27 May 2021

Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

Today marks the first day of National Reconciliation Week 2021. From today until 3 June 2021 events will be held across the country allowing all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. To find events near you please click here.

The theme for this year’s Reconciliation Week is More Than A Word. Reconciliation Takes Action. As the name implies it urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action. While 2021 marks twenty years of Reconciliation Australia and almost three decades of Australia’s formal reconciliation process, there still lies a long road ahead. SSA wants to be involved. In the past year SSA introduced the “Welcome to Country” for its online and face-to-face meetings to show respect for Traditional Owners and the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Country. Today, SSA signed up for membership with ATSIMA (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance). Members with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background are invited to contact the SSA office should they wish to be actively involved in working together in achieving ATSIMA's vision and priorities.

At this stage, the ACT remains the only jurisdiction in Australia to observe a Reconciliation Day public holiday. The SSA office will be closed on Monday, 31 May 2021.

Marie-Louise Rankin
Executive Officer

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Vic Branch: Trivia success, 12th May 2021

The 2nd Annual SSA Vic Virtual Trivia Night was held on Thursday 13th of May, deftly helmed by Lizzie Korevaar and Emi Tanaka. After navigating Zoom’s attempt to rock the boat, the attendees quickly split into two allegiances: Victorians vs non-Victorians. The atmosphere was collegial but the competition was intense. The teams battled it out over five rounds of questions spanning such topics as music, movies, films, Tokyo and the Olympics (which served as an excuse for Emi to bring out some of her deep store of Anime and video game questions) and the most important topics of all, statistics, women in statistics and the SSA itself. There was even a round without correct answers, where points were awarded for guessing the most popular response. In between rounds of questions, shouts of triumph and groans of despair accompanied our hosts revealing the answers. In the end, "Hey Google, what's a good team name?" narrowly triumphed over "Quizteama Aguilera" and "TGIF", but I'm sure many of the participants will be back to battle it out again next year.

Rhys Bowden

News from the Official Statistics Section

Young Statisticians Prize

The IAOS YSP is an international prize, which is designed to encourage more young statisticians to take an active interest in official statistics and is awarded for the best paper in the field of official statistics written by a young statistician. In the YSP 2020 competition the second place of the 2020 IAOS Young Statisticians Prize was awarded to Mr. Johannes Gussenbauer and Mr. Gregor de Cillia (Statistics Austria) for the paper “The R-Package surveyed: Estimating standard errors for Complex Surveys with a Rotating Panel Design” First place went to Kenza Sallier at Statistics Canada for the paper: “Toward More User-Centric Data Access Solutions: Producing Synthetic Data of High Analytical Value by Data Synthesis”.

Third place went to ABS employee James Bailie's paper: “Big Data, Differential Privacy and National Statistical Organisations”. Congratulations James.

Stephen Horn

Chair, Official Statistics Section

For more details click here

Interested in Biostatistics or Bioinformatics? Last chance to apply to join the Biostatistics or Bioinformatics committee!

You only have a few more days to submit your expression of interest should you wish to join the SSA Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Section committee. If you have a passion for biostatistics and/or bioinformatics and if you want to continue to shape the direction of the Section and, ultimately, promote the field within Australia the section wants to hear from you.

Please submit an EOI before 31st May 2021 or for more information contact Nicole De La Mata.

CPD survey deadline extended until 7 June 2021

The deadline for SSA’s CPD survey has been extended until 7 June 2021. Thank you to everyone who has already completed this year's CPD survey. For everyone else this is another chance to have your say in the professional development opportunities that SSA provides, and what you would like to see offered in the future.

The survey will take between 5 to 10 minutes. Please follow this link .

We invite you to complete the survey, and we appreciate your time and feedback.

Thank you!

CPD Committee of the SSA

EC Bayes Seminar Series: Andrea Bertazzi (Delft) will be presenting a virtual talk on his work with PDMPs for MCMC.

27 May 2021, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM AEST via Zoom

This is a virtual and live event at QUT (GP-O603).

You are invited to join in for this talk by Andrea Bertazzi from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands on Euler approximations for Piecewise deterministic Markov processes.

Piecewise deterministic Markov processes (PDMP) received substantial interest in recent years as an alternative to classical Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms. The applicability of PDMP to real world scenarios is currently limited by the fact that these processes can be simulated only when specific properties of the target distribution are known beforehand. In order to overcome this problem, we introduce an Euler-type discretisation scheme for PDMP which does not need such pre-requisite knowledge. For the resulting scheme we study both pathwise convergence to the continuous process as the step size converges to zero and convergence in law to the target measure in the long time limit. (This is a joint work with Paul Dobson and Joris Bierkens.) 

Register here

Scholarships available for attending ANZSC2021, ECSSC2021 and AMSI Winter School

Several branches of SSA are offering financial support to fund  participation at the Australian and New Zealand Statistical Conference 2021, the Early Career and Student Statisticians Conference and AMSI Winter School.

Schemes and deadlines vary slightly between branches. To find out what your branch is offering, please click on the appropriate blue box below.

QLD Branch
NSW Branch
VIC Branch
Canberra Branch

StatChat is back!

15 Jun 2021, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM  AEST via Zoom

This is an SSA members session to discuss statistical issues. Bring your questions and come to discuss and/or listen. Julie Simpson is our guest senior statistician for this month.

Registration is free

Time is running out to submit your abstract for ECSSC2021!

The deadline for abstract submission for ECSSC2021 (formerly SSA's Young Statisticians Conference) is 31 May 2021. Please send us your abstract at your earliest convenience, so we can tell registrants what they can look forward to!

Find out more

We'd like to thank our generous sponsors:

The ECSSC is offering several courses leading up to the conference:

ECSSC Science Communication Series: Honing Your Pitch

16 Jun 2021, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM AEST via Zoom

Convex Optimization for Statistical and Machine Learning with CVXR

24 Jul 2021, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM AEST via Zoom

Statistical Shape Analysis via Topological Data Analysis

25 Jul 2021, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM AEST via Zoom

Get Significance online

As part of your membership of the Statistical Society of Australia you now have online access to Significance through the Wiley Online Library.

Remember, SSA members also get discounted access to print copies of the magazine ($58 for six copies a year for full members, $45 for student members).

Get access to Significance

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.

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