President's Report February 2018


gypsy10.jpgGaby van Wyk

Homeward Bound

This month I want to tell you a little more about Homeward Bound.  This is a global leadership development program to promote and develop the skills of female scientists to promote STEM education and careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).  They also promote female scientist collaboration networks for policy and decision making for environmental preservation.  They run a targeted leadership development program for a 1000 woman selected from around the world for a whole year, and then they select a small group of women to go on a women-only expedition to Antarctica.  This year one of our members, Mary-Ellen Feeney, will be one of only 80 selected for this expedition.  Mary-Ellen is one of the leaders at Jacobs and she has been a member of SSSI for many years.  She currently serves on the SSSI NSW Regional Committee and she is a Board of Surveying and Spatial Information of NSW Board Member.

As the leaders of the Institute, and as the Australian representatives of International Society of Digital Earth (ISDE), we are passionate about the work of Homeward-bound.  We also want to acknowledge the great work that Mary-Ellen is doing for the SSSI.   Therefore, we are proud to announce that this year SSSI will be a major sponsor for Mary-Ellen on her trip down to Antarctica.

If you want to know a bit more about all of this, here are a few links:

SSSI Board Meeting

The SSSI Board met for a face to face meeting on Monday, 5 February.  The following agenda produced a fruitful discussion:

  • The shortlist from applications for the role of CEO.
  • SSSI Governance and the state of affairs at the moment.
  • The shortage of people in leadership roles for different committees.
  • The National Survey Discussion Forum.
  • The state of certifications
  • Membership numbers
  • Our Financial affairs
  • Proposals for the creation of new streams:
    - 3D and BIM
    - Drones used for spatial applications
  • Opportunities for Advocacy


On a different note, as you all now know, one of our leaders in Remote Sensing, Craig Smith, has recently passed away.  This tragic event has encouraged many members to become more active in our organisation.  Our members realise that with the passing of one person, others must step up to fill the gap.  I am grateful to those who have made themselves available to serve in volunteer positions.  I also want to encourage others – we still have many volunteer roles that need to be filled.  If you feel that you want to get more actively involved, please do inform the staff – in an organisation such as ours, we can always find a place for another volunteer.


Gabriel van Wyk
Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI)

Telephone:  +61 2 6282 2282 | Facsimile:  +61 2 6282 2576
Postal Address:  PO Box 307  DEAKIN WEST  ACT  2600 
Location Address:  27 – 29 Napier Close, National Surveyors House  DEAKIN  ACT  2600  |