Acknowledging future surveyors’ role in wider society
During the Surveying and Spatial Science Institute (SSSI) Land Surveying Commission (LSC) National Committee meeting in December 2021, members of the committee clearly identified an urgent need to acknowledge future surveyors’ role in wider society. The committee felt fundamental to progress as an industry and as a profession is to recognise:
- the high value skills and knowledge surveyors currently hold and use today and.
- the high value skills and knowledge surveyors will need in the future.
SSSI have aptly named this initiative, Project Sirius, named after the European name for the brightest night star, used as a reference for navigation in the Pacific. Acknowledging too the history of astronomy in Australian First Nations, we also chose the name as an invitation to talk about the history of surveying in Australia and the industry's journey towards Reconciliation.
The SSSI LSC National Committee will embark on a realistic and managed plan over the next 3 years to boost public understanding of the surveying profession and to better navigate change that recognises new skills and opportunity in a new frontier for Surveying. Using the FIG definition of the function of a surveyor 1
as a reference, Project Sirius will improve how the community perceives surveying and how surveyors perceive and promote themselves.
The intended outcome of this project will be to test the public perception of a "typical" surveyor, highlighting the variety, opportunity, and adventure of surveying to:
- Dramatically improve diversity. 2
- Enhance public and industry perception and recognition of surveyors.
- Increase opportunity for retention of existing talent and graduates.
- Support attracting new entrants to the surveying profession. 3
- Boost university graduate and post graduate study, VET, and formal education.
- Attracting talent from cross disciplines other allied industries and fields.
Without this concerted effort, there is a growing risk of loss of key knowledge, loss to other professions or continuing to operate in a way that cannot keep pace with change. Of utmost importance to the project is that we harness the energy, drive, knowledge of an aging workforce and translate this into mentoring and shadowing opportunities, advocacy/promotion and skill-sharing. The time and need to act is immediate and with a high degree of urgency.
The SSSI LSC National Committee wishes to work openly in collaboration will allied industry groups, commissions, and bodies to bridge surveying, spatial and space 4 and work in the national interest by taking the lead in coordinating and uniting as single national voice, representative of all surveyors and surveying/spatial professionals. As the vehicle for change, our committee will coordinate and lead a national approach consistent with the intended outcomes.
The purpose of Project Sirius is to:
- Lead change in building a more recognised, skilled, and diverse national surveying workforce.
- Collaborate with the broader surveying profession to nationally recognise and adopt new skills, attract new entrants, and improve community engagement.
- Collaborate to secure investment and engagement from allied industry disciplines so surveying skills and knowledge remain nationally consistent, recognised, and relevant.
- Lead progress though working with other industry peers and organisations across Australia and overseas.
Project Sirius proposed Goals and Ambitions:
- Firstly understand the status quo and evaluate the quantum of change, then question have we made a significant enough impact before agreeing on a plan with specific, achievable goals and outcomes that are measurable.
- Support a growing understanding in the profession of surveyors' wider role in 21st century society, including advancing Reconciliation in the surveying industry.
- Unite the Surveying Industry nationally comprising of participation of all industry associations across Australia, aligning member participation at a single annual national / international event around Locate Conference and FIG 2025 (in Brisbane).
- Lead a framework of Certification, Micro-credentialing or Digital Badging recognising other types of surveying expertise outside of Land Surveying.5
- Support a nationally federated system of common standards in Surveying. 6
- Support greater recognition of the role of surveyors in the adoption of new technologies and methods such as: 7
- Geodesy and Positioning
- 3D Cadastral Surveying Practice
- Spatially Enabled Digital Twins, LIDAR and BIM.
- RPA, drone, UAV, RPAS or UAS Survey for Mapping and Spatial Information.
If you would like to participate in Project Sirius, please contact The SSSI LSC National Committee on firstname.lastname@example.org
1 SSSI as the Australian Member Association of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
2 By adopting the recommendations of the Space, Spatial and Surveying Diversity Leadership Network (SSSDLN)
3 Supporting the work of The Surveying Taskforce Inc and Destination Spatial QLD in a Nationally consistent campaign for careers in Surveying.
4 Supporting the work of the Space + Spatial Industry Growth Roadmap 2030
5 Working with CRSBANZ in recognising of expertise in surveying, outside of Land Surveying competency at a State/Territory Surveying Boards.
6 Working with CRSBANZ to support Cadastre 2034 Goal 5, Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) (2015] Cadastre 2034, Cadastral Reform and Innovation for Australia - A National Strategy: available at https://www.icsm.gov.au/sites/default/files/Cadastre2034_0.pdf
7 Working with ANZLIC standing committee ICSM working groups and other industry groups