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New Chair and Deputy Chair for Australia and New Zealand’s peak intergovernmental spatial and surveying body

ANZLIC is delighted to announce that Land Use Victoria’s Chief Executive, Melissa Harris, has made history, becoming the first female to be appointed its Chair.

This is also the first time in ANZLIC’s 35-year history that two females hold its highest office, with Sandy Carruthers also becoming ANZLIC’s Deputy Chair. Sandy is the Executive Director, Strategy, Science & Corporate Services for South Australia’s Department for the Environment and Water. She follows Melissa Harris’s 2019 appointment to the Deputy Chair role – the first female to hold an executive position on the ANZLIC committee.

Outgoing Chair, Bruce Thompson, has led ANZLIC for the past four years, two years as Chair and the previous two as Deputy Chair. ANZLIC would like to thank Bruce for his exceptional leadership, skill and vision for geospatial in Australia and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Under Bruce’s leadership ANZLIC has progressed spatial data work across the jurisdictions in key areas including, the shift to 3D and 4D foundation spatial data, digital cadastre modernisation and the creation of spatially enabled digital twins, and a whole of government approach for address validation at the first point of data collection. During this time, ANZLIC jurisdictions have also collaborated to provide spatial data support for responding to natural disasters and the COVID-19 global health pandemic.

Melissa Harris said: “It is a huge honour to become Chair of ANZLIC and also a privilege to have served as Deputy Chair with the incomparable leader that is Bruce Thompson.

There has never been a more exciting time to be working in spatial and surveying - location-based intelligence, digital innovation and rich spatial data is critical to powering Australia’s future and enabling us to complete globally.

“I’m excited to be taking the helm of ANZLIC to collaborate and partner with our fabulous stakeholders across the sector and beyond, to put Australia and New Zealand on the map and solve some of our nations’ most pressing challenges.”

Melissa Harris is a town planner who has worked in state and local government for over 30 years, currently as Victorian Registrar of Titles and Land Use Victoria Chief Executive, within the Local Infrastructure group of the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). In this role, she leads a team of over 500 land, property, surveying and geospatial professionals including Valuer-General Victoria, Surveyor-General Victoria, spatial services, government land advice and Victoria’s $45 million Digital Cadastre Modernisation and the $37.4 million Digital Twin Victoria programs.

Sandy Carruthers is the Executive Director, Strategy, Science and Corporate Services at the South Australian Department for Environment and Water. Sandy has 10 years Executive experience working in South Australian Government, with the lead for science, information and technology, and with a focus on the application of science to policy, and information to support decision making.

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