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13 October 2022

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

It’s nice to end the week with some good news, and today I am happy to announce that SSA and the Federation of European National Statistical Societies (FENStatS) have come to an agreement regarding reciprocal accreditation. Based on the agreement, FENStatS accredited professionals are automatically eligible for AStat accreditation through the SSA. Likewise, SSA AStat accredited members are eligible for FENStatS accreditation.

When applying with FENStatS, our members will have to provide ID, a “summary of application”, a copy of their AStat certificate, a copy of their CV and proof that they are a current member of SSA.

The finer admin details still need to be fine-tuned, but anyone interested in reciprocal accreditation, and not afraid of being a bit of a “guinea-pig”, as we work through the procedure for the first time, should contact me. The SSA website will be updated in due course with the additional information, including the fee for this type of accreditation, and the appropriate form established in JotForm.

Information on SSA’s Accreditation program is available here. Wondering if you could be eligible? Find out here.

If you are thinking of getting AStat or GStat accreditation, or if your current AStat accreditation expires at the end of the year, you have until 24 November 2022 to submit your application for accreditation or reaccreditation, if you’d like to see it tabled and hopefully approved in 2022.

Marie-Louise Rankin
Executive Officer

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Please note that the SSA Executive Officer will be on leave until Monday, 24 October 2022. For any urgent or event related enquiries please contact our Event Coordinator, Jodi Phillips.

SSA 60th anniversary slide

In-person SSA workshops are back on in the Canberra branch!
The SSA Canberra branch is ecstatic to be able to host its first in-person workshop for three years (online is not a bad compromise when forced, but nothing beats networking and learning in-person!), with Professor Rob J Hyndman (Monash University) and Associate Professor Bahman Rostami-Tabar (Cardiff University, UK) running a two-day workshop on Time series analysis and forecasting using R. The workshop will be held at the Australian National University in Canberra on 9-10 November.

Both Professors Hyndman (who won the 2021 SSA Pitman medal) and Rostami-Tabar (who chairs the "Forecasting for Social Good (F4SG)" committee) are world experts in time-series, forecasting, and statistical consulting. Over the two days, they will be sharing their knowledge and advice regarding the latest statistical and data science methods used in these fields, from classical times series methods to ensemble forecasting and forecasting reconciliation. The workshop is very hands-on, with a large part focused on practical applications/exercises using the latest statistical software available for time series such as tsibble and fable in R, making it perfect for those in academia as well as in government and private industry working with such data on a regular basis!

Further details and registration can be found here. If you would like to inquire about discounts for group bookings, please contact

Step up as an STA STEM Ambassador

Want to serve Australia’s scientific community and deepen your knowledge of how science can engage effectively with policymakers? Science & Technology Australia’s prestigious STEM Ambassadors program is now open for applications.

The STA STEM Ambassadors program pairs science and technology experts with their local Federal MP or Senator. Ambassadors meet with their Parliamentarian several times each year to discuss STEM topics of interest and enhance Parliamentarians’ access to STEM expertise.

This innovative program was created by STA in 2019, and has since trained 41 STEM Ambassadors matched with MPs and Senators. If you take a look, you may see some familiar SSA faces there!

In this new program intake, another 22 MPs and Senators from across the breadth of the Parliament have asked for a STEM Ambassador for 2023-24.

The STEM Ambassadors are drawn from Science & Technology Australia’s member organisations and come from a diverse range of academic backgrounds and interests.

STEM sector professionals who are members of STA member organisations are encouraged to apply for the program.

Applications are open now and close 9am AEDT Monday 7 November 2022.

Apply here

Is eating read meat as bad as bad for you as you think?

We’ve all heard the warnings about eating too much red meat. While it contains important nutrients, such as protein, vitamin B-12, and iron, there is some evidence that too much of it, especially when processed, can raise your risk of contracting type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers, especially colorectal cancer.

However, if you are not quite ready to say “good-bye” to your weekly steak fix, you’ll be pleased to read that Christopher J.L. Murray, MD, DPhil, Professor and Chair of Health Metrics Sciences at the University of Washington and Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and his team developed a meta-analytical tool for assessing the quality of evidence for risk–outcome relationships that helps to evaluate the real risk.

The tool uses a 5-star rating system to show how much evidence exists to support some diet and lifestyle changes and is aimed at making the decision-process easier for doctors, the public, and policy-makers.

Having used the tool to investigate the effects of eating too much red meat, Professor Murray “isn't as shy as he used to be about adding a little red meat into his diet.” According to yahoo!news “Murray's been most shocked to find out that red meat may not necessarily be the cancer and heart health culprit he once thought it was.” (Hilary Brueck, yahoo!news, 11 October 2022) . 

Find out more about the development and implementation of the afore-mentioned tool here.

Marie-Louise Rankin

News from the ECSSN Mini-conference Committee

15 Nov 2022 – 17 Nov 2022, held online + in-person in Perth

We are thrilled to announce that we had a fantastic response from our students and early career statisticians, and more than 40 abstracts were submitted to the conference.

Because of that, we had to extend the conference to 5 hours instead of 4 hours per day.

In addition to these fantastic contributed talks, we have prepared a conference workshop on statistical consulting (also open to those not attending the conference); excellent keynote talks on a range of relevant topics such as statistical paradigms, statistical consulting, data visualisation and software development; and a career panel discussion with highly experienced statisticians working in different areas and sectors.

For more details and registration, please check the conference website here

We'd like to thank the sponsors of the ECSSN Mini-Conference 2022:

SSA Events

Stochastic spatial random forest for detecting remotely sensed forest cover change despite missing data

14 Oct 2022, 4:00 PM (AEDT), online 

This Friday we have the Spring SSA Environmental Statistics Section's seminar, jointly with Statistics Across Campuses:

Stochastic spatial random forest for detecting remotely sensed forest cover change despite missing data- presented by Dr Jacinta Holloway-Brown (University of Adelaide).

In this talk Dr Jacinta Holloway-Brown presents joint work with Dr Kate Helmstedt and Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen: “Our new machine learning method Spatial Stochastic Random Forest (SS-RF). Our method accurately interpolates missing forest and land cover under simulated forest clearing scenarios by taking spatial relationships in the landscape and past and current data into account to produce probabilities of land cover classifications. This is necessary because monitoring changing landscapes and modelling missing data are highly uncertain problems.” 

For the zoom link click here.

SSA Vic Branch Belz Lecture

20 Oct 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM (AEDT)

University House at the Woodward, Level 10, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton

The SSA Vic Branch are delighted to have Dr Dina Neiger, Chief Statistician at Social Research Centre, present this year's Belz Lecture. The lecture will be delivered online and in-person and will be followed by the annual

SSA Vic Branch Belz Dinner

20 Oct 2022, 7:45 PM – 10:00 PM (AEDT) (same venue)

The Vic Branch warmly invites members and guests to the Belz Dinner, held at University House at the Woodward from 7:45PM.

Join us for the three-course dinner and beautiful views.

To register for the lecture, please click here.

To register for the dinner, please click here.

Estimands, Estimators and Estimates: Aligning target of estimation, method of estimation, and sensitivity analysis

20 Oct 2022, 9:00 AM – 21 Oct 2022, 5:00 PM (AEDT), Macquarie University Sydney City Campus

SSA and the Australian Pharmaceutical Biostatistics  Group (APBG) are pleased to present the event.  This course will focus on estimands and related statistical methodologies that are commonly used in clinical trials. We will share our experiences and try to provide some guidance on their use in clinical trial practice. The target audience includes statisticians working in industry (pharmaceutical companies), academia (universities, medical centers, or research hospitals), or government (AIHW/TGA), and also graduate students who are interested in clinical trial methods. The difficulty level of the course is intermediate, at a second-year graduate course

The learning objectives are three-fold: (1) to understand the fundamentals of the estimand framework and be able to apply it in clinical trials; (2) to identify an appropriate primary analysis method that targets the estimand of interest, fully aligned with the ICH E9(R1) Addendum; and (3) to implement appropriate main and sensitivity analyses.

Canberra Branch -- Dennis Trewin prize 2022

25 October 2022, 5:15pm - 7:15 pm Hybrid - in person and online  

SSA Canberra invites you to the 2022 Dennis Trewin prize! The Dennis Trewin Prize, named after the former Australian Statistician Dennis Trewin AO, is awarded annually by the Canberra Branch for outstanding research in statistics or data science by a current or recently graduated postgraduate student from a ACT or regional NSW (excluding Sydney-Newcastle-Wollongong) university.

This year we have changed the method of evaluation of candidates for the Dennis Trewin Prize. We have formed a short-list of three candidates to each present their work and be judged on the day. Each candidate will have 20-25 minutes for their presentation and 5 minutes for audience questions. In partnership with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, monetary prizes totalling $1,000 or more will be on offer and distributed at the discretion of the selection panel.

After the presentations the panel will be given time to deliberate in a zoom breakout room, while those attending in-person will be asked to move outside and will have the opportunity to mingle with the candidates. After judging has been completed, all will be invited back in after which the winners and runners-up will be announced.

For a line-up of speakers and details about their talks, and to get additional information, such as the Zoom link, please click here. You do not need to register for the talks, but please rsvp for the dinner.

Introduction to Linear Regression (Basic Statistics Stream)-25 Oct 2022, 2:00 PM AEST, online and

Designing Data Visualization To Make a Real Impact On Your Audience (Data Visualization Stream)-24 Nov 2022, 2:00 PM AEST, online

Dr Mark Griffin, presents a free monthly webinar series introducing various methods used in Business Analytics (where these webinars are categorized into the themes of Analytics Strategy, Survey Design, Basic Statistics, Advanced Statistics, Data Mining, and Data Visualization). This webinar series is targeted at a broad audience who seek a better understanding of Business Analytics, and is open both to SSA members and non-members. These webinars are being jointly organized by the Statistical Society of Australia (Section for Business Analytics), the International Institute of Business Analysis (Special Interest Group for Business Analytics), and Insight Research Services Associated.

To register click here

SSA NSW Branch: October Event - Brian Cullis - Optimal Design of Comparative Experiments and the odw R Package

26 Oct 2022, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM (AEDT) F10A.01.106.Law Building, Annex.Law Annex Lecture Theatre 106 

Brian Cullis (University of Wollongong) will speak about the optimal design of comparative experiments and the odw R package that formalises design construction through the explicit specification of the respective linear (mixed) model. Some illustrations of its use are drawn from novel design applications, including designs which use various forms of correlated treatment effects, reduced animal models for generating designs with large numbers of treatments where the focus is optimality for additive effects of treatments and multi-phase experiments.

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.

SSA and NZSA ECSS Miniconference 2022

15 -17 Nov 2022, online + In-person (Perth)

We are pleased to be holding a National “Miniconference” jointly hosted by the Early Career and Student Statisticians Network (ECSSN) of the SSA, the Student and Early Career Statisticians Network (SECS) of the New Zealand Statistical Association (NZSA), and the WA Branch. This event is a “hybrid” event that 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

Early Career  Bayes Seminar Series: Quan Vu (University of Wollongong)

20 Oct 2022, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (AEST), online

Bayesian inference with many exponential-family models, such as the Potts model, is often challenging because of the intractable normalizing constants that appear in the likelihood functions. Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods to deal with these types of models, such as the exchange algorithm, require simulations at every iteration of the Markov chain, thus rendering inference computationally expensive. Surrogate models for the likelihood, often using Gaussian processes, have been developed to make inference computationally tractable. In this talk, we propose the use of a warped, gradient-enhanced Gaussian process surrogate model for the sufficient statistics, which jointly models the sample means and variances of the sufficient statistics and which uses warping functions to capture covariance nonstationarity in the input parameter space. We show that both the consideration of nonstationarity and the inclusion of gradient information can be leveraged to obtain a surrogate model that is better, in a mean-squared error sense, than the stationary Gaussian process, particularly in regions where the likelihood function exhibits a phase transition. We show that the surrogate model can be used to improve the effective sample size per unit time when embedded in exact inferential algorithms, such as importance sampling and delayed-acceptance MCMC.

To register please click here

ADSN Inaugural Conference

21-22 November 2022, Brisbane

The Australian Data Science Network is pleased to announce its inaugural conference. The QUT Centre for Data Science will be the host organisation for the first conference to be held at QUT in Brisbane over two days on Monday and Tuesday, 21-22 November. Registration is opening soon. Stay tuned for more details!

AMSI BioInfoSummer 2022

21-24 November, The University of Melbourne

Join other students, ECRs and professionals in Melbourne (or online) to explore the latest research and developments in bioinformatics at this four-day conference. Travel grants are available to assist interstate students attend in Melbourne.

Click here for more information and to register:

Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated (ACSPRI)

8th Biennial ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference 2022

23 November 23 – 25 November 2022, via Zoom

Early bird registration closes this Friday 14 October at 5pm Melbourne time.

Here are the direct links to early bird registration via the ACSPRI website:

Registration above is for access to the online conference, and online access to the Social-Biological Methods Symposium on Friday 25 November. If you would like to attend the Social-Biological Methods Symposium in person (Ella Latham Auditorium, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne) - please additionally register at the link below:

A draft conference schedule for 23/24 November is now available (subject to change, an announcement will be made when the schedule is finalised to all registered participants).

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