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10 November 2022

Dear {Contact_First_Name},.

At a recent lunch I attended, the subject of the Medibank data breach came up. One of the women who attended the lunch is a member of Medibank. When I asked her if she was concerned about her data possibly being made available on the dark web, she shrugged her shoulders, commenting that she was not too bothered. The general sentiment at the table was that “our data is already out there”, or “what are they going to do with my data?”, assuming that people like us are too insignificant to be of interest to anyone with sinister ideas.

Of course, there are many different reasons why we should protect our data, but at this lunch none of the attendees (including myself) made the connection between the misuse of data and, for example, the threat to democracy this could pose. Thinking back to the 2016 US election however, this is exactly what happened. Information about the interests and habits of Facebook users were sold, allowing companies to target and manipulate voters.

In his article “The 2022 Midterm Elections Are Putting Data Privacy at Risk” Timur Yarnall, founder and CEO of Neutronian, comments that while it would be impossible to stop companies from targeting consumers based on specific traits and interests, governments need to put regulations in place requiring companies to be transparent. If these “full disclosure” regulations were in place, those at the receiving end of a campaign would be told exactly on what basis they are targeted. This might make them stop and think more carefully about the information they are receiving.

Interestingly Timur mentions that while 75% of Americans claim to be concerned about data privacy, most have not taken any steps to protect their data. A 2020 Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey revealed that 70% of people surveyed in this country consider the protection of their personal information to be a major concern in their life, while only 49% know which steps to take to keep it safe. The Medibank data breach shows though that even if 100% of us knew how to keep our data safe, we would still be at the mercy of the companies we entrust with our data.

At SSA we take data privacy and data security very seriously. I can assure our members that it is a subject discussed at every Executive Committee meeting, as our Privacy Officer attends these meetings. We only maintain the absolutely necessary information about our members in the database. Your addresses have been redacted and are stored separately at a facility with “groundbreaking privacy protection features, enterprise grade infrastructure and certification with the most widely accepted security and privacy regulations worldwide” (according to the company). Our Privacy Policy is available here.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the data privacy of our members, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Marie-Louise Rankin
Executive Officer 

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SSA 60th anniversary slide

SSA NSW Branch – October Meeting 

On the evening of 26th October, Professor Brian Cullis from the University of Wollongong presented a talk titled “Optimal Design of Comparative Experiments and the ODW R Package”.

Brian’s talk was divided into two main parts. In the first part, he gave an overview of optimal designs for multiphase experiments, particularly model-based designs using the linear mixed model with correlated treatment effects. The optimality of the designs are based on some criteria, such as D-, G-, and A-optimality. Since these designs typically involve many components, finding an optimal design is usually done through an intensive search process of the design space. As such, having computer software that can generate optimal designs given a set of requirements is desirable, which is a primary aim of the ODW R package that Brian and his collaborators are pursuing. 

In the second part, he introduced core functions of the ODW R package and demonstrated flexible uses of the package to search for optimal designs of various types. 

Finally, Brian gave several examples of when the package was used to obtain designs for an experiment regarding genotypes of desi chickpea. The seminar concluded with questions from the audience about both the technical details and applications of the ODW package.

Dr Linh Nghiem
NSW Branch Newsletter Correspondent 

An exciting year for the Dennis Trewin Prize!

Zhi Yang

SSA Canberra is delighted to announce that Mr Zhi Yang Tho from the ANU is the winner of the 2022 Dennis Trewin Prize! Zhi Yang received $1,000 for his presentation on Joint Mean and Correlation Regression Modelling for Multivariate Data.

The Dennis Trewin Prize, named after the former Australian Statistician, is an award for early career research in statistics or data science conducted within the ACT or regional NSW. This year, the Prize was modified from a video submission format to live presentations, resulting in a more engaging and exciting event. We had three brilliant presentations on the day, and the selection panel had much difficulty deciding the placement of speakers.

We would like to thank the participants for sharing their research, Dennis and the selection panel for their deliberations on the day, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for sponsoring the Prize.

Nelson Chua

The SSA Mentoring SSA Mentoring Program 2023 - Now open for applications

The SSA is excited to invite you to participate in the 2023 mentoring program!
Open to all members of the Society, the program will connect early and mid-career statisticians with experienced mentors to provide them with career guidance and share their experiences to help them achieve their professional goals.
See here or the SSA Mentoring website to find out if you are eligible and for more information.
To register your interest please complete the form by Sunday 11th December.

Looking for statistical talent?

159 resumes are currently available in the resume bank of  SSA’s Career Centre. Your perfect candidate may be waiting for your call.

Take a look

IAOS Young Statisticians Prize - Apply Now!

The IAOS Young Statisticians Prize is awarded for the best paper in the field of official statistics written by a young statistician. In addition to monetary prizes, the first-place winner receives travel funds to present the paper at an international conference chosen in conjunction with the IAOS.

The IAOS Young Statisticians Prize is awarded for the best paper in the field of official statistics written by a young statistician. In addition to monetary prizes, the first-place winner receives travel funds to present the paper at an international conference chosen in conjunction with the IAOS. 

Information on the Prize and how to make a submission is available here.

The closing date is 10 February 2023. 

This is an important opportunity for early career statisticians to have their work recognised in the wider community of official statistics. It is also a great advertisement for advances and innovations coming out of the Australian official statistics community, facing challenges shared with counterparts in other countries.  

The submission does not need to be based on a research program, but can as well report on design issues, new methods and their evaluation, application of existing methods to new problems arising in the course of production of official series.  

Stephen Horn
Chair – Official Statistics Section

Step up as an STA STEM Ambassador - Application Deadline Extended!

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 accepting applications until 9am Monday, 14 November 2022.

Apply here

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).

Application deadline: 8 December 2022.

Find out how to apply

SSA Events

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. 

Check out the conference website here

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

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.

Sign up for this workshop and hear from Sama Low-Choy how asking the right questions will help advisors give the appropiate advice .

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.

The Necessary SQL - An Introduction to SQL with Daniel Fryer

21 Nov 2022, 9:00 AM (AEDT) – 22 Nov 2022, 5:00 PM (AEDT), Online via Zoom

This course is a gentle, fast paced introduction to SQL. Their objective is to build a strong foundation and intuition for SQL programming, with an emphasis on retrieving and transforming data in a robust and testable manner. The course is suitable for beginners with no prior programming experience, but includes plenty of additional material for experienced programmers that are new to SQL. 

For more information and to register click here.

SSA NSW Branch workshop: A crash course on using machine learning methods effectively in practice

22 Nov 2022, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (AEDT) @ 12 Second Way 430 Active Learning Space, Room 430, 12 Second Way, Macquarie University

The SSA NSW branch and School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Macquarie University are offering this in-person workshop presented by Prof. Benoit Liquet-Weiland and Dr Sarat Moka. 

Deep learning can be viewed as a sub-discipline of machine learning and hence this first workshop provides an overview of key machine learning concepts and paradigms. The participant is introduced to supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and the general concept of iterative based optimization for learning. This course also presents a simple non-linear auto-encoder architecture. Aspects of model tuning are also discussed including feature engineering and hyper-parameter choice. The workshop includes machine learning demonstrations using R and Python software. This first workshop will equip attendees for the follow up workshop on “Mathematical Engineering of Deep Learning”.

Please click here for more information and to register. 

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

The 2022 Statistical Science Lecture will be given by Professor Michael I Jordan, UC Berkeley, on Thursday 17 November at 11am AEDT.

The Statistical Science Lecture (SSL) began in 2018 and is an annual event made possible by a philanthropic donation to the School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics, University of Wollongong.

The annual Statistical Science Lecture showcases the interdisciplinarity and key role a statistical scientist plays in extracting scientific knowledge from data in the presence of uncertainty. Professor Jordan, who was named the "most influential computer scientist" worldwide in an article in Science, will present the lecture titled, “On Learning-Aware Mechanism Design.”

For more information click here

Upcoming Events across the ADSN

These can all be found on ADSN events page

Vocabulary Symposium 2022 | 14-15 November, Canberra & Virtual

The symposium will bring together users, creators, and publishers of vocabularies across domains and sectors in Australia to share experiences and identify requirements for FAIR vocabularies underpinning cross-domain data.  More information / Register

AustMS 2022 | 6-9 December, UNSW Sydney

Registration is open for the 66th Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society. 

More information / Register

AMSI Summer School 2023 | 9 Jan – 3 Feb, The University of Melbourne

Calling all honours, post-graduate students and ECRs: attend Summer School in Melbourne and get a different view of your mathematical world. Connect with peers, researchers and potential future employers while developing your mathematical skills. You can even take a subject for credit! Spend the first two weeks attending classes and activities on-campus at The University of Melbourne before heading home for the final two weeks to complete the program online (virtual participation for all four weeks also available).  REGISTER

Summer School Events include:

·         AMSI Summer School Careers Day | Monday, 16 January

ARDC Digital Research Skills Summit | 9-10 February, Sydney

The annual skills summit provides a vibrant forum for eResearch skills communities to network, exchange information, share new initiatives and tackle complex, national scale skills challenges. We invite eResearch infrastructure providers, trainers, training program managers, researchers who train and other interested parties to join the summit, shaping the development of a national data and digital research skills strategy together.  More information / Register

The APCMfI (Asia Pacific Consortium of Mathematics for Industry) Conference – “Statistics and Mathematical Modelling in Combination”

16 Nov 2022 – 18 Nov 2022, La Trobe University City Campus (Level 2, 360 Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia) 

Deterministic modellers and statisticians have a lot to be gained by working as a team in which both types of approaches are used. The combination of statistics and classical dynamics has long been a fertile field, tracing back to statistical mechanics from the end of the 19th century and stochastic differential equations from the 1920s. The need to combine the two modelling approaches has never been greater and neither has the opportunity for affordable high-performance computation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, agreement has been found between agent-based models and differential compartment equations in modelling infection numbers. Each approach gives confidence to the other, and this suggests scope for new hybrid models. 

This event will precede the biennial Forum Mathematics for Industry FMfI2022 to be held at the same location 21-24 November 2022. For more information about the Forum click here

IAPA National Conference "Advancing Analytics" 2022

16 -17 November 2022, Melbourne (16th) & virtually anywhere (17th)

Be part of the community exploring how data-driven insights can advance business, society and the economy on 16 & 17 November.

We're bringing together over twenty experts from UK, US, Finland, Austria and Australia including Victorian Government, Starbucks, The Brookings Institution, The Alan Turing Institute, OP Financial Group, MOSTLY AI, Choice, Lily AI, catch, UC Berkley, MaxMine and go1 to discuss key analytics issues and questions like: 

  • can artificial intelligence deliver a less biased outcome for employment?
  • could synthetic data be the ethical answer for machine learning modelling?
  • what might be the real-world impact of the AI audit laws recently passed in New York?
  • how can we restore consumer trust in data use?
  • can gamification and analytics preserve humanity's scarce resources?
  • what are the hard truths of the CDO role?
  • is there really such a thing as "open" AI?
  • will analytics drive innovation in retail?
  • is it time for all organisations to have a data balance sheet to sit alongside the financial balance sheet?

Join IAPA in-person and virtually on 16 and 17 November to explore insights that drive clarity, innovation, understanding and momentum. 

Insights that advance your world. Insights driven by analytics.

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:

Indigenizing University Mathematics Conference returns for a second year!

The Second international "Indigenizing University Mathematics" conference will be held in the week starting 28th November 2022, mainly online but also with a limited face-to-face attendance option in Newcastle, Australia.  You are invited to register via the Eventbrite link at .

Indigenization is something that is being asked of us more and more by our universities, as well as being something that increasingly many individuals care about and are interested in. However, it is not always obvious how to proceed in our disciplines and spaces.  Thus, the purposes of the conference are to collectively give us an opportunity to think and learn about what it may mean to Indigenize our practices and curricula in university mathematics and statistics; and to give us a chance to build and extend the relationships, partnerships, and shared understandings necessary for this work. 

In addition to the online option for registration, there will be a small face-to-face hub in Newcastle, Australia from which many of the Australian-based presenters will present.  The Newcastle venue has limited capacity:  in addition to the presenters, we will have room for about 30 registrants.  In Newcastle, the timing is such that the presentations run from 9am-1pm each day with lunches provided afterwards and plenty of opportunity to mingle.  For those in Australia, we encourage face-to-face registration from across the country, including from Heads of Discipline.

 ACSPRI Summer Program

Take advantage of the early-bird discount and enrol in one of ACSPRI's Summer Program Courses before 7 December 2022.

If you are a full-time student, the discount is particularly significant.

Courses cover both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, ranging from introductory to advanced.

If you have any questions about any of the courses or ACSPRI membership, please contact us on 03 8376 6496 or you can email ACSPRI at

The 2022 ANZRSAI Conference: Australia and New Zealand Regional Science Association International 45th Annual Conference, 2022

1 -2 Dec 2022, The Convention Centre at Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga, Australia 

The conference will be a hybrid event. Registered participants may either attend in person at Wagga Wagga or join the conference on-line. 


To get more information and to register click here.

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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