17 December 2020


Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

I’d like to extend best wishes to all of our members for 2021. 2020 has been a challenging year for many of us, personally and professionally. I hope that you get a chance to relax and recharge over the new year period, and catch up with loved ones.

What does 2021 hold for the SSA? Our conference will be held online in July, and we are working to ensure that registration fees will be kept low. We will establish a Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Committee, to be charged with ensuring that the SSA is a truly diverse and inclusive society. A Society-wide mentorship program will be established early in 2021: we will send out a call for mentors and mentees in the first quarter of the year. 

All this in addition to the usual program of webinars, and Branch and Section events and workshops! If you have any ideas for the Society for 2021, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Finally, I’d like to thank you for your support of the SSA throughout 2020. Thank you, and best wishes for the new year!

Jessica Kasza
SSA President


The New South Wales Branch Says Good-Bye To 2020 With Annual Lecture and Dinner (December 2020)
University of Sydney statistics professor, Gillian Heller, delivers the New South Wales branch 2020 annual lecture on her career-long journey though regression modelling and computing, followed by a vibrant end-of-year dinner at a pub around the corner. Now read on:

Read Matt Wand's full article here

Murdoch Uni slashes maths and stats

Many of our members will already be aware of the situation facing our colleagues at Murdoch University in WA. For those unaware, Murdoch University is planning to cease offering majors in mathematics and statistics, and convert all maths and stats teaching and research contracts to teaching-only roles. You can find more information on the anzstat forum here. The SSA has written a letter to the Vice Chancellor of Murdoch University asking her to reconsider this plan. We intend to make this letter public after giving Murdoch University sufficient time to respond.

Jessica Kasza

From the SSA Office

This is our last newsletter for 2020. I hope you enjoyed what you were reading this past year. Sending out a weekly bulletin was a bit of an experiment, but personally I feel that it is an improvement in the communication with our members. Rather than constantly getting event announcements and reminders, you now usually just receive one email a week from SSA’s central office.  Your inbox should be heaving a sigh of relief!

This is my last day before I go on a two-week break. I’ll be back at my desk on 4 January 2021. The first newsletter in January will be the 14 January issue.

It’s been a pleasure being here for you this past year and sharing the many ups and downs of 2020. If this year has shown anything, it surely has to be the relevance of belonging to your professional association. Despite lock-downs and restrictions of face-to-face contacts the statistical community was able to connect on a regular basis. Perhaps you even managed to make new friends or gain new contacts as a result of our many meetings/events?

I’d like to use this opportunity to thank our regular contributors to the newsletter and our branch newsletter contacts who keep the articles coming. You are doing a wonderful job.

I look forward to keeping our members up-to-date in 2021.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a relaxing holiday break!

Kind regards

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

ABS and QUT establish partnership for data science innovation

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and QUT have entered a first-of-its-kind partnership that aims to develop a world-leading program of research in data science.

This program will be based at the QUT Centre for Data Science and will focus on understanding areas of opportunity for state-of-the-art data science in order to shape, develop and transform established areas of government statistics.

ABS Chief Methodologist Anders Holmberg said the partnership will provide new opportunities to connect government, academic research and undergraduate education, to solve real world problems.

Find out more

Discounted membership for members of the NZSA

We are pleased to advise that the SSA now offers a discounted rate of $200 for full membership for current Ordinary Members of NZSA residing outside Australia. Proof of current membership with NZSA must be provided.

Please contact the SSA office for more information or click here to sign up. Accredited members will need to contact the SSA office to change their membership type.

News from the ISI

The International Statistical Institute has a number of awards and prizes running currently, to be presented at the Virtual ISI World Statistics Congress 2021. The details are presented below. Your are invited to apply or nominate a colleague for one of these awards and prizes, and we would appreciate it if you could circulate the information among those who might be interested:

Mahalanobis International Award

The award recognizes an individual for lifetime achievements in statistics in a developing country or region and is sponsored by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation of the Government of India. The deadline for nominations is 14 January 2021. More

Founders of Statistics Prize for Contemporary Research Contributions

The Founders of Statistics Prize for Contemporary Research Contributions is given in honor of the Founders of Statistics. It recognizes a research contribution that has had profound influence on statistical theory, methodology, practice, or applications. The deadline for nominations is 7 January 2021. More

Jan Tinbergen Awards for Young Statisticians

The ISI Jan Tinbergen Awards are an opportunity for young statisticians to present their papers at the biennial World Statistics Congresses (WSC). The awards are named after the famous Dutch econometrician and Nobel Prize winner, and are sponsored by the Dutch ‘Stichting Internationaal Statistisch Studiefonds’ (International Statistical Study Fund Foundation). The deadline for applications is 4 January 2021. More

ISI and Esri Spatial Thinking Student Competition

ISI and Esri are sponsoring the 2020/21 Spatial Thinking Student Competition. Entry topics may include statistics and data science or focus on areas of the economy, society, and the environment. We especially encourage submissions around the topics of International Year of Women in Statistics and Data Science, urban planning, sustainable development, health, and disasters of all kinds. Apply before 1 January 2021 to ensure your chance to participate. More

ANZSC2021- Conference Hubs

You are probably aware that the decision was made recently to hold ANZSC2021 online. We are currently discussing the option of hosting local hubs where our delegates can follow a virtual conference while still enjoying the company of others, networking opportunities and good food. In Queensland the obvious choice for such a hub would be the Gold Coast Convention Centre where the conference was booked originally.

To help us with our planning we are asking the statistical community if they would be interested in such a hub, and if those living close to the Gold Coast might even consider travelling to the there to catch up with their colleagues.  If you have not yet done so, it would be wonderful if you could give us a minute of your time and answer two questions in the survey below (blue button) before Friday, 18 December. Thank you in advance!


Introducing StatChat

Thursday, 28 January 2021, 12:30 AEDT - via Zoom

Have some statistical questions you’d like to discuss with others? Or just want to learn what people are wrestling with and contribute your thoughts? StatChat is a relaxed session where your questions can be answered! Come to ask, answer or listen! At least one senior statistician will be present each time, and this session will feature Adrian Barnett.

Open to SSA members, this event is free, but you will need to register. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Register here

The December issue of the SSA Biostatistics & Bioinformatics Newsletter is out now.

Click below catch the latest news.

SSA Biostatistics & Bioinformatics Newsletter

Develop your online profile - presented by "Science in Public"

As a scientist do you wonder how to use Social Media to promote your work? Will it help advance your career? SSA is holding an online workshop on using public media as a scientist, on 2 February 2021 (11:00 AM - 12:30 PM AEDT).

This event is free for eight lucky members of SSA and eight employees of the ABS. The SSA places have now all been allocated, but we still have ABS places available. If you are with the ABS and you want to participate in this workshop, please contact SSA for the booking code.

With this free event SSA would like to say “thank you” to our members for their loyalty, and to the ABS for its incredible support of SSA.

Save your place


Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics Editor – call for nominations now open

The International Biometric Society and the American Statistical Association have invited nominations for the position of editor of the Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics (JABES).

JABES publishes articles of immediate and practical value to applied researchers and statistical consultants in the agricultural sciences, the biological sciences (including biotechnology), and the environmental sciences (including those dealing with natural resources).

Nominations should be sent to no later than Friday January 15th, 2021.  Once received, nominations will be presented to the Chair of the JABES Management Committee for further consideration. Interested individuals are encouraged to nominate themselves.

More details are available here

If you have news from the Australian statistical community to share in Stats Matters and Events, please get in touch with us! We love getting feedback too.

The SSA Office will be closed from 17 December 2020 until 4 January 2021.

Our office hours will be irregular from 4 -15 January, but if you send an email or leave a message someone will be in touch asap.

Happy holidays!

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

02 6251 3647 |