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Inclusion and diversity central to AIG’s strategy

The AIG Council meets once a year, face to face, to consider issues that are central to AIG’s strategy. The 2019 meeting was held in late June in Adelaide.

It was great to meet members of the revitalised South Australia Branch committee. AIG has had an active branch in South Australia for some years, but a new committee has recently taken on the task of revitalising a program of regular branch meetings and seminars in the state. The Central West Exploration Discussion Group (CWEDG) has also recently merged with AIG’s New South Wales Branch to foster opportunities for geoscientists in the Orange region to meet and interact. State Branches play an essential role in the delivery of many of AIG’s benefits of membership and these developments will, without doubt, enhance our Institute’s ability to represent members in those areas.

The first face to face meeting of state branch committee representatives is to be held in Perth in early September, with the aim of improving managing AIG business, the work of our secretariat and, most importantly, improve communications between Council, AIG’s board, branches.

Several priorities emerged from the meeting:

  • AIG will remain a member-run, agile and responsive professional institute with low fees. AIG’s not for profit model is seen to be central to the Institute’s success.
  • Professionalism: we will continue to build a strong commitment to professionalism and ethics.
  • Building a community: we will strive to increase opportunities for members to meet and interact, face to face and on-line. Council is facilitating either audio or video recording of technical talks and other events for the benefit of members across Australia.
  • Retention and growth: we need to look closely at how to retain students as graduate members, and graduates as full members.
  • Education: AIG will remain committed to both secondary and tertiary geoscience education through support of ESWA and TESEP, and AIG’s own, very successful, undergraduate and postgraduate student bursary program.
  • Advocacy: we will look closely at how AIG manages this role, in its own right and in collaboration with kindred societies.
  • Inclusion and diversity: support for members with parental responsibilities and looking at AIG documents, to ensure they use gender-neutral language.

Many of these are issues that won’t be solved overnight, but on which substantial progress can be made in the next twelve months.

Aspects of the inclusion and diversity issue received immediate attention. We want to ensure that all members taking parental leave can retain contact with their peers and involvement in AIG activities. Members are able to request a membership subscription concession for up to three years while they undertake parental duties and are eligible for concessional registration for all AIG events. AIG’s Code of Ethics has also been reviewed to ensure that gender-neutral language is used throughout. The revised Code of Ethics will be put forward for member approval at the annual general meeting next year. This review is continuing. Council has also committed to reviewing recognition of overseas academic qualifications, to ensure that our assessment process is both equitable and robust.

AIG publications and establishment of specialist groups, where members can engage with others on topics of particular interest, are also on the agenda. Watch for further details and take the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas with your local branch or any Councillor – see AIG News for contact details.

Andrew Waltho
President

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