Chair’s Message – SSI Qld Journal Winter 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

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