15 September 2022

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

For the past few weeks my husband and I have been captured by the series “The Split”, of which season three is currently available on the ABC. It’s about a family of divorce lawyers based in London, who experience their own relationship problems along with those of their clients. We really enjoyed the program.

Watching the series made me curious about divorce statistics in Australia. Looking up some statistics, I found out that since the introduction of the “no-fault divorce” in 1975, the number of divorces in Australia initially increased substantially. These days there is a downwards trend as fewer people are choosing to get married in the first place, many live together before they tie the knot and when they do, they wait until they are a bit older and hopefully wiser. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) the divorce rate remained at 1.9 divorces per 1,000 people in 2020. Clinton Power, of Clinton Power + Associates, states the following reasons for divorce:

·         27% of people reported communication problems

·         21% reported a loss of connection

·         20% reported trust issues or infidelity

Are you wondering if you should get married, or -if you have already taken the plunge- if your own marriage is on the slippery slope? I recently came across an article with the headline “14 Truly Surprising Things That Can Predict If You’ll Divorce” (Ossiana Tepfenhart, “Your Tango”) which certainly caught my eye.

A closer look at the statistics convinced me though that the author of the article must be easily perplexed, because I was not at all “truly surprised” to read that “if your first marriage happened after age 35 chances are extremely high that you will end up staying together”. You’d sincerely hope that by the age of 35 or over, you know what you’re doing. Or this one: “If this is your second marriage, you have a 63 percent chance of divorcing. Third marriages are even worse, with roughly 3 out of 4 ending in divorce.” I get it. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. 

Still, a couple of these statistics did indeed come as a surprise: “If you invite more than 200 people to your wedding, you’re 92 percent less likely to divorce.” Don’t show this statistic to any of your children wanting a lavish wedding. They can now present you with a very valid reason why they absolutely need to book out the whole wedding venue for their big day. The statistic seems to contradict another one though: “If you spend over $20,000 on your wedding, you’re more likely to divorce.” How are you supposed to feed your 200+ guests, the ones you invited to secure the longitude of your marriage, if you’re not allowed to spend $20,000 or more to feed them adequately?

One statistic that does baffle me is this one: “If one (or both) partners have a commute longer than 45 minutes, then they have a higher chance of divorce, too.” Really? You’d think that after all that time on the road they’d be happy when they finally get home to their partner.

Now you know how to recognise the warning signs. And if you’re worried, don’t be. According to the list, there is plenty you can do to preserve your nuptials: go to college, go to church, have children or move to a Democrat-led state in the US! 

Marie-Louise Rankin
Executive Officer

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NSW Branch August Meeting: Managing Uncertainty: Statistics and Econometrics as part of a multidisciplinary approach.”

In the August meeting of the SSA NSW branch on the evening of 24th August,  Dr. Steph Stammel presented the talk titled “Managing Uncertainty: Statistics and Econometrics as part of a multidisciplinary approach.”

Being the Principal Econometrician at Transurban, one of the largest toll-road traffic operators company, Steph began her talk by introducing her company and its goal to create better transport outcome for people. This goal in turn creates a great demand for not only monitoring and optimising traffic in current cities, but also for predicting how these cities will become in the future.

Since traffic infrastructure is a major investment for any city, the prediction has to be long-term, for example, in the next 40 years.  This long-term prediction is very challenging and contains many aspects, ranging from population, housing, health and education facilities, etc.  Therefore, Steph emphasized during the talk that econometricians and statisticians, who are mainly responsible for building forecast models, are only parts of a whole; they work together with many other teams in the company such as project management, transport optimisation, predictive analytics, strategic modeling, and land use for this task. At the end of the talk, Steph also shared her experience of switching from academia, where she did a PhD on a theoretical topic, to industry, where she worked on applied projects.     

Linh Nghiem

2022 Distinguished Presenter's Award Recipient Announced


2022 Distinguished Presenter's Award Recipient Announced

The SSA is pleased to announce that Professor Dianne Cook, Monash University, is the recipient of the 2022 CPD Distinguished Presenter's Award!


Di receives the award in recognition of the workshops she presented for SSA between June 2020 to May 2022. 

This award comes with one year of complimentary membership and a digital badge, which the awardee can add to their electronic signature.

Have your say: Which journal metrics are important to you?

Wiley is asking the question: Which journal metrics are important to you? As Wiley implement DORA recommendations across journals, they’re exploring which metrics are most valuable for our communities. Read more about DORA here.

Their survey should take no more than 10 minutes. After the survey closes, Wiley will donate $5 USD per response, up to a total of $2,000 USD, proportionally to charities selected by survey participants.

Complete the survey

SSA-AMSI Data Science Review 2022

SSA is collaborating with the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) on a national Review of the role of Data Science in Australian universities.

To help us understand the needs of academia and industry,we invite you to  omplete our 10-minute survey and share your Data Science experience.

Complete Survey:

We are looking for a wide range of students, academics, university and industry professionals to share feedback.

Please forward this email to colleagues that may also be interested in contributing. The confidentiality of all responses is assured, with only collated summary information to be released as part of the Review's final report.

The survey is open until Friday, 30 September 2022.

Thank you for your support – your response is greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Gordon, SSA President

Jessica Kasza, SSA Vice President

Publicising the ECSSN and its November Mini-Conference

Are you currently lecturing to student statisticians or data scientists who would benefit from attending the mini-conference of the Early Career and Student Statistician Network (ESCCN) of the SSA?  This will be held in November, combined with young statisticians from NZSA. 

If your lectures are using Zoom, we’d like to request 5 minutes of one of the lectures for Daniela Vasco (Chair, ECSSN) to present a couple of slides, plugging the conference, the ECSSN and hence the SSA more generally. 

This will need arranging on an individual basis; in the first instance, please email Daniela with your willingness to do this.  It’s vital that we do all we can to promote the Society among student statisticians, and the recent addition of an “Early Career” membership category will help retention after full time study, we hope.

I (Ian) will be participating, and if you are in a position to do so, Daniela and I hope you will too. 

Yours sincerely,

Ian Gordon, SSA President

Daniela Vasco, Chair, Early Career and Student Statisticians Network

AMSI ACE Network 2023 Teaching

AMSI’s ACE Network allows lecturers to teach mathematical sciences students from around Australia. ACE subjects are often used to supplement the honours and masters curriculum.

Interested in teaching an ACE honours or masters subject in 2023? We're seeking proposals for staple and varietal subjects.

Staple subjects cover the priority areas of mathematical coding, numerical analysis, complex analysis, statistical consulting, optimisation and mathematical biology. Varietal subjects cover topics of interest to the community.

ACE lecturers will receive a $1500 payment (subject to external students being enrolled post-census date).

Submit your EOI by 7 November!

Find out more

SSA Events

SSA Vic Branch: Early Career Panel

20 September 2022, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (AEDT), Servian, Level 20, Tower 5, 727 Collins Street, Docklands OR Online via Zoom

Join us at this event to hear different perspectives of what a career in statistics looks like. We'll have a handful of Early and Mid career statisticians, working across academia, industry and government, talking about their experiences. The speakers have been invited to share their journey, what they've learned, what they've enjoyed, and what mistakes they've made along the way.

Click here to register.

SSA NSW Branch: September Event - Tom Honeyman - Recognising the value of research software

21 Sep 2022, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM (AEST), on Zoom 

The ARDC has a program of activities to work towards recognition of Research Software as a first-class output of research. We want to change the prevailing culture around the invisible status of what we consider to be a valuable and uniquely actionable form of knowledge representation. In this talk, He will cover the actions we're undertaking to make software a more visible and recognised undertaking in Research, and he will cover what might be ways for you to make your own software more visible to the wider research sector. We'll cover different ways of publishing software, the effort around software citation, and the role of data provenance and code availability in unearthing the use of software methods and other related tools in research.

Register here

SSA NSW Branch: Early Career and Student Statisticians Career Event 2022

29 September 2022, from 6pm AEST

The New South Wales branch of the Statistical Society of Australia warmly invites all undergraduate, postgraduate and early career statisticians and data scientists to attend our annual event for Early Career and Student Statisticians.  The event will take place at the Courtyard Cafe of the University of Sydney

We have spectacular speakers from several industry sectors and academic backgrounds. They will share stories from their careers and provide insights into their professions. For example, have you wondered what you can do after doing a statistics degree, or what other statistics professions are like? Then this event is for you!

Find out more and 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

Canberra Branch Workshop:Time series analysis and forecasting using R

9 Nov 2022, 9:00 AM (AEDT) – 10 Nov 2022, 5:00 PM (AEDT)

Room 5.02, Marie Reay Teaching Building, The Australian National University

The SSA Canberra Branch warmly invites you to an in-person workshop on Time series analysis and forecasting using R, taught by Professor Rob J Hyndman (Monash University) and Associate Professor Bahman Rostami-Tabar (Cardiff University, UK).  It is becoming increasingly common for organizations to collect huge amounts of data over time, and existing time series analysis tools are not always suitable to handle the scale, frequency and structure of the data collected. In this workshop, we will look at some packages and methods that have been developed to handle the analysis of large collections of time series.

For more information and to register click here.

Save the Date! ECSS-Mini-Conference, 15-17 November 2022!

We are pleased to be holding a national “miniconference” jointly hosted by the Early Career and Student Statistician Networks (ECSSNs) of the SSA, the New Zealand Statistical Association (NZSA) and the WA Branch. This event is a “hybrid” event in that it includes two days of online-only presentations followed by one day of in-person presentations in WA. The latter shall also be streamed online.

Find out more

Save the date: ASC and OZCOTS 2023

10-15 December 2023, University of Wollongong, NSW

Find out more

Other events

Women are under-represented in Statistics and Data Science. The responsibility to increase diversity, inclusion and equity falls on each one of us, as we strive to ensure greater future representation among the younger generations within our profession. We must act now. Like the UN and mathematical societies, they propose to create an International Day of Women in Statistics and Data Science (IDWSDS). They will have a virtual conference to celebrate women statisticians and data scientists on the second Tuesday of October.

For more information click here

Workshop on Statistical Deep Learning

24-25 October 2022, Sydney Business School Level 10, 1 Macquarie Place, Sydney

There are still some spots left at the Workshop on Statistical Deep Learning, which aims to bring together researchers in the region that are interested in topics at the interface of deep learning and statistics. The workshop will be based around a set of talks, and there will be time for discussion and networking between the talks. It is not required to give a talk to attend. The workshop, which is an in-person event, is 1.5 days long, and will finish at noon on the 25th October. Space is limited and registration is required.

Find out more

IAPA Data Storytelling Workshop

How to tell a compelling and memorable story based on your data is vital for analytics professionals, data workers, and technology experts.

It’s an art and a science to convince, convey and communicate with data.

Register for the IAPA Data Storytelling Workshop on 25 October for a morning of developing your data storytelling and data visualisation skills with data viz guru, David McCandless.

Find out more and register here

Current positions in SSA's Career Centre


New South Wales

University of Sydney

Opportunity to provide statistical support to ...

Research Fellow Cancer Research

New South Wales

The University of Sydney

Full-time or part-time, 2 year fixed term opportunityLaunch ...

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