25 November 2021

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

SSA is delighted to announce that in 2022 it will be once more involved in Science & Technology’s (STA) “Science Meets Parliament”. This marks the 22nd time STA has held this flagship event since it was created in 1999. Science Meets Parliament is Australia’s single largest vehicle for deep engagement between the science and technology sector and decision-makers. 

This event includes inspiring speakers, high-quality professional development, meetings between scientists and Parliamentarians, a National Press Club address, and a National Gala Dinner to nurture relationships between science and technology and policymakers. 

Like this year’s event, it will be held in a mostly virtual format, allowing it to be both COVID-safe. 

The conference and training will be delivered online from 28 February to 4 March. An in-person National Press Club address by STA President Professor Mark Hutchinson is planned for 2 March in Canberra. The national gala dinner to bring together STEM leaders and Parliamentarians will be held concurrently in capital cities across Australia on Thursday, 2 June.

Click here to see the preliminary program.

SSA will sponsor up to two members to attend STA’s signature event. Early career statisticians are particularly encouraged to apply. Please email your expression of interest, explaining your reasons why you think this event could be of benefit to you, and your CV to before 10 December 2021.

In addition, 2021 STA are offering the opportunity to apply for scholarships to attend Science meets Parliament:

  • First Nations scholarship for Aboriginal or Torres Strait applicants
  • LGBTIQA+ scholarship for members of the LGBTIQA+ community
  • Rural and regional scholarship for delegates in the regions
  • Technology scholarships for people working in the technology sector.

Applications close 4 February 2022. More information on these scholarships can be found hereAny questions about this additional opportunity should be taken up directly with Science and Technology Australia. 

I look forward to receiving some great applications.

Marie-Louise Rankin
SSA Executive Officer

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The impact of weighting by educational attainment and past vote on estimates of pre-election voting intentions: A case study using Australian polling data

The 2022 Australian federal election will be held on or before 21 May 2022. Over the next few months, we can expect a flurry of surveys and polls aiming to predict how Australians are going to vote. However, in 2019 we all witnessed firsthand that the polls can get it very wrong. 

It could not have been more timely then that the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods released a paper co-authored by Darren Pennay and SSA members Dina Neiger and Sebastian Misson as part of its Methods Paper series: “The impact of weighting by educational attainment and past vote on estimates of pre-election voting intentions: A case study using Australian polling data”. 

The paper follows up on issues discussed in the Polling Review and, in particular, looks at the impact of weighting survey estimates of voting intentions by educational attainment and past vote. The methodology and findings are of relevance to the Statistical Society members, especially those who were interested in the failure of polling in 2019 and questioned the methodology the pollsters used at the time. 

The article is available here.

The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) is launching a new website where researchers in Australia can find research data tools, resources, best-practice, news and events in one central hub.  

To help them better understand researchers’ needs, they’re looking for 14 researchers across disciplines and career stages to join their website user experience (UX) cohort

  • one-hour interview, virtual or in person depending on your location
  • possibility of prototype testing
  • $100 Woolworths Wish gift card provided for the selected participants
  • great opportunity to skill up on your science communication by working with a professional web development team. 
Register your interest now

News from the Bayesian Section

The Bayesian section of SSA will be sponsoring an invited session at the ISBA 2022 World Meeting, “Fast Variational Bayes approaches for high-dimensional problems.” This session will feature talks by David Gunawan (U. Wollongong), Luca Maestrini (UTS), and Minh-Ngoc Tran (U. Sydney). Please also note that the abstract submission deadline for contributed talks or posters has been extended until January 15. The meeting of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA) will be held from June 22 to July 1, 2022, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. More details are available from the conference website.

We would like to bring your attention to the following international conferences: 

  • The biennial meeting of the Objective Bayes section of ISBA, O’Bayes 2022, will be hosted by the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), USA, from September 7-10. The list of invited speakers, discussants and tutorials is available here
  • The meeting of the Bayesian Computation section of ISBA, BayesComp 2023, will be held at the Congress & Exhibition Centre Levi Summit, Finland, from March 15-17, 2023. Further details will be posted here once they become available. 

On behalf of the executive committee, Bayesian Section of SSA


SSA equity, diversity and inclusivity issues survey

The SSA is committed to making the Society, and the discipline of statistics more broadly, welcoming, inclusive, and equitable. The SSA formed an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity (EDI) committee in 2021 to help achieve this goal, however not all issues of equity, diversity, or inclusion may be obvious to those on the committee. To help the EDI committee identify EDI issues that the Society can work on, and understand perceptions of the SSA in relation to EDI, the SSA is conducting a short (5 mins), anonymous, survey.

To share your views, please fill in the survey here

NSW Branch: 22nd J. B. Douglas Awards

9 Dec 2021, 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM (AEDT) at the Aerial Function Centre, UTS and online

The 22nd J.B. Douglas Awards will be held at the Aerial Function Centre, UTS on Thursday 9th of December 2021. Each year, the J.B. Douglas Awards provides a platform to showcase research produced by postgraduate students who are about to graduate. As it is a hybrid event this year, you will be able to join us virtually via Zoom if you are not able join us physically.

Please note that for security reasons, if you choose to attend virtually via zoom, you will need to register here

in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Both the J.B. Douglas Awards and the Annual Lecture share the same Zoom link.

Meet the candidates - find out more

NSW Branch: 2021 Annual Lecture by Prof. Simon Jackman - Statistics in the public eye: the case of predicting election outcome

9 Dec 2021, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM (AEDT) at the Aerial Function Centre, UTS and online

Following the J. B. Douglas Awards, there will be the Annual Lecture by Professor Simon Jackman from the United States Studies Centre, the University of Sydney, about predictive models of election outcomes.
Predictive models of election outcomes – relying chiefly on published opinion polls – have been a leading example of statistical methods finding their way into media and popular discourse. After early successes, these models have been at the heart of “polling misses” in recent years across elections in the USA, Australia and the UK.

Professor Jackman will examine these successes and failures, detailing the statistical models used to temporally aggregate and smooth poll-based estimates of voting intentions - a form of Hidden Markov Model.

Find out more and register here

NSW Branch: 2021 Annual Dinner

9 Dec 2021, 7:00 PM (AEDT) at the Aerial Function Centre, UTS

It has been a long while since COVID and we finally are able to meet and chat to the peers of our community face-to-face! The event will be held in the Aerial Function Center, UTS, at around 7:00 PM AEST right after the Annual Lecture. The dinner will be in a buffet setting, please make sure to specify if you have any dietary requirement.

Click here to register.

Click here to register

Thank you to our sponsors that make these events possible.

Gold Sponsors



WA Branch - End of Year Dinner

30 Nov 2021, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM (WAST) at Itsara  

The Western Australian Branch of the Statistical Society of Australia warmly invites you to our End of Year Dinner for 2021 on

Tuesday, 30 November 2021, at 6:30PM, to be held at 
Itsara, 25 Stirling Hwy, Nedlands.

The menu for the evening may be found 
here and pricing is as follows:

·         $35 pp. for SSA Members and their guest,

·         $25 pp. for SSA Student Members, and

·         $60 for others.

Drinks are additional.

We look forward to you joining us for an evening of good food and good company.

Register here

Speakers Dinner December 2021

SSA Vic End-of-year social event - Register now!

Have you been craving a face-to-face catch-up with your statistically significant friends and colleagues?

SSA Vic will be hosting an in-person social evening on the 15th of December to make up for the missed opportunities over the past two years!

Who: Open to members ($30) and non-members ($60)

What: Real life people including speakers from the events of 2020 and 2021 + conversation + canapes + beverages

When: 15th December, 6pm-9pm

Where: University House, Melbourne University

Why: because we finally can!

Places are limited so register to secure your spot, now!

AMSI BioInfoSummer Public Lecture

Join us for 'Advanced Technologies Underpinning Victoria’s COVID Wastewater Monitoring Program' on Wednesday 1 December, presented by WEHI laboratory head Associate Professor Aaron Jex. The lecture will be broadcast on Zoom starting at 6pm AEDT. Suitable for Year 10 and up.

Find out more and register here

Check out current job vacancies in SSA's Career Centre here



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