SSSI YP News – March 2020

February 28, 2020 | Young Professionals
Chair Report – Roshni Sharma

The SSSI Young Professionals have had a great start to 2020!

Our most exciting news is the upcoming Locate Conference - we’re planning an exciting young professionals program spanning the entire length of the formal conference, which has a suite of exciting series of workshops, presentations and interactive sessions featuring some of the industry's biggest names from Australia and internationally. We are also pleased to launch the Locate20 Podcast, which gives you a preview of what the conference keynote presenters and key players in the Locate conference think about some of the most topical issues in the industry. The SSSI Young Professionals are also running a Locate20 Travel Grant competition, but entries close soon so get your application in now!

In 2020, we will also be running the SSSI Mentoring Program, now in it’s third year. The details of the program are well under development and more information will be available soon. In the meantime, please take a second to submit your Expression of Interest, so we can get in touch with you when applications open soon.

The SSSI Young Professionals were involved in the recent SSSI National Bushfire Recovery Mapathon, which was held on Sunday 9 February across Australia and with international participants from around the world. A total of 2,793,879 hectares were mapped, with 15,731 edits, 13,891 building edits, 1,091 damaged features mapped and 945 damaged buildings were mapped as part of this mapathon.

For more information on these exciting initiatives, events and developments, as well as to hear about our Member of the Month Donny Darmawan, read on!

The committee is always open to submissions from the community on 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

Mentoring Program

The SSSI Mentoring Program 2020 will support students and young professionals by pairing them with more experienced professionals in the industry to work through a number of soft skills, helping to strengthen the foundation of career success for all involved.

We are welcome expressions of interest from:

  • students looking to enter the workforce successfully
  • young professionals who have been working for a few years looking to fast-track their early and mid career
  • experienced professionals looking to mentor students and early-career professionals.

The SSSI Young Professionals are delighted to welcome expressions of interest in the 2020 Mentoring Program - please fill in this short form now to submit your EOI. Share the news with your colleagues and friends if they would be interested in being part of the program.

Upcoming Events

If you’re thinking about coming to Locate20 but not yet sure how to frame it to your employer, look no further - we have put together a stellar two-day program specifically for young professionals in the Australian spatial and surveying industry!

The exciting two-day program features some of the biggest names in the industry nationally, and even has some of our international keynote speakers making an appearance:

  • Hear from Nadine Alameh (CEO of Open Geospatial Consortium), Zaffar Mohamed-Ghouse (SSSI President) and Narelle Underwood (NSW Surveyor General) about how they have gotten to where they are today and what advice they would give to those starting out in their careers
  • Hear from industry leaders about diversity and inclusion in the workplace and why young professionals are uniquely positioned to create real positive change in this space
  • Spatially-enabled 4D Digital Twins are all the hype - but what needs to be done and how you can you, as a young professional, bring value to your organisation by leading the way in this space? Find out more at a dedicated session exploring this that is being put together in consultation with State Governments across the East Coast of Australia
  • Interested in entrepreneurship and startups? We will be holding a workshop session with Tim Neal, awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019, to help you better grasp this space
  • Are you wanting to engage in further education while working in your early or mid career but not sure how to fit it in or what your options are? Hear from experts in this space to find out more information about how you can make this work for you for a better future
  • Interested in learning more about critical thinking, real and authentic networking and other soft skills that will help you advance your career more effectively? We will be holding two workshops to help you explore this space
  • As the future of work changes, we are seeing changes today in the industry. But what about the cultural shifts needed in the industry, and how do YPs fit into this? Join us for a blockbuster closing panel to hear more from industry leaders about this.

We are also excited to announce the launch of the locate Podcast, providing you with inspiration, information and engaging new ideas from some of our industry’s top thinkers.

Listen now on Spotify, Apply podcasts and all major podcast providers, or go straight to the source at

SSSI VIC Hydrography Seminar and Dinner

Tuesday, 10 Mar 2020 | 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm | 3 CPD Points | Register now

Please join the SSSI Victoria Hydrography Commission for the Hydrographic Seminar and Dinner, free to all SSSI members and $20 for non-members. This half day program is followed by networking drinks, kindly supported by event sponsors, Precision Hydrographic Services and Port of Melbourne. Dinner will be held at the Boatbuilders Yard in South Wharf.

Event Highlights
Bushfire Map-a-thon

Since September 2019, bushfires have burnt over 18.6 million hectares of land and killed 34 people. An estimated one billion animals have been killed and it is feared that some endangered species may be driven to extinction. Major bushfires have heavily impacted regions of New South Wales, eastern and north-eastern Victoria, Canberra and Kangaroo Island in South Australia, and large areas of forest have been burnt.

The SSSI Young Professionals were an integral part of the recent SSSI National Bushfire Recovery Mapathon, which had over 500 participants from around Australia and around the globe. Watch the video put together by the SSSI YPs about this groundbreaking event and why it was held here:

A total of 2,793,879 hectares were mapped, with 15,731 edits, 13,891 building edits, 1,091 damaged features mapped and 945 damaged buildings were mapped as part of this mapathon.

The Mapathon was held on Sunday, 9th  February 2020. The map-a-thon was held at six locations (Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart and Brisbane) across Australia, and participants could take part remotely from their own homes or offices. Forty-four teams participated from office or home locations, alongside nearly 300 individuals from within Australia and over 100 from overseas from 26 countries. Around the globe we had participants from FIG Young Professionals, Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Fiji Islands, Germany, Ghana, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Qatar, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, USA, and Zimbabwe.

SSSI was fortunate to have had access to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of aerial imagery for this Mapathon, provided by Nearmap, Planet Labs and Airbus to show a ‘first look’ at the fire impacted areas. This imagery was crucial, particularly as post-fire imagery is scarce.

Locate20 Travel Grant competition

Have you been thinking you would love to attend Locate20 in Brisbane on 28 – 30 April but need some financial assistance to get there?

Attending major national learning events can truly boost the careers of young professionals, helping them to better understand the industry, to hear the latest research and to have the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals of all levels. We are also very pleased to have a dedicated Young Professionals stream this year as well, so you can take the time to listen to and discuss issues identified by YPs for YPs.

In partnership with Platinum Sponsor, The Surveyors’ Trust, SSSI is supporting a number of young professionals to attend the conference. Awardees will receive conference registration and a capped amount for accommodation and travel expenses, valuing up to $10,000 in total across all recipients.

This competition is open to Australian residents/PR holders only and winners are required to be current financial SSSI members.  And of course, you must be a young professional, so therefore under 36 years of age as of April 2020. 

Enter Now!

Entries: 300-500 words or 2-4 minute video. Each entry must address:

● What are you looking forward to most at Locate20?

● How will attending Locate20 assist your personal development?

● How will attending Locate20 benefit your employer or future employer?

● How will you give back to the spatial community from attending Locate20?

Written entries are to be submitted to as either a word document or PDF. Videos can be submitted either as a YouTube Video (email a link to or an Instagram Video post, using the hashtag #Locate20_SSSIYPTravelGrant (please tag @roshni.r.sharma).

Member/Committee Spotlight

This month we are highlighting Donny Darmawan, our SSSI National NSW National Young Professional Representative.

Donny completed his studies at the University of New South Wales, graduating with Honours for his Bachelor of Engineering degree in Surveying and Spatial Information System. During this time, he started working for a small surveying firm in Linke and Linke Survey before venturing to the spatial industry.

Donny worked with leading spatial companies in Australia such as PSMA, Omnilink and NGIS. This has given an amazing opportunity to work in locations including Canberra, Sydney and Perth. Whilst working full-time, Donny also completed his Masters of Applied Science (GIS) from the University of Sydney.  Afterwards, Donny worked abroad for Arup in the UK on the High-Speed Rail 2 project to gain international exposure, before heading home to Sydney to lead the NSW Spatial and Data Engineering Team at Arup.

He is very enthusiastic to seek inspiration from other members from the SSSI and also to contribute to the industry with his experience. In particular, he is passionate about communicating complex problems using spatial and data. Donny is grateful for the opportunity to be involved in the SSSI YP committee.

Other News
  • Interested to hear about some of the latest hydrography work that some of our young professionals are part of? Read on here.
  • Looking for past webinars? We have updated our SSSI E-CPD section to contain our previous webinars - have a look today on our website.

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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