion threads, simply register with http://www.wikispaces.com and click the ‘notify me’ or ‘discussion’ tab on the wikipage of interest.

The new SSI Queensland Magazine
Not only does the Institute provide its members with a range of electronic media, it prides itself in the publication of traditional hardcopy media. Both the Institutes bi-annual Spatial Sciences Journal and particularly Queensland’s own publication, the Qld Spatial Science magazine, are highly regarded media, both here and within the other regions.

I am pleased to say that once again Queensland leads the way within the SSI. Come the next edition of our magazine (September), this publication will be expanded to reach out to all other regions that make up the SSI. Admittedly some content which is particular only to our home region will be replaced by content pertinent to the content relevant to that other region but it is a new opportunity to share and work with our colleagues and an opportunity to endow a new look and feel for our magazine, a new look that be will recognisable throughout all the Institute. Be prepared for something new, a new quarterly SSI magazine (plus special AGM edition) supplemented with timely electronic newsletters to keep our membership prepared in this ever changing climate.

Young Professionals
The Queensland Young Professionals (YPs) are an energetic and committed group busy promoting our industry both internally and to peripheral industries. They are constantly being seen hosting events that are both exciting and innovative. Over the coming months their events will include – an introduction to mentoring ‘Speed Networking’ event in June; attracting high school students to the spatial industry through manning a trade display at the Tertiary Studies Expo (TSXPO) in July; and showcasing the spatial industry to a range of like minded professions through the “Emerging Spatial Technologies Workshop” (EST) in August. The YP’s innovative EST event is aimed to open the eyes and minds of professionals from Engineering, Environmental, Planning, Mining, Education and other industries whom use spatial information and services as part of their everyday job but may not fully understand the issues surrounding spatial data quality, data management and capture methods available to them. As always these events are hosted by the YP’s yet target all levels of the profession, they are events that we should all get behind and support wherever we can. These events are also an excellent way to promote our growing industry. If interested contact either the YP Committee Chair Michael Krome or the SSI Qld office (07 3217 2566) for details of how you or your colleagues can contribute to these various events.

The YP committee members have also been building relationships with various other professional bodies and reaching into the universities. They have been busy promoting reciprocal events with the Environmental Institute, strengthening links between like minded professionals at YP and Senior levels. And involved in presenting the annual University Spatial Awards to students achieving excellence in their course. These include the University of Queensland (UQ), Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The list of winning recipients can be seen in the Young Professionals article in this magazine.

At the recent Hobart Conference one of the SSI YP’s, Paul Barnett, was recognised for his leadership efforts over a number of years. It is through his, and other committed youths, efforts in initiating our Young Professionals that it is what it is today – our vibrant face for tomorrow. Paul was unanimously admitted as a Fellow of the SSI. Congratulations to Paul, and thankyou and your YP team.

Elections
This year sees the Queensland region officially elect its full Regional Committee and half its Commissions – those members whose task it is to decide the directions that your profession is to travel into the future. By now (July) you would have received a nomination form to join the team that works to run our Institute. Nominating yourself (or a worthy colleague) not only provides an opportunity to take an active role in setting the course that our profession travels, it provides an opportunity to participate in supporting your comrades and receiving the recognition and gratitude that the Institute bestows its volunteer force. It is realised that many of us already have burdens in this fast and frenzied world, but I do say to you, the more who join us in driving our profession forward, the easier and more fulfilling it is for all.

The next move is in your hands, take this opportunity to help lead our profession into a sustainable future.

Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal May07

May 1, 2007

From the Chair
Welcome to the May 2007 edition of the Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI) Queensland Journal. As an environmentalist I value diversity, both within our physical environment and our business environment. I believe that diversity provides us both sustenance for today and growth for tomorrow.

Diversity
Diversity provides a multitude of benefits. With diversity comes an important resilience to ‘catastrophic’ changes that we often face in this ever changing natural and political climate, a wealth of sustaining resources to support one another, an exciting cauldron of innovative solutions to solve problems that we share and the potential for a pleasing environment of activity and harmony.

The “business case for diversity”, as it is often phrased, is just as important in our global and diverse marketplace. An enterprise such as the Spatial Sciences Institute accepts membership from all who share an interest in our industry. It seeks to embrace representation and composition which mirrors the demographics of our marketplace, the spatial information industry. This philosophy equips us to better serve our industry and to potentially thrive in our rapidly changing marketplace. More so than one that chooses an appearance which is out of step with its market’s appearance.

The importance of our diversity and our service to one another cannot be understated. The river of spatial information that feeds us is a supply chain that flows between those that capture it, to those that store, manipulate, analyse, model, visualise, setout and govern its use. Spatial information is our blood and it is vital for the policy, planning and operational activities which touch on all aspects of the way people and communities live. Governments, businesses and individuals rely on the spatial sciences for the fundamental spatial infrastructures that support the economic, social and environmental security, health and vitality of their communities.

In responding to this need for representation to our decision-makers and our societies, the Institute provides leadership, promotes the capabilities of the spatial sciences, and advocates on behalf of its members. To its members the Institute offers fellowship and, amongst other benefits, the opportunity to learn and grow through its continuing professional development programs and events. Instrumental in its service to our industry is the Institutes drive to develop a certification scheme that is internationally recognised.

Certification
In its role to service our profession and the public, the Institute continues to develop a Certification scheme that adheres to the standards of Professions Australia, a national organisation of professional associations such as the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, Engineers Australia and CPA Australia. It is a scheme that offers decision-makers and our other clients a quantifiable measure on those in our industry deemed qualified professionals by their peers. Importantly, this Certification scheme is available for all fellow professionals within our industry, whether they be Institute members or not.

To date, the Institute has offered a general level certification identifying professionals with interest in the spatial industry. Indeed those holding recognition within our formation associations (ISA, AURISA, MSIA, IEMSA and RSPAA) were automatically deemed with this general level certificate. Recently, a higher level ‘specialisation’ certificate was developed by the Spatial Information Commission. The Geographic Information Systems Professional – Asia Pacific (GISP-AP) certificate not only adheres to the standards of Profession Australia, it embraces international recognition. The GISP-AP certificate was developed in association with the the United States GIS Certificate Institute (GISCI), an associate of our sister association, URISA.

The drafting of the GISP-AP Certificate has provided our Institute the process to draft the other equally important specialisation certificates. The Engineering and Mining Commission is well advanced in developing its own certificate that will provide peer recognition for those professionals involved in this particular discipline. And our other Commissions are closely following suit, encouraged by the success of those in front and determined to also provide services for our progressive industry. Indeed our industry is rapidly changing and we are changing with it.

Strength to strength
The Spatial Sciences Institute promotes communication both within its membership and with the many others that share an interest in our industry. To facilitate this participation the Institute has adopted a communication technology that provides the ability for all to participate in setting the course that the Institute follows. The website, http://spatialsciences.wikispaces.com, is the gateway to have your say about our industry. Its usage statistics show an ever increasing acceptance of this new communication technology by our comrades and serves as a growing forum for much of the activity within the Institute.

Here in Queensland the success of our ISAQ – SSI Qld alliance has not only strengthened our profession; today it is providing the environment to seek synergies and prosper into the future. The support that the old and the new professional bodies provide each other has created a formidable force that is being recognised by others. Our Queensland membership has now reached over 900 and its strength continues to attract more members every day. This increased strength in representation is helping the spatial profession be seen as an important contributer to building a strong Queensland economy while providing more services to more members at less cost.

To seek the synergies that will take us into the future we need to continue to recognise how we can work together. By showing that all our disciplines, whether it be surveying, GIS, cartography, remote sensing, or other, we all play a role together to have our industry recognised. As independents we will simply grow old and wither under the continued workloads that are placed upon us, but together and supporting one another, we are once again a strong leader within Queensland’s economy.

To continue this growth and important diversity we need to encourage those that are unaware of our purpose within the spatial information industry to join the groundswell. Whether they be the new surveyors who capture spatial information, the hidden analysts who manipulate that information or the silent mappers who present that spatial information to our decision makers. In isolation we are subservient to those in power, but together we lead our state into the future. To communicate our presence to others the Institute is continually coordinating many outreach activities, but these activities are dependent on you, the troops on the front line to spread the word, to inform others of our purpose and destination.

Outreach
Our dynamic and energetic YPs are continuing to reach out into our communities. They are an exciting team that the regional committee strongly support. If you are aware of any one under the age 35 interested in our industry, I recommend you have them contact this group through the SSI Qld office. The YPs have been busy again with a Financial Seminar (9th May) and are busily planning many exciting events in different regions of the state. The YPs will also be in attendance at the TSXPO Careers Expo in Brisbane in July promoting the Spatial Sciences to our school students. With the ever increasing technologies and things like Google Earth capturing the imagination and interest of school students, it is certainly the time to publicise the industry and its career opportunities.

The Spatial Technolgies in Schools (STiS) program that the Institute coordinates in association with Education Queensland is doing much to provide for our future. One of its goals is to provide today’s students the spatial awareness needed to move into the exciting spatial science career opportunities of tomorrow.

The recent debut meeting of the Qld Spatial Information Technologies special interest group (QldSitSiG) is testament to how pervasive the spatial sciences are as a career opportunity. The meeting, in association with the Australian Computer Society (ACS), SSI, ASIBA and GITA provided an informative session for this important SiG to consider, discuss and work towards for the betterment of our industry. I welcome them and look forward to learning of the issues that they believe need addressing for our industry to prosper. Together we will identify, map and scale mountains. For those wishing to follow the activities of this special interest group, they have started logging their discussions to the http://spatialsciences.wikispaces.com/qldsitsig wikipage.

Our SE Qld colleagues have been eager to showcase our profession and to provide the next great event for our state. The SSI Qld 2008 Conference is now scheduled for the Gold Coast in July 2008. It will be a showcase of how all our disciplines are working together to solve important issues facing our economy. An excited team of colleagues have volunteered their time to plan this showcase. It is promising to provide not only an event that will inform you of the advances in your own disciplines but to showcase how together we achieve much more than we can alone. It will provide you the opportunity to invite others who are not aware of us to see how our solidarity can achieve much. Should you wish to assist in this important event please contact your SSI Qld office.

Sustaining Partnerships
As said at the start, the Institute seeks to embrace representation and composition which mirrors the demographics of our marketplace, and to provide increasing services to our industry’s professionals. To do this requires partners, partners who also need a strong, vibrant and skilled workforce. To address this common need the Institute is launching a new program, a program that offers those agencies, businesses and academia the opportunity to support the Institute in its quest to better the spatial information industry, to better the professionalism and status of the industry’s workforce. The launching of the ‘Sustaining Partnership Program’ will be one of the highlights of the this years premier event, the Spatial Sciences Biennial Conference. If interested in further information about this new opportunity please contact the SSI Qld office (07 3217 2566).

Tom Taranto
SSI Qld Chair

Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal Mar07

March 2, 2007

From the Chair
Welcome to the March edition of the Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI) Queensland Journal. As noted in the last Journal edition, a focus for 2007 is communication, to build relationships both within the Institute and with our communities. It is destined to be a year where our movements are viewed in purpose and solidarity. In this message I will be highlighting some of the initiatives being developed to strengthen these bonds between ourselves and our communities, and how you can participate in this unprecedented campaign.

Wikispaces
The Spatial Sciences Institute has adopted a communication technology that provides the ability for all to participate in setting the course that the Institute follows. The website, http://spatialsciences.wikispaces.com, is the gateway to this new participatory environment. Here members can unite to develop ideas and strategies on how to achieve their goals. It is a website that both facilitates collaborative authorship by those wishing to be members of this initiative and feedback from those wishing to simply watch from the sidelines.

Examples of how this technology works can be seen in documents currently in draft. Documents in progress include one where you can discuss and help describe what the spatial sciences are so we can convey common messages to our audiences – whether they be politicians, students or the general community. Another lets you list suggestions of what you would appreciate on the next generation SSI website, a website directly linked to our new membership database. This is just a start, with our working groups already active in using this new web-based tool, the Institute is working as one to progress your visions for the future.

Many SSI Committees and working groups are already actively using the wiki interface to collaboratively develop documents of purpose, to provide resources for decision making and to elicit suggestions, ideas and feedback from those watching on the sidelines. To address our drastic skills shortage, the Spatial Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) is actively using wikispaces to share informative reference resources; Towngroups have been invited to their area of the wiki to unite, develop events and share resources; the Careers working group are involved as is the much valued CPD and YP committees.

I invite you all to participate in this new world using a communication technology that allows us to work together to make the Spatial Sciences the place to be.

SSC2007, Hobart May 14-18.
The premier event for 2007 is only months away. Are you ready? The main highlight of this year’s calendar is the SSI International Conference. Titled: The Spatial Sciences Revolution – Powering the Information Generation it will be a conference that gives new direction on how the spatial sciences are empowering our communities. It will be a conference that demonstrates how our profession is providing for the decisions of tomorrow and how we can each rise up and enlist. Hosted in refreshing Hobart, this years gala event promises to be a ‘cool’ visit to our southern most city. Our Tasmanian colleagues have gone to great lengths to ensure that our visit to Hobart will be memorable. So it is only fitting that we Queenslanders fly south to support the apple islanders, and show how warm we are to their efforts. Do your bit to ensure the success of our Institute’s major event of the year. Visit the http://www.ssc2007.com Promotions page, printout a flyer and post it up so others can see. Do all that you can to promote our professions role in society and help spread the spatial word.

If flying south to be apart of the big event is difficult, then attending our own Queensland events should be easy. Your Central and Northern groups have once again worked hard to provide you the opportunities to learn and network with one another. I hope to see you at the March Conference in Gladstone or the early May conference in Mackay. These events may not be as big as Hobart’s International event but they are a great time for the sub regions to shine with professionals networking, sharing ideas and gaining CPD points.

In recognition of the growing south east corner of the state, the Queensland Region is looking at coordinating (and supporting) SEQ Towngroups to collaboratively provide CPD events. The Regional Committee believes that the current independent Towngroups in our southern region have the potential to emulate the collective strengths as shown by our Northern and Central groups and to shine out as a beacon to our southern counterparts. If you are a SEQ member interested in contributing to our new ‘Southern Group’ hit the Towngroup wikispace or contact the SSI Qld Office (07 3217 2566) and let us know of your interest. We will ensure you are joined to those who share your desire.

The Institute’s commitment to your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is with purpose. Not only does the Institute value CPD to promote fellowship and learning, CPD provides a quantifiable way of measuring your professionalism. By now many of you would be aware of the Spatial Information Commission’s Specialist Certification. It has been benchmarked across International certification schemes and now provides applicants who gain this Certificate much valued International recognition. The Institute’s Engineering and Mining Surveying Commission is presently reviewing the second draft of its own specialist certification documentation. This certification has been written to parallel the Spatial Information certification so there will be commonality across the SSI commissions. Once ratified, this new Certificate will have our professionalism recognised even further.

Outreach
Our young professionals are never idle. They are being instrumental in outreaching into our communities. Towngroups by now should have been contacted by a YP representative outlining the initiatives being offered to support fellow practitioners and to inform local communities. The YP’s aim is in-keeping with the 2007 theme of Communication – to raise awareness and professionalism within the community. Our energetic YP’s have lots of great events planned throughout the year. I urge you all to support these activities and to encourage others to join this enthusiastic team.

Our bridge-building with allied professions is progressing. Already our partnership with the Australian Computer Society (ACS) has formed a “Spatial Technology” Special Interest Group. There first event will be held on 28th March – see your CPD calendar for more on this new initiative. Undoubtedly, with the spatial sciences being so ubiquitous, it provides us many potential partnerships with allied professionals (the topical water and climate themes especially providing likely candidates). We need to be conscious of these win-win situations and quick to sieze the opportunity to promote our expertise to others.

Another important initiative that is being actively pursued by your Queensland Committee is related to Queensland’s 150 Year Celebration. In 2009, Queensland will celebrate 150 years since its separation from the then NSW Colony. Over the next 2 years we have an opportunity to highlight not just how our industry played a significant role in defining our southern boundary but also on how our profession has been instrumental in the development of Queensland to what it is today – a vibrant state of excitement and potential. Each town undoubtedly has its own story to tell. This initiative provides an opportunity for Towngroups and individuals to document (through the various media) our important role in building this great state. Visit the wikisite to learn more about this Queensland initiative and how you can participate in promoting your town as well your profession.

Our future is undoubtedly our children. I was encouraged to learn that one of todays world leaders is now actively promoting our science to our children’s educators. Google has recently launched ‘Google for Educators’, a collection of online tools for grades K-12. Prominent among the tools offered are lesson plans and videos from Discovery Education focused on Google Earth and Google Map. Google Online mapping technologies are now playing an integral part in the teaching toolkit. It has been recognised that both Google Maps and Google Earth play important roles in helping to deliver high quality and engaging educational activities with children. I believe it augers well for our profession when children are being inducted to the spatial sciences by such leaders. I also believe it provides us many opportunities to help guide tomorrows decision makers through initiatives such as the Spatial Technology in Schools program. I am sure you can see many opportunities where you or your colleagues can provide leadership. Feel free to communicate your thoughts with us, the Institute is always welcome to support you in your activities.

Membership
Since its incorporation in 2003 the Institutes membership has steadily grown to become the largest representation of Spatial Professionals in the Australasian region. Though the Institute now represents and advocates for over 3,300 members we have fallen short of our initial target of 5,000 members. Much of this shortfall is unfortunately due to some colleagues not willing to change with the times, not willing to join us as we tackle the challenges that today’s work, education and social environments present. Though this shortfall places a burden on our budgets, it has not stopped our enthusiasm and drive to advocate our profession or to provide services to members. Your suggestions on how we can attract others to join us is appreciated. Please add your comments on the Membership wikipage.

There are many initiatives currently being pursued to increase our membership and to ensure that members receive valued benefits. Soon a new category of membership will be trialled for our Corporate members. ‘Sustaining Membership’ offers businesses the opportunity to be recognised for proactively supporting the SSI while increasing benefits for their employees. If you wish to learn more of this initiative please contact the SSI Qld Office.

Our ‘Women in Spatial’ initiative is well advanced in scoping a workshop for the Hobart Conference. This workshop is seeking to identify the needs of women within the spatial sciences and aims to increase the female membership of the Institute. I invite all women reading this message to be apart of this welcome initiative. You can either have your say on the wikispace or contact the SSI Qld Office and let us know of your interest. We will ensure you are linked to the initiative. We always welcome ideas on how to increase our female membership.

The Institute continues to successfully provide one voice for its members, advocating our profession where ever possible, but it is you who makes the difference. Most of our efforts are done by volunteers, committed colleagues always prepared to promote our profession and to provide services for others. The Institute recognises these achievers and appreciates their commitment. I ask readers to take up a hoe and help us build the paths to our destinations, to participate in implementing our initiatives using our innovative communication protocols.

With a strong contingent to help reach our objectives, our profession will again be seen as a leader within the community.

Tom Taranto
SSI Qld Chair