The AHS Logo came into being on 01 January 2002 and was based on the previous THS Logo. 

The STARS in the logo are not those of the Australian flag nor those of the New Zealand flag. They come from the flag of the Australian state of VICTORIA.

Apart from a desire not to appear parochial, they were chosen as they more nearly accord to the relative magnitude of the stars as depicted on a star globe or chart.

Why Are We Here?

The Australasian Hydrographic Society is the South West Pacific and South East Asian regional focus for those interested in hydrography and related sciences. The recent and extraordinary progress in oceanology means that the maritime industry and undersea exploration will be to this century, that which aviation and aerospace exploration was to the last.

In our region in particular, hydrographic and related information increasingly facilitates the generation, sustainment and transportation of resources. Better hydrographic and geophysical information now allows the responsible development of offshore projects that might have been considered financially untenable a matter of years ago. More accurate information will continue to allow the shipment of resources with greater effectiveness, speed and safety. Of perhaps greater significance is that the quality and quantity of data coming from hydrography and related sciences now allows undersea cabling and pipelines that are more direct, geophysically prudent and environmentally responsible.

Similarly, in the recent past there has been an examination of the security of regional interests, both in the private and public domains. There has been a growing acknowledgment amongst maritime services, such as police, customs and regional navies, that accurate hydrographic data in the littoral environment is fundamental to providing security, protection and humanitarian support.

In this challenging time it is apparent that hydrography and the associated skills that identify and ensure safe passage of shipping, irrespective of flag, are seen as bridging gaps in regional understanding, where few other lines of communication may exist. This is due to hydrography and the like being increasingly acknowledged as egalitarian in purpose and therefore humanitarian in the broadest sense. This is not new, but the extent of acknowledgement is.

Patron of the AHS

Vice Admiral Chris Ritchie, AO, RANR accepted the Society's invitation to become our Patron in September 2005. Well known for his strong support for hydrography during his time as Chief of the Australian Navy, Admiral Ritchie said he was honored and pleased to accept. 

Admiral Ritchie's naval career really got underway when he graduated from the Royal Australian Naval College in 1968 and subsequently led to several sea commands, one of which HMAS Brisbane, resulted in his participation in the first Gulf War in the Arabian Gulf. Senior staff appointments in flag rank have seen him as Maritime Commander Australia, Deputy Chief of Navy, Head of Capability

Systems and Commander Australian Theatre before promotion to Vice Admiral to head the Royal Australian Navy. During his period in uniform he demonstrated great strengths not only as a naval officer, but also as a leader and promoter of industry, to which he was particularly focused and adept at getting their best results.

Our Seven Core Values

AHS seeks to promote SEVEN core values in regard to hydrography and related sciences:

1. Excellence

AHS will promote excellence in the application, history, dissemination and technological development.

2. Accuracy

AHS will promote the highest standards of accuracy and thoroughness.

3. Freedom of Information

AHS will promote the free exchange of information between all engaged.

4. People

AHS will encourage the broadest inclusion of people and organisations.

5. Technology

AHS will promote the broadest pursuit of technology and innovation.

6. Safety

AHS will promote the greatest degree of safety that can be achieved by (and for) the application.

7. Non-Profit

AHS will be a non-profit organisation, with all income and property being applied solely to the objects of the society, as set forth in the constitution.

AHS Objectives

  1. To promote the science of surveying in the saltwater and freshwater environments, the adjacent shore and hinterland and to promote related sciences.
  2. To provide a centre for meetings and a channel for correspondence and the exchange of information between technologists and others engaged or interested in hydrography and related sciences.
  3. To promote and co-ordinate the study and practice of such sciences in all or any of their aspects; and to accumulate, extend and disseminate amongst the members of the Society and others information, knowledge and expertise relating thereto.
  4. To promote the better education and training of persons engaged in or intending to engage in the study of hydrography and related sciences.

Constitution of Australasian Hydrographic Society Limited

Adopted 13 September 2010

“The Society” or “The Australasian Hydrographic Society” means the company of that name registered in Australia as a company limited by guarantee with ABN 86 101 591 502 and ACN 101 591 502.

To download the full text of the constitution please click on the cover page.

A Historical Perspective

The Australasian Hydrographic Society had it's beginning in The Hydrographic Society (THS) which was founded in 1972 with headquarters based at the University of East London, UK, The Hydrographic Society was an international learned organisation registered in the United Kingdom as a charitable concern and a company limited by guarantee. There were five autonomous national branches, in Australasia, the Benelux countries, Denmark, the UK and the USA. Regional representation was also maintained within the Australasian, UK and USA Branches.

Membership of THS was global and broadly based, being drawn from over 70 countries. Members, both individual and institutional, represent the fields of hydrography, oceanography, geophysics, civil engineering and associated disciplines at all levels of expertise. Organisations represented include contract survey companies, port authorities, government, military and public service authorities, petroleum companies, research and educational institutes, professional bodies and other learned associations, acoustic and electro-magnetic system manufacturers, dredging and salvage contractors, and surveyors in all sectors of private practice.

In 2000 it became apparent that the "branch structure" with the focus on the parent society was no longer serving the best interests of its members and the decision was taken at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 28th March 2001 on a proposal that:

  1. A new core organisation will be created, to be provisionally known as 'The Federation of Hydrographic Societies', membership of which will be open to autonomous National Hydrographic Societies together with individuals or organisations not represented by a national hydrographic society, and that
  2. Existing Branches of The Hydrographic Society be allowed to evolve into autonomous National Hydrographic Societies.

As a result the Australasian Branch commenced work to incorporate as The Australasian Hydrographic Society. The incorporation of AHS was completed on 05 August 2002 when it was registered as an Australian Public Company, Limited By Guarantee, ACN 101 591 502.