Speaker Profile

Dr. David Gruen AO

The Australian Statistician, Australian Bureau of Statistics


Dr David Gruen was appointed Australian Statistician on 11 December 2019. As Agency Head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, he is accountable for the functions and operations of the Bureau. David was previously the Deputy Secretary, Economic and Australia’s G20 Sherpa at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Before joining the Department in September 2014, he was Executive Director of the Macroeconomic Group at the Australian Treasury. David joined the Treasury in January 2003, before which he was the Head of the Economic Research Department at the Reserve Bank of Australia from 1998 to 2002. Before joining the Reserve Bank, David worked as a research scientist in the Research School of Physical Sciences at the Australian National University. With financial support from a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship, David was visiting lecturer in the Economics Department and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University from August 1991 to June 1993. He holds PhD degrees in physiology from Cambridge University, England and in economics from the Australian National University. David was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (General Division) in 2022 for distinguished service to public administration, to economic research, to business, and to education.


Dr Gruen will present on Wednesday 25 May 2022 in the session 'Technology and Transformation'

Presentation title: Building geospatial data capabilities to inform Australia’s important decisions

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) leads the Australian Public Service (APS) Data Profession, which aims to lift the data skills of our workforce. We have partnered with Geoscience Australia (GA) to lift the profile and use of geospatial capabilities within the APS and, within the ABS, we are raising the quality of our location information and geospatial technology capabilities. We are doing this in response to increased interest by our key customers in using data and local area insights to identify and respond to events with economic, social and environmental implications, including the Covid-19 pandemic and recent natural disasters. The increased focus on geospatial information is facilitated by partnerships, including with the Australian Taxation Office, which provides Single Touch Payroll data, and the private sector including Geoscape and ESRI. Also of note is the new Australian Climate Service partnership, between the ABS, GA, Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO, which provides authoritative location-specific data to respond to natural disasters and the changing climate.

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