Mortality in Australia: Marking the 150th Anniversary of the First Australian Life Table


Mortality in Australia: Marking the 150th Anniversary of the First Australian Life Table

In 1867, M. B. Pell, then Professor of Mathematics at the University of Sydney, published a life table for the Colony of New South Wales based on mortality in the years, 1856-66. This was the first published life table relating to Australia. He calculated that the expectation of life in New South Wales was 45.6 years and, in his paper, showed that this was well in excess of the levels then prevailing in England, Sweden and Belgium.

In commemoration of Pell’s significant publication, the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health in association with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research is organising a symposium on past, present and future mortality in Australia. A diverse range of demographers, health economists and statisticians will reflect on long-run trends in Australian mortality, differentials and inequalities in mortality and future pathways for survival in Australia. Following the symposium, a public lecture by Prof. Alan Lopez will illustrate the important link between government policy and mortality.

Cost $200 (Early bird price up to 31 October 2017) and $250 after early bird. University of Melbourne alumni will receive a 50% discount. This event is open to the general public, and is followed by an optional public lecture at 5.30pm.

Image: courtesy of University of Sydney Archives G3 224 1398


  • Dr Jeromey Temple
    Dr Jeromey Temple, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Alan Lopez
    Professor Alan Lopez, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Heather Booth
    Professor Heather Booth, Australian National University
  • Dr Vladimir  Canudas-Romo
    Dr Vladimir Canudas-Romo, Australian National University
  • Dr Rebecca Kippen
    Dr Rebecca Kippen, Monash University
  • Professor Michael Sherris
    Professor Michael Sherris, University of New South Wales
  • Dr Fadwa  Al-Yaman
    Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  • Professor Philip Clarke
    Professor Philip Clarke, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Tim  Adair
    Dr Tim Adair, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Peter McDonald
    Professor Peter McDonald, University of Melbourne