4 March 2021

Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

International Women's Day (8 March) is just around the corner. It is a day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women worldwide and I would like to use this newsletter and this occasion for a big shout-out to the wonderful women that make up a great part of the SSA and the statistical community. Women have certainly broken through the glass ceiling at SSA, with many of our committees now chaired by inspirational females, and having - not for the first time - a female president.

When speaking with colleagues from other associations, many lamenting the gender make-up of their boards, I always get a sense of pride, appreciating that things are different here at SSA. That said, equity and diversity go far beyond gender balance and it is a matter the SSA seeks to address by creating a Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, charged with making recommendations regarding how the SSA can ensure that it is a truly diverse and inclusive society.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

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UK Statistics Authority Opens Data Ethics Centre

February 26 2021

The UK Statistics Authority has set up a Centre for Applied Data Ethics, to provide practical guidance and support for researchers and statisticians; and to keep them abreast of new methods, technologies and data sources.

According to Dame Moira Gibb, Chair of the National Statistician's Data Ethics Advisory Committee, the new centre will aim to provide a space for thought leadership and international engagement. It will also seek to address issues arising from artificial intelligence, geo-location, social media, and surveys, which she says present new opportunities to use (or misuse) the data produced by individuals and society.

The centre will work alongside partners in the UK and internationally to understand current and emerging ethical issues in developing research and statistical projects for the public good, while empowering individuals to address these challenges. Commenting on the launch, Dame Gibb said: 'Accessing, using and sharing both old and new forms of data present substantial ethical challenges that must be considered and addressed to ensure that researchers and statisticians can continue to fulfil their mission of using and producing statistics for the public good and make the world a better place'.

Article printed with permission of the Daily Research News.

Behind the numbers: the policy of giving as many first jabs as possible is already cutting hospital admission rates

The first vaccines have been rolled out in Australia and everyone is eager to see their impact on the prevalence of COVID-19 cases. This week, “The Guardian” featured an  article by Sir David Spiegelhalter, chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at Cambridge, and Anthony Masters,  statistical ambassador for the Royal Statistical Society on this very subject. Their verdict? Both Covid jabs are working well in the real world, not just the lab.

Read the article here

Data Science in the News: The Data Science of Covid-19 Vaccination

5 Mar 2021, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM AEDT - online

This webinar series is brought to you by the QUT Centre for Data Science and the Queensland Academy of Arts and Science.  They will explore what data and data science can tell us about COVID19 and vaccine.

Some of the Panel Session Topics:

Dr Kirsty Short: COVID-19: A year later

Professor Raja Jurdak: COVID-19 vaccination strategies and importation risks

Dr Adrianne Jenner: What modelling the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infections can tell us about COVID-19

SSA Vic Branch AGM

The Victorian Branch will be having its Annual General Meeting on 16 March from 17:30 to 18:00 AEDT via Zoom. We invite you to attend the meeting, voice any thoughts you have on the outgoing and incoming years, and elect our Council for 2021. We will distribute the Annual Report and other relevant documentation prior to the AGM.

If you wish to be on the Council for 2021, please send an email nominating yourself to and copy in a current member of the Branch who is willing to second your nomination. The same goes for voting via proxy - if you are unable to attend and wish another member to vote on your behalf, please send an email to, stating which member you would like to act as your proxy.

You must be logged in to your SSA account on the website in order to register for the AGM. If you have any difficulties please email the Vic branch using the above email address.

Following the conclusion of the AGM there will be a talk, with details to be announced soon.

Click here to register

The statistical quandaries of an ecologist: Applied and theoretical statistics for conservation

The Victorian Branch, together with the Environmental Statistics Section, welcomes you to our first talk of the year, to be given by Dr David Wilkinson. On 16 March 2021 at 6PM AEDT via zoom.

At opposite ends of the spectrum, the field of ecology attracts both die-hard field ecologists who prefer to spend most of their time out in the wild collecting data, and hardcore statisticians looking to apply their skills to complex, real life systems. Quantitative ecology is where the two overlap, but communication isn't always easy. In this talk Dr Wilkinson will be using aspects of his own work to illuminate some of the statistical quandaries faced by ecologists when they're working with either applied or theoretical statistics.

Please register here

Introduction to Machine Learning for Health Data

8-9 July 2021, Adelaide

SSA and Flinders University are proudly offering this workshop with Presenter Dr Oscar Perez-Concha, Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW Sydney.

This course introduces the basics for understanding and using machine learning algorithms.

We will discuss the machine learning workflow, from clearly defining our research question to the rationale behind choosing different machine learning techniques for different scenarios, highlighting questions such as over-fitting/under-fitting, missing data, and interpretability. We will focus on the principles behind some of the most used supervised learning algorithms.

For more information and to register, please click here.

Virtual 63rd ISI World Statistics Congress 2021 

Statistics and Data Science for a Better World

Latest update from the conference organisers - 02 March 2021:

"We will bring our members and delegates regular news updates regarding the Virtual ISI WSC 2021. We ask that you share our messages within your own network – with your colleagues and friends. With our first ever virtual WSC, many statisticians can easily participate from around the world for a very low fee. It is a wonderful opportunity for young statisticians to have their first WSC experience, especially our vast scientific programme.

  • Professor Kerrie Mengersen is the ISI President’s Invited Speaker at the Virtual ISI WSC 2021. The ISI President’s Invited Lecture is tentatively planned for Thursday, 15 July. We are excited to have Kerrie speak at our Virtual ISI WSC 2021. Want to know more about Kerrie and her work? See our website.
  • The Contributed Paper/Poster Submission System is already open! We are already receiving proposals for the CPS programme. Start submitting your proposal(s) now. The CPS announcement is available on our website. The CPS Submission System closes on 22 March.
  • We have the sponsorship and exhibition information available for the Virtual ISI WSC 2021. Know anyone who could be interested? Tell us or alternatively ask them to visit our website and get in touch with us directly!
  • The ISI has selected Worldspan to support in the delivery of the Virtual 63rd ISI World Statistics Congress. Worldspan delivers full-service association management and professional congress services to associations and non-profit organisations, globally. The Virtual ISI WSC 2021 will use Worldspan’s own online meeting and events platform, Virt-US Live.

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International Statistical Institute

UNSW Stats Central is offering three online short courses:

Introduction to R (2 dates) 

Course 1: 27 and 28 April 2021 AEST (two half-day sessions) 

Course 2: 6 and 7 May 2021 AEST (two half-day sessions)

9.30am -1.00pm each day

R is widely used and extremely powerful statistical software. This course assumes that you have never used R before. You will learn how to obtain and install R, which is open-source software, and RStudio, which is a versatile, user-friendly interface for using R. It is very useful to do this course before our introductory statistics course, Introductory Statistics for Researchers.

This course  will cover some basic features of R and lay the groundwork for you to improve your R skills independently. The course is self-paced and focused on developing practical skills.

To register click here.

Introductory Statistics for Researchers 

10 to 13 Ma, 2021 (four half-day sessions)

9.00am to 1.00pmAEST each day

This course is designed as an introduction to statistical analysis for researchers. There is emphasis on understanding the concepts of statistical procedures (with a minimum of mathematics, although some will be discussed) and on interpreting computer output. This course is designed to help you, the researcher. It is helpful if you have done an undergraduate statistics subject, although this course can serve as a first introduction or a refresher. The theory behind the statistical procedures outlined in the course will, in general, not be discussed. 

To register click here.

Introductory Statistics for Researchers using SPSS

17 to 20 May 2021 (four half-day sessions), 9.00 am to 1.00 pm AEST each day

in this course we use the statistical program SPSS exclusively.

To register click here.

Call for Nominations - SSA Vice President

The term of office of SSA’s current Vice President, Professor Adrian Barnett, will expire at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting of Central Council this year. Nominations are now invited for the position of SSA Vice President (President Elect). The position will involve one year as Vice President, then two years as President followed by a further year as Vice President.  More details about the position can be found in this compilation of position descriptions. Nominations should be sent to the SSA Secretary, Doug Shaw, at before c.o.b. on Friday, 12 March 2021.

Registration for ANZSC 2021 now open!

Registration is open for the Australian Statistical Society and New Zealand Statistical Association Conference 2021 (ANZSC 2021) and the Australian Conference on Teaching Statistics (OZCOTS).

Register Now!

We are urgently looking for some technically minded statisticians!

Do you want to connect with some great people? Do you need to add some volunteer work to your resume?

It’s true, getting involved with your professional association  does take some extra time. It is a great way though to meet more members of your "tribe". 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 two social media enthusiasts and a video editor. Membership with SSA is not essential.

C’mon! Get on board!

Find out how

SSA Canberra AGM + Outgoing president's talk

30 Mar 2021, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM  AEDT via Zoom

5:15pm-5:30pm: Zoom meeting opens and pre-seminar mingling 

5:30-6pm: Annual General Meeting on Zoom

6-6:45pm: Outgoing El-presidente  presentation on Zoom

SpeakerFrancis Hui, Australian National University

Topic: My Journey into Spatial Confusing  Confounding

Virtual pre-drinks and nibbles are provided, but they don't taste as good as the real thing!

Please register in advance for this meeting here

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact

IBC2022 Call for Invited Session Proposals 

The IBC2022 International Program Committee (IPC) is now accepting proposals for the Invited Session Program to be held during the 31st International Biometric Conference on 11-15 July 2022 in Riga, Latvia.

Submissions are due by 31 March 2021.

Find out more

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! ECSSC2021 will bring together the best students and early-career professionals in statistics and data analysis from all around Australia.

This event is not to be missed! Register now!

To keep up-to-date with ECSSC2021, please go to the official conference website.

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 

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