12 August 2021

Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

I hope that you will be able to join us next Tuesday evening (August 17) at 5:30pm (AEST) for the Society’s Annual General Meeting: please register your attendance here. The AGM is an opportunity to hear about some of the Society’s highlights of the past year and participate in the business of the Society. In my opinion, it is well worth taking 45 minutes out of your evening to get an idea of what goes on in the office of your Society!

An additional inducement is that AGM attendees will get to hear Professor Rob Hyndman, the 2021 Pitman Medallist, talk about “Uncertain Futures: What can we forecast and when should we give up?”. This promises to be an excellent insight into the work of one of our great Australian statisticians. I hope to see you at the talk, and at the AGM beforehand!

Of course, this past Tuesday was Census day. Our members are all well aware of the importance of the Australian Census. While I certainly enjoy filling in my census form, this year’s set of questions relating to sex and gender were not as inclusive as many of us had hoped.

The SSA has supported a statement by Just.Equal calling on the ABS to include separate questions on sexual orientation, gender identity and variations of sex characteristics in the next census. The ABS itself has guidelines for the collection of high-quality data on sex and gender (available here). I’d encourage all members to read these guidelines. 

Jessica Kasza
SSA President

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Introducing the SSA’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee

The Statistical Society of Australia’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) committee is charged with making recommendations about how the SSA can be a truly diverse and inclusive society.  The committee currently has 8 members and has met 5 times since March 2021 (approximately every 6 weeks).  The committee has already been active in progressing towards this aim, for example:

Developing a set of guidelines for branches and sections to ensure events are accessible and inclusive. These guidelines are available from the Committee’s webpage.

  • Developing a statement in support of trans and gender diverse people and the collection of high-quality data on sex and gender with input from Transgender Victoria. This has now been released.  We have also endorsed a statement from the Just Equal campaign regarding the collection of sex and gender data in the recent Australian census. These statements address issues of human rights as well as highlighting our professional expertise – we are data experts and aim to promote inclusive collection and use of data.
  • A roundtable discussion on inclusion was held at ANZSC2021 on 5th July. While discussants agreed that statistics was not as exclusionary as other mathematical sciences and does include many women, they also felt that there was still plenty of room for improvement. Suggestions included creating a buddy program (where a designated person greets attendees at events – helping to create a welcoming atmosphere!), raising awareness of and providing additional funding to increase accessibility for people with disabilities (e.g. improving automatic subtitles for talks and ensuring accessibility of event spaces) and developing links with other disciplines. Many ideas for the EDI Committee to follow up on!

If there are any equity, diversity and inclusivity issues that you’d like the SSA to discuss and address, please get in touch. We will soon have a portal where you can leave feedback. Any communication will be dealt with confidentially. You can also email Jess, or our Executive Officer.

The EDI Committee is always looking for enthusiastic people to join the Committee. Please get in touch with Jessica Kasza, the SSA President, if you’d like more information.

NSW Branch August Virtual Meeting: When your research meets Covid: A case study - by Dr. Nancy Briggs

24th August 2021, on Zoom from 6pm AEST.

As researchers we often encounter unexpected events that change the intended course of our projects. This global pandemic has affected all aspects of our work. We may have had to change our entire project, altered the design or stopped data collection altogether. This talk will discuss statistical treatments of affected projects and illustrate some of the decisions I have had to make through a case study.

Register here

Do you love quirky statistics? Then you don’t want to miss the 24 craziest stats from the Tokyo Olympics

With a year long delay, empty stadiums, new sports, and frank discussions about mental health, this was a Summer Olympics like no other—and that was the case statistically, as well. Along with the drama, the competitions, and the medals, the Tokyo Games produced some fascinating numbers. Mike Canter, a sports television graphics operator, statistician, researcher, and writer, compiled some of the wackiest and most sensational stats from the past few weeks. 

Read on

Is your resume up-to-date?

Your resume is your first impression to potential employers. As a job seeker, your resume should be current and stand out from the competition.

SSA's career centre FREE Resume Critique service allows you to get your resume reviewed by experts with the same critical attention as potential employers. These experts will ensure your resume outlines your strengths and emphasizes vital skills to increase your chance of getting an interview.

Upload your resume

Celebration of Women in Australian Mathematical Sciences - including statistics!

The WIMSIG Conference 2021 (postponed from 2020) will now be taking place at a range of “local hubs” on Friday 1st October this year. There will be events in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, and Perth, with events live-streamed so that everyone can take part: regardless of lockdowns! However - local hubs will include in-person activities, so we would encourage you to attend one of these if you are able, given your local ever-changing COVID situation. Of particular interest to statisticians will be a plenary talk by the Dr Kristian Lum, who is slated to speak about her work on algorithmic fairness. 

Please register your proposed attendance here.

News from the IBS

The IBS Travel Awards Program will launch its pre-International Biometric Conference travel funding campaign very soon. More information may be found here.   Those who reside in lower and middle-income countries may apply. Funding of up to $3,000 USD per applicant is to be used to attend the 2022 International Biometric Conference in Riga, Latvia, taking place from July 10-15 at the Radisson Blu Hotel and Conference Center.

Related to the conference, there is no membership requirement to join the new IBC online Community, which was recently launched . Obviously, those eventually planning to attend the 2022 IBC will find this more useful than others. Updates related to local travel restrictions and much more will be posted there, as well as full session information.

And speaking of sessions, just a reminder that submissions from a broad range of perspectives are encouraged during our IBC Call for Contributed Sessions. Click here to view an list of the methodological topics and application areas that have been covered at previous conferences and which likely will also be covered at the next conference. This is not an exhaustive list by any means.

Learn more

August Issue of Significance out now!

Membership of the SSA includes online access to Significance.

Click here to find out how. 

Seeking a social media specialist!

The SSA is seeking a new Vice President of Media and Communications. This person will work with the established Media and Communications team to drive the SSA’s engagement with people on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc! You can find more information about the role in the document here.

If you’re a social media specialist and are keen to contribute to the SSA, or just want to know more, get in touch with Jess Kasza or Marie-Louise Rankin

You are invited: SSA and ASPAI AGMs - 17 August 2021

The 2021 Annual General Meetings of the Statistical Society of Australia, Incorporated and the Australian Statistical Publishing Association Inc will be held on Tuesday, 17 August 2021 from 5:30 pm to 6:15 pm via Zoom.

The SSA and ASPAI AGMs are available to members of SSA only. Please use registration link below if you would like to attend. You do not need to register separately for the talk following the AGMs.

This year’s AGMs will be followed by a presentation from Pitman Prize awardee Professor Rob J. Hyndman, Head of the Department of Econometrics & Business Statistics, Monash University.

Rob's talk is titled: " Uncertain Futures: What Can We Forecast and When Should We Give Up?".

Find out more and register here for the AGMs

Can artificial intelligence answer important medical questions?

A collaboration between a biostatistician and a data scientist.

$2,000 scholarships available for two successful applicants!

The Australian Pharmaceutical Biostatistics Group (APBG) is providing a fantastic opportunity for undergraduates or new graduates in the data science and statistical fields to work together on this important conundrum.

Apply before 15 August 2021.

Find out more

Check out the current job advertisements in SSA's Career Centre

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Classification: Academic Level A Salary package: ...

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