SSSI NSW News - June 2019

May 31, 2019


June 2019

In this issue:


  1. Events News
  2. New Members Welcome
  3. Regional Committee News - Leadership Changes plus 3D/BIM 
  4. Five Minutes With...
  5. APSEA Awards Judges Needed - EOI Now Open!
  6. News from Stakeholders and Further Afield

eventS NEWS

LOCATE19 It's a WRAP! 

Thanks to all members and supporters who attended Locate19 and congratulations to our very own Gaby Van Wyk who was made a fellow of SSSI at the Gala Awards Night! Congratulations too to all NSW and ACT Finalists on your efforts in reaching the final stage for the APSEAs. You are all worthy winners from a NSW and ACT perspective! Please keep an eye out for more details of the APSEAs – there will be a special NSW ACT launch on 25 July – and note that awards nominations are open now via: and

NSW ACT Conference 2019 - Abstracts OPen!

NSW ACT is pleased to announce that abstract submissions for the NSW ACT Conference 2019, which will be on 25 September (welcome/satellite) and sessions on 26 and 27 September in Goulburn, under the theme 'Blurring Our Digital Boundaries' are now open. Note that abstracts are welcome from all corners within and outside the industry and we welcome submissions from SSSI members and non-members alike.

Abstracts must provide an overview of the project, research or topic to be presented, with a maximum of 300 words and be submitted in Microsoft Word on the Abstract Submission Form only.

Abstracts will be reviewed by the Organising Committee whereby the submission deadline is 5 July and the outcome of your submission will be advised as soon as possible.

Please use the following link:

Abstract Submission Form NSW ACT Conference Abstract Submission Form.docx

Please note:  Accepted presenters will receive discounted registration to the conference (any accommodation or travel expenses and attendance at any Satellite events, the Welcome Reception and/or the APSEA Regional Gala Dinner will be at the presenters' own expense).

Presentations should reflect or share recent experiences and are not to be sales focused.


1.     Abstracts must be no longer than 300 words.

2.     Abstracts MUST be submitted in Microsoft Word using the following link:

             NSW ACT Conference Abstract Submission Form.docx

3.     Abstracts to be emailed to:  by no later than Friday 5 July 2019.

Details associated with the Conference can be found via the following link:
Blurring Our Digital Boundaries.

Inaugural Engineering Surveyors Colloquium on the new standard

On Friday 17 May SSSI, in conjunction with our partner Engineers Australia, hosted the first definitive full-day Conference on AS5488 at Harricks Auditorium, 8 Thomas Street, Chatswood.

For details of the programme which included 6.25 BOSSI CPD points click here: AS5488-Programme-170519.pdf

Thank you to all attendees and speakers who made the event such a success!  A full report, including how you can access presentations, will be available in the next GEO Message. Advance Notice that the next ESSG event is planned for November 2019! 

Cartography and all that jazz!

This is a very special opportunity on 14 June for two tours of iconic buildings being Customs House to view Cartograhica:Sydney on the Map; and the Royal Automobile Club of Australia where we will network over jazz (& other music) while enjoying light Italian buffet with a fine beverage or two!

Details and bookings via: 


A very warm welcome to SSSI to the following new members:

  • Benjamin Holliday
  • Philip Whitten
  • Tatenda Chipandambira
  • Robert Fahy

Regional committee news

It is with great excitement that we announce that the Regional Chair 'baton/theodolite/GIS toolkit' has passed from Gaby Van Wyk to Mary-Ellen Feeney and Liz Fulton who are now Co-Chairs for our region. Our heartfelt thanks is extended to Gaby Van Wyk for his guidance of the Regional Committee throughout the past year and Gaby will remain on the Committee in the role of Past Chair. Welcome formally to Mary-Ellen and Liz who bring invigorated passion and energy along with hearts & minds that are firmly focused on doing their utmost to deliver an amazng membership experience for all SSSI members in the region!

The Regional Committee is forming a new group around 3D/BIM which will be guided by Sisi Zlatanova.

Details for this group, including its motivation for establishment, are as follows:

  • BIM is getting in use in all construction sites so we need to know what it is and how can be integrated within GIS data

  • There are many 3D developments but they are not coordinated, therefore difficult to exchange and keep up-to data

  • There is a need of a general purpose 3D model (standard) to be used for interoperability purposes.

We are looking for enthusiastic researchers/professionals to to be an active part of this group for advancing geospatial/BIM towards Australian Digital Twin. Is this you? If so simply send an email to: with SSSI 3D BIM in the subject line.

Five Minutes with...
Dr Craig Roberts

  1. Please give us an idea of your professional background:

B.Surv, The University of South Australia (formerly South Australian Institute of Technology), 1988

Worked as a private surveyor in Adelaide for 2.5 yrs before going overseas on an extended climbing holiday.

1992 – 1993: Geodetic Engineer at University Navstar Consortium (UNAVCO), USA. Manage, supervise and direct medium scale international GPS surveys for National Science Foundation funded geophysical research projects.

1995 – 1996: Scientific Assistant at GeoForschungsZentrum, Germany. Responsible for orbit prediction and determination for ERS1/2, Meteor3 and GFZ1 research satellites. Assist in the organisation of and participate in international GPS measurement campaigns for geophysical research.

1996-2001: PhD Studies at UNSW. Topic: A continuous low-cost GPS-based volcano deformation monitoring system in Indonesia.

2002-2003: Lecturer in Surveying/GPS/Geodesy at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

2004 - 2007: Lecturer in Surveying/GPS/Geodesy at UNSW, Sydney, Australia.

From 2007  : Promoted to Senior Lecturer in Surveying/GPS/Geodesy at UNSW, Sydney, Australia

  1. Tell us what is the most enlightening project that you are or have been involved in?

Oh so many. In 1993 I was in charge of coordinating the largest GPS field campaign ever in Argentina (my buddy looked after Chile) for plate tectonic studies. 15,500km of driving in 6 weeks in a diesel F350 that wouldn’t travel faster than 80kms. We drove up to 5000m on 2 occasions and managed 16 simultaneous field parties taking GPS static observations.

My PhD project building a low-cost Volcano monitoring system on Gunung Papandayan was fantastic to keep revisiting the same site and improving the network before the volcano erupted in 2003 destroying all my work.

I processed 3000kms of road survey as a baseline for the 1996 solarcar race from Darwin to Adelaide and then acted as a specialist geospatial consultant during the race. The data was used to refine the power use of the solarcar to optimise the performance. We finished 8th…in the world!!

  1. What is the best thing you’ve experienced since becoming a GIS professional?

Errrr… I’m not a GIS Professional. I do multi-GNSS, CORS, Datum modernisation, UAVs and laser scanning applications, but I am fundamentally and educator so perhaps helping spotty faced, rudderless teenagers become honed young surveyors and spatial professionals and then further progressing in their professional careers is pretty fantastic.

  1. What are you most looking forward to being a part of in the next six months?

I’m planning a 4th yr camp along the NSW/ ACT border with great assistance from luminaries such as Mike Stapleton and Greg Ledwidge to re-measure the watershed boundary near Tharwa. Students will combine historical searches with modern methods to first find the old marks and then attempt to define the watershed boundary themselves with GNSS, a DEM from a UAV and a point cloud from UAV LiDAR. There’s trees and mountains and it’s going to be really cold. It’ll be great to get out in the mountains.

  1. Okay, as a local give us your tips for the best coffee and dining out in your area.

Never come to Maroubra. It’s dangerous. Everything they say about the Bra boys is true. Go to Bondi instead…

  1. Finally, with SSSI being a national organisation, what is your favourite holiday destination? 

Anywhere that involves rockclimbing. Grampians in Victoria (before they close climbing for no reason what-so-ever) and Arapiles just down the road. Mt Buffalo in summer – granite slabs. Internationally the Dolomites must be my favourite mountain range in the world. Amazing long and spectacular climbs or Via Ferrata’s for those who don’t climb but want more than just bushwalking.


You can catch-up with Craig at Cartography & All That Jazz on 14 June!

APSEA JUDGING - Expressions of Interest Sought

The Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards for NSW will be presented at the Gala Awards Night to be held in conjunction with the NSW ACT conference, at the Best Western Plus in Goulburn, on the evening of 26 September 2019. 

Accordingly expressions of interest are called for the Judging Panel of the Individual APSEA-NSW ACT Awards. Note that there will be individual categories for each of NSW and ACT.

Individual APSEA Award categories are:

1. SSSI Professional of the Year 
2. SSSI Young Professional of the Year 
3. SSSI Women’s Leadership Award
4. SSSI Educational Development Award
5. SSSI Postgraduate Student Award
6. SSSI Undergraduate Student Award
7. SSSI Special Achievement Award 

The Judging Panel generally comprises 3 members per State/Territory (i.e. we would like at least six judges) preferably all of whom have had a minimum of at least 5 years of experience in the industry enabling them to provide expert, objective and independent opinions on the merits of the projects entered in any given year.

All decisions of the Judging Panel are final and made through a combination of online processes and technology-based discussions with a preference for at least one face-to-face or webinar-facilitated meeting. No correspondence is exchanged once the decisions are made. Information about which nominations have entered or won awards is not issued nor made public prior to the Awards Presentation. 

The Judging Panel can also confer “Highly Commended” if they consider that nomination a very close second in the judging process or merits recognition but falls outside the parameters of established or given award categories. 

In addition to specific category criteria, the Judging Panel may additionally consider a nomination’s merit according to any other agreed or relevant benchmarks. Conversely, Judges may elect to not confer an award in any given category if they consider that none of the nominations entered in that category warrant recognition for excellence.

All Judging Panel members receive a complimentary ticket, for themselves only, to the Awards Night.

To view the Spatial Excellence Awards Information Kit simple click on the following link:

The closing date for EOI  is Monday 1 July 2019.

Employment Opportunities

Calling all qualified technical and graduate/registered surveyors and spatial information professionals!

The Construction boom in NSW has seen a large increase in demand for training. TAFE NSW is seeking to increase its number of qualified part-time casual teaching staff to meet this demand across the following Campuses; Newcastle Campus, Ultimo Campus, Wollongong Campus and Riverina Campus.

A number of opportunities exist for part-time/casual teachers who have;

  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40116), or capacity to enrol to complete this qualification with the support of TAFE NSW ;
  • For those interested in being part of a support group to complete the above qualification please use the following link and note to click 'Open in New Window': TAE40116 SSSI Support EOI 
  • Hold a qualification in either Certificate III in Surevying and Spatial Information Services (or) Certificate IV in Spatial Information Services (or)  Certificate Iv in Surveying (or) Diploma of Spatail Information Services (or)  Diploma of Surveying; and
  • Have a minimum of 5 years current relevant industrial experience after completion of Certificate III qualification/s.

Be part of a dynamic training environment at one of TAFE NSW's campuses in either Newcastle, Ultimo, Wollongong or the Riverina.

Email your resume and qualifications to: Shane Judd, Industry Relationship Lead: today!

Congratulations - SSSI University Prize

SSSI extends our congratulations to Omar Hassan - the 2019 Prize winner - from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNSW. Omar gave the best performance in Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry courses in the Bachelor of Engineering in Surveying and Spatial Information Systems program. Well done Omar!  It was a privilege to share the occasion with so many amazing students and members including MC Craig Roberts, Bill Kearsley, David Bruce and Dr. Bruce Harvey plus stakeholders and supporters from across the geospatial spectrum.  

Congratulations - Inaugural spatial competition runners-up 

SSSI extends our congratulations to Barker College for their active participation in the Inaugural National Geospatial Information Schools Competition which saw Tom Abbott and Bede Taylor, who as Year 9 students last year, were commended on the video they produced that examined homelessness in Sydney and across NSW. They were well supported in their submission by Geography teacher, Simon Lawry who is pictured below, alongside Tom & Bede with Gaby Van Wyk who attended the School's Assembley to personally make the presentation recently.

If you have any feedback for SSSI, have a query or need help please connect via: . 



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