Pre-Conference Workshops

Please find below a provisional outline of the Pre-Conference Workshops being held on Wednesday 23 October 2019. Please note, the information provided is a draft and subject to change.

To view the registration options for the Pre-Conference Workshops and to register please click on the link below.

All Day Workshop

Workshop 1 - Propensity score methods for estimating causal effects in non-experimental settings

Time: 9:00am - 5:30pm

Presented by: Dr Elizabeth Stuart, Associate Dean for Education, Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Capacity: 50 people - Capacity reach, waitlist has been enabled

About the Workshop

Propensity scores are an increasingly common tool for estimating the effects of interventions in observational (“non-experimental”) settings and for answering complex questions in randomized controlled trials.  They can be of great use in epidemiologic research, for example helping assess broad population effects of exposures, programs, or policies.   This workshop will discuss the importance of the careful design of observational studies, and the role of propensity scores in that design, with the main goal of providing practical guidance on the use of propensity scores to estimate causal effects.  The workshop will cover the primary ways of using propensity scores to adjust for confounders when estimating the effect of a particular “cause” or “intervention,” including weighting, subclassification, and matching.  Topics covered will include how to specify and estimate the propensity score model, selecting covariates to include in the model, diagnostics, and common challenges and solutions.  Software for implementing analyses using propensity scores will also be discussed.   The workshop will also highlight recent advances in the propensity score literature, including prognostic scores, covariate balancing propensity scores, methods for non-binary treatments, and approaches to be used when there are large numbers of covariates available (as in claims data).

Half Day Workshops - Morning

Workshop 2 - Optimising your Official Statistics – An Overview of Australian Bureau of Statistics data

Time: 9:00am - 1:00pm

Presented by: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Capacity: 50 people


  • Louise Gates, Director, Health National Statistics Centre, Australian Bureau of Statistics

  • Ian Roberts, Assistant Director, Health National Statistics Centre and Outposted Officer at the Department of Health, Australian Bureau of Statistics

  • Gwenda Thompson, Assistant Director, Health National Statistics Centre, Australian Bureau of Statistics

About the Workshop

This workshop provides an overview of the wide variety of data available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to aid epidemiological research. This includes survey data, deaths data, and linked data. A demonstration of the ABS Table Builder and Data Lab products will be given. Examples of the uses of some linked data will also be given.  There will be the opportunity to provide input on what additional information would further aid the epidemiological field.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding of available ABS data including survey data, administrative data and linked data that can enhance epidemiological studies

  • Understanding of the best practice use of linked datasets to enhance epidemiological studies

Expected Outcomes:

  • Ability to use ABS data in conjunction with epidemiological studies to enhance epidemiological statistics for the nation.

Workshop 3 - Systems science approaches for population health

Time: 9:00am - 1:00pm

Presented by: Professor Andrew Page, Chair in Epidemiology, Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University

Capacity: 50 people 


  • Professor Andrew Page, Chair in Epidemiology, Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University

  • Dr Danielle Currie, System, Dynamics Modeller, Decision Analytics, The Sax Institute

  • Ms Cindy Peng, Senior Research Officer, Decision Analytics, The Sax Institute

  • Dr Ante Prodan, Senior Lecturer, School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics, Western Sydney University

  • Dr Louise Freebairn, Assistant Director, Knowledge Translation & Health Outcomes, Epidemiology Section Health Directorate, ACT Government

About the Workshop

This workshop will introduce participants to applications of system science methods to population health problems in epidemiology that can be used to guide policy and program decision making. Participants will be provided with an overview of different types of dynamic simulation models (system dynamics models, agent-based models, discrete event models), and presented with a series of case studies focussing on a range of chronic disease outcomes. Participants will also have the opportunity to interact with example models (developed in Stella Architect and AnyLogic software packages), to explore model structures, underlying assumptions, and conduct scenario testing of suites of policy interventions.  

Target Audience

Epidemiologists, program evaluators, policy and decision makers


Participants to bring their own laptops. Power point to be provided for participant laptops.

Half Day Workshops - Afternoon

Workshop 4 - Tableau Test Drive - An introduction to the Tableau software for data visualisation


Time: 1:30pm - 5:30pm

Theme: Data Visualisation

Presented by: AEA Survey Methods Special Interest Group

Capacity: 50 people

About the Workshop


Aim of the workshop: Please join us for a hands-on demonstration of the power of Tableau. In this workshop we will lead you through the entire Tableau process, from raw data to building meaningful, interactive insights. We will cover connecting to your data, deriving insights through visualizations, and securely sharing your analysis and results with colleagues. Please ensure that at a minimum you have a trial version of Tableau installed on your laptop prior to the workshop.


In this workshop you will quickly learn:

  1. How to Connect to your data, whether in an Excel file or a cloud database, and understand the Tableau options for data source connections .

  2. Using a sample data set, learn how to easily create impactful visualisations which will better allow you to explore you own data, quickly generate new insights, and  communicate key findings effectively—all without writing a single line of code.

  3. The end-to-end process for bringing mulitple pieces of analysis together to create and publish powerful interactive dashboards.


Finally, we will step you through the process for sharing your analyses with colleagues or the public, and walk through the array of options available for managing your data and dashboards within the Tableau desktop and server environments.

Target Audience

Epidemiologist who would like a hands-on introduction to using Tableau to analyse and display study results in an online interactive format.


Participants to bring their own laptops with a minimum of a trial version of Tableau installed. Power point to be provided for participant laptops.

Trial Version of TableauA free trial can be downloaded here:

  • The trial version is valid for 14 days so must be downloaded less than 14 days before the workshop

Tableau Desktop System Requirements 

  1. Windows

    1. Windows 7 or newer (64 bit)

    2. Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Opteron processor or faster

    3. 2 GB memory

    4. 1.5 GB minimum free disk space

  2. Mac

    1. iMac/MacBook computers 2009 or newer

    2. Mac OS 10.11 or newer

    3. 1.5 GB minimum free disk space

Workshop 5 - The science and practice of implementation


Time: 1:30pm - 5:30pm

Presented by: Dr Ross Brownson, Professor and Director, Prevention Research Center, Washington University in St. Louis

Limited Capacity: 30 people

About the Workshop

This workshop will cover some of the principle of implementation science focusing on some core competencies; how to engage sectors and partners in implementation; and how to design for implementation and impact.

To view the registration options for the Pre-Conference Workshops and to register please click on the link below.

Contact Us: T: 02 6171 1308 or email

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