The Three Sisters at Echo Point, Katoomba - image courtesy Paul Harvey

New South Wales

Click here for the March 2017 Newsletter

Talks & Events

Monthly Division Meetings
Date: Talks are held the 2nd Thursday of the month
Location: The King Street Brewhouse, Sydney


13 April - New South Wales Division Meeting and Annual General Meeting
Topic: Unravelling a miner's myth that environmental contamination in mining and smelting towns is naturally occurring
Speaker: Prof Mark Taylor, Macquarie Universtiy
Location: The King Street Brewhouse, Sydney
Time: 5:30pm
Ore extraction and processing have resulted in elevated levels of toxic metals surrounding mining and smelting operations, causing adverse health effects, particularly in children. Resource companies, government agencies and employees often construct ‘myths’ to down play potential exposure risks and responsibility arising from operating emissions. Typical statements include: contaminants are naturally occurring, the wind blows emissions away from residential areas, contaminants are not bioavailable, or the problem is a legacy issue and not related to current operations. In mining towns, the default and primary defence against contamination is that elevated metals in adjacent urban environments are ‘naturally occurring’. Not only is this a difficult scientific argument to unravel, it also causes confusion and delays remediation work, hindering efforts to reduce harmful exposures to children. This issue has stymied cleanup programs in Broken Hill and Mount Isa, where major lead–zinc–silver ore bodies have been mined continuously for over 130 and 90 years, respectively. In this talk, a multiple lines of evidence approach will be applied to unravel what we term is a ‘miner’s myth’. In supplementing contemporary site-based soil metal data and lead isotopic composition data, the talk will examine geological data, historical environmental assessments and old photographic evidence to understand what the preponderance of evidence reveals about the source and cause of contamination.

Note: This meeting also includes the Annual General Meeting. The first items on the agenda for the AGM are the elections for the following positions on the NSW division committee:
- Chair
If you are interested in nominating anyone for a position on the NSW Divisional committee you can nominate at the AGM or return a signed & scanned nomination form to Mira van der Ley (Newsletter Editor, NSW Division; by 6th April.
Previous Division Meetings
9 March 2017
Talk: Diagenetic Influences on the Oceanic Budget of Rare Earth Elements
Speaker: Dr April Abbott, Lecturer, Macquarie University

9 February 2017
Talk: Post-Pangea plate tectonics and geodynamics: Insights from numerical Earth models for basic research and industry
Dr Sabin Zahirovic, Postdoctoral Research Associate, EarthByte Group, Basin GENESIS Hub School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney

13 October 2016
Talk: Tapping into regional New South Wales: a community science program investigating household drinking water contamination
Speaker: Paul Harvey

8 September 2016
Talk: A decade of transition: the future trends in Geoscience
Speaker: Craig O'Neill, Macquarie University

14 July 2016
Talk: Reaching new audiences — the evolving role of geological surveys
Speaker: Simone Meakin, Geological Survey of New South Wales, NSW Department of Industry, Maitland

9 June 2016
Talk: Sydney Metro and Southwest — exposing more geological unknowns
Speaker: David Och, WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff

Annual GSA-NSW Division Honours Night
The NSW division of the Geological Society of Australia holds an annual Honours Night, where the best earth science honours students from around NSW universities present their research to the society.

Wanchese M. Saktura (University of Wollongong)
Jessica M.J Walsh (University of Wollongong)
Uvana Meek (Macquarie University)
James Sippo (Southern Cross University) - best presentation of the night
David Beckett (University of Newcastle)
Luke Hardiman (University of Sydney)
Carmen Braz (University of Sydney)
Ingrid Flemons (University of New South Wales)

Erin Martin (University of Newcastle)
Kieran Jay Lowe (University of Wollongong)
Rhiannon Garrett (University of Sydney)
Erica Barlow (University of New South Wales) - best presentation of the night

Emma Flannery (Macquarie University) - best presentation of the night
Lydia Belford (University of Newcastle)
Ryan Manton (University of Wollongong)
Timothy Chapman (University of Sydney)
Amanda Hanani (University of New South Wales)

Rathini Mahendian (University of Technology, Sydney)
Jessica Cope (University of New South Wales)
Andrew Merdith (University of Sydney)
Paul Connolly (University of Wollongong)
Patrick Carr (Macquarie University)

Emily Bathgate (University of Technology, Sydney)
Brigette Martel and Jak McCarroll (University of New South Wales)
Sabin Zahirovic (University of Sydney)
Chris Firth (Macquarie University)


Chair: Kelsie Dadd

Secretary: Carmen Braz

Treasurer: Anthony Lanati

Newletter Editor
Mira van der Ley, UNSW

Paul Harvey, Macquarie University
Joanna Parr, CSIRO
Kenny Lo, UNSW Undergraduate
Angela Lay, UNSW postgraduate
Graham Carr, formerly of CSIRO