2902.0 - Census Update (Newsletter), Jul 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/07/2006   
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We all count

The Census of Population and Housing helps us to define who we are as Australians, capturing the diversity of our nation.

For the Census of Population and Housing to provide the best possible snapshot of our population, it needs to count everyone in Australia. This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, ethnic communities, the homeless and people who may have difficulty filling out the Census form.

The following strategies are in place to ensure we provide the best possible count of the whole Australian population.

Cultural Diversity

The Ethnic Enumeration Strategy aims to gain support for, and encourages participation in the Census from the many community groups and nationalities in Australia. In particular, the strategy focuses on groups identified as likely to be missed or undercounted, such as recent immigrants to Australia.

Fact sheets about the 2006 Census are available in more than 30 languages. These fact sheets are designed to assist in the use and interpretation of the Census form, help explain confidentiality, as well as other conceptual and data issues.

A Census Inquiry Service catering for people speaking a language other than English will be available from 28 July. The Census Inquiry Service Language Helpline will operate from 8.30am to 8.00pm (local time), 7 days a week, on 1300 363 365

The Homeless

The Homeless Enumeration Strategy recognises and addresses social and cultural barriers to the effective enumeration of homeless people. It aims to encourage homeless people to be aware of, and participate in, the Census.

A range of tactics and suggestions are in place to specifically improve the enumeration of homeless people:

  • without a conventional "roof" over their heads, such as people sleeping on the streets, under bridges, in parks, squatting or in improvised dwellings; and
  • staying temporarily in public or private dwellings, such as boarding houses, hostels, crisis accommodation or in the homes of friends or relatives.

A homeless enumeration manager has been allocated for each State/Territory.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

The Indigenous Enumeration Strategy is a collection of procedures which address potential barriers, caused by cultural factors, to the effective enumeration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The strategy also encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be aware of, and participate in, the Census.

The strategy covers the enumeration of Indigenous people located in remote, rural and urban areas.

Contact the Indigenous Manager for your State/Territory if you'd like to find out more information about the Census for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The Census Inquiry line is available on 1300 362 883 or you can visit www.abs.gov.au and follow the Census links.

People with disabilities

Those with disabilities are encouraged to enlist the help of those they trust, such as family members, friends, carers and neighbours to help fill out their Census form. Organisations for people with disabilities, and carers groups, are also encouraged to help wherever possible.

In some cases a Census Collector may be required. They are required by law to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all citizens. Special Collectors using standard Census forms have also been recruited to assist people in hospitals, nursing homes, retirement villages and hostels.

The Census gives everyone a chance to make themselves and their communities count. By taking part in the Census, specific group and community characteristics can be collected. This will help ensure that funding allocations are reflective of the needs of these groups in areas as diverse as housing, education, health, environment, transport, roads, employment and community services.

Need to know more about the Census?

An extensive range of fact sheets and contact information about these enumeration strategies are available from the 2006 Census: what you need to know link on the Census home page. The Census Inquiry line is available to assist you from 28 July on 1300 362 883.