Bringing Associations Together To Boost Performance


Geospatial Council of Australia launched

The new Geospatial Council of Australia (GCA) officially commenced operations on 27 March, following the merger of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) and the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA|GITA).

The memberships of both organisations chose overwhelmingly in favour of the merger when it was put to a vote in November last year.

An in-person event to celebrate the arrival of the new GCA will be held at the Locate23 conference in May. Meanwhile, a new, very informative GCA website has gone live.

According to the GCA, the body’s overarching role is to “sustain a vital, diverse and thriving geospatial community for the benefit of the nation”.

It will accomplish this by “representing the interests of organisations and individuals, including new and emerging professionals working in the vast range of occupations for surveying, space and spatial in the digital world”.

“By merging SSSI and SIBA|GITA we can do more for our sector. We become a powerful voice that represents both professionals and businesses and we can create a stronger foundation for sustainable sector growth,” said Paul Digney, former SSSI President and now Acting GCA President.

“At the moment we are experiencing significant workforce capability and capacity issues. We need to work with government, education and training and industry to ensure we have the structures and programs in place to nurture a skilled and qualified workforce in the future.

“With our combined skills and resources, we can advocate for initiatives which will advance our sector and drive meaningful change.”

The GCA has a number of strategic priorities, including:

  • Increasing the profile of geospatial-related occupations in order to attract and retain talent.
  • Increasing investment into, and the recognition of, the geospatial ecosystem to provide global best practice technology and services across the economy.
  • Strengthening the voice of the geospatial ecosystem across whole of government, industry, and communities throughout Australia and internationally.

“In my career as a land surveyor, the only thing that has been consistent is change,” said Alistair Byrom, former Chair of SIBA I GITA and now Deputy President of the GCA.

“Technology and digital disruption continue to offer the spatial community limitless opportunities. Yet on several matters the spatial community’s conversation has not changed at all, particularly around workforce shortages, the age and diversity of the workforce, remuneration, competency recognition etc.

“To be able to address these issues we must be united in our representation, we must have significant numbers to change the current situation and to keep our momentum going. The merger of SSSI and SIBA|GITA is a vital step in the process.”

The inaugural Board comprises representatives from both founding organisations:

  • Acting President: Paul Digney
  • Deputy President: Alistair Byrom
  • Directors: Jacinta Burns, Darren Mottolini, Kate Ramsay, Roshni Sharma

In very sad news, the person selected to be inaugural president of the GCA, Peter Woodgate, passed away in December only shortly after taking up the role. A process is underway to select a new president.

Taken from Spatial Source Media Release on 12 April 2023.

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