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The Governor of Victoria's speech for the Joint International Society for Clinical Biostatistics and Australian Statistical Conference 2018.


Katherine Lee, Chair of the Local Organising Committee
Jessica Kasza, Deputy Chair of the Local Organising Committee, representing the President of the Statistical Society 
KyungMann Kim, President, International Society for Clinical Biostatistics
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

First, I thank Uncle Ian for the warm Welcome to Country  and acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we are gathering and pay my respects to their Elders past and present and to any Elders here with us this morning.

I am delighted that the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics (the ISCB) and the Australian Statistical Conference (the ASC) have joined forces this year and that Melbourne has been chosen to host what is the ISCB’s 39th and the ASC’s 24th conference.

In the opinion of the Governor of Victoria – admittedly biased – I think you have chosen an excellent venue.

First, Melbourne is – I hope that those of you who know it will readily agree, and our visitors will discover – a  beautiful and vibrant city that repays exploration. You will find glorious parks and gardens, excellent design, great sport and culture, charming laneways and an obsession with drinking good coffee (and wine…. and gin…. and whisky)!

And I can promise that you will not go hungry.

But also, Melbourne is home to a flourishing bio-science network, that includes two major clusters of large teaching hospitals, highly ranked universities and research institutes.

I am aware of the compliment afforded to us in this being the  very first time that this conference has been held outside the Northern Hemisphere.

I am no statistician, but surely that means that I can accurately claim on behalf of Melbourne that, shortly, we will have hosted precisely 100% of all the ISCB Southern Hemisphere conferences!

This conference will facilitate the exchange of biostatistical theory, methods and applications. It is a unique forum for international and cross-disciplinary engagement, and no doubt its location will mean that we have many visitors from the Asia Pacific region, as well as from other parts of the world.

But it is certainly not a meeting in which theory will be discussed in isolation of its practical application to public health, or the correct treatment for an individual with a disease.

It is your commitment to the application of statistical theory to the real world of clinical medicine that makes your work such a critical component of medical and healthcare research.

And you operate at the frontier of so many new things. Big data is offering radical new insights into healthcare. We are witnessing the rise of personalised medicine. New technology and new modes of communication are raising equally new questions and offering new solutions. 

You clearly have many things to discuss, as biostatistics push the evolution of modern healthcare.

So, may I welcome you all to this joint conference. Statisticians and clinicians as well as those from other disciplines such as epidemiologists, chemists and pharmacologists.

Welcome to those who are the veterans of these disciplines, who have pioneered and forged new paths for research and clinical practice. And welcome to those who are at the beginning of their research or clinical pathways.

May I acknowledge the leadership and hard work of the local organising and international committees for this conference. As well as John Carlin and Tim Brown, who have contributed as Co-Chairs of the Scientific Program Committee.

I wish all of you the best for an informative and enriching conference.

I hope that you will use the outside program as an opportunity to relax with colleagues, enjoying the refreshing settings in which to informally exchange your ideas.

And finally I would like to thank everyone in this room for their contributions to the health and wellbeing of our community,  through both research and clinical practice.

And so, it gives me great pleasure to declare the 2018 Joint  International Society for Clinical Biostatistics and Australian Statistical Conference open.