30 June 2022

Dear {Contact_First_Name},  

You would have to be living under a rock if you did not notice that this week was all about the 2021 Census results. Dr David Gruen AO, Australian Statistician, called the day of the announcement a “Christmas for nerds”.  One of these, Assistant Minister for Treasury, Andrew Leigh, self-proclaimed “stats-nerd”, could barely contain his excitement: “As the assistant minister responsible for the Census, a former economics professor, and an enduring stats nerd, I love the Census. It helps us better understand the nation and provides rich insights into individual communities. You filled it in – and tomorrow you’ll get to find out what it reveals.”, he concluded in an opinion piece published on his website on the eve of the announcement.  

There is no need for me to delve into the actual Census results here. They can be viewed on the ABS website, with the snapshot page addressing the main points making an interesting read. If reading this material, which can be somewhat dry, is not your thing, why not learn more about the census results at the 2021 Census national data seminar. Hosted in-person and online on Thursday, 7 July at 2:00pm AEST, it will include information on:

  • 2021 Census data insights
  • the uses of Census data
  • what Census data tools are available.

Another seminar will be held on 11 July at 2:30 AEST: “2021 Census Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data seminar".

If you are unable to tune in for either of these events, the seminars will be recorded and available on the ABS website and the ABS YouTube channel after the event.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the ABS, especially those ABS colleagues that are part of the SSA community, for their hard work preparing, conducting and processing the 2021 Census. Nobody knows better than your fellow SSA members what an enormous task you have accomplished. Thanks to your diligence we all have essential, up-to-date information at our fingertips once again.

Many thanks for all your efforts.

Marie-Louise Rankin
Executive Officer

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Diamond Jubilee Fellowship Recipients Announced

To celebrate 60 years since the formation of the Statistical Society of Australia as a national association of statisticians, the Society recently awarded 4 SSA Diamond Jubilee Fellowships, worth up to $5000 each, to help further the careers of our early/mid-career members. 

Congratulations to the successful applicants!

From top left, clockwise: Alysha De Livera, Clara Grazian, Luca Maestrini, Nicole De La Mata

We asked them, how this fellowship will make a difference to their work:

Alysha De Livera

This Fellowship will facilitate the development of a workshop, which will provide a hands-on introduction to some statistical methods available for removing unwanted variation in omics data. The workshop will be aimed at both biological researchers and statisticians who are new to the statistical analysis of omics data. Using real data, the workshop will demonstrate the application of statistical approaches to either remove or accommodate unwanted variation to answer some of the typical biological research questions encountered in omics studies. Training material and R code for reproducible analyses will be developed and made available for free public online access.

Clara Grazian

The project aims at studying the long and short-term effects of air pollution produced during the bushfire season in Australia; in particular, an increasing number of patients affected by respiratory diseases have been admitted to hospital as a direct consequence of the bushfires in 2019; however, the phenomenon is very heterogeneous, and the reasons of this heterogeneity are not fully understood yet. The project will enhance a collaboration between me and researchers at the Queensland University of Technology to develop Bayesian modelling to capture important features and help practitioners to be ready for when and where a peak of hospital admissions will happen after pollution events.

Nicole De La Mata

Nicole De La Mata is an early-career biostatistician who specialises in advanced statistical modelling of complex clinical scenarios in kidney disease and organ transplantation using linked health data. This award will support data storage and access costs to enable the use of linked health data in NSW to 1) evaluate the impact of mental illness through health service pathway for kidney transplantation and 2) assess different subgroups of people with kidney failure for whom cardiovascular prevention and therapies is particularly effective and safe

Luca Maestrini

The SSA Diamond Jubilee Fellowship will help Luca strengthen the bond and establish new research collaborations between University of Padua in Italy and The Australian National University. In 2020, Luca organised a visit to the Department of Statistical Sciences of University of Padua that had to be cancelled due to the travel restrictions introduced by the Australian Government to face the global COVID-19 pandemic. The fellowship will financially support a research visit in Padua where Luca will work on likelihood-based theory and methodology for generalised linear mixed models, as well as methodological and computational research concerning variational approximations.

Vic Branch Mentoring Evening

Last week the SSA Victorian branch held a mentoring event at the Clyde Hotel. The event was well attended by both mentors and mentees alike; it was great to meet (in-person!) so many statisticians and data scientists in a relaxed and social atmosphere.

I was impressed by the breadth of experience of the mentors at the event. Their backgrounds ranged from the public service to the advertising industry, and all the way to research in cluster randomized trials and stochastic differential equations. Moving around the mentors' table was a great reminder of the range of opportunities open to young statisticians and data scientists.

All of the mentors were very willing to talk about their experience and answer specific questions. It was great to hear advice about everything from landing your first grad job, choosing PhD supervisors and how to be a good scientist all in one event. I also learnt a lot from listening to other mentees describe their careers to date and future aspirations.

Overall, the event was lots of fun and provided lots of great advice and insights to consider.

Jeffrey Pullin

Photograph by Emi Tanaka

NSW Branch June meeting with Dr Matthew Moores

In the evening of 16 June 2022, Dr Matt Moore from the University of Wollongong presented the June seminar of the NSW branch, titled "Bayesian analysis of Raman Spectroscopy.” First, Dr Moore introduced to the audience some background information about Raman spectroscopy, which is a technique that utilises the interaction of light with matters to gain insight about the make-up components of a molecule. The observed spectrum is statistically separated into a smooth baseline function, the special signature of the molecule, and a zero-mean additive noise.

Next, Dr Moore spent the majority of the seminar presenting a detailed Bayesian analysis of the spectrum. He focused on the use of sequential Monte Carlo method and discussed different approaches for modeling the special signature, including the use of mixture of basis function and deconvolution.

In addition to the methodology, he briefly introduced his R package serrsBayes that implements the Bayesian model.  Finally, Dr Moore ended his talk by an application of the model in estimating the composition of the rock samples collected in Utah, USA. These samples are considered to have similar components as those collected on Mars, and the analysis can help scientists identify signs of life there.     

Linh Nghiem

Election of Executive Members

Members are advised that the Executive positions of Secretary and Treasurer will become vacant at the Society’s Central Council Annual General Meeting in 2022. 

Members of SSA are invited to submit nominations for the two positions to be vacated. Nominations must be in writing and signed by the nominator(s), and must be accompanied by a written and signed statement from the nominee accepting the nomination.  Nominations should be submitted to the SSA President or to a Branch President before 21st July, 2022. 

Doug Shaw, Secretary

Join the ASC2023 Committee!

Did you enjoy last year’s Australian and New Zealand Statistical Conference? Why not get involved with our next ASC, held in Wollongong in December 2023? The team for ASC2023 are looking for two more committee members to help assist with planning our first face-to-face conference in four years!

The two volunteer positions to be filled are that of Marketing Officer and that of Sponsorship Officer. If you love graphics and a bit of social media, the Marketing Officer position may be calling your name. As for the role of Sponsorship Officer, we already have a list with sponsorship leads for you, so you will not be starting from scratch.

With both positions you can count on the capable support of SSA’s Event Coordinator, of course.

Interested? Please email the SSA Office by 11 July 2022.

If you have played with idea of volunteering, but you are worried about getting roped in for the next five years, these two positions are perfect for you, as they will not go on beyond 2023.

SSA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Survey: the report is in!

The Society's Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) Committee conducted a survey at the end of 2021 seeking the views of statisticians in Australia on EDI issues as they relate to the SSA. The Committee thanks the survey respondents for sharing their views. The final survey report is now available here

While many respondents considered the SSA to be an inclusive organisation, some did not, and some were unsure. On the whole, there appears to be a perception that the SSA is doing well with respect to EDI issues, but there is still work to do, particularly around how people are recruited for leadership positions and the welcoming of new members. 

The EDI committee is always keen to hear from you: please share your views here. And we're always on the lookout for new members. If you're passionate about building a more equitable, diverse and inclusive SSA, please get in touch with Jess.

Report: Australia’s data-enabled research future: Science

The Australian Academy of Science has asked the SSA to pass along the recently released report “Australia’s data-enabled research future: Science” (aka the ALADIN project). The project is the result of a partnership between the ARDC, Australia’s five Learned Academies and ACOLA to ensure Australia can undertake excellent data-enabled research across all fields of research.  

You can view the Academy of Science report and links to the other reports from ACOLA in the series here:  A media release about the project is published here. 

The findings in this new report reinforce the report released last October, Advancing data-intensive research in Australia. The ADSN continues to explore some of the recommendations in that report. We’d like to remind you that our next workshop will be on Friday, 8 July, and will explore the recommendation that Data Science should be a scientific discipline in its own right. For information on our series, click here.   

Attention Vic members!  Workshop/conference funding support available!

SSA Vic are proud to announce that we will once again be offering financial support to our members for the attendance of statistical workshops, conferences, and short courses; both national and international, in 2022.  

Each member is eligible for up to $200 of total funding to cover the registration and travel expenses associated with the aforementioned activities.

Find out more

Science and Technology Australia (STA): Calling SSA members to join the Policy Committee or Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Are you someone who is passionate about policy? Or excited, driven, and intrigued by equity, diversity and inclusion? If so, then you may be interested in applying to join STA's Policy or Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committees. Find out more here, and let our president, Jess Kasza know if you're keen on applying to join one of these committees. This is a great opportunity for you to help STA achieve its mission, bringing STEM expertise to public policymaking, and championing STEM sector diversity and inclusion. 

SSA Events

MACHINE LEARNING WITH PYTHON- 23 Jul 2022 (AEST) – 24 Jul 2022, held online

The Statistical Society of Australia Victoria branch warmly invites you to a workshop on machine learning with Python, presented by Patrick Robotham from Magic.

This two day workshop aims to enable data scientists to incrementally incorporate Python in their workflow. After an introduction of Python basics, the workshop focuses on developing Python models in a workflow framework that is most commonly seen in a production environment. Participants will benefit from a gentle introduction to Python on the first day before learning some powerful modelling concepts and tools on the second day. 

For detailed information and to register click here.

Save the date: ASC and OZCOTS 2023

10-15 December 2023, University of Wollongong, NSW

Find out more

Other events

Mahler Lecture Tour 2022 

AMSI-AustMS 2022 Mahler Lecturer Professor Frank Calegari (the University of Chicago) will be visiting a number of Australian universities from Nov-Dec to present his Number Theory lecture series.

Find out more

MoCaO Lectures:  Data Science – Second Announcement

 July 11-15, 2022

The MoCaO Lectures in Computation and Optimisation for 2022 we are focusing on Data science and in particular machine learning, its algorithms, mathematical foundations and applications. These lectures are designed to be accessible to novices to the field who have a mathematics and computational background, such as Phd students, postdoc and/or inquisitive academics who wish to have a better understanding of recent advances in this dynamic field. These lectures will be given online via Zoom.

Please read the notice below regarding the registration.


Prof. Stephen Wright:  is the George B. Dantzig Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a past chair of the Mathematical Optimization Society and a SIAM Fellow. Currently he directs the Institute for Foundations of Data Science at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Steve is a world-renowned expert in optimization and the author of several highly cited books in this field.

Prof. Guoyin Li: is a professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at University of New South Wales. He was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (for mid-career researchers) during 2014-2018. His research interests include optimisation, variational analysis, machine learning and tensor computations.

Dr. Quoc Thong Le Gia: is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, UNSW, Sydney. His research interests include Numerical Analysis, Approximation Theory; Partial Differential Equations; Machine Learning and Stochastic Processes.


The 11th, 12th and 13th of July 12noon-1pm: Speaker Prof Stephen Wright

The 14th July 12noon-1pm:Speaker Dr. Quoc Thong Le Gia

The 15th July 12.30pm-2pm: Prof. Guoyin Li

IMPORTANT: Website and Registration:

Due to unforeseen problems with the registration system, all registrations up till until the date 29/06/2022 have been lost. We encourage those who have already registered to re-register using the new google form the bottom of the webpage (so you may receive the zoom details)

MoCaO Lectures:  Data Science – Mathematics of Computation and Optimisation

We apologies for any inconvenience this issue may cause. If you have any enquiries, please send an email to Please check the website prior to the lectures for last minute information or announcements.

Save the Date: AMSI Summer Events 

Explore bioinformatics under the themes of high-resolution biology, genome architecture, whole-cell modelling, and populations at AMSI BioInfoSummer 2022, hosted by Melbourne Integrative Genomics, The University of Melbourne from 21-24 November.

AMSI Summer School 2023 will be a hybrid event hosted by The University of Melbourne from 9 January - 3 February. Stay tuned for subject announcements.

Current positions advertised in SSA's Career Centre

Senior Research Officer

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Department of Communities and Justice

Senior Research Officer(NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics ...

Research Fellow in Biostatistics

South Australia

Flinders University

The Research Fellow will provide statistical ...

Head of Biostatistics/Analytics


Burnet Institute

Biostatistics/analytics is a key growth area ...

Statistical Consultant and Biostatistician (2 roles)

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Stats Central, UNSW Sydney

Why your role matters2 x academic positions, ...

Biostatistician -Mental Health Australia General Clinical Trial Network


Swinburne University of Technology

Fantastic opportunity within Centre for Mental ...

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