President's Report August 2018


gypsy10.jpgGaby van Wyk


We recently published a new strategy for SSSI - you can read more about it on our website and Peter Olah will also write about it in his message.  Some of you may recall that under John Trinder, SSSI's leadership published a pretty good, five year strategy in 2015.  So what was wrong with that and why now?  The 2015 strategy was good and it served the institute well.  However, since that strategy, many things have changed.  We now have a new constitution and new governance structures.  Some of our strategic partners have disappeared and we have formed new partnerships that open up new possibilities.  New and improved technologies in our space are opening up new alternatives for our members.  Changes in international relationships also offer new challenges that also open up great opportunities.

We simply had to respond to the many changes!

By now you all know about Agenda2026 that maps out a strategy for the Australian Geospatial industry.  SSSI plays an important role in this strategy, but we cannot rely on it alone as a strategy for our organisation.  Many of the pillars of the strategy are important to us and our members, but they essentially are focused on aspects of the industry that are not central to us.  We needed a strategy for SSSI, one that incorporates elements of 2026, but also one that focuses on our own future.

So with all that I want to call on our members.  To reach the goals set out in our new strategy, we need more people to get involved.

  • We need the young professionals.  Already we are seeing great leadership on many fronts.  Roshni and team are doing outstanding work.  We need young professionals to follow their lead.  There is a LOT that needs to be done and young people have the energy and drive to get us there.  After all, we are building YOUR future.
  • We need the older generation.  We need the wisdom and experience of older members.  The YP's want and have asked for mentors to come forward and help them on their way.  Most of our committees have vacancies and we need to fill those.  Is it perhaps time to give back a little?
  • We need more women to step up.  We need more leaders like Narelle Underwood and Mary-Ellen Feeney to make a mark and SSSI wants to help you to make that happen.  Over a year ago the board took a decision to set targets across the organisation in terms of diversity.  We have made some way forward, but we have a long way to go.  Most of the males in our industry are in agreement and they welcome more women.  We appreciate that it often takes extra effort for a lady to step forward, because of demands from family, the workplace and social life.  But SSSI is committed to help you on your way.

A while ago I found myself stuck in discussion about the role of professional organisations such as SSSI.  Unfortunately, the discussion centred around "What's in it for ME".  Essentially this question is usually asked by individual people, leaders in the industry, who are actually saying: I have already made it to the top, so I don't need others anymore.  The truth is that no one can make it to the top without others – and with the help of our friends and colleagues we can all build a better future.  We are not islands that exist on our own.  Together we are strong and we can accomplish more.  "What's in it for ME" is an attitude that isolates us.  Let's ask - "What's in it for US".  Please get involved.


Gabriel van Wyk
Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI)

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