Funding for Women’s Leadership Development Available

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:

Exploration Radio

AIG is proud to announce that it will be a sponsor of the Exploration Radio podcast for the next 12 months.

Sponsorship of the podcast was approved by the AIG Council at its meeting earlier this week.  

The sponsorship will help Exploration Radio’s presenters Ahmad Saleem and Steve Beresford deliver more great content to listeners, including many AIG members, throughout Australia and internationally.

Exploration Radio is always interesting, topical and a great professional development resource for geoscientists interested in all aspects of mineral exploration everywhere, anytime.  

The podcast is particularly beneficial for geoscientists working in the field, on commute rosters or overseas, interested in keeping informed about developments and ideas relevant to both the present and future of their profession.

Listening to Exploration Radio is a valuable, readily accessible source of continued professional development (CPD) hours for AIG members.  

Podcast episodes can be downloaded from the Exploration Radio website or most popular podcast distribution channels, including iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and Spotify.

J.H. Rattigan Map Collection

The National Library of Australia is currently undertaking a program of describing and digitizing their map collections.

The library holds a number of collections from cartographers, geographers, planners and other professionals, including geoscientists, that are kept together as formed collections, separate from the library’s general map collection.

The library recently digitised and described the Dr. J.H. Rattigan map collection, which consists of geological maps of the Hunter Region by G.D. Osborne. The collection has a finding aid.

Extract from Osborne’s geological map of the Carboniferous system between Glennies Creek and Muscle Creek, Hunter River District in the NLA Collection.

G.D. Osborne was considered one of Australia’s’ earliest pioneering structural geologists and his hand drawn maps date back to the 1900’s. You can view his collection of hand-drawn maps here.

The library would love to receive feedback and hear how people use these collections. Contact

Adelong Norite unveiled and a small piece of Antarctica on its way to the National Rock Garden in Canberra

At the end of last year, a nine-tonne block of Adelong Norite (aka black granite) was added to the National Rock Garden. This uncommon mafic igneous rock is from the historic gold mining town of Adelong in the Snowy Mountains region of southern New South Wales and was generously donated by Sheri McEvoy. The Adelong Norite has been mined as a decorative building and monumental stone from small quarries around the town, but these are now closed. However, several quarried blocks remain on private property near the quarries. The rock was used to stunning effect in the Qantas House building in Sydney, which opened in 1957. More recently it has been utilised by Australian artist Andreas Buisman to create evocative rock sculptures, including a beautiful polished boulder that rests on the grave of famous eye surgeon Fred Hollows in the western New South Wales town of Bourke. Andreas generously agreed to donate his own time to create two cameo sculptures on the NRG block and has offered to do further work on the piece.

Adelong Norite showing one of the sections sculptured by Andreas Buisman

The inauguration of the Adelong Norite took place on the 25th of November and was attended by 80 people, including special guests Andreas Buisman and Gabby Hollows (widow of Fred Hollows). The display was unveiled by Suzzane Orr MLA for the ACT Government. The National Rock Garden gratefully acknowledges Bendigo Bank Adelong and the Snowy Valleys Council for funding to transport the rock from Adelong to the NRG.

Inauguration of the Addelong norite speciman, National Rock Garden

The National Rock Garden has also been fortunate to acquire its first iconic rock from an Australian territory. in the form of two magnificent blocks of Mawson Charnockite from Antarctica. These samples have been generously donated by the Australian Antarctic Division, who also arranged transport from Antarctica to Tasmania. The rocks recently arrived in Hobart after their shipping from Mawson by barge and the Aurora Australis. They are currently stored at the Mineral Resources Tasmania Core Storage Facility awaiting funding for transport to the NRG.

The Mawson Charnockite occurs around Mawson Station, one of Australia’s three research bases in Antarctica. Both the station and the rock are named after Sir Douglas Mawson, Australia’s most famous Antarctic explorer and a prominent geologist. The rock is described as a brown, gneissic charnockite with a slight to moderate foliation and numerous xenoliths.

The inspiration for including a sample of the Mawson Charnockite in the National Rock Garden came from the late Professor Patrick Quilty, a palaeontologist and geologist who was passionate about Antarctic geoscience and its promotion internationally. He made many research trips to Antarctica and was Chief Scientist with the Australian Antarctic Division from 1981 to 1999. Pat believed that a piece of Antarctica from Australia’s Antarctic Territory would be a fitting memorial to the work of Sir Douglas Mawson and other Australian geologists and scientists who have contributed to understanding the frozen continent. The rock also provides a reminder of the geological connections of Australia to the other southern continents as part of Gondwana.

The National Rock Garden acknowledges the Australian Antarctic Division for the donation of these samples and their transportation to Tasmania. The NRG Steering Committee also thanks Mineral Resources Tasmania for agreeing to safely store the rocks until they can be transported to Canberra.

Ken McQueen MAIG, National Rock Garden Steering Committee.

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

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