Australia will have a new peak body for the geospatial sector following a merger vote yesterday by members of the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) and the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA|GITA).
SSSI and SIBA|GITA will join to form the Geospatial Council of Australia (GCA), to be officially launched in March 2023, with all individual and organisational members of its founders automatically transitioning to the new body.
The new organisation will aim to put workforce advancement — the single biggest issue confronting the sector today — front and centre as it prepares to advocate as a single voice for the geospatial professions.
This includes developing the geospatial workforce to be ready for the future digital workplace through the attraction of new generation of professionals, raising the profile of the profession and providing learning opportunities.
SSSI Chair Paul Digney thanked members for participating in the voting process and welcomed the merger decision, saying it would significantly advance Australia’s geospatial future for the benefit of the nation.
“We are entering a new era for the geospatial professions and the GCA will be setting a strong advocacy and leadership agenda,” he said.
“We need to act now if we are to transform our geospatial ecosystem to ensure Australia has a digitally enabled workforce, equipped to take us competitively into the future.”
Digney said the inaugural Board of the Geospatial Council would meet in the coming weeks to discuss transition arrangements
SIBA|GITA Chair, Alistair Byrom, said the decision was a good result after many months of consultation with members and the broader geospatial community.
“We are ready to get moving in the new year. Our members have clearly said they want to see a united voice for the geospatial community,” he said.
“There will be more consultation across all our membership as we work towards setting the strategic direction for the next two years.”
The inaugural Board comprises: Peter Woodgate (proposed President); Alistair Byrom and Paul Digney (proposed Deputy Presidents); Directors Jacinta Burns and Kate Ramsay (nominated by SIBA|GITA); and Directors Darren Mottolini and Roshni Sharma (nominated by SSSI), with provision for an additional two directors to be appointed at a later date.