Australasian Groundwater Conference 2017 – Save the Date

Australasian Groundwater Conference 2017 – Save the Date


The 2017 bi-annual Australasian Groundwater Conference is being convened by IAH and UNSW in Sydney, 11-13 July, 2013.

The theme for the conference will be Groundwater Futures: Science to Practice.

An engaging three-day event is planned that will enable delegates to examine the multi-dimensional challenges affecting the sustainable development of the regions groundwater resources.

Engaging panels, informative presentations, exhibitions and networking opportunities will engage the over 300 delegates from Australasia’s groundwater research, industry, and management and policy organisations.

2017 AGC Abstract themes:

  • Emerging Groundwater Initiatives
  • Groundwater Science and Future Innovations
  • Interdisciplinary Groundwater Problems
  • Groundwater Resources and Climate Change
  • Energy and Groundwater
  • Groundwater Quality and Human Health

Abstracts will open December 1 2016 and close March 1 2017.

Keynote, plenary presentations and panel sessions will include climate change and groundwater resource challenges, energy futures, social license to operate and future directions and innovation in groundwater.

Stay tuned for the launch of the AGC2017 website.

Best regards,

Dr. Wendy Timms                                           Chris McAuley
AGC2017 Conference Chair                         IAH President

Geology textbooks to Cambodia

Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) Queensland member Mr Adrian Day was welcomed with many open arms in Cambodia in December 2015, as he proudly delivered 40 cartons of geological textbooks to the Institut de Technologie du Cambodge (ITC) in Phnom Penh.

Adrian has tirelessly collected over 400 books and journals including a valuable set of Economic Geology complete from 1970 to 2015. The books and journals were based on Adrian’s own library supplemented by donations from AIG members. In the photo, Adrian (back row 5th from left) is flanked by John Menzies (An expatriate Brisbane geologist based in Phnom Penh and representing CAMEC – Cambodian Association for Mining and Exploration Companies) (back row 4th from left) and Mr Sothan Nuth, Deputy Director of ITC (Back row 6th from left). The rest of the party are academics from the Geology Department at ITC.

CAMEC generously assisted the process by sourcing US$1,000 to freight the 600 kg pallet from Brisbane to Phnom Penh. Adrian was individually presented with a certificate of appreciation for all his efforts, and AIG Queensland Branch was recognised with their own certificate pictured below. Congratulations to Adrian.

If there are any members wishing to donate geological text books to the cause, contact

AIG Journal – now on-line

The re-launched AIG Journal is here!

The journal provides a forum for publishing papers, reviews and short notes dealing with any aspect of applied geoscientific research and practice.  Publication of this journal forms part of AIG’s commitment to supporting the ongoing professional development of its members and promoting the roles of geosciences and geoscientists in society, both within Australia and internationally.

There are two parts to the revamped publication:

  1. AIG Journal itself;and,
  2. AIG Notebook – specifically for the publication of short notes covering any aspect of technical or professional issues and practice.

A more detailed description of the journal and instructions for authors are available from the journal web site  You may enter the URL directly into your web browser or follow the link on the AIG web site home page.

The journal currently has a four person editorial panel:

Tracie Burrows
Tracie has been a member of the AIG since 2001, she is an RPGeo (Mining) and is Geology Manager / Principal Geologist with AMC Consultants Pty Ltd.

Tracie commenced work in the early 1990’s in exploration. By the mid 1990’s she transitioned to mining, working as a mine geologist and specialising in technical computing, which morphed quickly into geological modelling and mineral resource estimation. Tracie has 15 years on site, in base metals, hard rock tin and gold, and has worked from underground mine geologist through to Geology Manager. She has a further eight years in consulting across underground operational reviews, project development, resource estimation and public reporting.

Phil Carello
Phil is geologist with 30 years experience in mineral exploration, mining geology and petroleum exploration.  He has also worked in the financial sector and information technology industry.

Phil’s exploration and mining geology experience spans a range of commodities including nickel, gold, iron ore, copper, and base metals in Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, working for junior, mid-tier and major resource industry companies.  Phil graduated from the University of Western Australia and is a member of AIG, GSA, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, the Australian Drilling Industry Association and AGIA, the Australian Geoscience Information Association.

Nick Rollings
Nick is currently a Senior Fellow/Associate Professor in the School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.

Nick is a geoscientist with over 25 years’ experience in mineral exploration, natural resource management, geospatial information systems, teaching and research.  Nick specialises in the application of GIS, remote sensing and associated geospatial technologies to mineral exploration, natural resource management and cultural data management.

Andrew Waltho
Andrew is a geologist with more than 30 years experience in exploration and mining geology spanning a range of commodities in both Australia and overseas.  He is currently Chief Geoscientist Energy and Minerals with Rio Tinto Exploration’s Project Generation Group, based in Brisbane, where he leads a small, global team working on new coal, uranium, unconventional petroleum, heavy mineral sands, potash, lithium, borate and other industrial mineral opportunities.

Andrew is a Fellow of both AIG and AusIMM, a Registered Professional Geoscientist in Exploration and Mining, a past-President of AIG and a current member of the Institute’s Council, and Chairperson of the Institute’s Publication committee.  Andrew is also a Fellow of the Geological Society of London and a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME).

The editorial panel will seek the assistance of members to assist with the review of papers to ensure the quality of the journal and welcomes expressions of interest from members willing to assist.  The journal is archived by the National Library of Australia.

There will be no publication schedule for papers and notebook articles.  Papers will be published on-line as soon as the review and revision process is completed.  There are also plans to produce a print version of the journal annually, comprising all papers published on-line during the year.

The objective is to provide members with a means of publishing high quality contributions to applied geoscience practice in Australia and internationally and represents another AIG Council initiative to deliver value to members.

New AIG Executive and Committee Chairs 2016-17

There are some new faces on Council and revised roles for 2016-2017

The AIG Council usually meets every two months by teleconference.  The first Council meeting following the AGM is the one time that Council meets face to face to provide an effective means of dealing with important strategy and governance issues, as well as learning more about their colleagues who they will be working with remotely throughout the remainder of the year.

Executive Committee

Mike Erceg was unanimously appointed as AIG President for 2016-2017.  Mike is a Brisbane based consulting exploration geologist.

Wayne Spilsbury, past President, was appointed Vice President.  Andy Wilde will take on the role of AIG Secretary and Peter Lewis will continue as Treasurer.

Committee Chairs

Michael Edwards: Ethics and Standards
Anne Tomlinson: Membership
Sam Lees: Registration Board
Tim Craske: Complaints
Kaylene Camuti: Education
Andrew Waltho: Publications
Jonathan Bell: ROPO Board Representative
Wayne Spilsbury: Professional Issues
Mike Erceg: External Relations
Tim Pippett: AIG Service Award
Genna McDonough: National Graduate Committee
Heidi Pass: National Mentoring Programme Committee

AIG’s representatives on the JORC Committee are Chris Cairns, Jacqui Coombes, Graham Jeffress and Stuart Masters.

AIG’s VALMIN Committee Representatives are Jonathan Bell, Deborah Lord, Matthew Greentree and Jeames McKibben.

Councillors attending the AIG Council Meeting in Perth recently (from left to right): Tim Pippett, Doug Wiles (secretariat), Tim Craske, Martin Robinson, Kaylene Camuti, Anne Tomlinson, Andrew Waltho, Patrick Maher, Mike Erceg (President), Lynn Vigar (AIG Executive Officer), Robert Findlay, Wayne Spilsbury (Vice President), Peter Lewis (Treasurer), Katarina David and Jonathan Bell.  Not pictured Andy Wilde (Secretary).

European Geologist Journal


The Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) and the European Federation of Geologists (EFG) have agreed to make their journals available to members through their respective web sites.  

Future issues of the European Geologist Journal will be promoted by AIG via the Institute web site and email newsletters.  The European Federation of Geologists will link to AIG Journal and AIG News from the Federation’s web site.

The initiative will help to promote the work of both AIG and EFG to wider audiences, with benefits for both members and authors.  Issues facing geologists in Europe and Australia differ considerably.  The May 2016 issue of the European Geologist Journal is a thematic issue on how geology can contribute to sustainable development.

Please enjoy the journal.  We’d be really interested in your feedback, which will be passed on to EFG.

Drilling for Geology

16 CPD HoursDrilling for Geology II, 26-28 July 2017, Brisbane – Expressions of Interest

AIG is pleased to host the second instalment of its very successful Drilling for Geology conference held in 2008.  Drilling for Geology II will again focus on the collection and analysis of geoscientific information from drilling.


From grassroots exploration through to mining operations, drilling is the prime method used for geological data collection and is often the biggest single cost centre for exploration and mine geology budgets.   The conference will comprise two days of technical sessions with a concurrent exhibition. The third day will comprise a series of half-day and full-day professional development workshops.

Expressions of interest are invited for:

  • Presentations.  Abstracts of less than 300 words in English are now invited and must address the conference themes. Abstracts should be submitted to Mark Berry by 30 September 2016.  An extended abstracts volume will be published and provided to all delegates.
  • Sponsors.  There will be a wide range of options available to meet all sponsorship budgets.
  • Exhibitors.  There will be provision for up to 30 booths to be held in conjunction with the first two days of the conference.
  • Professional development workshops.  Day 3 of the conference is devoted to professional development. Organisations are invited to run half-day and/or full day workshops providing delegates with a choice of a wide range of drilling-related courses.

Please refer to the conference first circular or contact Mark Berry  for more information.

QRC Chief Executive to step down

The Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), Michael Roche, has announced his intention to step down later this year, after more than 11 years in the role.

Mr Roche joined the QRC as Chief Executive in July 2005, after a distinguished career in the government and private sectors. He said now was the right time to move to the next stage of his career.

‘It has been a great honour to be able serve the great Queensland resources sector over such an extended period at the helm of its peak body. The sector comprises wonderful people and hundreds of great businesses – large, medium and small – which deliver so much employment and wealth for our state,’ Mr Roche said.

‘The QRC is a great organisation with a very talented team that continues to deliver excellent service to the resources sector through some truly challenging times in recent years.’

Mr Roche said he had no intention of disappearing off into the sunset.

‘I enjoy my current non-executive board work and hope to do more of this. I also believe there is an opportunity to share my knowledge, expertise and experience built up over the past nearly 40 years, in a consulting capacity,’ Mr Roche said.

‘I am also keen to do more to assist the state’s charities and not-for-profit sector.

‘There is however no hiding the fact that the QRC Chief Executive role is a very demanding seven days a week commitment. I certainly look forward to also having more time with family and friends.’

QRC President Stewart Butel paid tribute to Mr Roche’s contribution over the past 11 years.

‘Michael’s skills and commitment as an advocate for the Queensland resources sector and as a leader of a great Queensland organisation are second to none,’ Mr Butel said.

‘Michael is leaving big shoes to fill.’

Mr Butel said it was very much business as usual at the QRC, with Mr Roche committed to staying on to provide a suitable handover to a new chief executive, most likely in November 2016.

A recruitment process for Mr Roche’s successor is now underway, with international executive search firm Egon Zehnder having been retained by the QRC Board.

QRC Media Release, 4 July, 2016

Latest Australian Geoscientist Employment Survey open for contributions

The survey can be accessed here.  The survey will be open for contributions until 16th July 2016.  You do not need to be an AIG member to participate.  

It takes only a minute or two to complete and collects no personally identifiable data.

The latest Australian Geoscientist Employment Survey is collecting data for the second quarter of 2016 (1st April to 30th June).  This is the latest installment in the survey series which commenced in June 2009.

The March 2016 quarter Australian Geoscientist Employment Survey revealed that employment prospects for geoscientists throughout Australia remained at highly depressed levels.


At the end of March, the unemployment rate increased from 18.7% at the end of December 2015, and the combined unemployed + underemployed rate increased from 42.1% to 42.9%, a new highest rate recorded since the AIG surveys commenced.

Almost 60% of self-employed geoscientists were unable to secure more than one quarter of their desired workload during the quarter, pointing to a real unemployment rate of 33.3%. The survey also revealed that 49%, almost half, of Australia’s unemployed and underemployed geoscientists have been without work for more than 12 months.

In the past three months there have been growing but anecdotal signs of some improvement in mineral, coal and petroleum exploration activity.  Whether this has translated into real improvement in employment is what this latest survey in the series will assess.

Thanks to your support, this survey series is becoming regarded as an important indicator of not only geoscientist employment but the general health of the exploration and mining sectors in Australia.  The survey results are reported widely and used to promote and inform others of the health of an industry which is vital to Australia’s economy.  Please support this ongoing initiative by taking a few minutes to complete this latest instalment in the survey series and encouraging your friends and colleagues to do so.  Special thanks are also extended to members whose suggestions helped to refine survey questions for this installment in the survey series.

The few minutes of your time spent completing the survey really helps to make a difference to the standing and knowledge of our profession.

Please contribute to the survey by the 16th July 2016 closing date.