AusGeo News  December 2008  Issue No. 92

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AUSTRALIA 2012 - 34th International Geological Congress

Image Dr Neil Williams, Prsident of the AUSTRALIA 2012 Organising Committee, invites delegates to Brisbane during the closing ceremony of the 33rd IGC.

'Unearthing our Past and Future' will be the theme for the 34th International Geological Congress (IGC), AUSTRALIA 2012, to be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre between 2 and 10 August 2012. Brisbane will host at least five thousand delegates and the accompanying Geo Expo exhibition will include around 200 display booths for industry and government agencies from around the world. The Congress will include a diverse field excursion program to complement the Conference theme and showcase some of the best geological and natural attractions that Queensland and the Oceania region have to offer.

Four years may seem some time off, however, the Organising Committee for AUSTRALIA 2012 has begun preparations to ensure that the Congress is a success. A major promotional effort was made during the 33rd IGC held in Oslo between 6 and 14 August 2008, led by the AUSTRALIA 2012 Organising Committee President, Dr Neil Williams, the Chief Executive Officer of Geoscience Australia.

Figure 1. Dr Neil Williams, President of the AUSTRALIA 2012 Organising Committee, invites delegates to Brisbane at the closing ceremony of the 33rd IGC.

An Oceania Symposium held on Wednesday 13 August, featured an outstanding line up of 21 presenters from Australia and New Zealand. Promotion of AUSTRALIA 2012 was maximised through the use of promotional banners and consistent attire for presenters. The closing ceremony the following day also included the promotional banners and a video presentation featuring a welcoming message from Australian Prime Minister The Hon. Kevin Rudd MP.

For more information phone Ian Lambert on +61 2 6249 9556 (email

Related websites

AUSTRALIA 2012, the 34th International Geological Congress

International Year of Planet Earth update

Image. International Year of Planet Earth poster.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE). The aim of the IYPE was to demonstrate how earth sciences can assist in meeting the challenges involved in ensuring a safer, healthier and more prosperous world. Outreach and science programs were the main lines of activity for raising awareness of the role and contribution of the earth sciences to society.

Throughout 2008, IYPE has been a dominant theme for a number of geoscience conferences and outreach activities across Australia. The national Earth Science Week celebrations held during October were a significant contribution to Australia's outreach program. Over 200 students took part in the Geologi08 short film competition, submitting short earth science films based on the major IYPE themes of natural hazards, Earth's resources and deep Earth.

Earth science workshops were held during Australia's National Science Week in August and the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) also released their teacher resource book themed 'Planet of Earth – Planet of Change'. Other significant activities held during the year have included a national photography competition held at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum in Bathurst, and the release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008 Year Book, themed 'Earth Science'.

In February 2008, Lachlan O'Brien was selected as Australia's winner of the IYPE student contest for his musical piece, Rondo Symbiosis - The rhythm of life. Lachlan attended the official international launch of IYPE in Paris, along with leading scientists and government representatives from 191 United Nations member countries.

In addition to the extensive outreach program, Australia contributed sigtnificantly to a number of ongoing IYPE science programs. OneGeology, a flagship science program for the IYPE, was launched in Oslo at the 33rd International Geological Congress in August. This initiative will enable each member organisation to dynamically share the latest versions of their digital geological data with each other via standardised interfaces. OneGeology is underpinned by the International GeoSciML data-exchange standard, which Australia has played a key role in developing, and will accelerate the accessibility of geoscience data via web services.

Because of the on-going nature of OneGeology and other science programs, 2009 was proclaimed an IYPE wrap-up year. Geoscience Australia is planning to sponsor participation in the Italian Geological Society Youth Earth Sciences Congress (YES) to be held during the northern autumn in 2009, to ensure that Australia's young earth scientists have an opportunity to take part.

For more information phone Fiona Slater on +61 2 6249 9859 (email

Related articles/websites

International Year of Planet Earth

Australia's International Year of Planet Earth

Earth Science Week

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