10 September 2020

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

It was brought to my attention last week that some members received emails, allegedly from me, saying things like "Are you there?" or "Are you available?" I send most emails out from the email address, and -rarely- from The latter I only use when I get the feeling that a message sent from the account has ended up in the recipient's spam folder. The emails received by some members last week were not sent from either of those two email addresses. 

The people sending these phishing emails find our email addresses on the SSA website, where the email addresses of many of our volunteers are accessible. We like them to be available so that the SSA office and the members of our various committees can be contacted by the public. Unfortunately this makes us an easy target for scammers. Please be careful when opening these messages and always check the sender’s email address. If it looks suspicious, it probably is.

On a more pleasant note, if you enjoyed SSA’s webinar on Statistical Consulting a few weeks ago, then you will be pleased to hear that Doug Zahn has agreed to give a keynote talk at the virtual Statistical Consulting Network 2020 Meeting in early December. There was much discussion at the earlier event, which could have gone on for much longer. You too can have a chance to express your own views on the subject as abstracts have been called for. They need to be in by 30th September. They will be double-blind refereed. Get the full picture here.

Kind regards

Marie-Louise Rankin
Executive Officer

Read newsletter in your browser

Today marks Professor C.R.Rao's 100th Birthday. Professor Rao is known for his eminent contributions like Rao-Cramer Inequality, Rao-Blackwell theory, Rao's distance. Many of his contributions to statistics include development of MANOVA, Orthogonal arrays also known as Differential Geometry. As a part of the statistics family we think we can show that we are also a part of this celebration, in this part of the world, by having his photo in this newsletter, and wish him well.

On behalf of the SSA, in particular the SA Branch of SSA and the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics section of the SSA, we would like to wish Professor Rao many happy returns of the day.

Watch the special JSM2020 presentation honouring Professor Rao here

AMSI Interim Director

We welcome new Interim Director Professor Asha Rao. Asha is Professor and Associate Dean of Mathematical Sciences with the School of Science at RMIT University. She was named a Superstar of STEM in 2019.

Find out more

The Official Statistics Section of the SSA and the Australian Bureau of Statistics are pleased to present the following webinar

Advances in Data Linking Methodology at the ABS

with Daniel Elazar, Director of the Data Linking Methodology Section, ABS 

on Monday, 21 September 2020, at 1pm AEST.

Data Linking methodologies provide a very useful way of combining data from two or more sources. Following the recent completion of the three year government funded Data Integration Partnership Australia initiative, ABS now has a highly developed suite of data linking methodological capabilities, infrastructure and has produced a wide range of linked data assets. This is greatly helping policy makers and researchers gain a much better understanding of Australian families, communities, industry, and the economy. At the same time, linked data assets are becoming more embedded in the statistical operations of many national statistical agencies, as a way to enhance or repair official statistics.

This talk will cover some of the methods used at the ABS to link data, how we measure and assure the quality of the linked data products and the research work we are engaged in to improve these methods. In particular, I will cover the main differences between serial deterministic linking (the main production method we use) and Fellegi-Sunter probabilistic linking but argue why they are conceptually equivalent. There will also be a brief coverage of the person linkage spine we developed and it's benefits.  From an analytical perspective, I will cover what researchers need to be aware of when analysing linked data and some of the methods currently available for adjusting their analyses to account for the statistical uncertainty induced by the linkage mechanism.

To find out more and to register click here

Vic Branch Event: Early Career Industry Showcase

The Vic Branch of SSA is pleased to announce an online September Early Career Industry Showcase event, to be held on 22nd September. During the event, which consists in a series of invited 10 minute talks from selected speakers in various stages of their careers, the organisers will trial a new interactive social platform that will give attendees the freedom to move around at will, to approach each other and speakers in a conference dinner-like setting.

Full details available here.

Statistics in the Capital...Foreman Lecture

The next SSA Canberra e-meeting will take place on Tuesday 29th September, where Dr Anders Holmberg from ABS will be giving the Foreman lecture on “What is the difference and does it matter? Reflections on how the methodology work in official statistics relates among countries and on the Australian opportunities therein”. Anders is the current Chief Methodologist and General Manager of the Methodology Division at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

More details, including how to RSVP, can be found here

Young Stats Network Event: DEADLINE EXTENDED!

The WA branch of the Young Statistician’s Network (YSN) believes: Good things can sometimes take time! The oral abstract submission deadline for the upcoming YSN workshop has been extended! 

If you have not done so, come and join fellow early career professionals in submitting an abstract for oral presentation before next Monday, 14th September (17.00h). 

We look forward to hearing about your work!

For more information visit the workshop website or contact us.  

YSN Workshop website


Interested in a relaxed evening of social fun and non-statistics mayhem with fellow SSA members?

Want to see some of Australia's best presenters in statistics/data science strut their stuff??

Want to earn some money (cause you know...this always gets people interested!)???

The NSW Branch and Canberra Branch of SSA are hosting a joint social event, having invited some of the best statisticians/data scientists around Australia to present a set of lightning talks. The catch? The talks won't be on statistics! In fact, the speakers won't even know what topic they will be presenting on until shortly beforehand! Think of it like poetry-slam but with slides (slide-slam!), or for those who remember, the show "Thank God you're here". You don't want to miss fun event. 

For more information and to register click here

Belz Lecture and World Statistics Day - 20 October 2020, 5.30-7:00pm AEDT

The Vic Branch is delighted to announce details of the Victorian Branch's premier annual event, the Belz Lecture. 

This year's Belz Lecture is extra special because we will also be celebrating World Statistics Day 2020, an initiative from the United Nations Statistical Division with the goal of celebrating and promoting official statistics to policymakers and the general public. The theme of this year's World Statistics Day is "Connecting the world with data we can trust".

The Belz Lecturer for this year, Deputy Australian Statistician Teresa Dickinson, will explore this theme in her lecture titled “To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved”: a maxim for official statistics?

For more information and to register, please click below.

Click here

Vacation Research Scholarships 2020/21

VRS applications are now open! Calling second- and third-year undergrads: spend your summer on a six-week paid research project in the mathematical sciences before presenting to your peers at the annual AMSIConnect student conference.

Apply before 30 September 2020

AMSI Summer School

The annual AMSI Summer School is the biggest national event for maths students in Australia with a record-breaking attendance of 171 students in 2019.

In January 2021 this four-week school will be hosted virtually by The University of Adelaide, providing students from across Australia with the opportunity to develop their mathematical skills, meet like-minded people, and network with potential future employers at the Careers Day.

Find out more

Previously advertised - places still available!

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

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.

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. 

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 |