17 September 2020

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

2020 has been a difficult year for many of our members, both personally, I am sure, and professionally as well.  If you are due for reaccreditation this year, but you are worried that you are not able to provide enough proof of CPD activities to get your application for reaccreditation approved, our Accreditation Committee will extend the deadline by another year. Please contact me if you would like to have the deadline of your AStat accreditation extended until December 2021.

On another note: I’m about to take a week's leave, so unfortunately the office will be unattended until Monday morning, 28 September 2020. Keep sending me your emails though and I’ll attend to them as quickly as I can when I get back.

In the mean time, stay well!

Marie-Louise Rankin
Executive Officer

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Congratulations to Julie Simpson, Head of the Biostatistics Unit and the Melbourne Clinical and Translational Sciences Platform, for having been awarded awarded the

2020 Australasian Epidemiological Association mentoring award!

Find out more

WA Branch - August Meeting Report

What is the possible link between disease spread in crops, and yield response to changes in growth factors, got to do with the time until which a fire can be extinguished?

Dr Sanni examines the stats in relation to fires in his August Joint IBS_AR and WA Branch SSA talk.

Read all about Dr Sanni's talk here

Our members are, of course, not “armchair statisticians”, but you may still enjoy Jacques Raubenheimer’s article from “The Conversation”, 14 September 2020

Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong

If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context.

For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics showing we are wrong. We also still need to correctly interpret these statistics.

It’s easy for us to share this misinformation. Many of these statistics are also interrelated, so misunderstandings can quickly multiply.

Here’s how we can avoid five common errors, and impress friends and family by getting the statistics right.

Read the article

Science & Technology Australia callout for examples of international collaboration 

Among the many policy issues we are all currently navigating, helping policymakers to understand the importance of international research collaborations is a continuing priority. 

STA are therefore looking to collect some great examples and case studies to highlight global research collaborations between Australian STEM researchers and counterparts abroad.A
They are looking for the following information:

  • What (types of) research are you and your members currently collaborating on with international partners?
  • What research and products/services/insights/jobs have come from your or your members international collaborations (links or pdfs to papers and websites would be excellent)?
  • What countries are your research partners in?
  • Are you collaborating with international businesses or industry and, if so, who and how?
Find out more

The Business Analytics Section of the SSA is pleased to announce the following webinar:

Its Alive! Frankenstein for President

to be presented by James J. Cochran on 6 October 2020 at 12 pm AEDT via Zoom.

History is littered with egregious failures of political polls to call the winner of an election (President Thomas Dewey?). In each of the four most recent U.S. Presidential elections, national polls have generally agreed on the outcome immediately prior to the casting of the ballots; the general consensus of the polls was wrong in half of those elections (2004 and 2016). There are many possible reasons for these failures, perhaps most notably of which is the unwillingness or inability of respondents to tell pollsters for whom they intend to vote. In this talk, I will describe an approach that addresses this problem for U.S. Presidential elections through i) estimating of the relative value each respondent associates with each possible position on each salient attribute, ii) asking each respondent what position she or he believes each candidate holds on each of these issues, and iii) using these results to estimate the number of votes each candidate will take in the electoral college.  

To find out more and to register please click here

Social Event: Slide Slam, SSA-Style! 

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

SSA NSW + Canberra are hosting a joint social event on 7 October where we have invited some of the best statisticians/data scientists around Australia to present a set of lightning talks. The catch? It won't be on statistics, in fact, they 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.

Some of the awesome speakers we have lined up: Janan Arslan (Melb), Alan Huang (UQ), Jessica Kazsa (Monash), Hien Nguyen (La Trobe), Jake Olivier (UNSW), Alice Richardson (ANU), Louise Ryan (UTS), Georgy Sofronov (MQ). 

Find out more

WA Young Statisticians’ Workshop 2020

This free workshop will take place online over two half-days on Wednesday 30th September and Thursday 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!

Students and early career professionals and researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts (due 10 am (AWST) Monday 28th September) for PDF posters, 5-minute videos, interactive web apps or almost anything suitable for distribution online. Please see for the abstract template, guidelines and some examples.

For more information click below or contact

For more information click here

MCDS Seminar Series special event jointly hosted by AURIN:
Urban Analytics and Modelling the Pandemic

The Melbourne Centre for Data Science is delighted to team up with its colleagues at the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN) to host a three part seminar with esteemed researchers from The Alan Turing Institute and the Royal Society of the UK's Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic (RAMP) teams.

This special event will be held on Thursday 24 September from 5:30pm AEST and will feature 3 talks:

  • Urban Analytics: Progress and Prospects
  • RAMP: Microsimulation and simulating behaviour
  • RAMP: Simulating COVID-19 in the community and assessment of scenarios
To find out more and to register click here

Previously advertised - places still available!

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

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

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 now open. 

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 |