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

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