3 September 2020

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

Welcome to our first September edition of the weekly newsletter.  Happy Spring!

We received some great articles this week, like the one about the very popular Statistical Consulting webinar held last month, the Young Statisticians Career event in South Australia and the last NSW Branch meeting. See below for the links to the articles.

While I have your attention I would like to remind you that the privacy settings of the SSA website will be changed today, so that your name will appear when you comment in the ANZSTAT forum. You can change these settings back to private, if you are not planning to actively participate in the forum.  Changing back to private will also prevent your name from appearing in the member directory available through our app (search for Wild Apricot Members app in the Google Play Store or AppleApp Store).

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need my assistance for that.

And lastly – we still have places available in next week’s workshop on Version Control using Git and R Studio. Details can be found here.

Kind regards

Marie-Louise Rankin
Executive Officer

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SA YOUNG STATISTICIANS career event 2020

The SA branch’s annual young statisticians career event was held on August 14th, 2020 via Zoom. This event aimed to help statistics students or early career statisticians, less than five years in the field of statistics, to meet their potential employers. Senior statisticians from the University of Adelaide, Australia Bureau of Statistics, Advance Clinical and SAHMRI gave presentations about their organisations, the role of statisticians, career paths and opportunities. Students were able to ask questions afterwards during a Q&A session which followed.

Read Wendy Li's complete article here

Statistical Consulting in the 21st century

Canberra Branch SSA, Victorian Branch SSA & Statistical Consulting Network, August meeting

Over 120 SSA and NZSA members joined online to hear from four statistical consultants, in a webinar jointly hosted by the Canberra and Victorian Branches, and the Statistical Consulting Network. 

Read the full article by Sue Finch here

Missed out or want to catch up on the joint panel discussion "Statistical consulting in the 21st century"?

Well fear not! SSA members can check out a recording of the event as well as copies of the slides hereBig thanks to Carmen and Damjan for getting this up and running.

If you have any questions, please reach out at Once again, thanks to everyone for attending/participating in what hopefully will be the first of many fantastic events around Statistical Consulting! 


Alice Richardson, Francis Hui, Damjan Vukcevic, Sue Finch
On behalf of SSA Vic, SSA Canberra, and SCN. 

Missed the event in August?

Introducing the Statistical Consulting Network 2020 Meeting, 7- 9 December 2020

Submit an abstract!

We are proud to announce the Statistical Consulting Network 2020 Meeting, a virtual event where statistical consultants can connect, present their ideas, discuss best practice, and more!  The event will be held 7-9 December 2020 in three-hour sessions (11am-2pm AEDT), and will feature:

·        A keynote talk by Doug Zahn (Florida State)

·        Contributed talks

·        Lunchtime discussions on topical issues in consulting

·        A virtual display hall to view contributed speed talks and posters

This will be a low cost event, registration for SSA/NZSA members will be $60 or less.

Abstract submission closes midday (AEST) 30 September 2020.

Registrations open soon. Watch this space!

Find out more

Joanna Wang shows use of statistics for criminal justice (August 2020) 

University of Technology Sydney senior lecturer Joanna Wang describes statistical evaluation of a prison alternative.

Read the complete article by Matt Wand

When politicians cite Covid-19 statistics, they may be wrong – it doesn't mean the numbers are

“Sooner or later we are going to have to have an inquiry into the role of statisticians in the Covid-19 crisis,” declared the journalist Ross Clark in the Daily Telegraph recently. “They will have to be put in the hot seat and grilled as to whether they contributed to the sense of panic which has gripped so many people and disrupted normal life for so long.” Unsurprisingly, Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at Cambridge University, Sir David Spiegelhalter, had something to say about that.

Read his opinion piece in “The Guardian” here.

New ABS Website launching 21 September 2020!

The ABS is making the switch to a new ABS website on 21 September 2020. From that day, will be easier to navigate. For over 20 years the ABS website has been operating in its current state: cluttered, difficult to navigate and sometimes frustrating to use - especially if you need to find answers to questions quickly.

The ABS is committed to improving your user experience by making it easier for you to source and access our information.The ABS is making a number of changes to improve user experience. Here are some changes you will notice:

· Prominent key statistics
· Clear and easy pathways to statistics
· Interactive graphs and tables
· Definitions for lesser known terms
· Summary of survey methods
· Content that is accessible to all
· Improved search functionality

For enquiries and feedback please click here

Did you know the SSA Biostatistics and Bioinformatics section has a quarterly newsletter?

To subscribe to our mailing list, please use the link on this web page.

 Past newsletters can also be found there.

Previously advertised - places still available!

Fellowship funding support

Are you applying for competitive fellowship funding this year? To help our members in this highly competitive world, we are awarding $3000 to support their applications. We will award up to eight members this year. We will use a panel of senior members and recent fellowship winners to select the best eight applications.

The funding will cover the following early career schemes (please get in touch if you are applying for another relevant fellowship scheme that we have not listed):

  • ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)
  • ARC Future Fellowship Level 1
  • NHMRC Investigator grants EL1 and EL2 (emerging leader)

Successful members will be able to state in their application that they have been recognised by the society and have won $3000 in competitive funding from the Statistical Society of Australia to spend during their fellowship. Receiving the award is conditional on winning the fellowship.

To apply please complete this short application form by 30 September 2020. The scheme is limited to one application per member. The awards will be announced in mid-October. 

WA Young Statisticians’ Workshop 2020 oral abstracts due Wednesday 9th September

Students and early career professionals and researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts for the WA Young Statisticians’ Workshop 2020. 12-minute oral presentation abstracts are due Wednesday 9th September. Please see for the abstract template and guidelines. Abstract submissions are not restricted to those located in WA.

This free workshop will take place online over two half-days on 30th September and 1st October. Invited speakers will give advice to help you on your statistical career, including breakout sessions for small group conversations. All time zones, ages and skill-levels are welcome!

For more information visit the workshop website or contact

RSS International conference

Starting week beginning 7 September 2020

The annual International Conference of the Royal Statistical Society takes place every September for anyone interested in statistics and data science. The RSS conference regularly attracts more than 600 attendees from over 40 countries, providing one of the best opportunities for statisticians and data scientists to come together to share knowledge and network. The conference program is now available here.

This year's conference will once again feature top keynote speakers and invited talk sessions but will be slightly different. Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the RSS 2020 Conference is moving online. This is a great opportunity to attend a world renowned event without having to pay for travel and accommodation. You may have to sacrifice some sleep though...

Find out more

The Statistical Society of Australia is pleased to invite you to the following workshop:

Version control using Git and RStudio

presented by the Curtin Institute for Computation (CIC) 
over two days on 
10-11 September 2020 (11:00 AM-12:30PM AEST each day)

Version control is an efficient method of keeping a record of changes made to your work over time. Each set of changes creates a new commit of the files and the version control system allows users to recover old commits reliably and helps manage conflicting changes made by different users.4 It is extremely useful for collaborating with others and for managing individual projects, and a crucial component of reproducible research.

This workshop will teach version control using Git5, a free and open source distributed version control system. The workshop will be interactive. Participants will learn from a combination of presentation slides, live coding and group learning though break out sessions with fellow participants.

The course is aimed at SSA members who want to learn more about version control and reproducibility of their research.

Click here to find out more and to register

The SSA is delighted to invite you to the following webinar (10 September, 1pm AEST)
with Dr Gary Chan:

An application of network meta-analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of electronic cigarette on smoking cessation

Network meta-analysis (NMA) is a technique for evidence synthesis and is used to compare treatment effects of different types of interventions. In this seminar, I will demonstrate the application of NMA on evaluating the evidence for the effectiveness of electronic cigarette on smoking cessation, compared to traditional nicotine replacement therapy and nicotine-free control conditions. Data and analysis script will be available on my Github account.

Dr Gary Chan is a statistician and epidemiologist at the National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research, UQ. 

Find out more

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.

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 and NZSA.

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

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 |