Winners

Narelle Underwood

SIBA|GITA Chair's Award

In what has been another of those male-dominated industries, Narelle has been a shining light, not only as a professional achieving success and the recognition of her industry peers, but also within the broader community as an advocate for women in STEM and diversity & inclusion more generally. Narelle is the youngest NSW Surveyor-General for 200 years and the first woman to hold the position. Her professional background includes appointment as the NSW Surveyor General in 2016, roles as President of the Board of Surveying and Spatial Information (BOSSI), Chair of the Geographical Names Board and as the NSW representative on the Intergovernmental Committee for Surveying & Mapping (ICSM). Her work within the broader community has achieved recognition by Science & Technology Australia as one of 60 women on the 2019 Superstars of STEM program, has included work with the Spatial and Surveying Diversity Leadership Network and work with Aboriginal communities identifying geographic features using traditional names. For all of these reasons and more, Narelle has been a huge contributor to the profession and the spatial industry, and is a very worthy recipient of this award.

Chris Body

SSSI Professional Eminence Award

Chris Body throughout his life has contributed to spatial standards development for the Australian Community. Chris is the Chair of IT-004 Geospatial Standards, Standards Australia and Delegation Head for Australia at ISO Technical Committee 211 for Geospatial. SSSI is pleased to recognise his contribution to standards development for Australian and International Community.

SSSI National Young Professional Committee

SSSI President's Award

The President’s Award is for the outstanding mentoring program implemented by the SSSI National Young Professional Committee, drawing mentors and mentees from across Australia and overseas in all areas of spatial sciences. This has been one of the most successful recent programs of SSSI. The President also notes the outstanding contribution of YPs in the Mapathon for Bush Fire recovery which was held in early 2020.

Medhi Khaki

Postgraduate Student Award

Dr Mehdi Khaki received his PhD from Curtin University - Spatial Sciences October 2018. His PhD has provided several advances in the areas of estimation of Terrestrial Water Storage (TWS) changes from data from the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment, known as GRACE, and subsequent assimilation with hydrological models. The fundamental significance of his research relates to the development of a new framework for data assimilation. The framework not only provides improved assimilation of GRACE TWS estimates but has the potential to more efficiently be applied to the assimilation of multi-source data, addressing one of the upcoming challenges with ever increasing availability of remote sensing data.

Eva Rodriguez Rodriguez

Women's Leadership Award - Highly Commended

Since arriving in Australia in 2015, Eva has immersed herself in industry engagement, becoming one of the driving forces behind the 2026 Agenda, the SmartSatCRC bid, the Digital Earth Australia Industry Strategy and the Spatial Diversity Action Plan. She has a great ability to take inputs from a wide variety of stakeholders, practitioners and advocates and turn these into clear, strategic plans.

Andrew Campbell

Undergraduate Student Award - Highly Commended

For his final year major project, Andrew Campbell took a dive into deep-learning, exploring the combination of Google Maps Streetview product with Tensorflow’s Object Detection System to automatically detect and locate “Stop” and “Give Way” signs in Streetview images, with a view to using this information to update asset databases with the correct location and condition of the signs. The work was of such a high standard that it was accepted as a refereed publication in the journal Computers, Environment and Urban Systems.

Craig Sandy

Professional of the Year Award

Craig is well known as Surveyor General of Victoria but perhaps less well known for his long contribution to the industry in a range of professional activities. As Surveyor General of the Northern Territory, he led significant digital transformation projects. He was Chair of the Canberra Division of ISA for 8 years, President of ISA for 2005-2006 and Assistant Congress Director for the FIG Congress in Sydney in 2010. As Surveyor-General of Victoria, Craig led the team that secured $45M for the Digital Cadastral Modernisation Project. He remains keen to promote surveying and spatial sciences across government, the private sector and the wider community. He has also become a leader in diversity in the industry and a strong advocate for the importance of mental health in our profession.

Stephan Winter

Educational Development Award - Joint Winner

Over more than 20 years, Prof Winter has developed an international reputation in the field of Spatial Science, an enviable research and publication record and maintained a very high standard of teaching and learning in his courses. As Discipline Leader of Geomatics at the University of Melbourne, he has guided the group through the difficult transition to the Melbourne Model and led the changes in curriculum and introduction of new programs that were required. He continues to advocate strongly for the spatial sciences at all levels of the university and for spatial education more broadly across the community.

Michael Nietschke

Educational Development Award - Joint Winner

Michael has been a mentor to UniSA Master of Surveying students; performed undergraduate and professional assessments; contributed to the development of national accreditation standards; and demonstrated leadership in addressing current significant challenges around surveying workforce renewal. He continually promotes careers in surveying through coordination of career events and through the fostering of collaborations between schools, vocational educators and the higher education sector. He has also played a key role in developing the 4-year Bachelor of Engineering (Surveying) honours degree and the inaugural 2019 SSSI internship program. He has actively participated in numerous advisory boards and committees with a focus on the education of surveying students and has successfully lobbied commonwealth and state government ministers on the vital role of surveyors in infrastructure development and the anticipated skills shortage in future years due to the retirement of current surveyors – through media appearances and publications.

Kent Olive

Undergraduate Student Award

Rapid innovation across the space and remote sensing industries, and the proliferation of spatial data, has increased the utility of satellite image classification for forest species mapping. Despite this, the accuracy of remote sensing analysis for tree species classification across Australian native forests remains under examined. Kent’s research implemented an object-based data fusion method to classify spotted gum across plantation and natural forests using high-resolution multispectral satellite imagery and airborne laser scanning. The judges felt that Kent demonstrated great technical knowledge, capability and understanding of spatial data and its application to this research project. They felt his work was of significant benefit to the conservation, forestry and planning sectors.

Melissa Harrington

Young Professional of the Year Award

Melissa is the Chair of the Young Surveyors Network (YSN) of FIG and revitalised the Young Professionals Group of S+SNZ. Melissa has shown extraordinary dedication to the surveying and spatial industry, volunteering for the benefit of her peers and for the growth of the industry. She executes her work with utmost knowledge and skill while advocating for the profession at every opportunity. Melissa’s inspires young people into surveying and connects young professionals around the world.

Charity Mundava

Women's Leadership Award

Charity Mundava is a passionate Geospatial Scientist professional and researcher. She is a STEM ambassador for the Parramatta electorate and works closely with the Federal member through collaboration with Science Technology Australia in the inaugural STEM Ambassador program. As an early career professional Charity recognises the impact of visible role models and mentors and has actively mentored in the SSSI Young Professional mentoring Program. She has regularly presented at NSW SSSI CPD-Assessed events and engages in a program of industry-related and research-related continuing professional development. Charity was also a 2019 participant in the Homeward Bound global leadership program for women in STEM.