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The latest edition of AIG News, the Australian Institute of Geoscientists member newsletter is now available in full colour and digital format and best of all FREE for all readers!
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Inside this latest issue…
From Your President; Institute News; Snippets; SA, TAS, NSW Branch News; Membership Updates; Education News; Student Report: The Ninetyeast Ridge volcanic hotspot track: ages, origin and geodynamic implications; Using Implicit Modelling to Assess Geological Uncertainty; AEGC 2019; Machine Learning; VIC Conference 2019; AIG Journal: MAPCIS; Vic Family Day; AIG at GESSSQ 2019; Lithium Pegmatites: Drip Tectonics, Sanukitoids and the History Of Granite; Mining Geology 2019; Tips & Tricks for Geologists; Exploration Radio; Headphones on: learning about geology and mining through a podcast; Gradual improvement in geoscientist employment during Q3, 2019; Core Skills 2019: Brisbane Exploration Data Centre; Ok Tedi Bulletin; Geological adventures around South America; Are we getting enough ‘T’ into our geoscientists?; Part 2: What the Industry Wants – Results from the 2018 AIG National Graduate Group Geoscience Survey; Advances In Exploration Geochemistry Seminar; Events Calendar; AIG Council & AIG News and more…
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The STEM Ambassador Program connects STEM professionals with Federal decision makers. This is an amazing opportunity for you to help bridge the gap between science and parliament.
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Australian geoscientist employment improved marginally in the third quarter of 2019.
The latest AIG Australian Geoscientist Employment Survey revealed that unemployment amongst Australian. geoscientists fell to 7.4% at the end of September, down from 9.3% at the end of July. The underemployment rate also fell to 14.1%, from 14.9% for the same period.
Australian geoscientist employment – June 2009 to September 2019
The survey results, at a national level, continue a gradually improving trend evident since March 2016, but the rate of improvement appears to have slowed since March 2018.
The number of long-term unemployed geoscientists continued to increase with 47% of unemployed and under-employed geoscientists having little to no work for more than one year, or more than two years for 34% of respondents.
AIG President, Andrew Waltho, welcomed the continued improvement in both the unemployment and under-employment rates, with the reservation that the rate of improvement remains slow. “The most disappointing and serious statistic is the proportion of long term unemployed and under-employed geoscientists” Mr Waltho said. “AIG and kindred professional institutes continue to promote the need to recognise the high-level scientific skills possessed by this pool of experienced professionals that can be applied in a broad range of fields where an ability to understand and interpret Earth systems and processes is valuable”. “In the meantime, AIG continues to provide members with effective and accessible opportunities for members to maintain and expand their professional networks and undertake continued professional development” Mr Waltho said. “Members accessing these opportunities are actively working to resurrect their careers and value this support” he said.
The unemployment and under-employment rates amongst geoscientists in Australia varied substantially between states.
Unemployment amongst geoscientists decreased in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, but increased in Victoria and South Australia. The greatest improvement in unemployment was evident in Victoria. No Northern Territory respondents responded as being unemployed. Too few responses were received from Tasmania for state results to be reported.
Under-employment, defined as respondents being able to attract less than 25% of their desired workload, decreased in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia but increased in Western Australia, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory. The lowest under-employment results was evident in Victoria.
Australian geoscientist unemployment and under-employment by state – September 2019
Almost 71% of respondents reported being full-time employees, on staff or fixed term contracts. Only 3% work part time and between 4% and 5% are casual employees. Self-employed geoscientists comprise 22% of the profession.
Australian geoscientist employment basis – September 2019
Geoscience remains a male dominated profession in Australia.
Some 85% of survey respondents were men and 15% women. One respondent identified with neither gender. There are relatively more women pursuing geoscience careers in Australia in the 0-15 years experience groups, with the highest proportion of women responding to the survey having between 10 and 15 years experience.
Gender diversity in Australian geoscience – September 2019
“Clearly, more needs to be done to attract women to geoscience careers, and retain women in the profession with more than 15 years experience if gender equity is to be achieved” Mr Waltho said. “It’s a serious issue, central to the public recognition vitality of the geoscience profession that will take concerted and committed action by all geoscientists in Australia to address”.
The next employment survey will open for contributions in early January 2020. AIG values the continued support of both members and non-members who take a few minutes to complete the survey each quarter and encourages as many geoscientists working in all sectors of the profession in Australia to contribute.
Australia, US partnership on critical minerals formalised
Australia and the United States have formalised their partnership on developing both nations’ critical mineral assets, with a project agreement signed today by Geoscience Australia and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The signing paves the way for both nations to work more closely on understanding each country’s geological resource potential for critical minerals, including rare earth elements, and developing a pathway to supply arrangements.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said it was the beginning of a strong new partnership which would benefit both nations.
“This is a partnership that will deliver opportunity and security to both nations,” Minister Canavan said.
“Growing global demand for critical minerals means there is huge scope for Australia to develop secure and stable supply chains to meet the growing demand for critical minerals in key economies such as the US.
“The US has a need for critical minerals and Australia’s abundant supplies makes us a reliable and secure international supplier of a wide range of those, including rare earth elements.
“Today’s signing follows a wealth of work by the Liberal National Government to grow our potential in the critical minerals market, following the announcement of our critical mineral partnership with the US in early 2018.
“Almost 12 months ago Geoscience Australia and the USGS signed a wide-ranging Letter of Intent to formalise our collaboration on critical minerals.
“Our Critical Minerals Strategy was released earlier this year to coordinate activities across government, promote investment and deliver the necessary infrastructure to bring new critical minerals projects into production.
“And just last month we released our Critical Minerals Supply Chain in the United States report, which reinforces the importance of Australia continuing to attract investment in high-value activities such as processing and manufacturing.
“Our partnership with the US also supports the goals of our National Resources Statement.”
The new agreement focuses on joint critical mineral potential mapping and quantitative mineral assessments, determining geological controls on critical mineral distribution, and developing data analytics capability to understand supply and demand scenarios for developing the critical minerals pipeline.
The knowledge gained from this collaboration will:
- Improve both countries’ understanding of their geological resource potential for critical minerals, including rare earth elements, and contribute to a robust evidence base for global supply potential
- Better identify and close critical minerals knowledge gaps in Australia’s critical minerals understanding
- Help Australia understand future trends and match resource potential to international demand
- Fast track innovation in the critical minerals sector, including development of online decision support tools with full data and decision process transparency.
Critical minerals are essential for the production of high-tech, aerospace, defence, renewable energy, agricultural, automotive and telecommunications technologies, and are found in everyday items such as lithium-ion batteries which power laptops and smartphones.
Senator the Hon Matt Canavan Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Media Release, 19 Nov 2019
Women and Leadership Australia have funding is available to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s science sector.
The initiative is providing women with grants of between $2,000 and $7,000 to enable participation in one of three programs that cover such things as reinforcing resilience and wellbeing, engaging with challenge and conflict, creating future focus, leading authentically and driving performance.
The scholarship funding is provided with the specific intent of providing powerful and effective development opportunities for science sector women, but has to be allocated by the end of 2019.
Expressions of Interest
Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form here prior to 6th December: www.wla.edu.au/funding.html