On the 31st of March we held our Annual General Meeting and Public Lecture by the Former Australian Statistician, Dennis Trewin AO FASSA. Due to the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, both events were held online via Zoom, where both sessions were conducted successfully without technical hitches.
The AGM was well received by the 30 members of the Victorian SSA who attended. A general review of the previous year was provided and our plans for the future were discussed. Most importantly, the services of outgoing council members Geoff Adams, Luke Prendergast, Jess Kasza, Julie Simpson, and Georgia Tsambos, who have all dutifully served the branch, were recognised. For 2020, the members have elected Emi Tanaka as the Vice-President, and have elected as council members: Ben Harrap, Patrick Robotham, Rheanna Mainzer, Elizabeth Korevaar, Daniel Fryer, Lidija Turkovic, Kohleth Chia, and Hien Nguyen.
The Public Lecture was well attended, with 58 people logging into the session. Dennis spoke eloquently and with authority on his work regarding the construction and calculation of well-being indices. In particular, he gave a broad introduction to the history of indexation and critiqued the current prevailing state-of-the-art of such methodologies. A review of the Measures of Australia's Progress (MAP) report series by the ABS was provided as well as an introduction to the ongoing Australian National Development Index (ANDI) project. He also provided a comprehensive comparison of Australia's approach, in comparison to those of other nations, such as New Zealand and the OECD. Although the talk was largely non-technical and general, Dennis was also open to answering specific questions by the audience regarding the methodology. The audience was particularly interested in the specifics of regarding the computation, interpretation, and construction of the indices that were discussed.
Hien Nguyen (Twitter: @tresbienhien)