6 August 2020

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

With restrictions increasing across much of Australia, we know that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to impact the lives of our members. We want to remind you that if:

- You have been negatively impacted in your professional life by the pandemic (e.g. losing
  contracts/employment or the potential to lose future contracts/employment);

- Or if you’re in a position to help members that have been impacted (e.g. providing
   temporary work),

then please email our Executive Officer, Marie-Louise ( Please note that we will consider requests to defer membership fees for those impacted by COVID-19.

We hope that wherever you are, you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well.

-Jessica Kasza, SSA President

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'The Eye of the Beholder' : Regression Coefficients & Mechanical Objectivity in Public Health Research

On July 21st, the Victorian Branch dipped their toes into the history of science, guided by Taya Collyer, Research Fellow of Monash University. She shared with us her discoveries about the different perspectives researchers have of statistics, and the use and interpretation of regression coefficients. 

The talk centred around our values in science, and how those values have developed. Specifically, Taya discussed the value that has been placed on mechanistic decision making as an objective representation of the truth and how these values may mesh, or clash, with interpreting statistical output with content expertise and critical thinking. Treating us to the perceptions of researchers and how different disciplines view and use statistics, Taya opened up a fascinating direction of discussion. I was certainly taken on a thought provoking journey, and will enjoy the freshly opened can of worms! 

Lizzie Korevaar, Vic Branch

Did you miss our AGM?

On a chilly, wintery evening, SSA history was made last Tuesday when we held our first Society AGM via Zoom. The AGM was followed by RSS President Deborah Ashby's talk on

Florence Nightingale at 200: using data to improve health from the time of the Crimea to the time of the coronavirus.

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. 

Read more about the AGM and Deborah Ashby's presentation

The Statistical Society of Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the University of Melbourne are pleased to announce the following joined webinar:

Can multiple disparate data sources complement each other?

The case of researching economic disadvantage in Australia

to be held on 17 August 2020 from 1:00PM -2:00PM.

The webinar is the first in a series of two with a data integration theme. Through the lens of researching economic disadvantage in Australia, Dr. Anders Holmberg, Chief Methodologist at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and Dr. Rajeev Samarage, Data and Analytics Lead at the Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic and Social Research within the University of Melbourne,  will talk about data quality and methodology considerations that arise when a research project uses many fundamentally different and disparate data sources. 

This is a free event, but you will need to register.

To find out more and to register click here

Discussion panel on Statistical consulting in the 21st century

We are proud to announce a special event: a panel discussion on “Statistical consulting in the 21st Century”, hosted jointly by the Statistical Consulting Network, the Canberra Branch and the Victorian Branch, on

Tuesday 25 August 2020, 11am – 12:30pm AEST (9am – 10:30am AWST)

Featuring the following speakers: 

Alice Richardson, Australian National University, will be moderating this event.

As part of the registration process, one of our speakers, eminent statistical consultant Doug Zahn, invites you to submit your “stumbling blocks in consulting” in communication for discussion!

For more information and to register, click here

Please join us for the following online workshop

Semiparametric Regression with R

to be held from 30 September – 2 October 2020 (11am-1pm AEST each day)

with Professor Matt P. Wand.

Semiparametric regression methods build on parametric regression models by allowing more flexible relationships between the predictors and the response variables. The presenter's goal is to provide an easy-to-follow applied course on semiparametric regression methods using R. This course is intended for applied statistical analysts who have some familiarity with R.

Matt P. Wand is a Distinguished Professor of Statistics at the University of Technology Sydney. 

For more information and to register, click here.

The Philosophy of Data 

The SSA is supporting a video series called “The Philosophy of Data Science”. The series is aimed at early career statisticians and data scientists, to provide in-depth understanding of how scientific reasoning is essential to good practical data science.

Each episode will be a high-quality interview featuring top speakers in our field. It will provide a great learning resource for university students.

To help get the word out, it would be great if those of you affiliated with a university could join the series’ mailing list and forward to your students/colleagues the emails announcing new episodes. (The emails aren’t spammy and are posted on other professional forums as well.)

The series website is here. To sign up, click here

The emails will come from so please add that address to your contact list.

Thank you for your help! This seems like a great and easy way to help our students stay engaged in the statistical profession.

Application now open: Are you one of Australia’s next of Superstars of STEM?

Science & Technology Australia created #SuperstarsofSTEM in 2017. This trailblazing program builds a critical mass of high-profile women scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians to serve as role models to inspire young women and girls into STEM. It aims to smash society’s gender assumptions about STEM careers – and lift the public visibility of women in STEM – to make gains towards more equal media representation of women in STEM.

Over the first three years of the program, Science & Technology Australia have developed the profiles of 90 women in STEM. These women acquired advanced communication skills and exciting opportunities to use these skills in the media, on stage and speaking with Parliamentary and industry decision-makers.

This week Science & Technology Australia launched the search to find their next 60 Superstars of STEM to be part of another brilliant and diverse cohort for 2021-22. 

Apply by 31 August 2020

Previously advertised - places still available

Join us for the following webinar:

Random Effects Inference in Linear Mixed Models: The good, the bad, and the misspecified

held on Friday, 25 September 2020 at 12:00PM AEST via Zoom, exclusively for members of SSA.

This event is presented by Francis K.C. Hui and Alan H. Welsh (Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies & Statistics, Australian National University) and their talk is a culmination of two projects on the topic of random effects inference in linear mixed models.

For the abstract, for additional information and to register click on the button below.

Click here

Going to a conference/workshop this year? Check out the SSA Canberra young statisticians "rego" grant!

SSA Canberra is inviting young statisticians from the ACT and regional NSW, who are planning to attend a conference/workshop/short course in a field related to statistics or data science, to apply for financial support in the form of a "SSA Canberra registration grant". SSA Canberra will award an amount up to $200 AUD per successful application. 

Please click here for more information!

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

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

Statistical Society of Australia |  PO Box 213 Belconnen ACT 2616 Australia 

02 6251 3647 |