11 February 2021

Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

Did you know that the SSA’s website features a discussion forum, enabling statisticians to engage with each other in a public space? SSA’s discussion forum has been in place for a couple of years now. When SSA moved to a new website, we were keen to offer such a facility, as there had been rumours that the old ANZSTAT list would not be maintained much longer, and indeed, it was taken offline last year. The ANZSTAT discussion forum pages are publicly available, and anyone can read the posts. To be able to post or leave a comment, you have to be a member of SSA or be registered as an ANZSTAT discussion forum subscriber. These two categories add up to 1666 people who could potentially post and comment.

Some subscribers of SSA’s ANZSTAT Discussion Forum miss the posts arriving in their inbox, as they did with the old ANZSTAT list. Unfortunately, our website platform does not support this, despite SSA having made several requests to Wild Apricot to rectify this through one of their future updates. Hopefully Wild Apricot will listen eventually. In the mean time you'll find a poll further down allowing you to let us know what you want from a discussion forum.

There is a fair bit going on in the forum at the moment. Under general topics you’ll be able to read a discussion regarding the shocking restructure at Murdoch University. If you think you are having a bad day, spare a thought for your colleagues at Murdoch. The ANZSTAT discussion forum includes a page for job listings as well.

Still on the topic of jobs, SSA also has a fabulous Career Centre, supporting employers and employees alike. In 2020 our job advertisements were viewed 20,252 times!

One of my favourite features offered by the Career Centre is the facility allowing you to upload your resume anonymously. Who knows who may stumble over your CV and think: “Now THAT’S the candidate we have been looking for all this time!” You have nothing to lose – put your resume out there! Who does not secretly dream of being headhunted one day?

The jobs listing includes jobs specifically posted in the Career Centre (with a portion of the advertising fee going to SSA), as well as jobs posted on other websites, such as “Seek”, so you see everything on offer in a single place. By the way,  placing an ad on the SSA Career Centre costs about half as much as placing it on "Seek", so I encourage everyone to let their HR department know about our Career Centre. It currently has 687 registered users (184 employers and 503 jobseekers). There are 1003 live jobs advertised at the moment and 137 resumes have been uploaded. Take a look and see where the SSA Career Centre may take you!

Good luck!

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

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Have your say on the ANZSTAT discussion forum

There has been some recent discussion about alternatives to the ANZSTAT discussion forum. Before we look at the options in detail, it would be useful to get a broad sense of what platform people want. So please complete this poll. You must be logged in to vote. We have tried to include all the options mentioned in recent days. We will share the results early next week.

Adrian Barnett
SSA Vice President

Sydney Mathematical Research Institute (University of Sydney) - Domestic Visitor Program - applications open 

Another round of the SMRI Domestic Visitor Program is now open for applications. This is for researchers in the mathematical sciences from other Australian universities who wish to do research at SMRI either individually or as part of a group of collaborators. Funding is available for successful applicants who are not from Sydney. The deadline for applications is 2-6 months before a potential visit. Applications should be sent by email to with the information requested in the terms and conditions. For more information,  see the SMRI website:  

If you have existing or potential research collaborators at other Australianu niversities who may want to spend some time working at SMRI, please direct them to the website and encourage them to apply.

Applications from female and ge
nder-diverse researchers, and from researchers belonging to other groups which are underrepresented in the mathematical sciences, are particularly encouraged. Please direct questions about the conditions to the Institute's Executive Director Anthony Henderson at

COVID vaccine - What is the risk?

It is absolutely disheartening to see headlines such as “Man in his 70s collapses and dies just 25 minutes after receiving COVID-19 vaccine in NYC” (DailyMail Australia, 9 February 2021). This article was actually picked up by a number of other newspapers who could not wait to spread the fear.

How refreshing - on the other hand -  was this gem: " Statistics show thousands of Minnesotans will die after getting the COVID vaccine — but not because of it. "(PioneerPress, 7 February 2021) This article highlights the challenge that public health officials face in trying to avoid inevitable deaths being linked to COVID-19 vaccines. It is written by someone who understands statistics and it might come in handy if ever you need to explain the actual risk that comes with being vaccinated.

Marie-Louise Rankin

SSA Mentoring Program

Are you an early or mid-career statistician looking for support to grow and develop your career? Or, are you a more experienced statistician looking to share your skills and experience with a new generation of statisticians? If either of these sound like you then this program may be for you!

Following a pilot mentoring program hosted by the Biostatistics & Bioinformatics Section in 2020, the Statistical Society of Australia is excited to be launching a new mentoring program for all members of the Society. We are looking for up to 20 mentor-mentee pairs to take part in the 6-month mentoring program.

Our aim

This program will connect early and mid-career statisticians to experienced mentors to provide them with career guidance and to share their experiences to help them achieve their professional goals.

Curious? Find out more.

Want to help improve health research and are a statistician?

Dear colleagues

My name is Lee Jones from the School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and I’m doing a PhD examining Statistical Quality in Health and Biomedical Research.

My supervisors (Adrian Barnett &  Dimitrios Vagenas) and I would like to invite statisticians (including those in data science and data analysis roles) to participate in a study reviewing published journal articles focusing on linear regression assumptions. Each statistician will be asked to review five published articles via a short survey, which should take approximately 30 minutes per paper to complete. Eligibility for this study is employment (current or past) in a statistical role (e.g. statistician, data scientist).  Please view the Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form for further details, study information can be accessed through the following link If you are interested in participating,  please email the completed consent form or if have any questions,  contact the research team at


Lee Jones AStat FHEA BSc hon

Webinar: Introducing the SSA Mentoring Program

17 February 2021, 1:00PM-2:00PM AEDT

Dr Karen Lamb, University of Melbourne and SSA Continuous Professional Development Committee Member

Recognising a need to build better connections between early-career and more established statisticians in Australia, Karen led a pilot mentoring program through the Biostatistics & Bioinformatics Section in 2020. The program involved 10 mentor-mentee pairs from around Australia and ran for 12 months. Karen joined the Continuous Professional Development Committee in 2020 to expand the program broadly across the SSA and has formed a Mentoring Program Committee to support her.

This webinar will provide an overview of the benefits of a mentoring program for the SSA, a discussion of the findings from the mentoring pilot program and an introduction to the Mentoring Program Committee and the program to be launched in March 2021.

Register here

Call for members of the SSA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

The SSA is calling for members who are interested in contributing to the newly-established Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. The EDI Committee, chaired by the SSA President, will meet every one to two months via Zoom, and members are expected to serve a term of one to two years. The EDI Committee will be charged with making recommendations to the Executive Committee regarding how the SSA can ensure that it is a truly equitable, diverse, and inclusive society. Expressions of interest close on February 26, and can be made at the form available here

Significance - Volume 18, Issue 1 out now

The latest issue of Significance includes articles on

  • News (Statisticians call for “rigorous evaluation” of Covid test strategy in English schools / Met Police to collect ethnicity data on vehicle stops / Enter the 2021 Statistical Excellence Award for EarlyCareer Writing)
  • US election polls: a quick postmortem
  • How to lose weight well, according to How to Lose Weight Well

And much more.

SSA members have access to Significance for just $58 p/a or $45 (student members).

Find out more

41st International Symposium on Forecasting - Online

27-30 June 2021

The International Symposium on Forecasting (ISF) is the premier forecasting conference, attracting the world's leading forecasting researchers, practitioners, and students. Through a combination of keynote speaker presentations, academic sessions, workshops, and social programs, the ISF provides many excellent opportunities for networking, learning, and fun. 

If you are interested in abstract submission click here.

For more information about the conference and the important deadlines click here.

For night-owls: RSS Merseyside Local Group & UK Data Service:

Starting a Career in Data - Panel, Wednesday, 17 March 2021, (time) online

Employer demand for data scientists is increasing by 20-30% year-on-year. Hundreds of universities now offer courses focusing on Data Skills, Statistics, Informatics and Machine Learning. With more and more future career paths increasingly relying on data and analytical skills, there are a number of questions that graduates often face, such as:

  • Should I learn Python or R, or something else?
  • What’s the difference between data science and statistics?
  • Do I need to be good at maths to do data science?

To discuss these questions the RSS Merseyside Local Group & UK Data Service will be hosting a panel of individuals of varying backgrounds and experience in data science within industry and academia. Submit any questions you’d like to see discussed at, but otherwise, you can also ask questions during the event.

To learn more and to register, click here

The Early Career & Student Statisticians Conference (ECSSC) 2021 will be held on 26 July to 1 August 2021. We are delighted to announce that we will be holding our conference virtually!

Early Bird Registration is now available!

When you register for the conference, it helps to be logged in as a member of SSA. This allows the system to auto-fill your contact information and enable any member-only registration types.

This year, we are giving high school students, who may be interested in a career in statistics, the opportunity to join our online conference free of charge. Please feel free to pass on this information to the high school students in your life.
Keep up-to-date and bookmark the official conference website.

Register here

Want to get involved with SSA?

Getting involved with your professional association does take some extra time, but it is a great way to meet other professionals at all career stages in your area of interest. At SSA we find that those members actively engaged with the Society tend to get more out of their membership.

If you have been thinking of how you can get involved, maybe this is the opportunity to need to take the plunge? We are seeking volunteers for the following vital roles:

2 x Social Media Enthusiasts

Main task:

  • Assist in maintaining the Society’s Twitter and/or Facebook account by posting about events, news and curating content for both platforms

Ideally you are

  • Able to dedicate up to 20 hrs a year
  • Familiar with the structure of major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Versatile, and adaptable

Some prior knowledge of social scheduling and analytics tools such as Hootsuite, or Tweetdeck would be beneficial but not essential.

1 Video Editor

Main task:

  • Assist with editing SSA’s webinar and seminar videos and upload them to SSA’s
  • YouTube channel

Ideally you would be able to

  • Dedicate up to 20 hrs a year

Some prior knowledge with video editing would be beneficial (imovie, adobe etc.).

Does this tweak your interest? Contact Carmen Lim for more info and to apply for any of these volunteer roles.

Spatial and Temporal Statistics Symposium

Online from 17 Feb 2021 to 19 Feb 2021

The STSS is sponsored by MATRIX and AMSI, and is designed to get PhD/Masters/Honours students with similar interests together, although we definitely welcome more senior researchers. The program includes a couple of tutorials, a couple of keynotes, and invited talks from academics and industry professionals, with space allowing for a number of talks from students on the topic. Registration is free and funding is available for post-symposium collaborative projects.

Confirmed speakers are:

  • Distinguished Professor Noel CressieUniversity of Wollongong (keynote)
  • Doctor Andrew Zammit MangionUniversity of Wollongong (Tutorial)
  • Doctor Michael BertolacciUniversity of Wollongong (Tutorial)
  • Doctor Susanna CrambQueensland University of Technology (Invited academic talk)
  • Doctor Petra KuhnertCSIRO (Invited industry talk)
Further information can be found here

Save the Date!

SA Branch Meeting - Wednesday, 17th February 2021

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM ACDT (from 6:30 PM AEDT) via Zoom

Stay tuned for more information about the February seminar from the SA Branch.

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.

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

02 6251 3647 |