1.1 Comprehensive, reliable and timely statistical information is fundamental to measuring, understanding and reporting on the circumstances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to understand potential disadvantage and to identify strengths and agents for positive change.
1.2 The ABS is committed to improving the quality and comprehensiveness of data wherever possible to assist users to understand the circumstances of Indigenous people. The ABS has a lead role in the national statistical system in avoiding the duplication of statistics, attaining comparability between collections undertaken by different agencies and maximising the utilisation of statistics. This role is of particular importance within Indigenous statistics, given the problem of respondent burden amongst the relatively small, highly-researched Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
1.3 In broad terms the ABS Indigenous statistics program aims to provide a range of information to:
- Monitor the social and economic circumstances of Indigenous Australians.
- Support the development, implementation and evaluation of relevant policies and programs of Australian federal, state and territory governments.
- Support research related to better understanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perceptions, expectations and experiences of 'wellbeing'.
- Enhance the quality and utility of Indigenous data sets and data collection systems across the national statistical system.