What is SSAI?
The Society was founded in 1962 as a national “umbrella” organisation to support and further the work of state statistical societies already in existence, to establish a national journal and newsletter and to host national conferences. The national Society now represents Australian and overseas statisticians with state branches in six states and territories providing the focus and organisation of local activities. The overall objective of the Society is to further the study, application and good practice of statistical theory and methods in all branches of learning and enterprise. The Society is incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory (A.C.T.). The constitution was revised in accordance with the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 (A.C.T.) on May 7th 1993. The Society is guided by its Rules and Regulations and the SSAI Strategic Plan.
The Society currently has about 700 members. Membership is open to all with an interest in statistics and the Society’s objectives. Membership of the Society is via membership of one of the six branches, while those without a branch in their State or Territory or who live remotely may apply to become a member-at-large. The six branches are: New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. The Victorian and New South Wales branches also have regional groups in Tasmania and Illawarra, respectively. Membership for full time students and retired persons is at half rates. Institutional membership is also available on application.
The Society’s publishing arm is the Australian Statistical Publishing Association Inc. (ASPAI). SSAI members are also automatically members of ASPAI. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics is published by Blackwell Publishing under contract from ASPAI and in conjunction with the New Zealand Statistical Association. The Journal is published as four issues per year. The Society’s Newsletter is published as four issues per year. All members receive these publications as part of their membership. Branch members also receive branch newsletters and other local information.
Branches of the Society organise and run regular meetings and workshops or symposia as determined by the branches. The Australian Statistical Conference (ASC) is held biennially over five days, with international and national invited speakers and contributed paper sessions. Branches are invited to host the conference on a rotating basis. Sections also organise and run workshops and symposia, often associated with ASCs or with other meetings. The appeal of Young Statisticians’ Meetings held by a number of branches has led to the formation of the national Workshop for Australia’s Young Statisticians (WAYS).
The Society is an affiliated organisation of the International Statistical Institute, with the President as the Society’s ex-officio member.
The Society is a constituent member of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Council, and through this a member of Science & Technology Australia (STA).
The Society is also represented on the National Committee for Mathematics of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Statistical Advisory Council and the Committee QR/4-Statistical Quality Procedures of the Standards Association of Australia. The Society is a corporate member of the New Zealand Statistical Association, an Associate Member of the Australian Geoscience Council and a member of the Australian Foundation of Science.
The Society and ASPAI are governed by a Central Council, consisting of an Executive and delegates elected by branches, with two or more delegates from each branch depending on the size of the branch. The Executive consists of a President, Vice-President, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and Australian Editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics. Central Council meets twice a year and the Executive carries out business by electronic and other means between Council meetings as necessary. The Society and ASPAI hold Annual General Meetings, usually timed to take place during a conference or workshop.
The Society awards a gold medal, the Pitman Medal, at most once annually, in recognition of outstanding achievement in, and contribution to, the discipline of Statistics. Honorary Life Membership honours outstanding contribution to the profession and the Society, while a Society Service Award may be awarded to a Society member in recognition of sustained and significant service to the Society.
The E.J. Pitman Prize is awarded for the most outstanding talk by a “young statistician” at an Australian Statistical Conference.
The Society is also consulted about medals of the Australian Academy of Science – the Moran Medal and the Hannan Medal. Both these medals honour Australian statisticans who made outstanding contributions to the discipline, the profession and the Society.
A number of annual or biennial lectures named in honour of Australian statisticians are sponsored by branches or in association with the Society.
- The Belz Lecture is sponsored by the Victorian Branch
- The Knibbs Lecture is sponsored by the ACT Branch
- The H.O. Lancaster Lecture is sponsored by the NSW Branch
- The Cornish Lecture (biennial) is sponsored by the SA Branch
- The E.K. Foreman Lecture, sponsored by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, is given annually at either an Australian Statistical Conference or at an ACT Branch function.
The Society provides optional professional accreditation for members, at the level of Accredited Statistician (AStat) or Graduate Statistician (GStat). Applications for accreditation are considered by an accreditation committee in accordance with the Society’s Rules and Regulations.
Membership – Benefits
Membership of SSAI provides the following benefits:
- Forums for the exchange of statistical information and ideas with statistical workers active in applications, consulting, teaching and research within government, commerce and industry.
- Opportunities through professional meetings and workshops to keep abreast of the latest developments in the field.
- Peer professional recognition through accreditation.
- Subscription to the internationally recognised Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics and to the Society’s Newsletter, which provides general news and notes of relevance to the profession.
- Establishment of a network of contacts, both national and international, throughout government, industry, business and academia.
- Professional Indemnity Insurance at competitive rates.
- Acess to free monthly members-only webinars, presented by some of Australia’s most renowned statisticians.