SIBA and GITA ANZ have officially merged

By on 6 January, 2017


The Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) and the Geospatial Information Technology Association Australia and New Zealand (GITA ANZ) have officially announced a merger between the two professional associations.

The newly expanded association, whose official name is still unclear, will continue to deliver services to members as an association representing the collective spatial ‘industries’ and the ‘users’ of geospatial technology.  The merger aims to reinforce SIBA and GITA’s representation of members in advocacy across Government and more effectively drive growth for the spatial sector.

GITA president and Open Spatial CEO, Wanda Skerrett, will be appointed to the Board of the merged organisation, alongside GITA’s past president Antoine Burdett from AECOM.

SIBA chairman Alistair Byrom said the merger was a result of the growth being experienced in the spatial sector: “SIBA’s merger with GITA is a strong and determined response to the growth and consolidation of the spatial industry and draws together two organisations committed to a shared passion and vision for the spatial sector,” Byrom said.

“This merger will enable our larger association to provide a more consistent message and consolidate our combined efforts for greater impact,” he continued. “The merger will help increase awareness in the wider community of our members’ products and services and facilitate further growth opportunities.”

GITA president Wanda Skerrett similarly expressed the value of this newly unified ‘voice’ for the spatial industry: “With the merging of SIBA and GITA, we’ve set out to achieve a unified industry voice through an association for all,” she noted.

“Geospatial technology plays a critical role in all fundamental services supporting our community’s way of life as increasingly more companies embrace location information as a strategic focus of their business,” Skerrett continued. “This merger aligns the aims and visions of each ‘pre-merger’ association whilst enabling the enhanced, broader delivery of services such as member updates in areas such as spatial tools and technologies, industry collaboration and change, user and vendor networking and insight into common challenges.”

The practicalities of the merger remain to be seen and will be reported in Spatial Source as they become clearer.

Controversially, another crucial merger was foreshadowed late last year as part of the 2026Agenda Action Plan. The plan, compiled by an open group of representatives of the industry, listed a merger between the two peak bodies of Australia, the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) and SIBA, among 32 priority action items. The 32 priorities have been established with the aim of ensuring Australia’s surveying and spatial sectors reach their growth potential over the coming decade.

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