19 August 2021

Dear {Contact_First_Name}, 

These are not easy times, and I would like to use this opportunity to send my good wishes to all our members and their families, especially those currently in lock-down. At a talk I attended recently, the presenter pointed out that what many of us are experiencing – whether we are in lock-down or not – is actual grief. Grief over missed opportunities and grief over a world that may never be again as we knew it.

I wish I had some good advice for you on how to get over the sadness, boredom and frustration, but I don’t have a cure. However, last week I came across this page on the Beyond Blue website: “10 ways to take care of yourself during coronavirus”. I found the advice there quite helpful and thought I would share it with you. If it helps just one person out there, sharing it was worth it. Of all the suggestions listed, I especially loved the mention of the “Insight Timer” and I have been using it a couple of times now to help me get to sleep.

While the suggestions listed on the website may not suit everyone, I also have a little tip for those of you missing overseas travel. Last weekend we turned our alfresco area into an Italian trattoria. I bought a red checkered tablecloth from Spotlight (they do deliver!), created an “Italian Dinner Party” music list on Spotify and got the old pasta maker out. While our little event could not replace a real trip to Italy, of course, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves while cooking, decorating the table, and eating my attempts at Italian food. Maybe that’s something a few of our travel-deprived members might like to try? You could even throw an authentic traditional Chianti bottle into the mix. Email me if you would like to know where you can order one.

Let me leave you today with something uplifting. Would you believe it – it even relates to statistics! Read this article “Life expectancy is just a number” and you will be smiling by the time you have finished. I promise.

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

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My ECSSC2021 Experience

The Early Career & Student Statisticians Conference (ECSSC) 2021 was held online over 26th July-1st August. As an early career quantitative researcher at Monash Rural Health, Bendigo, I was excited to hear about ECSSC 2021 and to receive funding from SSA Vic to attend. This conference provided me with opportunities to share my pharmacoepidemiological research, refine my presentation skills, meet and interact with fellow ECSSs, and learn about multifarious topics from inspiring keynote speakers and ECSSs. Topics of particular interest to me included causal inference, multicentre trials, psychometrics, spatial modelling, social media analytics, consulting, communication, and the sociology of statistical expertise.

Read Dr Michael Leach's full article here

And the winner of the ECSSC21 Video Competition is....

Congratulations to Shawn Lew Wei Hwa, undergraduate at Singapore Management University, for winning the 1st prize in the ECSSC2021 Video Competition. Shawn won the award for his video “Project Guide Me”, an analysis of how well the visually impaired have been able to integrate into Singaporean society, and his university honoured him with a fantastic write-up of his achievement.

Read the university's article here

The perils of being a statistician general are never ending

What do Galileo Galilei and the former chief statistician of Greece Andreas Georgiou have in common?

Italian astronomer, physicist, and scientist Galileo Galilei observed by telescope that the planets were round, a finding that was considered controversial at the time. He was  prosecuted for his support of heliocentrism, the astronomical model in which the sun is the centre of the universe around which the the earth and other planets revolve.

Andreas Georgiou has been persecuted by the Greek executive for upholding the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and the Treaties that govern the EU.

What is the connection? Dr Pali Lehohla, the former Statistician-General of South Africa and the former head of Statistics South Africa, explains.

Read more

News from the International Statistical Institute (ISI)

ISI President’s Column

ISI President Steve Penneck reflects on the success of the ISI WSC 2021 and the start of his term as President.

ISI and IAOS Letter of Support for Andreas Georgiou

ISI and IAOS have issued a statement to express their continued concern over the legal action being taken against the former head of the Greek Statistics Office (ELSTAT).

IAOS 2022 YSP Competition: Save the date

The closing date for the 2022 Young Statisticians Prize (YSP) competition will be 11 February 2022.

Read more on the ISI website

SSA Canberra branch meeting - Biostatistics collaborations in Health and Social research: The road taken

31 August 2021 - 5:45 AEST

SSA Canberra invites you to its August branch meeting, featuring Alberto Nettel-Aguirre who heads leads the Centre for Health and Social Analytics within National Institute for Applied Statistics Research Australia at UOW.

The Zoom presentation starts at 5:45pm and the meeting will be open from 5:30pm.

Unfortunately, no virtual pre-drinks and nibbles will be provided this time around. Due to the COVID-19 situation in Canberra, there will be no dinner after the branch meeting.

RSVP: Please register in advance for this meeting here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the meeting. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact

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

News from the Statistical Education Section

The Hunter Innovation and Science Hub (HISH) presents Stepping Into Science – Saturday 21 August, 6 - 7:30pm AEST

Three presenters will speak of their journeys from:

  • School to a Human Infertility Research
  • Lectures to fieldwork in Environmental Engineering
  • International banking to Flood Mitigation Awareness Research
FREE Registraton 


to remain updated on other HISH events

National Schools Poster Competition & (Community Division) National Statistics Poster Competition

In a team of 2 to 5 people, conduct an investigation and creatively report upon it in poster format. You determine a topic, area or idea that is of interest to you and your team to investigate, or perhaps consider the website for inspiration.

Develop core STEM and cross-functional skills for this Data Age.

Use technology to work in teams from disparate locations – just as happens in the workplace – and design your e-poster report, or take a photo of a physically created poster to submit.

All participants receive certificates. Competition is judged in 6 School Divisions (Stages 2-6 and one for the school making the most submissions) and a Community Division (teams may be comprised of families, friends, relatives, associates, etc. from within the same, or across multiple, households)

Submissions are due by 10 November.

Please visit for details and supporting resources.

Please stay safe and look out for one another.

Peter Howley
Chair, Statistical Education Section

Australian Trials Methodology Conference 2021

6 Dec 2021 – 7 Dec 2021  via Zoom

This event is being convened by the Australian Trials Methodology (AusTriM)

The organising committee warmly invites you to join them at their first Australian Trials Methodology Conference, which will take place fully online over the 6th and 7th of December 2021.

The meeting program will showcase cutting-edge trial design and analysis approaches in a way that is thought-provoking yet still accessible to bio-statisticians, methodologists and trialists (across any clinical discipline) alike.

Find out more

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

ADSN News from the Australian Data Science Network (ADSN)

Call for Papers: Australasian Data Mining Conference (AusDM’21) | Full papers due 24 August | Queensland University of Technology

AusDM’21 is a leading national conference that will facilitate the cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas, experience and potential research directions in machine learning, data science and artificial intelligence. We are calling for papers, both research and applications, and from both academia and industry, for publication and presentation at the conference. All papers will go through double-blind, peer-review by a panel of international experts.
Submit a paper now

Data Science Under the Hood: Data Fusion and Knowledge Discovery using Factorization methods | 26 August, 2pm-3pm | QUT Centre for Data Science

In this Data Science Under the Hood webinar, Dr Thiru Balasubramaniam explores Data Fusion & Knowledge Discovery using Factorization methods. Data fusion is a technique used to fuse multiple data for collective knowledge discovery. This talk will highlight how knowledge can be discovered and fused from multiple data using factorization methods such as matrix and tensor factorization. Register now

ACEMS Virtual Public Lecture: The Origami of Data Science | 1 September, 12pm-1pm | ACEMS

In this public lecture, Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen will discuss our attempts at the origami of data science. These include folding new methods and computational approaches into products such as an online atlas of cancer, a virtual Great Barrier Reef, an ethical social discourse platform, and a personalised learning program. Register now

AI for Pandemics (AI4PAN) Group Virtual Seminar: Fighting COVID-19 at Cornell University | 8 September, 10am | The University of Queensland

Universities around the world faced a challenging decision during the summer of 2020: whether to reopen for in-person instruction despite the pandemic and how to protect campus populations if they did. Associate Professor Peter Frazier will share why operations research and data science were a fundamental part of these decisions. Visit our webpage for full details

The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Academia’s Role in Getting it Right by Prof. Huw Price | 9 September, 4pm-5pm | Monash Data Futures Institute

As academics contemplate the future of artificial intelligence from their own vantage point, what they face is an engineering challenge. As he explores the future of AI via his role as an academic, distinguished philosopher Professor Huw Price will share his thoughts on ‘How can we build the most effective academic collaborations, to do our part in 'getting AI right'?’ Register now

ADSN Focused Workshop: Synthetic Data | 10 September, 1pm-3pm | ADSN & QUT Centre for Data Science

We’ve had recent interest from industry about simulating realistic data from complex systems. There are many situations where sensitivities of real data make synthetic data safer to handle. We (QUT) would like to convene a workshop to engage researchers with capabilities and interests in synthetic data and open up possibilities for further connection and collaboration. An calendar invitation has been sent out to all ADSN members this morning. Please forward the invitation onto any interested colleagues, or please contact us.

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

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0079992 Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Data ScienceJoin ...

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