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SSA Vic & Tas mentoring night

  • 27 Jun 2023
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (AEST)
  • Online via Zoom

Are you a student or early in your career? Curious to learn more about what a career in statistics looks like or where it could take you? The SSA Vic & Tas branch is hosting a mentoring night to help answer these very questions! Come and meet a diverse range of mentors with experience working in different fields and sectors that involve statistics and data science. Participants will get to 'speed date' our mentors in small groups and ask them questions.

Meet the mentors

We'll be announcing additional mentors in due course, but here's a few that you'll get to meet.

Emi Tanaka

Dr. Emi Tanaka is an applied statistician whose primary interest is to develop impactful methods and tools that can be readily used by practitioners. She interfaces across multiple disciplines to bridge statistical concepts and findings to a broad range of individuals, including those without a statistical background. To this end, she has developed numerous open-source tools, primarily as R-packages, and resources aimed at making statistical methods accessible to a diverse audience. Additionally, she demonstrates a proactive approach to community development through her involvement in different positions within the branches of the Statistical Society of Australia (SSA) and other committees. Her contributions have been recognised through accolades such as the SSA Distinguished Presenter's Award, SSA President’s Award for Leadership in Statistics, and being featured in the list of 60 prominent Australian statisticians published in the Significance magazine.

Nat Kelly

Nat Kelly is a statistician (specialising in surveys and statistics for wildlife abundance and distribution) with the Australian Antarctic Division in Tasmania. After completing a Bachelor of Science (majoring in mathematics and statistics), a Bachelor of Forest Science, and a PhD in quantitative forest ecology (all at the University of Melbourne), Nat has spent nearly two decades studying whale and krill populations of the Southern Ocean (including spending several summers undertaking fieldwork in Antarctica). Nat’s research is primarily delivered into the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to help ensure sustainable fisheries management and conservation of Antarctic marine wildlife.

Alun Pope

Alun is the principal of Analytical Insight Pty Ltd and an adjunct researcher at Monash University. After a PhD in Pure Mathematics, Alun's career has followed two paths: as a teaching and research academic, and as a statistical consultant in industry and university environments. He has worked for the Department of Defence and at Newcastle, NSW, Sydney and Monash universities. At Newcastle he became the Head of the Statistics Department in the 1990s. Alun was Head of Research at a financial modelling company, and also held positions at St George Insurance and APRA. At the University of Sydney, Alun set up and ran the Statistical Consulting unit 2015-2017.  Alun and his staff advised on PhD theses and research projects in a variety of disciplines. He has published papers on a range of pure and applied topics, as well as being the author of many consulting reports.

Kohleth Chia

Kohleth (AStat) is an Analytics & Data Science Practice Lead at Endeavour Group. His career so far has spanned the government, medical, and retail sectors. He started in a research/academic type role, supporting the sciences and publishing papers. Then, he gradually transitioned to the industry and developed a great fondness for it. He can share some learnings from his own experience about landing your first job, making the transition from academia to industry, or going from an individual contributor to a people manager.

Lidija Turkovic

Lidija Turkovic is a statistical data scientist and is currently working as a Director of Data Science at the Australian Taxation Office. After completing a PhD in biostatistics at The University of Melbourne in 2014, Lidija has worked on a diverse range of projects, building statistical and machine learning models from 'big data' across academia, private sector and government. In recent years, her focus was on strategy and leadership of large-scale projects with passion for developing products and services that serve the Australian community. Her current work involves development of anti-fraud models and early warning systems by leveraging open source intelligence.

Russell Thomson

Russell is an applied statistician at Western Sydney University (WSU), where he works remotely and resides in Hobart, Tasmania. He has applied statistics in several fields, having worked for various universities and institutes, such as the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Menzies Institute of Medical Research and the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies. He now enjoys helping HDR students and staff across all schools of WSU. Russell has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, garnering an H-index of 44 (Google Scholar).

Bas Latcham

Bas Latcham is a principal data science consultant at the mobility-insights company DSpark. With his background in economics and political science, Bas has a passion for using data, analytics and technology to solve problems and support decision making. Before joining DSpark Bas worked in the Commonwealth Government, where he most-recently lead the data science team at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He and his team were trusted by the Prime Minister's Office to provide rapid and accurate analysis on matters ranging from the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the COVID-19 recession, to the impacts of the Black Summer bushfires. His favourite coding language is R, but he also works in python and scala.

Anna Hepworth

Anna trained as a statistician at Murdoch University, and then worked as a medical research statistician at the Telethon Institute (now Telethon Kids) and with the Hartmann Human Lactation Research Group, based at UWA. For the last five years, Anna has been a bieconomic modeller in WA’s Department of Primary Industry and Research Development, where they have worked on several decision support tools for disease management in broadacre crops, and supporting the Climate and Weather team. Anna’s preferred language is R, and a development version of the first package that they have contributed to, {weatherOz}, was released earlier this year.

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