2020 President’s Report

Australian Institute of Geoscientists > 2020 President’s Report



  • 2019-2020 Highlights
  • Membership
  • Professional Registration
  • Finance
  • Professionalism, Ethics and Standards
  • 2020-2021 Looking Forward
  • Council Election and Special Resolutions
  • 2020-2021 Council

Presented by AIG Director & President:
Andrew Waltho FAIG RPGeo

2019-2020 Highlights

  • Dealing with disruption caused by coronavirus measures
    • AIG rapidly moved to presenting talks and seminars using on-line videoconferencing
    • All talks were made available nationally
    • The move to on-line delivery of talks had significant benefits for overseas members (who now comprise 25% of AIG’s membership)
    • On-line delivery of some talks and seminars may be here to stay, even when the restrictions that caused the move are lifted.
  • Continued focus on corporate governance – improved practices implemented to help secure AIG’s future
    • A review of AIG’s governance was recently completed. Considering and acting on its recommendations will be the first priority of the new board.
  • State branches continue to deliver high quality benefits of membership across Australia
  • Mentoring and student bursary programmes continue to be an outstanding success
  • Five module JORC training course launched
    • High quality, flexible, affordable continued professional development
    • Individual modules may be completed according to participant’s needs
    • The first modules were delivered last week
    • Excellent feedback from participants
    • The course will continue in both face to face and on-line formats
  • Highly successful collaboration with ASEG and PESA to present AEGC 2019 in Perth
  • AIG again contributed to the success of the International Mining Geology Conference convened by AusIMM
  • Increased number of short courses organised by state branches and individual members supported by the Board covering a wide range of topics were delivered across Australia
  • Proposed merger with AIMVA
  • Two major, new publications to be released soon:
    • 50th anniversary of the discovery of Ok Tedi (in partnership OTML)
    • QGIS for geology handbook



  • 3080 members (at the start of the 2019-2020 subscription year)
    • 150 Fellows
    • 2461 Members
    • 251 Graduates
    • 14 Associates
    • 51 Retired
    • 153 Students

Membership has declined due to large drops in student applications, whilst members have increased slightly.

Encouraging students to participate in AIG activities will be a priority for both the board and state branches.

The influence of the National Graduate Group can be seen in the increase in Graduate numbers despite the decreases in Student numbers

W.A. accounts for 44% of AIG members, followed by Qld (14%), N.S.W. (10%) and Vic. (8%).

Overseas members are now the second – largest membership segment (after W.A.)

Women currently represent only 19% of AIG members.

The proportions of women members is greatest amongst younger geoscientists.

An effort to encourage women to consider geoscience careers is needed to achieve greater diversity in our profession.

Geoscience remains an aging profession.

RPGeo Registration

252 members have elected to take up Registered Professional Geoscientist (RPGeo) status.

14 new applications in 2019-20 mostly from overseas and Queensland members


  • AIG continues to be in a strong financial position with the assets of the Institute growing from $ 1.36 million in 2017 to $ 1.61 million in 2019.
  • This growth is continuing into 2020 with the budget indicating a further growth of $ 112 k (excluding an anticipated additional $94,000 from proceeds of the 2019 AEGC conference).
  • AIG’s reserves continue to represent funds required to operate the institute without revenue for three years,
  • The accounts were audited by Tinworth & Co. – Chartered Accountants who were satisfied that they are a suitable record of the AIG financial position.

Professionalism, Ethics and Standards

  • Major Ethics and Standards issue recently concluded. Details will be released in the next few days.
  • ASIC has expressed a need for greater scrutiny of member’s conduct in relation to public reporting in compliance with JORC.

2020-2021 Looking Forward

  • New website
    • Ground-up redesign completed
    • Exclusive member content
    • Complete integration, including the AIG member portal
  • Specialist group development continuing
    • Data management and GIS are the first groups being championed by members
  • Focus on improved delivery of benefits of membership and improved member engagement
  • Continued roll-out of the JORC training course across Australia and internationally – affordable, structured training.
  • Proposed merger with AIMVA is reaching a decision point (AIMVA could become AIG’s first specialist group)
  • Video recording of AIG after-work talks, seminars and conferences to boost YouTube channel content, promote AIG and improve access to CPD opportunities for members
  • Re-invigorated AIG awards programme:
    • Publicly recognize and celebrate member contributions to our Institute’s success
  • The introduction of Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) for AIG publications to enable more effective referencing and encourage authors has been approved by the board.
  • Print on demand services will enable selected AIG publications to be delivered in hardcopy form
  • Preparation of a major update of the JORC Code has commenced
    • Member consultation will be conducted prior to implementation
    • Release of the updated code expected in 2021


  • Continue to improve Institute governance – secure AIG’s future and promote transparency with members.
  • Continue to promote the role of Continued Professional Development(CPD) in the public perception of geoscientists
  • Strategy and purpose – what do members need AIG to be for them?

Challenges: Geoscientist Employment

  • Employment prospects for geoscientists in Australia remain a concern
  • Volatile situation
  • Long-term unemployment is growing
  • Geoscience is being viewed as an “old world” career, turning off talented students

2020 Board Election

Congratulations to the successful candidates for Board positions for 2020-2022:

  • Matthew Cobb MAIG
  • Katarina David MAIG RPGeo
  • Chris Dickinson MAIG RPGeo
  • Nicole Galloway Warland MAIG
  • James Llorca FAIG
  • Beau Nicholls MAIG
  • Andy Wilde FAIG RPGeo

Thank you to the retiring members of the 2019-2020 Board.

2020-2021 AIG Board

  • Wendy Beets*
  • Rod Carlson*
  • Matthew Cobb
  • Katarina David
  • Chris Dickinson
  • Robert Findlay*
  • Nicole Galloway Warland
  • Sophie Hancock*
  • James Llorca
  • Leah Moore*
  • Beau Nicholls
  • Dale Sims*
  • Andrew Waltho*
  • Andy Wilde

Eligible for re-election 2021.

Special Resolutions put to Members

Proposed changes to AIG’s Constitution and Code of Ethics to:

  1. replace the terms Council and Councillor with Board and Director respectively; and,
  2. Updated definitions of membership categories to improve clarity of AIG’s constitution.

Both proposals were overwhelmingly endorsed by members:

  • Votes received from 617 of 2394 eligible members
  • Resolution 1: Replace Council and Councillor with Board and Director: 567 (92%) in favour
  • Resolution 2: Updated member category definitions: 571 (93%) in favour