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NSW Branch Lecture Series

H.O. Lancaster Lecture

The “H.O. Lancaster Lecture” commenced in 1979 at a meeting of the SSA NSW Branch. It has become the premier annual event, and it also signalled the start of the branch’s program for the calendar year.

The lecture series is named in honour of Professor Henry Oliver Lancaster, the Foundation Professor of Mathematical Statistics at the University of Sydney (1959-1978), a role model for many modern statisticians.  

Professor Lancaster had made many contributions to the profession:  

  • a founding member of the NSW Branch in 1947, and later served as its President in 1952–1953 and then National President in 1965–1967;
  • a founding member of the Australian Mathematical Society in 1956–1957, and later (1967–1968) served as its President;
  • the founding Editor of the monthly bulletin, which later became the first published edition of the Australian Journal of Statistics. Prof Lancaster was the Editor of the journal till 1971.
Professor Lancaster was much honoured in his lifetime:  
  • the recipient of the E.J.G. Pitman Medal, the Society’s highest honour, in 1980;
  • elected to the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) and awarded its Lyle Medal for Mathematics and Physics, both in 1961;
  • made Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1992 for services to Science and Education.

The choice of lecturer is alternating between the Incoming Branch President and by invitation of the Branch Council.

The H.O. Lancaster Lecture is generally not an academic seminar. It should appeal to a broad range of statisticians and data scientists and be at a level accessible to all. A list of recent Lancaster Lectures follows.




Dr. Clara Grazian (President at the time)

Prof. Adrian Barnett

Dr. Thomas Fung (President at the time)

 2019 Dist. Prof. Kerrie Mengersen
 2018 A/Prof. Jake Olivier (President at the time) 
 2017 Dr. Kendra Vant
 2016 Dr. Michael Stewart (President at the time)
 2015 Prof. Thomas Lumley
 2014 Prof. Louise Ryan (President at the time)
 2013 Prof. Alan Welsh
 2012 Prof. Scott Sisson (President at the time)
 2010 Prof. Richard Gerlach (President at the time)
 2008 Prof. Eric Beh (President at the time) 

Annual Lecture

This lecture typically scheduled immediately after the conclusion of the JB Douglas Awards and then followed by the Branch’s Annual Dinner.  

This lecture series provided an opportunity for the branch and its members to network, share stories and celebrate the end of the year. It also signalled the end of the branch’s program for the calendar year. 

The choice of lecturer is by invitation of the current President, after consultation with the Branch Council.  

A list of recent Annual Lectures follows. 



Prof. Simon Jackman

Prof. Gillian Heller

2019  Prof. Ian Marschner
2018  Prof. Ray Chambers
2017  Prof. David Warton
2016 Prof. Jean Yang
2015  Prof. Malcolm Hudson
2014 Prof. Murray Cameron
2013 Dist. Prof. Noel Cressie
2012 Prof. Adrian Baddeley 

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