Mr. John Macquarrie (Mac) Serisier was associated with the surveying profession from January 1947, when he signed articles as a survey pupil with Staff Surveyor T. Hein, who later became Surveyor-General of Queensland. He had previously served with the Australian Radio Maintenance Section, A.I.F. during World War II, and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.
As a pupil, he was engaged in surveys in North Queensland rainforests and in Western Queensland.
Appointment as Surveyor Division 1, in the Townsville - Cooktown District of the Survey office, followed registration as an authorised surveyor in March 1951. He was promoted to Staff Surveyor in 1957 and to Senior Staff Surveyor in 1961.
He then transferred to Brisbane in 1962, to take up the position of Project Surveyor in charge of surveys for the Brigalow Lands Development Scheme, involving the subdivision of around 11,000 square kilometres of land in Central Queensland.
He was taken by the magnificence of the Arcadia Valley region while carrying out this reconnaissance and made the original recommendation which resulted in the establishment of the 3,367 hectare Lonesome National Park in 1970.
He was Government representative on the Queensland Surveyors Board from 1961 to 1964.
He was a Representative on the Faculty Board of Engineering at the University of Queensland in 1967 and 1968 and served as Federal Councilor of ISA from 1969 - 1975.
"Mac" Serisier showed a consuming interest in his profession, joining the Queensland Institute of Surveyors as a student member in 1949 before becoming a full corporate member in 1951. He was a foundation member of the institution of Surveyors, Australia and was elected to the Committee of the Queensland Division of the Institution in 1963. He was Honorary Secretary of the Division in 1965, Vice-President in 1966, President in 1967 and Past-President in 1968.
Initial planning for the 11th Australian Survey Congress' (1968) took place during his State Presidential term.
He was a fellow of the Australian Institution of Cartographers (A.I.C.) and was President of the Queensland Division in 1964.
The Minister for Local Government, in 1964, prior to the establishment of the Local Government Appeal Court, appointed him to hear and determine appeals against decisions by Local Government Authorities. These appeals involved land valued at several million dollars. Then, in 1969, he carried out examinations and control surveys for the Wilbur Smith Traffic Scheme in Brisbane.
On 1st July, 1975, "Mac" Serisier was appointed Surveyor-General of Queensland and became Permanent Head of the Department of Mapping and Surveying. He was the first person to hold these joint positions since 1882. As Permanent Head, he also was responsible for Administrative Services (Air Pollution Council, Government Motor Garage, Government Printing Office, Noise Abatement Authority, Rural Fires Board, State Fire Services Council and the State Stores Board) for the Queensland Government.
As Surveyor-General "Mac" was President of the Surveyors Board of Queensland from 1975 to 1982.
He held the position of Surveyor-General until 1982, when he retired, but retained membership of the Surveyors Board of Queensland for a period. In recognition of his contribution to the development of the Surveying and Mapping Industry, he was honoured with an Honorary Master of Surveying Degree from the University of Queensland in 1988. His citation described him as "one who transformed his organisation against the conventional wisdom of the time and created a climate and structure to allow a strong, vibrant public and private sector industry to flourish."
He occupied the positions of President of the Surveyors Board of Queensland, Chairman of the State Stores Board, Chairman of the Queensland Place Names Board and Committee, Chairman of the Queensland Surveying and Mapping Advisory Council and Committee and Chairman of the Committee of Investigation into New and Uniform Surveying Techniques. He was a member of the National Mapping Council, Member of the Faculty Board of Engineering at the University of Queensland and member of the Engineering Academic Board at the Queensland Institute of Technology.
It is largely through his foresight and efforts that the Surveyors Act 1977 and attendant Regulations were formulated and came into being. This Act transformed the profession of surveying from one grossly over-regulated by Government to one which had to assume responsibility for its own discipline and practice. This created an environment for innovation and change at a time of major technological development. The somewhat radical approach was adopted as the model for legislation in several other States.
In 1977, he was appointed the Commonwealth Electoral Redistribution Commissioner for Queensland. In the same year he held the position of Senior Vice President of the Institution of Surveyors Australia and was elected Federal President of ISA in 1980. As Federal President, he visited all State and Territory capital cities and brought new impetus to his office through radio and television interviews and discussions with Premiers and other responsible Ministers.
John Macquarrie Serisier was born in Ipswich, Queensland on 15th April, 1922. He received his secondary education at Brisbane State High School and represented the school at Football and G.P.S. athletics.
He married Hazel Tamlinson in 1951. They had two sons and two daughters. He gave much of his time to community affairs, as a member of the Innisfail Rotary Club in 1960 and 1961 and as Honorary Secretary of the East Innisfail State School Parents Committee for three years. In 1963, he was appointed a Justice of the Peace. His transfer to Brisbane interrupted his community commitments but he continued his public work as a member of the Corinda State High School, Parents and Citizens Committee and as Chairman of the Dunlop Park Scouts Parents Committee. He served as a member of the Museum Society of Queensland and was President in 1976 and 1977.
"Mac" Serisier made an outstanding contribution to the community, his profession and the spatial information industry over a long period of time.