Spatial Pioneer and Professional (1977-2023)
Shona Duncan was an exceptional spatial professional, a long-standing Member and a passionate volunteer who left an indelible mark on our organisation, having been an integral part of the Geospatial Council of Australia, as well as our former entities, SSI and SSSI.
Shona’s journey in the spatial industry began in 1998 when she graduated from the University of Queensland with a dual degree, a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, majoring in Spatial Technology. She embarked on a remarkable career that spanned over 25 years, starting at Geoimage, where she spent over a decade supporting her clients with Satellite Imagery acquisition, analysis, and delivery.
In 2016, Shona joined Here Technologies, where she oversaw Data Acquisition and community engagement, leading and maintaining volunteer mapping activities, including hackathon events. Her dedication and leadership led to her rapid ascent to the role of Global Business Operations at HERE, where she was responsible for skills development and driving the innovation programme for HERE’s global operations.
In 2023, Shona returned to her hometown of Brisbane to head up Customer Success Management at Kurloo Technology, a testament to her exceptional skills and expertise in the field.
Shona was not just a professional; she was a dedicated and passionate advocate for the spatial community. Her contributions were celebrated, and she actively volunteered for SSI, SSSI (now GCA) at events in Queensland and New South Wales between 2005 and 2015. Shona played a pivotal role in the growth of the SSSI Young Professionals movement in Queensland, where her organising skills were relied upon to ensure the success of many events and activities. If something had to be done well, you could always rely on Shona to make it happen.
Her move to Sydney in 2010 saw her join the NSW regional committee of SSSI and serve as the National Remote Sensing Commission Representative for several years. From 2017, Shona actively participated in the organisation of Georabble and the networking of geospatial professionals on a quarterly basis. In 2019, she played a crucial role in the organisation of Govhack, hosted by the Local NSW regional committee at the UTS Startup Hub in Sydney.
Shona’s sudden and tragic passing from cancer last Sunday at the age of 46 leaves a profound void in our community. In her 25-year spatial career, Shona made an outstanding contribution to the growth of the Spatial Industry in Australia. The events she actively participated in and supported paved the way for the development and networking of hundreds of surveying and spatial professionals.
Shona’s dedication to her profession was matched by her remarkable generosity and her love for the world of spatial technology. She was well-liked and appreciated by many, and she always generously gave her time to others with humility and genuine enjoyment of what she did. As one colleague aptly put it, “You don’t often meet people as kind, generous, or hard-working as Shona, and her passing will be missed dearly by many in the spatial community.”
We will remember Shona for her dedication, her passion, and her immense contribution to our industry. She leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire us all.
As we reflect on her life and legacy, let us remember Shona Duncan with the deep respect and admiration she deserves.