Q&A with SEASC19 Convenor, Rob Sarib

By on 3 July, 2019

Disaster risk management and the impacts of climate change for the surveying industry; analyses of emerging technology; even a dedicated workshop on drone photogrammetry – this year’s South East Asia Survey Congress (SEASC) is as diverse as it is invaluable.

Rob Sarib, Surveyor General in Darwin and convenor of the 15th SEASC – which takes place in Darwin on 15-18 August – gives us the low down.

Question: The South East Asia Survey Congress is coming to Australia this August. What can we look forward to at SEASC 2019?

Rob Sarib.

Rob: SEASC 2019 Darwin is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for our survey and geospatial professionals to hear the important influences and trends in the surveying industry, across four great days. In today’s environment of rapid change, SEASC 2019 gives attendees the opportunity to engage in discussion with colleagues and to recognise and prioritise the challenges that are confronting our industry. Industry leaders will share best practices and share experiences, in a Congress that will bring together people from different backgrounds, and cultures, including those who have made significant contributions to their chosen areas. Of course, there will also be ample opportunity to meet, socialise and get to know one another, which will lead to new friendships and connections and enable the industry to move forward on national and regional issues.

Question: As the Surveyor-General in Darwin, what are you most excited to share with delegates from across Australia, South East Asia and globally?

Rob: What better starting point than experiencing the relaxed friendly welcome from fellow Territorians, and the tropical lifestyle of our unique dry season. It truly is a remarkable destination and we can’t wait to give people a taste of the Top End. As the Congress occurs during the Darwin Festival, delegates will also be able to enjoy a genuine cultural experience including cabaret, theatre, dance, visual arts, and outdoor concerts under the stars.

From a conference perspective, I am excited to showcase the Territory survey and geospatial industry, demonstrating its resilience and the leaders within our community, and how we can achieve results through innovative means, a “can do” attitude, and being less risk adverse.

Question: SEASC 2019 is hosted by SSSI and the ASEAN Flag Surveying nations. What is their aim in bringing it to Australia?

Rob: There are several objectives for hosting SEASC in Australia. The main one is to provide a forum for Asia Pacific professionals to enhance their technical knowledge and networks by providing an environment where delegates can meet, communicate and learn from their peers.

Another is for our industry to understand that the survey and geospatial issues being faced in one country are often the same in another, and that a unified and collaborative approach to tackling the challenges is the key.

Our ultimate aim and desired outcome from SEASC 2019 Darwin would be for the SSSI, ASEAN FLAG and attending delegates to ratify a Congress declaration or resolution. This statement could identify and prioritise the challenges, and the necessary actions that will be required to ensure the sustainability of our profession, our relevance and value to the community. In other words, it would set the foundations for our future.

Question: Who from the surveying and geospatial industry should participate in SEASC 2019 and what will they gain from attending the Congress?

Rob: All surveying and geospatial professionals would benefit greatly from attending. This includes graduates to senior professionals or decision makers who influence the direction of our industry. The organisers strongly emphasise the importance for our young professionals (YP) to actively participate as they are the future of our organisations. SEASC 2019 will be supporting a Careers, Asia Pacific Collaboration and Mentoring Day and will assign the YPs the important role of Chairing our technical sessions.

In addition to enhancing technical knowledge and expanding networks, we hope SEASC 2019 attendees will also see the significance of advocating our relevance to the broader community; be inspired to contribute to national or regional initiatives that will increase our industry profile; and learn to be agile to manage change.

Question: The theme for SEASC 2019 is ‘Collaboration, Communication and Capacity-Building’. What are the key topics and streams inspired by this years’ theme?

Rob: Our objective is to have papers and presentations that address and evoke discussion on the technical trends, issues and challenges of today, as well as the solutions proposed. In total we have secured almost 60 presentations. These presentations are aligned with the Congress theme and 6 main streams, which are –

• Cadastre, Land Administration and Management
• Capacity Building for the Future
• Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change
• Emerging Technologies, Platforms and Sensors
• Integrated Digital Delivery of the Built and Natural Environment, and
• Positioning Infrastructure, Systems and Applications
Also to support the technical sessions we are finalising several complimentary workshops that will be focusing on –
• Modernising cadastral land administration;
• Positioning, GNSS CORS infrastructure, applications, GDA2020, height systems;
• The role of surveyors and geospatial professionals in building information modelling;
• Professional development; and
• Drone photogrammetry technology.

The 15th South East Asia Survey Congress will be held at the Darwin Convention Centre from 15 to 18 August 2019 and welcomes all Surveying and Geospatial Professionals in Asia and the Pacific Region to attend. Registration is now open.

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