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4922.0 - Information Paper - A Statistical Definition of Homelessness, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/09/2012  First Issue
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The role of the Definition sub-group of HSRG is to provide recommendations to the HSRG for the development of a definition of homelessness.

The HSRG will consider the sub-group’s recommendations, and utilise them in formulating its advice to ABS.

The ABS will utilise the advice of HSRG in the development of a statistical definition of homelessness for use in compiling official statistics in Australia.


A paper outlining the key findings, including the background, issues canvassed and options considered and recommendations to be presented to HSRG.

Sub-group recommendations should include advice on:

  • the suitability of Chamberlain and MacKenzie's ‘cultural definition’
  • its articulation as a statistical definition
  • any changes proposed
  • any alternative definitions proposed.


Members of the HSRG can elect to join or nominate someone to attend on their behalf to provide expert advice on the development of a definition of homelessness.


The definition sub-group is chaired by Dr Shelley Mallett.

The sub-group will communicate via teleconference and email. The sub-group will commence in December 2011 and operate until end February 2012. It will meet as often as required to progress the tasks within the required timeframe. The frequency will be determined by the chair and the sub-group members.

The ABS will provide secretariat support for the definition sub-group (circulating agendas, papers and documenting meeting outcomes). The ABS will cover reasonable teleconference costs for participants of non-government organisations.

The Chair will determine meeting agendas in consultation with sub-group members. Members are invited to suggest agenda items and contribute papers and other material for discussion.

Sub-group meeting papers and minutes will be considered public documents, unless otherwise stated.

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