23 July 2020

Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

While you are receiving this newsletter, the Executive Committee and Branch representatives are holding the Central Council AGM (not to be confused with the Society AGM) where outgoing president Adrian Barnett will pass on the baton to incoming president Jessica Kasza. As a farewell to the members, Adrian has put together a poignant reflection on his time as SSA President and the state of statistics in Australia in general, which you can read here.

Having worked closely with Adrian in his role as president these last two years, and other roles before then, I’d like to say publicly how much I enjoyed working with him, and how heartening it was to see not only his passion for statistics, but his dedication the Statistical Society of Australia. Even on days when I would bombard Adrian with an avalanche of emails he always replied immediately, as if he did not have another life as a university professor and family man!  

Adrian will stay on the Executive Committee as Vice-President for another year.

While I will miss Adrian as president, I am looking forward very much to working with his successor, Jessica Kasza. Having already seen Jess “in action” as president of the Vic Branch and more recently as SSA Vice President I know the Society will once again be in very capable hands.

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

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Great news! We now have an app to help you stay connected

Staying in touch has been difficult for all of us during this pandemic. Download the Wild Apricot Members app and sign in with the same email address and password for your SSA account.

This app helps you:

  • Interact with fellow members anywhere from your mobile device
  • Register and make payments for events
  • View all existing event registrations
  • Update your member profile, including your address, phone and email
  • View your membership card

Scan QR Code to download OR click on one of the buttons below

From our Young Statisticians Network

The Young Statisticians Network is rebranding to make the name of the network clearer and more inclusive. We received some great suggestions to our proposal to change our name. The proposed names reflect our aims to support student and early-career statisticians, irrespective of age.

To help us decide on the new name, we invite you to vote in the poll on your preferred name for the rebranding the YS network. The options are

  • Early Career & Student Statisticians Network (ECSSN)
  • Early Career Statisticians Network (ECSN)
  • New Statisticians Network (NSN)
  • Network of New Statisticians (NNS)
  • New and Aspiring Statisticians Network (NASN)

This survey will close Friday 24th July, 11:59 pm AEST.

Data Science contacts across Australia- Can you help?

We would like to compile a list with statistical/data-science contacts. If you have a contact list that you could share, of if you would simply like to add your own details to the list, please contact me. Thank you!

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

From the Statistical Education Section

Three school and community STEM competitions – details below*:1.    The annual National Schools Poster Competition (NSPC) is on in 2020 (submissions due 10 Nov)

2.    The NSPC has extended to include a Community Division3.    Also team up for the Mini Electric Vehicle Competition (due 12 August)  … and why not also use this to create a NSPC submission!

Please consider the new NSPC website and share this information widely with family, friends, colleagues, schools and community.


Statistics + X: what’s your X?

  • The NSPC is a PBL activity which encourages school students (and now also community members) to develop, implement and creatively report upon an investigation (in poster format) on any topic of interest to them (the 'X')... for prizes!
  • Conduct a small-scale version of a real-world investigation: collaborate, investigate, create!
  • Submissions due by 10 November
  • Maps to national and state curricula outcomes, including all 8 General Capabilities – see resources at site, including curriculum links.
  • View short videos of industry experts explaining how statistics works in practice to benefit health, education, industry, business and society.
  • Why not consider the Mini Electric Vehicle (EV) competition (devise your fastest mini EV from a kit – due 12 August) and explore to develop a best design – in so doing perhaps additionally produce an investigation to creatively report upon in poster format for the NSPC by the later submission date.

Check out the NSPC website

Canberra Branch meeting:

Sharpening the BLADE - Missing Data Imputation using Supervised Machine Learning

28 Jul 2020, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM AEST

with speaker Marcus Suresh (Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources)

Find out more here


This page on the ISI website contains some current resources for statisticians interested in the COVID-19 pandemic. The page features links to data sources, talks and preprints.

COVID-19 Resources

National Science Week is a month away. NOW is the time to register your event – the sooner you do the greater your chances of attracting an audience and media coverage. More information is available here Science in Public are looking after national media so if you’ve got something special planned, let them know.

Previously advertised - places still available!

Talking to stakeholders: Statistics in the outside world

Statistics are used by government, industry and the media. Statisticians sometimes have to deliver unpopular or controversial messages couched in complex numbers. 

How do we talk about statistics to people who lack a technical understanding of the field? What makes statistics news? And, how do you ensure your numbers are used correctly? 

Join us for an online discussion and Q&A with a panel featuring Ron Sandland, former Head of CSIRO Maths and Stats and former chair of AMSI.  Joining Ron will be Tory Shepherd, former political editor for the Adelaide Advertiser and William Milne, Director of the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics..

The forum will be moderated by Niall Byrne from Science in Public.

It will run online on Friday 31 July, between 2pm and 3.30pm AEST. This is a free event for members of SSA and ABS employees. The general public can attend for a fee ($50.00). 

Register now

You are invited: SSA and ASPAI AGMs - 4 August 2020

The 2020 Annual General Meetings of the Statistical Society of Australia, Inc and the Australian Statistical Publishing Association Inc will be held on Tuesday, 4 August 2020 from 5:30 pm to 6:15 pm via Zoom.

The SSA and ASPAI AGMs are available to members of SSA only. Please use the registration link below to indicate your attendance. You do not need to register separately for the talk  immediately following the AGMs.

This year’s AGMs will be followed by a presentation from RSS President, Professor Deborah Ashby at 6:15 pm. Professor Ashby is the Director of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London where she holds the Chair in Medical Statistics and Clinical Trials, and was Founding Co-Director of Imperial Clinical Trials Unit.

The title of Professor Ashby’s talk is “Florence Nightingale at 200: using data to improve health from the time of the Crimea to the time of the coronavirus” and the abstract is available on the registration page.

Register here

Melbourne Centre for Data Science Seminar Series

Running monthly throughout 2020, the third event in the series is coming up on Friday 31 July at 10am AEST via Zoom.

Our centre is pleased to host David Blei, professor of Statistics and Computer Science at Columbia University, and a member of the Columbia Data Science Institute. He studies probabilistic machine learning, including its theory, algorithms, and application. David has received several awards for his research. He received a Sloan Fellowship (2010), Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (2011), Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2011), Blavatnik Faculty Award (2013), ACM-Infosys Foundation Award (2013), a Guggenheim fellowship (2017), and a Simons Investigator Award (2019). He is the co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Machine Learning Research. He is a fellow of the ACM and the IMS. David’s website is at

More information

Last chance!

Webinar, exclusively for members of SSA and NZSA:

Writing successful fellowships  Friday, 24 July 2020, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (AEST)

Success rates for fellowship applications are plummeting, but success is not impossible! This interactive panel-style webinar will feature brief presentations from three past/current SSA presidents: Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen (ARC Laureate), Professor Scott Sisson (ARC Future Fellow) and Professor Adrian Barnett (NHMRC Fellow), followed by an extended discussion and question time. Gain knowledge and inspiration to help optimise your chances!

Click here to find out more and to register

SSA Online Workshop: Introduction to Julia for Statistics and Data Science

The Vic Branch of SSA is proud to announce the upcoming programming and statistics workshop: Introduction to Julia for Statistics and Data Science, presented by Yoni Nazarathi from The University of Queensland. It will be delivered online, over two half days, on 24 and 27 July. The early bird prices are low – especially for student members.

This workshop is targeted at people who have used a language like R or Python before. Julia has a growing number of statistical libraries. It is fast, easy to use, and open source. Julia aims to solve the two-language-problem. The workshop is closely followed by the free online JuliaCon 2020 conference. So, there’s a great opportunity to link up with the Julia community afterwards.

Register now

Tired of surveys but eager to leave feedback? Tell us what you are missing from your SSA membership. Or let us know what we do well. We will listen. 

Contact us

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