18 August 2022

Dear {Contact_First_Name},   

When our outgoing President approached me to consider being the Vice-President of the Society (with the consequent trajectory of President) I did express some reluctance, on the grounds of being “pale, stale and male”, in the cute construction of a joke 1950s beer ad (“Olde Frothingslosh: A Whale of an Ale for a Pale Stale Male”).

For those who don’t know me – and there will be many – I am Professor of Statistics at the University of Melbourne, and I’ve been Director of the Statistical Consulting Centre at Melbourne since 1991.  My background is mainstream mathematical statistics, and my career has combined the usual academic activities of research, teaching and supervision with a large amount of applied statistical work.  I’ve worked on most areas of the application of statistical methods, in business, government and industry, with an emphasis in medicine and epidemiology.  I have also acted as a statistical expert witness in many proceedings, including most of the largest class actions in Australia in the last decade or so.

One corrective to having an aged President is something the Society can celebrate and be encouraged by: there is a vibrancy in many of the SSA’s activities currently that is driven by our younger members.  Indeed, when I facetiously asked one of our branch councillors recently whether the council had become “too young” the question was taken seriously.  What a good ‘problem’ to have!  Several sections and networks, including the Early Career and Student Statistician Network, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, the ASC2023 Organising Committee, and several branch councils, have young, dynamic, engaged members.

We have some challenges ahead.  The Society is in the process of producing a new Strategic Plan for the next few years.  We have opportunities provided by the publicity around data science: a complex issue with strategic, educational and other dimensions. These are matters to focus on.

Two things in conclusion. A natural inclination of mine is to strongly support the branches and their activities.  In many ways they are the Society; of course we also have sections, networks, conferences, workshops and other activities; I am not discounting the considerable contributions these make to the welfare of the Society.  But the Society will be richest when we members feel we have a natural regular ‘home’ of friends and colleagues, in our branch.

Lastly: one of those younger statisticians I alluded to before is our departing President and (hence) new Vice-President, Jessica Kasza. I have observed at close hand the thoughtful, thorough and responsible leadership she has provided through these last two years.  To state the obvious, they have been tricky years, and Jess has provided excellent and courageous service as President: we are in her debt.  Thank you, Jess!

Ian Gordon

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2022 President's Award for Leadership in Statistics - Winners Announced

The 2022 President's Award for Leadership in Statistics has been awarded to the SSA Branch Councils from March 2020 to March 2022, for their efforts in leading the statistical community across Australia during the early years of the pandemic. 

Read the full award citation and list of awardees here.

Mario D’Antuono, Alun Pope (president of WA Branch) and Kefei Chen

WA Branch Talk with Dr Kefei Chen 

A joint meeting of members of the IBS and the WA Branch of the SSA was celebrated with a talk by Dr Kefei Chen of the Statistics for the Australian Grains Industry (SAGI) West.

Read all about the talk here

SA Branch of the Statistical Society July 2022 meeting

Elizabeth Armstrong and Kris Rogers, ANZHFR and UNSW School of Public Health

E Armstrong: ANZ Hip Fracture Registry: data visualisations for different audiences

K Rogers: Strategies for dealing with missing data in clinical trials 

The July 2022 meeting featured two presentations delivered via Zoom by Elizabeth Armstrong (former Manager of the Australia and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry) and Dr Kris Rogers (Senior Biostatistician at The George Institute for Global Health).

Elizabeth presented visualizations from the ANZHFR 2021 Annual Report and Kris’ presentation discussed advantages and disadvantages of various methods to obtain parameter estimates in the presence of missing data and methodologies for causal inference from non-trial data.

Read Gabriella Lincoln's full article here

Host the 2023 AMSI-ANZIAM Lecturer

AMSI Member Institutions are invited to register their interest in hosting 2023 AMSI-ANZIAM Lecturer Professor Konstantin Avrachenkov (Inria, France and University of South Australia alum) as part of his 10-24 February 2023 national lecture tour. Submit your EOI by 9 September. 

Find out more

SSA Events

The Statistical Society is pleased to announce the following events:

SSA/ASPAI AGMs 2022, followed by presentation "Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation"

30 Aug 2022 9:30 AM, AEST, held online via Zoom.

The 2022 Annual General Meetings of the Statistical Society of Australia, Inc and the Australian Statistical Publishing Association Inc will be held on Tuesday, 30 August 2022 from 9:30am to 10:15am AEST via Zoom.

The agendas, minutes of the last AGMs and any other documents for this meeting can be viewed and downloaded here.

The AGMs will be followed by a presentation commencing at 10:30am AEST, titled:

Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation

We are pleased to present a panel consisting of US researchers who are members of the Committee on Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation,  and who conducted a study to examine the measurement of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The research was undertaken to be able to make recommendations for specific measures that can be used in surveys and research, administrative, and clinical and other health settings. It was captured in the report Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation.

Find out more about the report and the panel members here.

The events are free, but you will need to register to receive the Zoom link.

Canberra Branch Meeting -- Impacts of COVID-19, social distancing and movement restrictions on crime in NSW, Australia, with Dr Joanna Wang

30 August, 5:45 pm AEST,  held online

The spread of COVID-19 has prompted Governments around the world to impose draconian restrictions on business activity, public transport, and public freedom of movement. The effect of these restrictions appears to vary from country to country and, in some cases, from one area to another within a country. This study examines the initial impact of the COVID-19 restrictions imposed in New South Wales by the State Government. We examine week-to-week changes in 13 categories of crime (and four aggregated categories) from 2 January 2017 to 28 June 2020. An interrupted time series approach with ARIMA specification was used to model the entire time series. Our results are broadly in accord with those of other studies, but we find no effect of the lockdown on domestic assault.

For the zoom link click here.

SSA NSW Branch: August Event - Steph Stammel - Managing uncertainty: statistics and econometrics as part of a multidisciplinary approach

24th August 2022, 6:00pm - 7:00pm (AEST), held online

Dr Steph Stammel, the Principal Econometrician at Transurban will speak about how an interdisciplinary approach build a more detailed, robust view of our future cities.

Long range forecasting is difficult at the best of times. In current times, increasing sophistication is simply not enough to manage the high levels of uncertainty we face.

At Transurban, our mission is to create and manage road transport solutions that serve our communities now – and in the future. To do this well, we need a detailed and long-term view of the cities we serve.

Data science, statistics and econometric forecasting are an important part of this view of the future: but it’s not enough.

Steph will talk about how an interdisciplinary approach in the Traffic Team at Transurban helps build a more detailed, robust view of our future cities.

Register here

SSA SA August Branch Meeting: The design and analysis of a two-phase experiments involving human subjects - New Date!

24 Aug 2022, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM (ACST), held at 182 Victoria Square, Flinders University, Adelaide, Level 10, Room 10 and online

The design and analysis of a two-phase experiments involving human subjects: a case study

Speaker: Chris Brien, Adjunct Associate Professor, UniSA STEM, The University of South Australia; Senior Biostatistician, The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility, University of Adelaide

Two-phase experiments were introduced in 1952 by the Australian statistician George McIntyre. Their use has been most prevalent in agriculture experiments, especially plant breeding experiments. However, there is the potential for their application to be much more widespread. This potential is not being realized because of a lack of awareness of multiphase experiments within the statistical community.

A potted history of two-phase experiments will be given and an explanation of what constitutes a two-phase experiment provided, using a scenario in a sports science context as an introductory example. The use of the anatomy of a design for understanding the confounding in the experiment will be outlined.

The case study involves a pain-rating experiment reported in a 1997 paper by Solomon, Prkachin, & Farewell. The data from a subset of the experiment was analyzed by Farewell and Herberg (2003) and by Jarrett, Farewell and Herzberg (2020) using analyses-of-variance. A further re-analysis using linear mixed models that has been described by Brien (2022) will be outlined. Suggested improvements for the design of future experiments, based on the results of the re-analysis, will also be presented.

Register here

DIY R Package Workshop

12 Oct 2022, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (AEDT), held online

The NSW branch is pleased to offer a DIY R Package workshop.

Do you have a few custom functions on heavy rotation? Perhaps you have a piece of code that you regularly share with colleagues? Maybe you’ve developed a new statistical model and want to share it with the world? Why not put it all in an R package?! This interactive workshop will equip you with the basic skills to create an R package of your own! We will walk through the package building process and apply the same workflow to your own function. We will learn about testing and continuous integration and implement them using Github Actions.

For more 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

A step toward the future – supporting the 2021 Census with integrated administrative data

6 Sep 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM (AEST)

Library at the Dock, 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands VIC 3008 OR via Zoom

As the results of the 2021 Australian Census are being released, join us and hear from Dr Louise Wangerek about some of the technical challenges faced in creating high-quality Census data. Those attending in person will have an opportunity to chat over dinner after the event concludes.


The Census is a snapshot of Australia and tells the story of how we are changing. The Census helps us understand what we need now, and into the future. Community groups, not-for-profit organisations, businesses and governments use Census data to make important decisions. Census data informs planning for schools, health care, transport and infrastructure. It is also used to help plan local services for individuals, families and communities.

Ensuring that Census data is high-quality and provides an accurate representation of all Australians is of the utmost importance. The 2016 Census Independent Assurance Panel's Report on the Quality of 2016 Census data noted an increase in over-imputation and that older persons were more likely to be imputed. Subsequent research found this increased imputation was due to incorrectly setting too many non-responding dwellings to occupied, and that the donors selected to represent these households tended to over-represent households with older persons.

This seminar will detail how ABS used integrated administrative data to improve 2021 Census data quality. The most important use was improving Census counts by addressing over-imputation. We also used integrated administrative data to prepare for unexpected events that might lower the Census response rate and as an independent confrontation source during quality assurance of Census data. The presentation will conclude with some possibilities on how we can expand our use of administrative data for future Censuses.

Speaker - Dr Louise Wangerek

Louise Wangerek is an Assistant Director in Census Futures. She has been an integral part of the team improving 2021 Census data quality through the use of administrative data. Prior to joining the Australian Public Service in 2006, she completed a PhD in gene therapy.

Register here

The 2022 AEM Annual Statistics Conference-27 Sep 2022 (CDT)

29 Sep 2022 (CDT), Hargrove & Associates’ Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

The event will mark the first in-person AEM Annual Statistics Conference in more than three years.

“This year’s conference promises to be an informative, enjoyable and valuable experience for all attendees,” said AEM Senior Director of Statistics Mike Lietke. “Ultimately, the week will also feature much more to do than just participate in the Statistics committee meetings that are so important to our program.”

For the line up of speakers and to register please click here

Current positions advertised in SSA's Career Centre

Clinical Biostatistician Immunology and Diabetes


St Vincent's Institute

Facility St Vincent s Institute (SVI) ...

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer - School of Mathematical Sciences

South Australia

The University of Adelaide

Lecturer (Level B) $100,933 $119,391 or Senior ...

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