Australasian Epidemiological Association News

Call for nominations for the next AEA student representative

PHCM9498We are now seeking nominations for the next Student Representative of the Australasian Epidemiological Association. This is a co-opted position on the AEA Council. The Student Rep can serve a term of 1 or 2 years. The role will commence from 1 December 2017.

The role involves attending committee meetings and representing the interests of student members. There are 3 main duties:

  1. Receive feedback from AEA student members and discuss any student issues
  2. Provide student reports at the council meetings, including the Annual General Meeting held during the conference
  3. Organise the AEA Top student prizes which involve liaising with course coordinators, students, and the Council

As Student Representative you also have the opportunity to make additional changes and take on additional activities, with the support of the Council.

Some key benefits of the position include free registration to the annual scientific meetings, a great addition to your CV, and the opportunity to meet enthusiastic epidemiologists from all over Australia and New Zealand. Both full time and part time students are eligible to apply.
Interested or have any questions? Please send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To nominate for the position please provide a short (1 paragraph) biography detailing why you are interested in being the next student representative to the AEA Secretary at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by October 31 2017.

2017 AEA Early-Career International Travel Award Report

Photo3.2Dr Susanna Cramb, Cancer Council Queensland

My main research project is conducting the spatial modelling for an Australian cancer atlas, where we quantify and examine differences in cancer incidence and survival at the small-area level across our nation. Although there are some ‘cancer atlases’ available online for Australia already, these examine only incidence and/or mortality for a smaller range of cancers over larger areas, and for visualisation use readily available products. Hence meeting with international researchers to discuss modelling issues and online cancer atlas visualisations was going to be incredibly beneficial, and AEA facilitated this!

The Early Career Travel award from AEA enabled me to travel to Spain and Portugal. In Madrid I met with researchers from the Cancer and Environmental Epidemiology Unit, National Epidemiology Center, Carlos III Institute of Health who had experience in using similar models and providing online and mobile-enabled cancer atlas visualisations. I then travelled onto Porto for the Geomed 2017 conference, where I gave an invited talk titled: “A new approach to small area cancer survival estimation”, and participated in a pre-conference workshop on spatial and spatio-temporal modelling. Because Geomed gathered together world experts in spatial statistics and epidemiology, the collaborative opportunities were exceptional, and many sessions had direct relevance to my work. It was a privilege to meet several eminent people in the field whose work has influenced my research. It also permitted the opportunity to have a detailed discussion about my work with Duncan Lee (Uni of Glasgow). Before the conference concluded, there were three specific people who stated they would be interested in collaborating on survival models and/or cancer epidemiology. I also gleaned ideas for data sources, greater understanding of current work being undertaken, and even reconnected with fellow Australians from other states who had also travelled to Geomed. This knowledge has already benefitted my own and my PhD student’s research. I am very grateful to AEA for providing funding towards this opportunity which has already been advantageous to my career, and is likely to lead to additional projects in the future. Gracias and Obrigada (thank you in Spanish and Portuguese, respectively).

The Great Debate 2017: Are observational studies obsolete?

OB stud 1On August 31st, six of Sydney's most eminent epidemiologists and public health researchers took to the stage to debate this hotly contested topic.

With tightly contested arguments offered by both sides, observational studies came out on top in the Debate jointly organised by the NSW Chapter of the AEA and the NSW Branch of the Public Health Association of Australia. Causality, confounders and the validity of observational studies were some of the fallacies highlighted by the affirmative team while the negative side stressed the practicality and relevance that observational studies still retained.

For those who missed out, the debate was recorded and can be viewed here:

Thanks to-
The speakers: Prof Alexandra Barratt, Prof Andrew Hayen, Prof Anne Cust, Prof Anthony Rodgers, A/Prof Germaine Wong, Prof Mary-Louise McLaws
The organising committee: Yu Sun Bin, Nicole Brun, Andrew Hayen, Alvin Lee, Hanna Tervonen, Robin Turner, Simon Willcox
And the hosts: The Australian Centre for Public and Population Health Research (ACPPHR), University of Technology, Sydney
for making the evening a great success!

Stories in Public Health

Stories in Public HealthStories in Public Health, a podcast for new and aspiring public health professionals.
Join as we travel around Sydney interviewing the people in public health that we most look up to!

Download our podcast and:

  • Be inspired by public health professionals who are leaders in their fields
  • Learn about how they got to where they are, and what motivates them to work in public health.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest public health practice from the real world and have it explained in less academic terms.

Our first interview with Dr Jeremy McAnulty, Director of Health Protection at the NSW Ministry of Health is available at

For any questions or feedback please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Measuring disease and injury burden in populations - QEG Presentation by Alan Lopez

The Queensland Chapter for the Australasian Epidemiological Association (also known as QEG) and Department of Health Queensland (Preventive Health Branch), jointly hosted a presentation by Professor Alan Lopez on the inside story of the global burden of disease studies, some of his personal insights, and the challenges of turning data metrics into policy and improved health outcomes for our global community. The presentation was held in Brisbane on 10 March 2017 and was attended by about 200 health professionals academics and interested people.

The presentation is available without the introduction and with the introduction.