SSSI Young Professionals News - May 19

April 30, 2019 | Young Professionals

Welcome to the May 2019 edition of SSSI Young Professionals GeoMessage.

What a month! With the Young Professionals Symposium, the Young Professionals engagement session at the Hub, and the amazing range of plenary and stream sessions at Locate19, our brains seem to be overflowing! Following a fantastic bunch of activities, initiatives and opportunities for students and young professionals at Locate19, the National Young Professionals committee are now briefly recharging their batteries before jumping into one of the most exciting parts of the year for us - the Mentoring Program. Applications to be a mentor or mentee in our 2019 mentoring program are now open, and we encourage you to apply, and to let anyone you think might find value from the program know about it.


As we develop our budget for the next financial year, we are also in the process of thinking about what else we can do to help create value and opportunities for the two key transition points in people’s professional lives that we serve - the transition into the workforce at the start of their career in the industry, and the transition into the first leadership/management role in their careers. We are seeing a shift in the demographics of young professionals in the surveying and spatial industry, with graduates being not only school-leavers but also people who are entering the industry after spending time working in other industries. As a result, the SSSI YPs are expanding the breadth of service offerings we’re offering over the next few years to cater to the changing needs of those we work to help.  If you have ideas of initiatives, events or projects that you would like to see happen, please get in touch with us - we’d really love to hear from you!

The committee is always open to feedback and submissions from the community regarding things that we could do better, feedback on past events, ideas for new events, or anything that might make the YPs better than ever. Please send an email to


The National YPs welcome a new member to the committee, Nicholas Brown from Geoscience Australia in the ACT, who won the 2018 Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Young Professional Award. Welcome Nicholas!

SSSI National Young Professionals Mentoring Program 2019 - applications closing soon!

If you’d like to be part of the 2019 SSSI Young Professionals Mentoring Program, time is running out to submit your application to be a mentor or a mentee.


Last year, the 2018 Mentoring Program went off with a bang - mentors and mentees from all over Australia (and a few overseas!) reported that they found so much value from being involved. In 2019, the SSSI Young Professionals are back, and the 2019 National Young Professionals Mentoring Program is seeking Expressions of Interest from mentors and mentees across Australia and internationally! The 2019 program will run from July to October and involve fortnightly meetings for mentors and mentees, face to face or by distance (over the phone or using Skype, Zoom, etc).


This year’s program will extend the opportunity for mentees to be in their final year of study OR recently graduated and working as a young professional in the field. We welcome mentors from all ages and walks of life who are familiar with the spatial and surveying industry and would like to inspire and pass on their experiences to the people who will shape the future of our industry.


The SSSI Young Professionals Mentoring Program 2019 aims to:

  • empower students entering the surveying and spatial sciences industry for early career success
  • ​build leadership in young professionals working in the industry
  • provide a platform to strengthen young professionals in the industry

Mentoring and coaching and valuable experiences - if you know anyone in your networks or friends/family, please pass on the details of this program for them to consider.


Submit your entry now for the Career Pathways Competition: “My story: How I came to be here”

Clarity on career pathways in our industry can be clear as mud at the best of times, and for many young people thinking about their future, as well as many of us who are already working in the industry, it’s not always apparent what options are available to us. To add to this, our industry is diverse in the depth and breadth of experiences and backgrounds that each one of us has - but this is not immediately apparent and can take quite a lot of digging beneath the surface to uncover.


To make inroads to changing this, we are extremely excited to announce the SEASC2019 Career Pathways Competition! We encourage you to apply, especially if you are a young-at-heart professional who would like to inspire students and young professionals to enter, stay in and improve our industry.

How did you end up in the spatial/surveying industry? To highlight the depth and breadth of people in our industry, we would love to hear about your personal journey to where you are right now. What steps have you taken to get here? What have been your biggest inspirations and motivators? What do you love about your job? From timelines of your studies and career to photos of your childhood and family, maps of your travels, and experiences in the context of entering the spatial profession, we’re interested in hearing what your journey is, no matter where you are.


Story maps are encouraged, and interactive posters (e.g. website entries with videos) are also accepted.

Entries close on Friday 9 August 2019, 11:59PM ACST.


To stay up to date with SEASC2019 for speaker and program updates, subscribe to the newsletter at To register, check out


SSSI STEM Professional Development  - Personal, Communication and Engagement Strategy

Looking for some professional development before you head into the next financial year? Planning the next steps in your career and needing some clarity, perspective and ideas? Doing your annual training plan with your manager? These are all good reasons to give yourself a boost and get involved in NSW SSSI’s Professional Development Masterclasses  in May and June.


On Saturday 18 May we start with a half day workshop, interactive exercises and networking on your Personal Strategy, Influence, Stakeholder mapping, Communication strategy and Visibility. With leadership specialists like Mark Hodgson, Spatial Industry leader Warwick Hehir, STEM leaders Mary-Ellen Feeney and Raelene Forbes, and NSW Young Professional of the Year Nikolaas Kostraby.  Only $115 for Students and member rates for SSSI. We need a minimum of 10 attendees for this intimate workshop but can take up to 30 participants - make sure you secure your spot today!


On 13th June we follow up with Presentation Skills. CPD Points will be available for attendees.


Further details here:

Young Professionals Symposium at Locate19

At the recent Locate19, the SSSI YPs held the inaugural Young Professionals SYmposium - a three hour session designed to engage with young professionals and young-at-heart professionals about the opportunities that young professionals bring to the industry, the challenges facing them, and potential ways forward for YPs to strengthen the Australian geospatial industry now and moving into the future. In this session, we discussed the demographics of the current spatial and surveying industry in terms of age dynamics as well as issues surrounding diversity and inclusion. We looked at the growing need for up-to-date technical information to be shared amongst industry but also reaching into academia to help make graduates more job-ready when they finish their tertiary studies. We also looked at how soft skills can help to improve the professional effectiveness of people of all ages in our industry, but is of particular importance to young professionals who will generally be required to step up to leadership positions at an earlier age compared to those who have gone before them. While also asking why young professionals are important in the industry, we contemplated how young professionals are important.


A White Paper discussing the issues raised and potential solutions put forward during this session will be released in the coming months, and we look forward to hearing your feedback on it. Watch this space!


Young Professionals engagement session at the Locate19 Hub

The SSSI Young Professionals also held the ‘Young Professionals’ engagement session at the Locate19 Hub, which was a fantastic initiative. We had a whole host of people of all ages and positions across the industry, and asked the key questions:

  • Why is succession planning important in the Australian geospatial/surveying industry?
  • What do young professionals bring to the table - how can businesses harness the opportunities that young professionals provide?
  • What legacy do you want to leave for the future of the industry? How can supporting young professionals bring this to life for you?

There was a lot of great input into these three questions, with it becoming apparent from the discussion that succession planning is about leadership, and that leadership can be done better on a range of scales across the industry. We realised that young professionals are generally very keen to seek out guidance but often not sure about who to approach or how to ask for help, how to get involved in things, and sometimes unsure about whether they will be encouraged to be courageous and have initiative or will be seen as not focussing on their job. There is a lot of scope for young professionals to assist in the industry collaborating innovatively with tangential industries, and there is a lot of work to be done to bridge the gap between industry and academia.


APSEA Young Professional of the Year 2019

We’d like to take a moment to congratulate Nicholas Brown of Geoscience Australia on the award of the Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Award for Young Professional of the Year (Australia) 2018! Nicholas has over 12 years of experience in the Geodesy sector, and has guided and

managed the delivery of a diverse range of new projects while continuously improving the

performance of Geoscience Australia’s mission critical operational activities. We’re very proud of Nicholas’s achievement!


Warm regards,

Roshni Sharma

Chair, Young Professionals | Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI)
T:  +61 2 4950 5322 | M: +61 (0)407 757 756
75 York Street, Teralba, NSW 2284  |

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