AIG Western Australia Branch Mentoring Program

AIG Western Australia Branch Mentoring Program Launch!

AIG Western Australia Branch is proud to announce that applications are now open for the inaugural 2015 student and graduate mentoring program.  We are currently looking for 15 mentors and mentees who are keen to enrol.

The AIG Mentoring Program is an initiative of the newly formed National Graduate Committee to provide undergraduate students, MSc/PhD Candidates and early-career geoscientists with practical advice and feedback from senior industry professionals.

The inaugural WA scheme will run through the 2015 August to December university semester, allowing time for the development of strong relationships between mentees and mentors.  Mentor-mentee contact will be through formal meetings and social events.

You must be an AIG member to participate in the program.

If you are interested, and would like to give back to the industry as a mentor, or want the opportunity to learn as a mentee, please complete an application form and return it to, with the subject ‘WA MENTORING – MENTOR’ or ‘WA MENTORING – MENTEE’.

Further information regarding the program is available here.  Further details and expression of interest  forms for both mentees and mentors are available here.

BIG Data: Inspiring Information and Strategic Knowledge

BIG Data, Inspiring Information and Strategic Knowledge, is being presented in Perth WA 23-24 March 2015 by AIG and Geoscientists Symposia.

This international symposium will examine data management and effective data conversion to knowledge that delivers growth in the exploration and mining sectors.

The conference organising committee: Heidi Pass (REFLEX Geochemistry), Suzy Urbaniak (Kent Street Senior High School), and Julian Vearncombe (SJS Resource Management) invite you to review the latest circular and consider presenting a paper at the conference by contacting

The latest, updated symposium circular is available here

Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Big Data Sponsors

Hale / St Mary’s Careers Expo

Recently the WA branches of AIG & ASEG participated in the annual Hale / St Mary’s Careers Expo. The night was well attended with exhibitors from local universities and various sectors including finance, hospitality, medicine, real estate, law, health, police, and GEOSCIENCE!

This year marked our third year at the event and although it was a stormy night, many students benefitted from the displays and advice given by the exhibitors.

AIG Councillor Heather Carey and Jocelyn Thomson speaking with students at the AIG stand.

AIG Councillor Heather Carey and Jocelyn Thomson speaking with students at the AIG stand.

ASEG WA committee member Javad Khoshnavaz manning the ASEG stand at the expo.

ASEG WA committee member Javad Khoshnavaz manning the ASEG stand at the expo.

We look forward to an ongoing presence at career events like these, which give us the opportunity to encourage students to study math and science!

Kent Street High School – Curtin University Mining Challenge

AIG WA Branch committee members were involved in the Kent Street High School (Perth WA) – Curtin University Mining Challenge, held last week, for the second consecutive year.

A collaboration between these two education institutions, the initiative is aimed at creating resources industry career awareness amongst primary school students. Ultimately, the Mining Challenge provides recognition for a mining based educational pathway for the primary school students to pursue as they transition firstly into secondary education at Kent Street and then progress on to Curtin for undergraduate studies at the Western Australian School of Mines.

Both Kent Street and Curtin are renowned for their resources education throughout Western Australia.  Each year, up to half of Kent Street’s Earth and Environmental Science class progress to Curtin to pursue either geoscience, mining engineering or metallurgy degrees.

The event theme was “You need to find it to mine it”.   The challenge involves 180 primary school students from six local primary schools who are mentored, led and managed by Year 9 Kent Street students to compete in a series of mining activities.  It is a huge day for both the students and the judges.  The winning school receives $1000  of scientific based Lego and both female and male miners and mine managers are also rewarded.  The AIG judges are responsible for awarding points related to team work, construction and environmental awareness.

Kent St 1

Getting ready to process the ore. Year 9 mentor – Devika is rallying the Victoria Park Primary school students to get ready for the next challenge. Victoria Park Primary won the event by 0.5 point from Gibb Street Primary School.

Four AIG WA committee members and two other AIG members, geologists Peter Pring and Michael Outhwaite, were involved in the coordination and judging of the event.  Myself, a teacher and geologist from Kent Street, worked with the Curtin contingent of which Sam, a 3rd year Applied Geology student from Curtin University, was one to organise the day.  Heather and Mike, who are also AIG Councillors, both volunteered their time to judge.

Kent St 2

Four of the event judges:  Mike Curtis, Suzy Urbaniak, Samantha Murray and Heather Carey.  The other judges were Michael Outhwaite & Peter Pring.

Resources Outreach to school students is an important activity for AIG’s WA Branch.   Historically, AIG WA’s support of Kent Street Geoscience has positively resulted in the generation of young resources graduates and this Mining Challenge further cements our commitment to education.  A much needed sustainable approach, this strategy ensures that our industry can draw on home-skilled talent beyond 2020.

Suzy Urbaniak

AIG WA Branch Chairperson and Teacher at Kent St High School