Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal September07

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.

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One Response to “Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal September07”

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