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27 October 2022

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

According to a media release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics published on 7 October, “Females do more unpaid work, males do more paid work”.  The definition of “unpaid work” includes domestic duties like housework, food and drink preparation and shopping, as well as child care, adult care and volunteering activities.

Based on 2020-21 figures, people in Australia spend on average three and a half hours a day on unpaid work. However, if you break up the statistics by gender, it is women who spend 4 hours and 31 minutes a day doing unpaid work activities and men who spend about 3 hours and 12 minutes a day. Wait – it does not end there! Only 42 per cent of males spend time on any housework at all, compared to 70 per cent of females. 

Perhaps Australian women should take a chapter out of Iceland’s history book and see where that might take them:

On 24 October 1975, the women of Iceland went on strike. To make the idea more plateable, the strike organising committee called it a national “Women’s Day Off” instead of a “strike”, and it worked – 90% of women in Iceland participated!. They did not go to the office, they did not buy groceries, they did not cook dinner and they did not look after the children. They walked off their paid and unpaid jobs to highlight how women’s work was socially and economically indispensable yet generally undervalued. The event made headlines around the world. But did it have an impact on gender equality in Iceland?

The following year the first Gender Equality Act, banning discrimination based on gender, was adopted in Iceland. Five years later, Iceland’s first female president, Vidgís Finnbogadóttir, came into office, becoming the first woman in the world to be democratically elected as a head of state. Today, Iceland scores a perfect 100 on the World Bank’s Women, Business, and the Law 2021 report, meaning that its laws relating to mobility, workplace, pay, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, assets, and pension are equal for both genders. In the same report, Australia scored 96.9, behind New Zealand (97.5) but ahead of the United States (91.3). Despite all efforts, Iceland still has a gender pay gap of 14%.

Now what about that housework? According to Statistics Iceland, the women there spend an average of 9.2 hours on housework, compared to the men, who spend 7.1 hours. 

Not only is that not equal, but it’s about double the time we Aussies spend on housework! These figures should leave us somewhat worried about the state of Australian households!

Marie-Louise Rankin
Executive Officer 

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SSA 60th anniversary slide

From counting blueberries to Chief Statistician: practicing the theory of statistics

Dina Neiger

Images provided by Jodi Phillips

The SSA Vic Branch's 2022 Belz lecture was presented by Dr Dina Neiger, Chief Statistician at the Social Research Centre.

Dr Neiger dedicated her lecture to all applied statisticians who work tirelessly behind the scenes in helping others make sense of the world around us. She talked about her learnings, experiences and dilemmas in applying principles and theory of statistics in practice. She shared the joys of collaboration and “aha” moments that come from solving messy problems or just from feeling useful!

After the lecture, the audience had a chance to chat with the presenter more informally over dinner.

By Jodi Phillips

Dinner after Belz Lecture

SSA and NZSA ECSS Miniconference 2022 - Conference Program out now!

Have a look here.

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

Not long now until SSA's “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

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

The SSA Mentoring Committee is looking for members!

Would you like to become a committee member for the SSA Mentoring Program?

The SSA mentoring committee has begun planning the third year of its successful mentoring program. The program provides an opportunity for emerging statisticians to develop personal and professional skills, as well as providing connections between statisticians from across the nation.

This wonderful initiative is developed and managed by the SSA Mentoring Committee (pictured below). We are a team of statisticians eager to increase the support available to our community for success in the workplace. The committee is dedicated to delivering a program that meets the needs of its diverse range of mentees. To do this, the committee is seeking expertise, experience and perspectives to ensure diverse representation of the statistics community. Do you have the fresh new voice we’re looking for? Please get in touch!

To express your interest in joining the SSA Mentoring Committee, or for more information, please email us via with a couple of paragraphs about yourself and why you are keen to get involved.

Image current Mentoring Committee members

The 2022 Tjanpi Award for Best Student Paper in Environmental Statistics

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2022 Tjanpi Award, the annual student prize for best student paper in environmental statistics, sponsored by the SSA Environmental Statistics Section.  To be eligible a student must be:

  • An author of a paper that has been accepted in the previous 12 months, having made a substantial contribution to the work
  •  A student as of June 30 2022
  • A current member of the SSA and the Environmental Statistics Section

The winner will receive $500 and will be asked to present in an invited session on environmental statistics at the next annual stats conference (in Wollongong, 2023).

Please submit your nominations to, with Tjanpi Award submission in the header, by 5 PM AEDT, Thursday 8 December 2022, including:

- Full name, institution

- Paper, as one pdf file.

- Letter of support from supervisor or other academic at the institution, confirming student status of applicant and describing the student's role in the paper.

Image Central Australian landscape dominated by Tjanpi

Image: Central Australian landscape dominated by Tjanpi, photo by Sara Winter 

Tjanpi is the Pitjantjatjara word for Triodia, a spiny tussock-forming grass that dominates the vegetation across more than 20% of Australia’s land mass.  It is a long-lived plant that makes deep roots and can withstand the hardiest of conditions.  It can grow over decades into characteristic ring formations three metres in diameter.  As a source of food and shelter, Tjanpi is fundamental to life in some of Australia’s most extreme conditions, being central to highly diverse ecosystems dominated by termites and ants, as well as reptiles, birds and small mammals.  It has also been traditionally used by Indigenous people for a range of purposes, including building shelters, making an adhesive resin, basket weaving, fishing and using its seeds as a food source. 

Tjanpi is an analogy for the Environmental Statistics student award – because the development and application of appropriate statistical techniques is fundamental to good environmental research, and our hope is that the recipient of this award will grow over the coming decades to become central to a diverse range of interesting research endeavours!

The Random Sample Podcast

Season 7 of the latest podcast is now live! The latest episode explores how we use mathematics, statistics and data science to try to protect & save the Great Barrier Reef. Just search for "The Random Sample" where you get your podcasts, or click here 

Please share this link widely!

Statistics on Children

From the UNECE website:

"The 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child obliges parties to ensure all children have a fair chance in life. The development of national and international policies that provide all children and youth the best possible start in life and support a successful transition to adulthood requires robust and reliable information on a wide range of areas affecting children’s lives. The measurement and monitoring of children’s and youth’s well-being has improved in the last decade, but data gaps remain, particularly for children in the most vulnerable positions, including children experiencing violence, children in alternative care, and children with disabilities.

To improve the situation, an expert task force under the Conference of European Statisticians developed the present Guidance, which consists of the following chapters:

·         Chapter 1: Introduction

·         Chapter 2: General issues for statistics on children and youth

·         Chapter 3: Statistics on violence against children

·         Chapter 4: Statistics on children in alternative care

·         Chapter 5: Statistics on children with disabilities

·      Chapter 6: Ethical considerations for the collection and dissemination of data on children

·         Chapter 7: Conclusions, recommendations and further work

The Guidance takes an important step towards improving the availability, quality, and international comparability of statistics on children and youth.

The Guidance was endorsed by the 70th plenary session of the Conference of European Statisticians in 2022."

Download the publication

Nominations sought for COPPS awards!

Nominations are sought for the COPSS awards to be presented at the 2023 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Toronto, Canada, 5-10 August 2023.

Each year, the statistical profession recognises outstanding members at the JSM in an awards ceremony organized by the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS).

Nominations are an important part of the process because without nominations there can be no winners!

Please review the various COPSS Awards, and see if you can identify worthy individuals.

The  Presidents’ Award is presented yearly in recognition of outstanding contributions to the statistics profession. It is typically granted to an individual who has not yet reached their 41st birthday. In the special case of an individual who has received their statistically related terminal degree fewer than 12 years prior to the nomination deadline, the individual will be eligible if they have not yet reached their 46th birthday during the year of the award. Nominations should be sent in PDF format by 15 December 2022, to the Presidents’ Award Committee Chair (Michael Kosorok ).

The  Distinguished Achievement Award and Lectureship  (DAAL) is given yearly to an individual in recognition of outstanding contributions to statistical methods that have had significant impact on scientific investigations. The 2022 award winner will deliver the lecture at the JSM in Washington D.C. Eligible nominations should be sent in PDF format by 15 December 2022, to the DAAL Award Committee Chair
 (Jianwen Cai).

The F. N. David Award and Lectureship is presented biennially (odd-numbered years) to a female statistician who serves as a role model to other women by her contributions to the profession through excellence in research, leadership of multidisciplinary collaborative groups, statistics education, or service to the professional societies. The F.N. David lecture is delivered at the JSM. Nominations should be submitted in PDF format 15 by December 2022, to the Florence N. David Award Committee Chair (Kate Crespi).

The George W. Snedecor Award is presented biennially (odd-numbered years) to honor an individual who has been instrumental in the development of statistical theory in biometry and with a noteworthy publication in biometry within three years of the date of the award. Nominations should be submitted in PDF format by 15 December 2022, to the G.W. Snedecor Award Committee Chair (Sebastien Haneuse).

The COPSS Emerging Leader Award was established in 2020 to recognize early career statistical scientists who show evidence of and potential for leadership and who will help shape and strengthen the field. The award is designed both to call attention to the efforts of these individuals and to provide a mechanism for them to share their vision for the field with each other and the statistical community. Nominations should be submitted in PDF formatby 15 December 2022, to the Emerging Leader Award Committee Chair (David Haziza).

The call for nominations is also available from the COPSS website.

WSC 2023- Call for papers

The International Statistical Institute (ISI) invites submissions for contributed papers and posters for presentation at the 64th World Statistics Congress (WSC) 2023, to be held 16-20 July in Ottawa, Canada. The abstract submission deadline is 21 November 2022.

Don’t miss the deadline!

Find out more

Science Meets Parliament 2023 - Apply Now!

Science and Technology Australia (STA) will hold “Science meets Parliament” (SmP) again next year. This event provides the opportunity for scientists and technologists to interact with the Government's key decision makers. SmP 2023 comes at a time when science, technology, engineering and mathematics are high on the political agenda. SmP 2023 will build on the strong tradition of fostering relationships and understanding between scientists and technologists, MPs and Senators.

As a member of STA, SSA is invited to be represented at SmP. This is a unique development opportunity which we would like to give to one of our "Early Career or Student Statisticians”. Our definition of an "Early Career or Student Statistician” (ECSS) is a person enrolled for a degree who is studying either full-time or part-time without age limit, OR a person who graduated with a Bachelor's degree within the past five years, OR a person awarded a postgraduate degree within the past year. The Society will pay the registration fee and reasonable travel expenses for our representative at SmP.

Find out more

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

SSA Events

Statistical Consulting Network October Meet-Up

28 Oct 2022 12:30 – 1:30PM, AEDT, online

Come along with your thinking cap, maybe a problem, and some lunch!

The Statistical Consulting Network invites you to their monthly meet-up, a virtual lunchtime meeting where statisticians help each other out with problems that they aren’t sure how to deal with.  This virtual meeting is held on Zoom at lunchtime on the last Friday of each month, 12:30-1:30 PM (AEDT).  We will start each meet-up in the common room for announcements, or occasionally a special topic discussion, then might go to break-out rooms in smaller groups to discuss problems that attendees have brought along with them.

If planning to share a problem, please make sure you think about how to communicate the broader context for the study (What is the research question? How were data collected?), not just the part of it you are unsure about.  If the problem relates to data properties and model-fitting then it might help to bring along some exploratory analyses.  Please consider whether you need permission from your client to share these details, and obtain any relevant permissions from them.

We also have a Slack workspace where members of the consulting network can communicate between meetings, or post problems or relevant materials they would like to discuss during a meeting.

Zoom Link
Slack Workspace Link

SSA QLD Branch Meeting: Test anything with Universal Inference

2 Nov 2022, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM AEST, QUT, KG campus Q block, Q430 and via Zoom

Two of the most important tasks in statistical inference are the testing of null hypotheses and the construction of confidence sets for distributional parameters and properties of interest. In simple scenarios, these tests and confidence sets may be constructed from elementary probability statements, but for many practical applications, tests and confidence sets rely on the availability of asymptotic theorems that may be difficult to justify in some situations and may not yield useful devices in others. The latter outcome is typical when the properties or parameters of interest take on values on the boundaries of parameter spaces or are contained in atypical manifolds of the Euclidean space.

The universal inference approach has recently been proposed as a means of constructing finite sample valid hypothesis tests and confidence sets when typical asymptotics do provide feasible inferential constructions. The approach hinges on the construction of an "E-value", using a clever hold-out argument, not dissimilar to the popular cross validation approach for model selection. We shall demonstrate the usefulness of the universal inference approach in a variety of inferential settings, including for time-series, composite likelihoods, and empirical Bayes.

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.

ECSSN Mini-conference 2022 conference workshop

Risky Statistical Business: Asking questions upfront to bypass risks of statistical advising,

15 November 2022, 8:10 AM AWST

with Samantha Low-Choy.

For statisticians of any level of experience, statistical advising can be immensely satisfying, yet also, at times, present a minefield of risky possibilities. The business, politics and interpersonal relations can be subject to many pressures, unknowns, and diversity of problems. To complicate matters, those who are relatively new to advising (albeit with experience in teaching or research) may be unprepared for these challenges.

For the past seven years, Sama Low-Choy has been mentoring early career research methods advisors (RMAs). Their role is to advise researchers (either within or across academic groups) who are struggling with methods that are new to them — where methods may be statistical, mixed (qualitative and quantitative), data science or modelling. To help support these GU RMAs she has developed a questionnaire which helps guides their initial consults, to learn about researchers asking for assistance, and their research problems and context.

These questions have evolved over varied experience as a statistical advisor, teacher and collaborative researcher in universities, government and briefly in industry. The delivery of questions is flexible. As an experienced advisor, She elicit answers via an unstructured process, so the protocol serves as a checklist. However early career advisors may adopt a semi- structured interview and/or online questionnaire format. In this workshop she will work through a few questions, with anecdotes of how they work in real life. In particular, she will highlight the hidden power of these questions, to help manage or bypass risky situations, before they can occur.

For those attending the conference, the workshop is included in their registration fee, others can register here

Find out more about this event and the presenter here.

SSA WA: Careers Panel, Networking & Sundowner

17 Nov 2022, 2:00 PM – 6:30 PM (AWST) , 139 St Georges Terrace, Perth

The SSA WA Branch Meeting in November follows on from the Day 3 program of the Early Career and Student Statisticians Miniconference (ECSSMini2022).

Members, visitors, and ECSSMini2022 delegates are invited to continue networking and discussing their statistical careers after the online portion of the conference has finished.

While all the activities are optional and you may choose to join at a time most convenient for you, we are very keen to have mid- and established career statisticians joining us for the "speed networking" session.

For more information click here.

Enacting sovereign rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in official statistics and other data - Dr Kalinda Griffiths

15 Nov 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, In person, venue TBA or online via Zoom

Join the SSA Vic branch in-person or online to hear from Dr Kalinda Griffiths in her talk "Enacting sovereign rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in official statistics and other data".

The realisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia to be counted in official statistics occurred in 1967. The identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in national data highlights a range of historical and contemporary issues that require our attention. This includes how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been defined and by whom, as well as how identification is operationalised in official data collections.

This talk discusses priority issues in identifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the national data in Australia’s colonial context and some ways forward in enacting the sovereign rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to support nation building. 

To register, click here.

NSW Branch: 2022 Annual Dinner

5 Dec 2022, 7:00 PM (AEDT), Aerial Function Centre, UTS 

The afternoon begins with the 23rd annual J.B. Douglas Awards, followed by the Annual Lecture by Professor Marijka Batterham starting around 6pm, and then dinner from about 7pm. 

The 23rd J. B. Douglas Awards
Each year the J. B. Douglas award showcases NSW postgraduate students' research work. As usual, we will have several talks by research students nearing completion at NSW institutions. Nominees are still being finalised, we will send a separate announcement closer to the day.

2022 Annual Lecture
This year, we are very happy to have Professor Marijka Batterham, Director of the National Institute for Applied Statistics Research Australia and the Statistical Consulting Centre give the Annual Lecture. Details of the talk will be made available closer to the date.

2022 Annual Dinner
To register, please follow the link here. A discount is given to early career and student members.

Save the date: ASC and OZCOTS 2023

10-15 December 2023, University of Wollongong, NSW

Find out more

Other Events

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. 

We are pleased to announce that the conference will now include a poster presentation session on both days.  

If you would like to submit an extended abstract for the digital proceedings and/or present a poster, please use this form to provide your abstract:  

We will accept posters of A1 or A0 size. 

For more information about the conference and to register click here

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:

Time Series and Forecasting Symposium

1-2 December 2022, 9am – 5pm

The University of Sydney CBD Campus, Level 17, 133 Castlereagh Street, Sydney 

Keynote speakers:
Prof Gael Martin (Monash University) and Prof Rodney Strachan (University of Queensland)

All registrations include symposium material, refreshments, lunches and symposium dinner

Registration Fees: A$250 ($300 after 15 November) for academic and industry participants and A$125 ($150 after 15 November) for full-time students.

Please register at the symposium webpage here on or before 15 November to enjoy the early bird rate. 

Abstract Submission:

To submit an abstract (up to 250 words) for oral or poster presentation, please send it to on or before  31 October.

Best student paper competition:

TSF2022 will have a special session in the afternoon of 2 December for student oral presentations and a Best Student Paper award will be given. Up to six abstracts submitted by students will be selected by a panel to present in this session. If you want your paper to be considered for presentation in this session, please indicate in your email.  

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