First New Zealander joins Graduate Program

21 April 2003

For 30 year old Avon McIntyre, winning a place on Geoscience Australia's 2003 Graduate Program makes him the first New Zealander to join the program. Avon was short-listed from 74 applicants.

Geoscience Australia's Graduate Program aims to keep the organisation at the forefront of geoscience. The program is seen as a strategy for promoting regeneration within the organisation, by attracting new talents, perspectives, strengths and knowledge.

The program is challenging, as recruits are encouraged to work outside their areas of expertise, completing three rotations during the year.

Avon's first rotation is in Geoscience Australia's Minerals Division. He is currently part of a team predicting the potential location of new mineral deposits in western Queensland.

"I am constructing a 3D geological map of an area north of Mt Isa where we suspect there may be some undiscovered silver/lead/zinc or copper/gold deposits" says Avon.

"It's exciting because we are developing better methods of predicting and detecting minerals" he says. "This will make exploration quicker and far more efficient".

Born and bred on a farm in the Bay of Islands region in New Zealand's North Island, geology was a natural progression for Avon.

"When you live in the country you see a lot of landforms and you start to ask yourself questions such as: "Why is that hill there? What caused this waterfall? Where did these rocks come from? I always had a natural curiosity in earth sciences" says Avon.

A student from Okaihau College, Avon went on to the University of Waikato completing a Batchelor, Masters and PhD in nine years. His PhD research saw him studying fossil-rich sedimentary strata (also known as "Papa" rock) near Wanganui, discovering how the rocks were deposited.

Nine days after finishing his PhD, Avon married and shortly afterwards he started his career with Geoscience Australia.

Work is now underway for next year's graduate intake, with Australian university visits beginning at the end of April.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013