Education Update

Education Update

Kaylene Camuti
Chair, AIG Education Subcommittee

In the education report for last year’s May issue of AIG News I wrote that we were going through a difficult period for geoscientists and for geoscience students. Little has changed in the last twelve months: unemployment and underemployment remain at high levels and students are graduating into a work environment that offers few job opportunities. Although this is disheartening for all involved, it did not deter bright and enthusiastic students from applying for an AIG bursary in 2014 and we hope for, and look forward to, an equally enthusiastic response from students in 2015. During times like these the contributions from sponsors and donors is critical – not only for the financial resources they provide, but also for the message of support and community they deliver to students and graduates.

This year the Bursary Program has again benefited from the support of long term sponsors. The list of current bursary sponsors is included on page 14 of this issue of AIG News and sponsors who have again committed to supporting the Bursary Program are mentioned below. A special thank you this year also to the many AIG members who have made generous donations to the AIG Education Foundation over the last few years. In the next few weeks we will be setting up a dedicated web page to acknowledge and thank these members for their support.

Many thanks to the Bursary Program Sponsors who have renewed their support in 2015:

Sydney Mineral Exploration Discussion Group (SMEDG)


SMEDG is continuing its very generous support of the Bursary Program and we can now offer several major bursaries to NSW students working on mineral exploration-related research. SMEDG is a non-profit group and supports its activities and bursary sponsorship through the proceeds of symposia organised by volunteers, including the popular Mines and Wines Conference which will be run again this year in September.

Alexander Research Pty Ltd


Alexander Research is again offering a bursary to students working on cross-disciplinary projects related to mineral economics and finance. The company is run by Jonathan Bell, a geologist who specialises in mineral asset valuations, and who also serves on the VALMIN Committee, the AIG WA Branch Committee, and is an AIG Federal Councillor. Alexander Research is Perth-based, and offers services to professional valuers in the extractive minerals industry through the provision of data, programmes, and innovative valuation techniques.

Terra Search Pty Ltd


Terra Search has been a sponsor of the student bursary program for many years, and has renewed its sponsorship in 2015. The company offers a range of services to explorers and miners, including highly experienced geoscientific and field personnel, exploration database management, geophysical surveying, and vehicle and equipment hire. The company was founded by geoscientists in Townsville almost 30 years ago; it is still run by geoscientists, although operations have since expanded to include offices in Perth and Bathurst.

Gnomic Exploration Services Pty Ltd


Gnomic Exploration Services has been a long-term supporter of the AIG Bursary Program. The company was established in Townsville around 30 years ago to provide geoscientific and geotechnical contractors and consultants to the minerals and energy industries. The company has been a long-term supporter of the AIG Bursary Program.

Cryptodome Pty Ltd


Cryptodome is a Perth-based company run by Marcus Harris, with a focus on investing in Australia’s future resources. Marcus is a member of AIG Council and past-Chair of the AIGWA Branch Committee. Marcus has committed a great deal of time to geoscience education and Cryptodome has been a long term contributor to the Bursary Program.

Doug Young


Last year Doug Young was the inaugural Bronze Sponsor of the AIG Bursary Program and, again in 2015, Doug is continuing his support. Doug is a member of the AIG Queensland state branch committee, a former AIG Federal Councillor, serves on the AIG Education Committee, and actively liaises with the AIG National Graduate Committee.

We are grateful, also, for the contributions from ongoing bursary sponsors:

The Macquarie Arc Conference – GSNSW DIAMOND SPONSOR
The Department of State Development, South Australia PLATINUM SPONSOR

The support from these individuals and organisations has been long term, continues this year, and has been highly valued in providing security to the AIG Bursary Program.

Thank you, also, to the AIG state branches who regularly make substantial contributions to the AIG Bursary Program. As with SMEDG, the state branches are run by committees of volunteers who raise the funds to support the Bursary Program by organising symposia and other technical events. The effectiveness of the Bursary Program is significantly enhanced by the state branch financial support and by the efforts of the state branches in organising bursary presentations and student events.

The bursary application form for this year’s program has been distributed to students and universities in May, and we invite applications from third year, honours and postgraduate geoscience students at Australian universities.  Click here for more details.

This article originally appeared in AIG News 120, May 2015

AIG Publications Shop

AIG publications may now be purchased on-line via the Institute’s new publication shop, accessible via a link on the right hand side of the institute’s web site home page.

Publications shop link


The shop provides access to all Institute publications, in hardcopy where available, or as a digital download.  AIG members have free access to all digital publications using a members’ only discount code, entered on the checkout screen.  The discount code may be obtained by logging in to the member’s portal (follow the member login link at the top of each page of the AIG web site.

We’re currently re-scanning all past publications to make their text fully searchable.  Individual articles from past issues of AIG News and conference publications will also be available soon.

New Secretariat

Members will be aware that AIG uses a contract secretariat service for back-office functions needed to run the Institute.  Outsourcing of AIG’s back-office functions helps to maintain low membership fees for members and helps focus Council’s attention on the core business of representing members’ professional interests.

The Institute is moving to a new secretariat service provider after a long relationship with our previous provider, the Centre for Association Management (CAM) in Perth.

From 1 July, our secretariat services will be provided by The Association Specialists and AIG’s contact details will change to:

Australian Institute of Geoscientists
PO Box 576

T: + 61 2 9431 8662

While the mailing address and contact telephone number will change, existing AIG email addresses will be redirected to new recipients.  AIG’s on-line membership portal will be unaffected by the change.  The move from Perth to Sydney will change the contact hours for the secretariat office accordingly.

Please direct any questions regarding the change to AIG’s executive officer, Lynn Vigar.

21 June 2015

VALMIN Committee Calling for Expressions of Interest


The VALMIN Committee is seeking to expand its number of committee members as it enters the next phase of the review of the VALMIN Code. 

Over the coming months the Committee’s focus will be finalising the revision of the Code, and then moving to support effective awareness/communication and implementation of the revised Code.

If you would be interested in contributing as a member of the VALMIN Committee, please express interest by sending: a brief cover letter outlining your reasons for wishing to contribute and a current resume/CV by email  prior to COB Sunday 28 June.


2015 AIG Student Bursary Program

The application form for the 2015 AIG Geoscience Student Bursary Program is now available from the AIG web site.  AIG Bursaries are offered to Third Year, Honours and Postgraduate students. 

The closing date for applications is the 28th July.

In addition to AIG bursaries offered in all geoscience fields, the AIG also offers a number of sponsored bursaries to students working in certain fields of geoscience or geological terrains, or enrolled at specific universities..  These sponsored bursaries include:

  • The DSD – AIG Geoscience Student bursary: offered to geoscience students at South Australian Universities.
  • The Macquarie Arc Conference-GSNSW – AIG bursary: offered to geoscience students working on mapping-based honours projects in the Lachlan Orogen, in or around the Macquarie Arc.
  • The SMEDG-AIG Bursaries: offered to NSW geoscience students working on projects related to mineral exploration.
  • The Jonathan Bell-Alexander Research – AIG bursary: offered to geoscience students working on cross-disciplinary projects related to mineral economics and finance.
  • The Davis – AIG geoscience bursaries: offered to geoscience students enrolled at JCU or UWA to assist with costs associated with field work.

Geology for Society report launch at the European Parliament

Geology for Society

Geology is the study of the Earth’s structure and history. It underpins the provision of resources to society and industry, delivers a wide range of essential services, and helps us understand how we can live more sustainably on our planet. Industries which depend on geology are major contributors to economic growth and stability, generate significant tax revenues, and provide employment to many millions of people across Europe.

In the light of the major role geology plays (often unknowingly) in a multitude of economic areas, the Geological Society of London (GSL) produced in 2014 a major report named “Geology for Society” that has been translated, thanks to the collaboration of the European Federation of Geologists (EFG) and its national membership associations, into 14 languages so far. This European report has been officially launched at the European Parliament on 2 June 2015 with the aim of outlining to MEPs and EU policy makers the importance of geology and qualified professionals to our society, covering areas such as energy, minerals, water, waste management, construction, land contamination and natural hazards. The session hosted by MEP Carlos Zorrinho (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy) was attended by members of EFG’s national associations and representatives of the European Commission’s DG Energy, DG Environment, DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and DG Research & Innovation and intended to promote dialogue between policy makers and geoscientists at a European and national level.

In his words of welcome MEP Carlos Zorrinho underlined the often missing understanding of geology in policy circles and the central role geosciences play however for various topics currently under discussion at the European Parliament such as fracking, conflict minerals, natural hazards or climate change. Nic Bilham, Director for Policy and Communication at the Geological Society of London and UK delegate to EFG, introduced the ‘Geology for Society’ report stating the importance of communicating science appropriately to make the role it plays intelligible to policy makers, industry, young people and the media in spite of its complexity. EFG President Vitor Correia illustrated examples of the impact geology has had on society from a historical point of view. These included early innovations in the Iron Age where new tools raised societal standards; the Lisbon earthquake in 1749 that influenced the perception of Europe’s citizens and the origins of romanticism in fine arts and literature; and the creation of the European Coal and Steel committee that ‘made war not only unthinkable but materially impossible’ according to the Schuman declaration of 9 May 1950. In his conclusion Vitor Correia confirmed the support the European Federation of Geologists as the professional body certifying skilled European Geologists can provide to support future EU policy relating to today’s major global challenges.

The representatives of DG Energy, DG Environment, DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and DG Research & Innovation concurred in their statements that the ‘Geology for Society’ report is considered as an extremely valuable document for the European Commission and that the input of geologists (and other science branches) will be essential to tackle the 21st century’s societal and environmental challenges.

The ‘Geology for Society’ report is available for download via the EFG website

report launch

About EFG: The European Federation of Geologists is a non-governmental organisation that was established in 1981 and includes today 24 national association members. EFG is a professional organisation whose main aims are to contribute to a safer and more sustainable use of the natural environment, to protect and inform the public and to promote a more responsible exploitation of natural resources. EFG’s members are National Associations whose principal objectives are based in similar aims. The guidelines to achieve these aims are the promotion of excellence in the application of geology and the creation of public awareness of the importance of geoscience for the society.

About GSL: The Geological Society of London was founded in 1807. It is the oldest geological society in the world. The Society provides a wide range of professional and scientific support to its members. It has one of the most important geological libraries in the world. It is also a global leader in Earth science publishing, and is renowned for its cutting edge science meetings. It is a vital forum in which Earth scientists from a broad spectrum of disciplines and environments can exchange ideas, and is an important communicator of geoscience to government, media, those in education and the broader public.

EFG GeolSoc

Exploring the 2015 VALMIN Exposure Draft

Friday 12 June at: 10am in WA; 11.30am in SA/NT; 12 noon in QLD/NSW/VIC; 2pm in NZ; Duration 1 hour

Presented by VALMIN Committee members

Cost: Free

Click here to register on-line via the AusIMM web site.

This webinar provides an opportunity to hear from members of the VALMIN Committee about the Exposure Draft and the changes to the VALMIN Code it proposes. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers after a presentation on the key changes suggested in the Exposure Draft. If you have a question you would like to raise, please email it through to to assist the presenters in addressing it for you as part of the webinar.

The webinar will be recorded and made available for viewing via YouTube as quickly as possible after the session. Advice regarding how to access the recording will be available on the VALMIN website.

VALMIN Code Exposure Draft:

The VALMIN Code is currently under review, and the VALMIN Committee has now released an Exposure Draft revised Code for comments.

The draft revised Code has been prepared in response to changes in regulations and practices over the last decade since the publication of the VALMIN Code 2005. The look and feel of the VALMIN Code 2015 Exposure Draft is different to the VALMIN Code 2005, some of the terminology is different, while the methods and key principles are essentially the same.

Comments on the Exposure Draft revised VALMIN Code close on Friday 17 July 2015. All interested individuals and companies are invited to make a submission.

To review the Exposure Draft, and for instructions on how to make a submission to the VALMIN Committee, please visit the VALMIN website. Inquiries can be directed by email to



AIG News 120 is available now!

The latest edition of AIG News, the Australian Institute of Geoscientists member newsletter is now available in full colour and digital format.

For AIG Members
AIG Members may download their free digital copy of the latest AIG News through the Member Portal.

Non Members
Non Members may purchase a digital copy of the latest AIG news through the online AIG Publications shop.



Inside this latest issue…

aig-news-120-pagesFrom Your President: On Professionalism; Institute News: Snippets, WA Branch News, NSW Branch News, Education News; Membership Updates; Registered Professional Geoscientists Approvals & Applications; IAH Seven Wonders: Gins Leap Gap Hydrogeological Wonder: Upper Namoi Valley, NSW, Australia; Bursary Report: In Situ Fe isotope analyses by SIMS; The Spirit of Ecstasy replaced with a Workhorse; Upcoming events; Forensic down-the-hole geology in search of gold; Geological mapping procedures for Porphyry Cu-Au and Epithermal Exploration; INTRAW – International Raw Materials Observatory: A new international project on raw materials; Ethics Report: What sort of complaints does AIG deal with regarding members’ conduct?; Yilgarn Retrospective; AIG Member Offer: AMIRA’s Data Metallogenica; PACRIM 2015 in Hong Kong; Events Calendar; AIG Council & AIG News


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We hope that you enjoy the latest AIG News and welcome your feedback.