Sue Finch

Dr Sue Finch

(03) 8344 6994


I have worked in the Statistical Consulting Centre for over ten years.  In this time I have consulted on over 600 different projects, and provided over 200 reports to clients.   My background is in psychology and statistics, and I bring to consulting over thirty years of experience in working in the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Victorian government agencies, and academic institutions.  I enjoy the challenge and stimulation of working with clients from many different fields.  Providing plain language explanations and applied interpretations of statistical analysis, often using high quality statistical graphics, is an important part of my consulting practice.

Here are a few examples of my consulting work.
I have worked with Public Transport Victoria and other government transport authorities on the design and analysis of a range of different surveys of public transport users.
I collaborated with Ian Gordon on the analysis of police records in a case of racial profiling in Flemington and North Melbourne. 
Professor Gab Kovacs and Dr Sarah Wise surveyed parents on a range of family and child well-being measures.  I carried out analysis of these data which investigated the role of family structure, donor insemination, and the child’s knowledge of his/her conception on well-being.

I have a Bachelor of Science (Honours), Masters of Science, and a PhD, all from the University of Melbourne.

I am a member of the Statistical Society of Australia and served on the Victorian Branch Council from 2009 to 2013.  I am an Accredited Statistician (AStat) with the Statistical Society of Australia.


Each year I teach intensive short courses open to anyone. Statistics for Research Workers comes in two different flavours – using R (in February) and SPSS (in November). I present the Producing Excellent Graphics Simply workshop each year – usually in November.

I co-teach (with Ian Gordon) an introductory statistical methods course for post-graduate students at the University of Melbourne; this is also called Statistics for research workers.  The course code is MAST90007.   I also assist with a post-graduate course on consulting and applied statistics – The practice of statistics (MAST90027).

I collaborated on the development of two innovative courses in statistical literacy at the University of Melbourne. Critical thinking with data is a University of Melbourne breadth subject available to all first years. It teaches students to become critical users of data-based evidence. You can find out more here. Thinking Scientifically is a new online breadth subject for second year science students, which includes a substantial component about Thinking with data.


Statistical consulting provides many and varied opportunities for research collaborations, as you can see from my recent publications.

My research interests are also in statistical education, statistical graphics, and statistical consulting.  I am interested in finding better ways of representing, communicating and understanding statistical concepts.

I recently published a paper with Ian Gordon on the quality of graphs in high ranking journals:


Kovacs G, Wise S & Finch S. (2015) Keeping a child’s donor sperm conception secret is not linked to family and child functioning during middle childhood: An Australian comparative study. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 55: 390-396.

Gordon I & Finch S. (2015) Statistician heal thyself: have we lost the plot? Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics. 24(4): 1210-1229.

Larcombe W, Finch S & Sore R. (2015) Who’s distressed? Not only Law students: Psychological distress levels in University students across diverse fields of study. Sydney Law Review. 37: 243-273 .

Larcombe W, Finch S, Sore R, Murray CM, Kentish S, Mulder RA, Lee-Stecum P, Baik C, Tokatlidis O & Williams DA. (2014) Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of psychological distress among students at an Australian university. Studies in Higher Education. doi:10.1080/03075079.2014.966072

Manias E, Williams A, Liew D, Rixon S, Braaf S, & Finch S. (2014)Effects of patient, environment and medication-related factors on high-alert medication incidents. International Journal for Quality in Health Care. 26:308-320.

Anderson, J., Manias, E., Kusljic, S. & Finch, S.(2014) Testing the validity, reliability and utility of the Self-Administration of Medication (SAM) Tool in patients undergoing rehabilitation. Research in Social & Administrative Pharmacy. 10(1): 204-216.

Finch, S. & Gordon, I. (2014) The development of a first course in statistical literacy for undergraduates. In MacGillivray, H., Martin, M., and Phillips, B. (eds) Topics from Australian Conferences on Teaching Statistics: OZCOTS 2008-2012, Springer Science + Business Media, New York.

Kovacs, G., Wise, S. & Finch, S.(2013) Functioning of families involving primary school-age children conceived using donor sperm. Human Reproduction . 28(2) :375-384.

Braaf, S., Manias, E. & Finch, S. (2013) Healthcare service provider perceptions of organisational communication across the perioperative pathway: a questionnaire survey.  Journal of Clinical Nursing . 22(1-24) : 180-191.

All publications here.