important news - Conference + Tassie
Dylan Colson, SSSI HCNC Tasmanian Representative
One of the largest international hydrographic conferences was recently on our shores – HYDRO18 in Sydney between the 30th of October and 1st of November. This three-day event attracted hydrographers, technology providers and various other interested parties to Doltone House in Pyrmont, a stunning venue.
The event was very well attended – although the industry is small in the Australasian region, our group is passionate and diverse, and one only had to look to the first morning to see that. Commodore Fiona Freeman, Hydrographer of Australia, presented on the implementation of the HydroScheme Industry Partnership Programme (HIPP) from the AHO perspective, before Mr David Donohue from iXBlue then gave the industry perspective. To say the two presentations stimulated debate at the conference would be an understatement!
However, the two above were just examples of a whole range of interesting presentations at the event. Topics ranged from autonomous vehicles and satellite derived bathymetry, to machine learning in processing and new technology for data visualisation. Numerous exhibitors were set up in the room conducting demonstrations of this technology with delegates. On day three several presentations were on some of the exciting projects happening in New Zealand supporting their nautical charting efforts – not only how these projects were carried out, but also the effective relationship between government and industry in making these projects a success.
Of course, it was not all hard work and the final evening gave a chance to relax and socialise at the formal dinner after what had been a delightful three days. Always entertaining, John Maschke, NT representative on the SSSI Hydrography Committee saved his best Master of Ceremonies material for the night. HCNC chair Richard Cullen was also acknowledged with an award at the event – very well deserved after many years hard work for the SSSI promoting the hydrographic industry and its commission.
What perhaps spoke best about the state of the industry in Australia and surrounds is when managing director of dinner sponsor PHS, Neil Hewitt, gave his formal address at the event. Many of the stories and anecdotes Neil gave resonated with many of the room, almost as if all attendees had a similar story to tell. It just goes to show how integrated the industry is in this part of the world.
In other event news, the Tasmanian region hosted a small gathering of Ports Australia representatives as well as local interested spatial professionals in September for a night of hydrographic technology in ports. A relaxed evening at the Shipwright’s Arms in Battery Point (very nautical!), which was very well attended. Thank you all that attended for your support of hydrography in Tasmania.