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  • 6 Jul 2020 10:17 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Dear all,

    I hope you all are doing good and well. I am writing to inform you that the Fourth Victorian Research Students' Meeting in Probability and Statistics(VRSMiPS IV) will be hosted by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, La Trobe University this year. Our students' conference is going to be held on 02nd of September at La Trobe University.

    VRSMiPS IV is an all day event and an annual event that is organised by students, for students. The goal of the event is to provide doctoral and masters by research students from Victorian universities an opportunity to present their research to their peers as well as to hear from other students in an environment which facilitates collaboration. We want to provoke discussion about Probability and Statistics and to build inter-institution connections.

    Due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference might switch to an online format via zoom on the same date and time.  It is with great pleasure we confirm the website and registration process for VRSMiPS IVAttached is the itinerary and some background information regarding the event.

    https://sites.google.com/view/4th-vrsmips/home

    https://sites.google.com/view/4th-vrsmips/schedule

    The link to the registration form is https://sites.google.com/view/4th-vrsmips/registration

    We look forward to receiving your registration. 

    On behalf of the other organizer, Illia,

    Yours sincerely,

    Ravindi.

    Ravindi Nanayakkara

    PhD Candidate & Sessional Academic

    Department of Mathematics and Statistics | College of Science, Health and Engineering
    La Trobe University | Bundoora Victoria 3086 Australia


  • 2 Jul 2020 1:45 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Machine Learning: From damned lies to statistics, where does machine learning lie within the field of data science?

    The monthly seminar of the SSA in SA was presented by Dr Oscar Perez-Concha, Lecturer at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health (CBDRH), University of New South Wales, Sydney. Oscar is also the founder of the CBDRH Machine Learning Club, a special interest group which meets weekly to discuss ideas about machine learning and its application to health data science. CBDRH Machine Learning Club is an open forum and people interested in joining online or in person could contact Oscar directly at o.perezconcha@unsw.edu.au.

    I have been part of the special interest group on Machine Learning Club for now about two years I was very much looking forward to Oscar’s presentation. Over 40 people connected from all over Australia using Zoom. Lots of people in many fields are at least curious and would like to learn more about Machine Learning and the talk titled ‘Machine Learning: From damned lies to statistics, where does machine learning lie within the field of data science?’ was the perfect opportunity to get started.

    I thoroughly enjoyed how before delving into the talk, Oscar provided a quick overview of his pathway from engineering to ML expert and examples of ML applications provided by his past and current projects.

    His presentation started with recounting his own journey of marrying ML and statistics   and moved on to discussing the similarities and differences between the two in terminology and aims. Critical ML events like Gauss derivation of the normal distribution, Turing cracking the wartime Enigma code and the release of R package were highlighted over the timeline of statistics. What followed was the introduction of the founders of Artificial Intelligence AI and the timeline of AI. Frankly, as a female researcher I always get some satisfaction hearing about Ada Lovelace. So much I almost named my daughter after her.

    Oscar gave a remarkable overview of ML theory from random forests to support vector machines, concluding with deep neural networks. In doing so he pointed out the dichotomies between statistics and ML but never in a way to keep them separate, always creating bridges between the disciplines by understanding the different nuances in language.

    The discussion was vivacious, I particularly enjoyed hearing more about using machine learning in a causal inference scenario and in the area of longitudinal data. Check out the video to hear what he says.

    Oscar spoke very frankly of the limitations of ML which is not a box to fix all data problems. He clearly stated what stage ML currently is (Association) and where it hasn’t gone yet (Intervention or Counterfactual world).

    Just after the meeting I was on the phone with Oscar to congratulate him on the brilliant presentation and cheer him on his efforts. Pretty soon we were talking about new ideas for presentations and workshops and even collaborating in person once the COVID-19 restrictions ease a little more. Something we both look forward to.

    By Barbara Toson

  • 29 Jun 2020 1:29 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    A message from Science and Technology Australia

    Last Friday, Education Minister Dan Tehan unveiled a package of very complex proposed changes to higher education funding in Australia in a speech to the National Press Club.  There is more detail in a Government discussion paper and a series of FAQs.  The Minister also plans to work with Vice-Chancellors to devise a new way to fund research amid the proposed loss of research cross-subsidy from student places funding and a sharp fall in international student income due to the pandemic. 
     
    The proposals are incredibly complex. Like all advocacy bodies across our STEM and university research communities, Science & Technology Australia will analyse the detail, seek further information, and assess likely impact. We made a careful initial set of observations within hours of the announcements, and will have more to say in the coming weeks and months. The Government would need crossbench support in the Senate to amend the Higher Education Support Act

    This week, it was the turn of Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese to make a major address on science, technology, climate change and expertise. STA welcomed his central message that science had led our COVID success, and could now drive Australia’s recovery

    And with International Women in Engineering Day last week, check out Superstar of STEM Bianca Capra’s video about her trailblazing career as an aerospace engineer, and her powerful efforts to bring other women into the field. Here’s her uplifting video series to promote other women from diverse backgrounds who are working or studying as engineers.  
     
    Until next time, 

    Misha Schubert 
    CEO, Science & Technology Australia 

  • 24 Jun 2020 5:07 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Science and Technology Australia - Media Release 24 June 2020

    Today’s reaffirmation that science will be core to Australia’s future economic growth, new industries and new jobs has been welcomed by the science and technology sector.

    In a speech to the National Press Club, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Australia’s success to contain COVID-19 was due to a strong bipartisan embrace of scientific expertise.

    Science & Technology Australia President Associate Professor Jeremy Brownlie said it was pleasing to see a strong bipartisan understanding that science and technology are major economic drivers.

    “Expert scientific and medical expertise has steered Australia safely through the COVID crisis,” he said.

    “Now we must take that same approach for science and technology to shape the economic recovery and create new jobs, businesses and industries.”

    STA also welcomed the call for Australia to enhance our future pandemic preparedness with a continued focus on advance planning.

    Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert said the sector welcomed the focus on how to generate stronger economic opportunities from new technologies like AI.

    “A national centre for AI excellence would help Australia to a bigger slice of the estimated US$16 trillion global industry,” she said.

    “We welcome a strong bipartisan commitment to be guided by scientific expertise in policy right across our economy and society.”

    STA is pleased to see the Opposition’s description of research and development as an investment not a cost.

    In recent years, STA has proposed a research translation fund to help boost private sector investment in R&D.   

    For interviews or further comment, please call STA on 02 6257 2891. 

  • 22 Jun 2020 11:26 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    This meeting featured two very interesting presentations by Emily Whitney and Andrew Grose and was the second of our monthly meetings to be held by Zoom.

    When one is unfamiliar with the venue there is always the possibility of getting lost when trying to find a meeting, and your correspondent managed to achieve this, finding himself in another Zoom meeting room – along with three or four others who had also followed the wrong link. A virtual search party retrieved us in time and your correspondent was able to bring the lost people back to the meeting, bringing the numbers to more than 25.

    Emily graduated mid 2019 with First Class Honours in Mathematical Sciences from Curtin University. Her dissertation, supervised by Aloke Phatak, focussed on regularisation penalties for categorical predictors with the application of predicting stillbirth. With the support of WA Branch of the Statistical Society through their Honours Scholarship, she was able to present her work at the International Workshop on Statistical Modelling in July 2019. Recently Emily began work as consultant data scientist at EY and now works in the health analytics space.

    Emily spoke about her work on the problem from her dissertation, comparing use of LASSO, a group-wise LASSO, and a structured fusion penalty in logistic regression. She related this to prediction of stillbirth, using a large data set capturing information on all singleton births in WA in the years 1980 through 2015. All three penalties are L1 in style, and hence encourage sparsity. The group LASSO also encourages similarity between coefficient estimates that ought to go together. The structured fusion penalty in addition encourages satisfaction of desired constraints (such as monotonicity for coefficients of ordinal factors, or equality of coefficients of a factor) – so you discourage differences that are not really interesting to you, unless the data force you to see these differences. The take-home message was that structured fusion penalties offer a tool to make categorical predictors more interpretable.

    Andrew Grose graduated at the end of 2019 from Murdoch University with first class honours and now works for SAGI-West. He talked about comparisons of robust methods for identifying outliers, which is ongoing research he has been doing with Brenton Clarke following completion of his honours degree.  Brenton supervised his honours thesis. In his talk, Andrew examined in detail differences between the abilities of a variety of strategies for outlier identification, including multivariate ATLA (Adaptive Trimmed Likelihood Algorithm), which was a strong performer, FSM (Forward Search method), BACON, and others. He also discussed concepts such as swamping and masking of outliers.

    Naturally, Tukey and Huber got a mention, and more surprisingly, so did Bradman. Although in retrospect he would have to be a clear illustration of the fact that outliers do not necessarily indicate problems with the data item (unless there was a conspiracy of scorers in Test cricket matches).

    Both talks were followed by questions and applause (sometimes the sound of a muted hand clapping) but not, in view of the circumstances, by dinner out with the speakers. This omission will be rectified at a later meeting, face-to-face.

    Alun Pope

  • 17 Jun 2020 10:09 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    The monthly seminar of the SSA in WA was presented by Brenton Clarke, the current President of the Branch. The seminar was held via ZOOM, the web-based video conferencing tool, because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

    Since I live very close to Brenton, I made the short journey to his home for the live seminar in his study.

    About 20 people were on the video conference. I sat in the front seat with Brenton, together with my M&M chocolate coated peanuts to help me enjoy the video! The title of the talk was ‘Generalisations of Orthogonal Components in Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)’. I had a feeling from the abstract that we were going to be bombarded with ‘elegant’ matrix algebra.

    The seminar reminded me of when I was a student when it was imperative to see and suffer through the construction of much theory if you were serious in understanding statistical methodology.

    We were treated to an entertaining historical talk from the 1870s to the 2020s on the orthogonal Helmert matrices used in an example of a 2-way ANOVA (randomised complete block design) to relate the decomposition of the sums of squares in the ANOVA table to uncorrelated random variables. Brenton showed us the long-hand way versus the ‘elegant’ mathematical matrix algebra approach involving Kronecker products. Brenton showed remarkable knowledge and recollections of the use of many references in his talk spanning 1860s to 2020.

    He showcased work from his 2002 paper and his 2008 book on ‘Linear Models’.

    I think we witnessed a marvelous exposition of theory illustrating Brenton’s breadth of work he has done in the last 20 years of his research on the theory of linear models. One could say we saw the beauty of statistics with echoes of Beethoven’s 5th symphony ‘Eroica’ in the background.

    A good series of comments in the discussion followed the talk which left us pondering on the use of the elegant theory in practice. Brenton even alluded to work on the Hasse or lattice diagram of the ANOVA table showing the effects of the terms in the model as shown by Rosemary Bailey work (2020).

    Well done Brenton on a very informative discussion and summary history of work with various authors on the linear models and their matrix algebra investigating the various theoretical relationships in the analysis of variance table.

    During the night I was pondering how the sweep algorithm used in the ‘beautiful’ ANOVA module of the GenStat (https://www.vsni.co.uk/software/genstat) program related to this talk. We will leave that for another talk.

    Brenton and I enjoyed a meal at the local Thai restaurant to celebrate the night observing the small numbers of people at at the restaurant due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

    Three cheers for my great friend for a great talk!

    by Mario D’Antuono

    References

    Bailey, R.A. (2020) Hasse diagrams as a visual aid for linear models and analysis of variance. Communications in Statistics- Theory and Method. https://doi.org/10.1080/03610926.2019.1676443

    Clarke, B.R. (2002) A representation of orthogonal components in analysis of variance, International Mathematical Journal, 1, 133-147. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/A-representation-of-orthogonal-components-in-of-Clarke/a7b2d8f31ac011c13f222741b8f97f6ced801a68

    Clarke, B.R. (2008) Linear Models The Theory and Application of Analysis of Variance, Wiley, Hoboken, N.J. https://www.amazon.com/Linear-Models-Application-Probability-Statistics/dp/0470025662

    Farhadian, R. and Clarke, B.R. (2020) A note on the Helmert transformation, Communications in Statistics- Theory and Method, submitted

    Irwin, J.O. (1934) On the independence of constituent items in the analysis of variance, J. Roy. Statist. Soc., Suppl., 1, 236-251


  • 15 Jun 2020 11:03 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Science and Technology Australia MEDIA RELEASE

    10 June 2020

    "Today our colleagues in the STEM community all around the world speak as one in support of equality, respect and justice – and we raise our voices with theirs.

    In recent weeks, we have drawn hope from seeing so many people globally support the goals of the #BlackLivesMatter and #AboriginalLivesMatter movements to end racism, injustice and inequality.

    The science, technology, engineering and maths workforce in Australia joins our colleagues worldwide in the STEM community to express our support for these defining values.

    This movement has called attention not only to Indigenous deaths in custody in our country and abroad, but also to racism, exclusion, disrespect and a lack of safety for people of colour.

    This historic moment offers all Australians an opportunity to ask ourselves and our leaders what more can and should be done to end inequality and injustice.

    STA members Deadly Science and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance work daily to celebrate Indigenous excellence, create opportunity and tackle inequality.

    We stand together to say there is no place for exclusion, inequality or injustice anywhere – including in the STEM community.

    Throughout today, Science & Technology Australia will use our social media channels to highlight the sophisticated STEM expertise embedded in Indigenous knowledge systems across this country.

    We invite members of our own communities across Australia to share this content, along with their own messages of hope, respect, dignity, and strong support for equality."

    Joint statement from:

    Science & Technology Australia President Associate Professor Jeremy Brownlie

    Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert

    Deadly Science founder Corey Tutt

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance Chair Professor Chris Matthews

    Science & Technology Australia EDI committee co-chair Tanya Ha

    Science & Technology Australia EDI committee co-chair Associate Professor Sumeet Walia

    For media enquiries, contact STA on 02 6257 2891 

  • 11 Jun 2020 1:06 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Media Release - 11 June 2020 - Science & Technology Australia

    Expert scientific evidence should guide every element of Australia’s bushfire prevention, mitigation and recovery efforts, the nation’s peak body for science and technology has urged.

    In a submission to the Senate inquiry on the devastating 2019-2020 bushfire season, Science & Technology Australia says the strong embrace by Governments of science evidence to stop COVID-19 should be a model for bushfire prevention.

    Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert said the devastating fire season of the past summer had turned the predicted effects of climate change into a stark reality.

    “These fires were unprecedented, but not unpredicted,” she said.

    “In NSW, fires burned for 240 days – from mid-winter all the way through to the following autumn. In south-east Queensland, rainforests thought to be immune from fire burned for the first time.”

    “The work of our scientists can help limit climate change and the risk of terrifying megafires of new scale and ferocity - and help us to fight bushfires and recover from them more effectively.”

    Science & Technology Australia has also pointed to the long-run effects of toxic smoke and the mental health challenges for firefighters and emergency services personnel as areas for action.

    The submission urges a new monitoring system be developed to monitor particulate hazards, similar the published UV index readings.

    “The Australian Government has worked side-by-side with the scientific community during the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing on this deep expertise to save lives,” Ms Schubert said.

    “Australia’s vast scientific expertise should also guide our national response to the devastating bushfires of the past summer, and the recovery, mitigation and prevention work that has begun.”

    Scientific advice is also needed to help Australia’s fragile ecosystems recover– to rebuild and protect our unique habitats, to save native animals, threatened species and avoid extinction of species.

    The submission notes there is much scope to draw expert knowledge in Indigenous fire and land management practices into Australia’s bushfire prevention and preparedness work.

    “The science and technology community will continue to work closely with Government on the recovery task and on preparation for future fire seasons.”

    STA’s submission makes a series of recommendations on how Australia can better prevent, mitigate and aid recovery from bushfires, and draws on insights from STA member societies about the impact of the 2019-20 bushfire season.

    “Our national scientific and technology workforce is a crucial part of our firefighting defence, and we think there’s potential for an even greater role to deliver evidence and research to help fire chiefs in rapid real-time responses during bushfire seasons,” Ms Schubert said.

    “Where there are gaps in knowledge, we could seek to fill them through direct investment in a research translation fund that could leverage additional private sector R&D.”

    “Strong investment is crucial to ensure the health, wellbeing and livelihoods of all Australians, to boost Australia’s capacity to innovate and adapt, and to outsmart future threats.”

    For media comment: Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert 02 6257 2891


  • 10 Jun 2020 1:24 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    It has been a terrible few weeks watching the events precipitated by the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in the USA. Australia urgently needs to confront its own issues with police brutality and institutional violence, with 437 Indigenous deaths in custody since 1991. This statement is to express our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaign. The Statistical Society of Australia is committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion.

    I was heartened to read the strong statements from the presidents of the American Statistical Association and Royal Statistical Society. I echo their sentiments that a key thing we can do is educate ourselves about the problems in our own borders. Another positive step statisticians can take is to use our knowledge of statistics to work with our colleagues in health and social sciences who research the areas of health, justice and equity. Data can make a difference and we have the power to help bring about positive change.

    You might have seen the campaign to rename the Fisher lecture after the African American David Blackwell. I support this change and I have signed the petition. David Blackwell was a remarkable talent and it is important that our field can tear down the statues of our past, as happened literally in Bristol this week.

    As a Society we recently made changes to our code of conduct, to include personal as well as professional conduct. We want to make it clear that our Society will not tolerate racism. Codes of conduct are now mandatory at our conferences and large events: these Codes explicitly state that racist behaviour will not be accepted at our events.  Promotion of equity and diversity are now key criteria in Society awards.

    There is undoubtedly more that our Society can do to become the safe and welcoming place for everyone that we want it to be. We want our Society and our country to be free from racism and disrespect.  We recognise that we are working and living on Aboriginal land, and that there is much work to be done towards reconciliation.

    Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss these issues or have any ideas about how the Society might support the Black Lives Matter campaign.

    Adrian Barnett
    President of the Statistical Society of Australia

  • 3 Jun 2020 12:46 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    The Statistical Society of Australia offers several awards to its members, honouring their contributions to the statistical community. Honorary Life Membership honours outstanding contribution to the profession and the Society. A Society Service Award may be awarded to a Society member in recognition of sustained and significant service to the Society.

    The SSA is pleased to announce the following awards for 2020:

    Honorary Life Membership:

    Dr Alison Harcourt AO

    Alison Harcourt, a lifelong supporter of the Statistical Society of Australia and contributor to the statistical discipline, was nominated for Honorary Life Membership in recognition of her inspiring career, remarkable achievements, and dedicated service. She was the founding secretary of the Victorian Branch of SSA in 1964 and served in that role for four years. Alison continued to support the VIC branch ever since, regularly attending branch events and contributing to discussion of important topics at our meetings.

    In her career, Alison made important advances to mathematics and statistics, and their application to informing government policy. The most visible ones include her seminal paper on the “branch and bound” method, her contributions to quantifying the extent of poverty in Australia and her work that led to the introduction of the “double randomisation” method in allocating positions on ballot papers (still in use today).

    Alison was working at a time when there was much less support for women. It is only in recent times that her achievements have received proper recognition. In 2018 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Melbourne, and in 2019 she was named Victoria’s Senior Australian of the Year and an Officer of the Order of Australia.

    Although she formally retired in 1994, Alison continues to work as a sessional tutor at the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne, where she is known as a passionate and knowledgeable teacher of statistics. Indeed, she has been a mentor to many great statisticians who have long-since retired!

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    Honorary Life Membership:

    Professor Annette Dobson AM

    Annette Dobson was the inaugural Chair of the Medical Sciences Section of the Statistical Society of Australia when it was formed in 1983. She held that position until the AGM in 1986 and actively lobbied for greater involvement of statisticians in refereeing for medical journals (eg, via the Newsletter). At the 1984 and 1986 Statistical Conferences, Annette organised a Medical Statistics session. During this time she also supported the Compstat-Medstat ’85 symposium held at Macquarie University jointly with the Statistical Computing Section.  Throughout the years Annette has been an active participant in the activities of many of the Society’s Sections, including being an invited speaker at DATA ’86 and one of two speakers at the first Statistical Education meeting held in NSW in 1987.

    In 1986 Annette Dobson became the first President of the NSW Branch of the Statistical Society of Australia who was not based in Sydney. She was based at the University of Newcastle and commuted to Sydney for Branch meetings and events. Annette was on the NSW Branch Executive as President for 1986-88 and Past President until 1990.

    In 1998 Annette became an Accredited Statistician, serving on the Accreditation Committee from 2000-2003. She was also a member of the Data Science Accreditation subcommittee from 2019 to 2020.

    Annette Dobson has had a major influence on the standing of the statistics profession within Australia through outstanding leadership in the area of medical statistics. She is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Queensland in the Centre for Longitudinal and Life Course Research. She was the founding Director of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health and held the post from 1995 to 2013.

    In 2012 Annette was awarded the Moyal Medal for her contributions to biostatistical methodology, practice and education. In 2013 she was made a Life Member of the Australasian Epidemiological Association for having contributed significantly through research or other involvement in epidemiology to the international reputation of Australasian epidemiology and the advancement of public health in Australasia.

    Annette was the inaugural Chair of the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia (BCA) that coordinates training provided by seven universities to deliver the Master of Biostatistics degree, producing the next generation of medical statisticians in Australia. This is a highly successful program that has been operating since 2000. The BCA is regularly referred to as the model for university cooperation in delivering postgraduate training and it has provided a template for other cross institutional collaboration schemes such the Australian Technology Network’s Industry Doctoral Training program. The BCA was acknowledged in the 2016 Decadal Plan for the Mathematical Sciences and was awarded the Statistical Society’s Presidential Award for leadership in statistics in 2019.

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    Service Award

    Professor Scott Sisson

    Scott was an active Chair of the Bayesian Statistics Section from 2009 to 2014, and the NSW Branch President from 2012 to 2013. He was Scientific Program Chair for the ASC/IMS joint conference in Sydney in 2014. In August 2016 Scott became the President of SSA for two years, and served as outgoing president until mid- 2019. The Presidency had been vacant for a year prior to Scott accepting the position, so he did not have the benefit of a year’s experience as Vice President before taking on the new position. Nevertheless, he did an excellent job as national President and brought great energy and vision to the role. He was passionate about increasing the membership and visibility of the SSA, and his ideas are still bearing fruit now. In particular it was Scott Sisson’s idea to create the Vice President roles in membership, media and Finance to provide the Executive with focus on key strategic issues for SSA.

    Scott began the work on increasing equity and diversity in the Society which led to an updated Code of Conduct. It was also Scott Sisson’s idea to create a southern version of the Joint Statistical Meeting and this will happen in Darwin in 2022. He is an active member on the program committee for JSSM.

    Scott represented the Society nationally on the National Committee for the Mathematical Sciences and on the methodology advisory committee for the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Service Award

    Professor Ian Gordon

    Professor Ian Gordon of the University of Melbourne has a long history of service to the Society. After 11 years of service on the Victorian Branch Council, he stepped down in 2019. Ian led the Victorian Branch as President from 2009 to 2010, taking on the role in the wake of the 2008 conference debacle: his steady leadership helped to ensure that the Victorian Branch, and the Society as a whole, was able to recover. For example, Ian was instrumental in carrying out a survey of Victorian Branch members to canvas opinions about strategies for recovery, and he led the Branch in a resurgence of activity: increasing the number and variety of Branch activities, thereby increasing the participation of members. In 2012 the Victorian branch was incorporated; during his tenure as President, Ian oversaw the process of revision of the Constitution and application to achieve this important outcome.

    Ian’s ability to gently guide new branch council presidents, vice-presidents and members, and his exhaustive knowledge of the Branch Constitution and Regulations made him an incredibly valuable member of the Council. Since stepping down from the Council, he accepted an invitation to join the newly convened Advisory Committee for the Branch, and thus he has continued to provide advice to the Council on important and strategic matters.

    Further to this formal service for the Branch, Ian supported archiving the history of the Branch; for example, as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations in 2014, he accessed the archives to provide the SSA with insights from the very beginnings of the Vic Branch. He has regularly accepted invitations to present monthly branch seminars and was named the Belz Lecturer in 1995.

    Ian has contributed more broadly to the Society and the statistical community as a whole. He was on the SSA’s Accreditation Committee from early 2008 to late 2013. In addition to his keen mentorship of junior statisticians, in 2018 he chaired the E. J. G. Pitman award prize committee at the Australian Statistical Conference (joint with the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics Annual Meeting) in Melbourne.

    Ian is passionate about promoting the value of quality statistical science to the broader community. For example, he has played an important role in the resolution of high profile issues, including legal cases, such as the landmark class action over transvaginal mesh implants (Johnson and Johnson, and Ethicon, 2019), Hazelwood mine fire enquiry (2015), and the Haile-Michael case against Victoria Police (2013).

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Congratulations to these outstanding members of the Statistical Society of Australia, who, through their tireless work, have helped to steer and shape the Society into the vibrant community that it is.

    The names of all SSA Honorary Life Membership recipients are available here. A list of Society Service Award recipients can be viewed here.

    Remember that any member of SSA can be nominated for an award. SSA has awards for service, contributions to statistics, and outstanding achievement in statistics.

    For more information, see our Awards page on the SSA website.

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