Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal July07

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: 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 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 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 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.

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.


2 Responses to “Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal July07”

  1. arbitrage-ppc Says:

    Great site and interesting reading

  2. Tomt2U Says:

    Thanks. The Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI) is really starting to powerup in promoting the spatial profession within the Asia-Pacific.

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