SSSI Qld 2017 Recap

November 30, 2017

SSSI Qld Recap of 2017

This year commenced for us with a few challenges that included an office relocation at the start of the year, significant staff changes and the engagement of members in the various commissions and committees.

The Queensland Regional Committee has been very active and wish to formally thank those members that have lead us over the last 12 months, namely:

Chris Swane (Deputy QRC Chair), Peter Swan (Treasurer), Ewen Sneddon (Land Surveying Commission Chair), Paul Reed (Education & Training Committee Chair), Stephen Jess, Dale Atkinson (Northern Group Chair), Ken Lyons, Sudarshan Karki, Mark Hickey, Angus Scown (Spatial Information & Cartography Commission Chair), Marshall D’Souza (Young Professional Representative), Lee Hellen (SSSI Director; QLD CPD Chair), Owen Cantrill (Hydrography Commission Rep), Peter Kinne, Hans Moller (Engineering & Mining Surveying Commission Chair) and Ray Tabulo (Central Group Chair).

Thank you all for your fantastic contributions.

Highlights and Achievements

The conference at Southport in May 2017, where over 200 attendees participated in a two-day conference that focused on the normal business activities of our members, providing them with an enhancement of knowledge, process, equipment, software, and techniques. The events were guided by a deliberate constraint of relevance to the everyday activities of the participants. The best indicator of success was demonstrated by the fact that over 90% of attendees were there at the close. Thanks must be given to Ewen Sneddon, Chris Swane, Lee Hellen and Peter Swan whose superhuman efforts made this conference a huge success.


We have had a great success with our webinar program this year and all Webinars are available to view as ECPD on our website - click here.

The Rigorous Approach to Reinstatement Cadastral Webinar presented in June by Ewen Sneddon from Logan City Council and Phil Wyper from B & P Surveys was very well received.  This webinar was of particular relevance to surveyors who wanted to refresh their skills and knowledge on cadastral reinstatement or those requiring new information such as those recently graduated or seeking registration as Cadastral Surveyors. 58 people registered to view the webinar live and we have had 24 view the recording via ECPD.

The Future of 3D QLD Cadastral Webinar presented in July by Lee Hellen, Land Solution Australia and Robert McCabe, Bennett + Bennett covered 3DQLD Road Map Preliminary Findings and the creation of complex volumetric property boundaries of the Queen's Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development.  This webinar was created due to the fantastic response received from the original presentations showcased at QSSC.  We had 79 people view the webinar live and 27 have chosen to view the recording via ECPD.

The Introduction to the new Queensland Globe 2017 presented in September was made available FREE to SSSI Members and Students.  This was presented with the assistance from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines to showcase the Queensland Globe as an online interactive tool and show how it turns physical, geographical and spatial data about a particular location into map format. For more information please see
With 123 registrations to view the live webinar, this was our most successful for the year.  The recording is available FREE to SSSI Members and Students so please view ECPD to register.

Our last webinar for the year was a two part presentation on Control Surveys using GNSS presented by Matt Higgins - Manager of Geodesy and Positioning in the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines. These webinars provided a refresher for practitioners wanting to use Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for Cadastral and Control surveys in Queensland.  They were also a chance to showcase Matt's presentations that he did for us at the Central Group and Northern Group Conference.  With over 72 registrations for the webinar it was a great success and it is now available to view as ECPD.

Young Professionals and Mentoring Program

We have been working to build our Qld Young Professional Committee this year and offering mentoring to our young graduates.  On the 15 July we held a YP Social Function at the XXXX Brewery.  This enabled a group of our young professionals to get together on a social platform where we could ask them what they want from SSSI and move together on creating events that are suited to their needs.  We also held a Mentoring Session at Logan City Council on 23 August. The purpose of the mentoring session was to discuss and provide advice and guidance to our younger members of the profession on surveying and spatial issues including those relating to registration requirements. Peer Surveyors Roy Somerville (Director Somerville Consultants) Paul Reed (Director East Coast Surveys) Tim Kelly (Owner Tim Kelly Surveys  Beaudesert) and Ewen Sneddon (Principal Surveyor at Logan CC) made their time available to our young members.

Cadastral Reinstatement Roundtable

This workshop was presented in February and is an annual event held by SSSI Qld. This essential topic is particular relevance to surveyors who would like to refresh their skills and knowledge of this subject or those requiring new information such as those recently graduated or seeking SBQ registration as Cadastral Surveyors.  Paul McClelland from the Department of Natural Resource and Mines and Ewen Sneddon from Logan City Council hosted this workshop/roundtable drawing on their experiences to provide extensive first-hand knowledge of cadastral reinstatement.  With 25 people in attendance it was the perfect size to help the attendees understand their requirements.

Privatisation, Community Title and Town Planning Seminar

This seminar was held in 5 October at West End and focused on Privatisation, the New Planning Act and Survey Standards fit for purposes. Alistair Byrom, Chair SIBA, Consulting Surveyor, Veris reviewed the current privatization trends in other states and what may need to be considered in determining the future public need for fundamental datasets. Rosanne Meurling, Special Counsel Allens Linklaters, reviewed aspects of the Planning Act as they apply to Land Surveying and Titling. Ben Millen, Survey Manager, RPS reviewed the Registrars Directions and focus on fit for purpose, case studies and definitions.  It was followed by FAQ on CSR, Registrar Directions and answers to commonly asked questions from our panel of experts. With a great attendance of 45 people it made for a memorable discussion in the Q&A session.

AHS/SSSI Hydrography Seminar

The SSSI National Hydrography Commission organised an event on 25 October which included a Technical Tour of the Queensland Government Hydraulics Laboratory.  This had 35 Hydrography Members in attendance.

Central Group Conference - Hervey Bay

Another successful Central Group Conference was held at the Hervey Bay Boat club on 20-21 October.
On the evening before the conference, members and delegates were welcomed to Hervey Bay at a convivial social catch-up on the deck of the Boat Club. These networking opportunities are so important to our evolving profession, and we thank our sponsors for giving us the chance to participate.
The Friday conference  was well attended with separate streams for surveyors and spatial professionals, and it reminded attendees of their professional importance in an ever changing digital and positional world.
Presentation topics were informative and interesting and to mention a few, included: the opportunity for training technicians through the VET system; the new QLD Globe; the Cadastral and Geodetic Systems Review project; and the high importance of surveyors’ expertise with regards to understanding access and service easements in land developments.
The Friday night conference dinner offered delegates another opportunity to socialise.  Guest speaker, historian Bill Kitson, presented “With Great Zeal,” his research into the early hydrographic survey of Queensland’s coastline.
The conference ended on Saturday with a GNSS workshop presented by Matt Higgins from DNRM.  Attendees learnt more about Australia’s continental drift north-eastwards and its impact on coordinate systems, positioning, and spatial uncertainty.  Matt also raised some very interesting developments with respect to GNSS tracking and positioning with mobile phones.
Thanks to Ray Tabulo for ensuring a full separate stream for Spatial Sciences.  A wide range of topics included Data capture , presentation of information and research using disparate data sets for large area analysis.  We had a great second stream that allowed for questions and interaction between the speaker and the audience.   There was also wide participation in an 'unconference' session run by Angus Scown.  This started with a brain storming on topics for group discussion and then we all voted (with our feet) and created two group discussions.   All participants found it an interesting and refreshingly different method to foster collaboration and discussion. 
We had  great speakers and a bigger turnout compared to previous years. Thanks to Ray Tabulo, our past Central Group Chair, for all his hard work in putting a wonderful program together.  To see photos please click here.

Northern Group Conference - Townsville

The Northern Group Conference held on 9-11 November was extremely successful with 97 in attendance.  A big thank you to Dale Atkinson (our past Northern Group Chair) and the Northern Group Committee for arranging such a great program.  At the Conference the Northern Group Committee held an AGM where many items were discussed, including appointing a new Northern Group Chair for next year.  Stephen Jess gladly accepted the role. 
At our Conference Dinner SSSI welcomed two members as SSSI Fellows: Robert Pentecost and Graham Ward.  By honoring them with this prestigious award we thank them for their contributions to SSSI and the Industry over the years.
To see photos please click here.

Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards (QSEA)

Our last event for the year was the QSEA.  The Queensland surveying and spatial profession came together on Friday 1 December at a gala dinner held at The Hilton to celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in the industry. What a way to finish off the year then to acknowledge the contributions by so many of our fantastic members.  To view the winners of our Individual Awards - click here.


At the start of the year, our QRC was very concerned at the declining membership numbers. Ken Lyons provided an analysis of past trends and issues and predicted a sad future if change did not occur. In January 2017, a planning forum was held, and a new direction was adopted.

The new plan adopted the following:


To create a globally recognized surveying and spatial sciences community that leads, promotes, advocates, and delivers excellence.


To develop association and learning networks for individuals to progress their professional careers and promote surveying and spatial sciences in Australia and abroad.

The major strategies:

  • Encourage and support cooperation through highly effective communication

  • Promote leadership, succession, participation, and identity across all member commissions

  • Advance education, skills, and knowledge for its members

  • Deliver recognised and valued certification to members

The implementation of these initiatives has been recognised as the foundation of the membership growth of approximately 15% over the last year including many re-admissions from past members.  Respect of members, recognition of contributors, research and presentation of appropriate education material seems to be the foundation in regeneration of SSSI Qld.

SSSI Qld Staff

The loss of Kellie Davidson was a disappointing event as she held us together, particularly over the last two years. The unseen benefit was our stealing Kelly Rischmiller from NSW.  Kelly was the SSSI NSW Regional Operations Manager for over 4 years so her experience has been a great asset.

We also had a short but great contribution by Suzy Langford as Administration & Events Officer. Katie Le Miere took over from Suzy in September without missing a beat.

Our staff are the essential key that underpinned the success SSSI Qld has achieved this year. They are a pleasure to work with, providing loyal and dedicated professionalism in every task they have undertaken. Thank you, Kelly and Katie.

What is ahead in 2018?

We have a great group of active members in SSSI Qld who have demonstrated commitment, vision and mutual respect for our members, professions and community responsibilities. Our plans for next year is more of the same activities, only better.

Immediate priorities:

Focus is on membership renewals and assisting past members to re-join SSSI.  

Reviewing our Partners and Sponsorships to ensure that they provide value for their investment.

Creating a 3 year plan for SSSI Qld which includes:

  • events (Conference, seminars, webinars and networking through regular Town Group sessions);

  • better communication to our members on our advocacy and what SSSI Qld is doing on your behalf;

  • further developing our mentoring program to attract more young professionals/students to our membership;

  • and working closely with SIBA on inniatives that effect us all.


To conclude this years' recap, we convey our sincere thanks for the many hours of hard work contributed by our SSSI staff and regional volunteers. A huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes to conduct the program of events and provide the services to our members. To all those involved, thank you for your continued support and dedication to our industry.

We must acknowledge the great support received from our sustaining partners - Cairns Regional Council, the University of Queensland, DigitalGlobe, Qld Survey Pegs, UPG, Queensland Department of Transport & Main Roads and the University of the Sunshine Coast and our regular sponsors of our events, C.R. Kennedy, UrbisPro, Listech and Position Partners.  Your contributions are greatly appreciated and without your assistance, many of the great outcomes we seek for members would not be possible.

Finally, thank you to our members for your continued support through the last few years. You have been exemplary, and I applaud you for staying with us. The future with SSSI Qld is looking exciting.

Thank you from SSSI Qld and we wish you all a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.

Roy Somerville                     
Queensland Chair

Kelly Rischmiller   
Queensland Regional Operations Manager    

Katie Le Miere
Queensland Administration & Events Officer

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