PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE DEFINITION SUBGROUP
The purpose of the subgroup was to advise HSRG and ABS on the key elements of a conceptual framework that could underpin the ABS definition of homelessness for use in compiling official statistics in Australia (details of the membership of the group are provided in Appendix 1). The work of the definition subgroup was framed by tight timelines linked to specified ABS release dates for ABS official estimates of homelessness from the 2001, 2006 and 2011 Censuses of Population and Housing. Because of the tight timelines the work of the subgroup was divided into two phases. The first phase, covered in this paper, does not address any specific cultural definition issues relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples understanding of homelessness. The second phase relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander homelessness commenced in August 2012.
A description of the work of the subgroup, including the discussion points and views expressed about the key elements of a definition, was identified as the main output of the subgroup, including advice on the suitability of the cultural definition for the ABS purposes. A paper addressing these issues was prepared for the HSRG for endorsement at its meeting on 18 July 2012.