SSA February 2019 eNews

Welcome to the first edition of the SSA newsletter of 2019.

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s great to be back at work after a little Christmas break. I just like having a routine! I find it hard to believe though that we are well into the second month of the year already – where has the time gone?

We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead with a number of workshops in the pipeline and, of course, the Young Statisticians Conference to be held in Canberra on 1-2 October. The Partnership Agreement that was signed with the ABS at the end of 2018 will be implemented, with benefits to be felt, hopefully, by all our members. And while we are talking about benefits: members of SSA are now entitled to a 20% discount on purchases from the Taylor and Francis group, Routledge and CRC Press as well as 20% off any 12-month paid subscription to! This is in addition to the discounts on Wiley publications, Significance Magazine and Indemnity Insurance that have already been in place for a while. Find out more below.

Hopefully you received an email yesterday giving you an update on ANZSC2020, to be held from 6-10 July 2020 on the beautiful Gold Coast. Early Bird Registration is now open, allowing you to save up to $150! For some states ANZSC2020 falls right into the school holidays, so why not bring your partner or family along and treat them to a holiday?
For the first time we are offering registration categories that include the conference dinner. And you don’t want to miss this dinner! It will be like no ASC dinner you have ever attended. It’s going to be an exciting networking event, 
held at the quirky Stingray Lounge, QTwith plenty of opportunity to mix and mingleallowing you to make new connections and catch up with old friends and colleagues. And who knows? You may even get the opportunity to show off your dance moves as the evening progresses!

The conference itself will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and to help you get around we are offering a heavily discounted GoCard covering public transport for five days, which you can purchase with your conference registration. All GoCards have to be bought at least one month before the conference, since the conference organisers need to order them ahead of time, so it’s recommended that you don’t leave your registration until the last minute.

If you, or rather your organisation, would like to get involved with ANZSC2020 as a sponsor, please contact me at and I’ll provide you with all the information you may need.

For now, though, let’s see what our branches have been up to. I hope you’ll enjoy this newsletter. Until next month!

Marie-Louise Rankin, Executive Officer


SA Branch November Meeting

Modelling the allocation of deceased donor kidneys in Australia

For the November 2018 meeting of the SA Branch Dr Phil Clayton spoke on topic “Modelling the allocation of deceased donor kidneys in Australia”. Transplant is a preferred treatment for end-stage kidney disease patients, but only ~8% of patients receive a transplant because of limited kidney availability. The allocation of deceased donor kidneys involves a complex balance between utility (maximising benefit to society) and equity (ensuring fairness to individuals). Phil discussed a simulated allocation model to validate the current Australian system and design an alternative allocation system to maximise utility, equity, or strike a balance between them.

Please read the full article here.


Vic Branch Careers Evening November 2018

On the 27th of November 2018, the Victorian branch hosted a careers-focused panel discussion for young statisticians, and we were privileged to be joined by six speakers from a range of professions. 

Joining us as panellists on the night were: actuary Amanda Aitken from Actuarial Edge; teacher Dr Linda McIver from the Australian Data Science Education Institute; freelancer Steve Bennett; ABS statistician Nick Husek; MCRI biostatistician Dr Karen Lamb; and Eliiza CEO James Wilson. These speakers discussed their careers to date, including the roles that chance and luck have played in getting them to where they are today. While not all of our speakers were trained as statisticians, all acknowledged the value of statistical thinking: the ability to understand variation and variability is a key skill in  many disciplines!

Afterwards, panellists and audience members mingled over drinks and pizzas; non-members were encouraged to join the Society on the night. The event was a great success, drawing a crowd of over 60, and attracting several new SSA members.

By SSA Vic council members


QLD Branch Meetings - July- December 2018

The SSA QLD Branch had a busy six months with a number of interesting meetings. Read all about the events here.


The Joint International Society for Clinical Biostatistics and Australian Statistical Conference 2018 (ISCB ASC 18)

The SSA Queensland Branch awarded funding towards attending ISCB ASC 2108 to three students. One of them (Aswi) shares her thoughts on the conference highlights and benefits in this article.


Canberra Branch: Statistics in the Capital - Data Integration and Beyond

SSA Canberra is proud to announce that the first seminar for 2019 will be given by Professor Peter Song from the University of Michigan. Peter will be taking a few steps back to give some perspectives on data integration analytics from the viewpoint of likelihood-based, Bayesian, and Fiducial inference among others, focusing on issues of scalability and distributed inference.

The seminar is scheduled for Tuesday 26 February. Details will be available in due course on the Canberra branch website

Warren Muller, Daniel Fearnley, Francis Hui - On behalf of SSA Canberra


Roundtable meeting on Data in Health and Medical Research

Our president Adrian Barnett will attend a national roundtable meeting on Data in Health and Medical Research (Sydney, March 8). This roundtable is being convened by the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science and will concern challenges and the opportunities for data in health and medical research. If you have any examples or issues that you want raised at the meeting, then please get in touch with Adrian (


Nalini Joshi new Vice President of IMU

Professor Nalini Joshi from the University of Sydney was elected Vice-President of the International Mathematical Union  for the 2019-2022 term, and is the first Australian to hold this office. Congratulations! This is a great accomplishment and we are proud to be able to count Professor Joshi as a member of SSA.


Apply to speak at Soapbox Science 2019, Sydney

The call for speakers to take part in Soapbox Science’s 2019 events is now open. Soapbox Science Sydney is bringing cutting-edge science to the public, in an accessible, fun, and unintimidating way - 3 hours, busy public thoroughfare and 12 female speakers standing on soapboxes engaging with the public about their research. The speakers, from PhD to professor level, will be chosen from a state-wide call and will encompass all of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths & Medicine (STEMM) fields.

Unlike other science events, the great thing about Soapbox Science Sydney is that the audience will not have necessarily planned to come and learn about science. The organisers hope to inspire people who never normally get exposed to science, especially young people. At the core of Soapbox Science is also the promotion and support of women in STEMM.  For more information and to apply please click here


Science Meets Parliament 2019 

As mentioned in the December newsletter, Science & Technology Australia 's "Science meets Parliament" will once again be taking place in 2019 and this year STA will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the event. Due to the limited sitting dates in the 1st half of 2019 as a result of the Parliamentary Sitting calendar, and the upcoming Federal Election, STA has now decided to hold SmP on 13-14 August. If you would like to be SSA's representative, please apply by 31 May 2019. Simply send us an email to to tell us why you would like to attend SmP and why you think you'd be a suitable candidate. Any applications already received will be retained and considered closer to the event as well.  


New discounts for SSA members!

New discounts are now available to our members from CRC Press!

And don't forget your discount on Wiley publications: 35% off books (excluding text books), as well as reduced subscriptions to the magazine ‘Significance’.

To retrieve your discount code to use any (or all!) of these offers please log in as a member at and go to the "Members only discounts" page (beneath the "Members login" heading. 

Applications now open!

SSA's Golden Jubilee Travel Grant provides up to $1,000 in overseas travel funds to student members of the Society, who can prove consecutive SSA membership for a minimum of two years and who will present at an overseas conference.  Applications close on 31 March 2019. Find out more.

Members’ Publications

Published any work recently? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Send us details and we’ll add information about your book to our website, for other members and non-members to see. Please follow the format on the page when sending us the information. To see what is already there, please click here 

Upcoming events:

The Tenth International Conference on Matrix-Analytic Methods in Stochastic Models (MAM10)
13 – 15 February 2019,  Hobart

Data Day
2 April 2019, Sydney
4 April 2019, Melbourne

Chief Data & Analytics Officer Exchange
7-8 May 2019, Chirnside Park, Victoria 

42nd Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) Conference 2019
30 June- 4 July 2019, Perth

Australia Sports Analytics Conference 2019
August 2019, Melbourne

Interested in international events? Please click here.

SSA Career Centre

Looking for a change? The SSA Career Centre may have options for you.

See current positions available here.

Are you an employer? Click here to see resumes of potential candidates.                                                     

Looking for work experience!

One of our young members studying for a Graduate Diploma in Applied Statistics (High Distinction average) and expected to graduate this year is looking for some real life statistics/analytical type work experience or internship in Sydney. Can anyone help? If so, please contact our Executive Officer ( who will put you in touch with this member.