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CENSUS | BEYOND THE COUNT
The Census | beyond the count conference was held at the Hilton on the Park in Melbourne from 2 to 4 March 2011.
The conference was a fantastic success that saw many great stories presented on how the Census has been used to plan, review and improve services to communities all over Australia. It also brought together people from all areas of policy and service providers including local, state and federal governments, as well as businesses and academics, providing networking opportunities for the more than 300 attendees.
Bernard Salt gave the keynote presentation, discussing the changes in life cycles and retirement ages with the more recent inclusion of the 'lifestyle' and 'grey nomad' periods before settling into 'old age'; the skills shortages Australia is anticipated to encounter over the next decade; and his popular research into 'the man drought'.
Dr Cassandra Goldie discussed closing the gender pay gap and issues faced by people of a diverse sexual orientation, and described how Census data can be used to provide evidence in determining policies created to address these issues. Further sessions included Ivan Motley sharing why he thinks 'Census is sexy'; Catherine Caruana-McManus from IBM discussed how they are providing smart technology to run the eCensus; and Lara Wilde showed how she combines Census data with local intelligence to match people who are planning a move to compatible rural towns.
The Connect with Census interactive exhibition was very popular as were the workshops, where delegates were able to learn more about the 2011 Census products and engage with Census experts. Interest in the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) was particularly high, as was interest in the TableBuilder demonstration and discussion on what to expect for Census 2011.
Overall, Census | beyond the count provided a well-rounded balance of stories and information on many different topics, plus a bit of fun! The ABS thanks everyone who came along and made this conference a fantastic success.
Selected presentations from this event are available. See www.abs.gov.au/beyondthecount for details.
ABS PRESENTS ... VIDEO SERIES
ABS Presents ... is a series of videos intended to provide a visually accessible story of statistics in order to increase statistical literacy, showcase new products or surveys, and inform the community about ABS concepts, methods, and work program.
The first "ABS Presents ... " videos were released on 25 February 2011, covering the following topics:
AUSTRALIAN HEALTH SURVEY COMMENCEMENT
In March 2011, the ABS commenced the Australian Health Survey (AHS), the most comprehensive health survey ever conducted in Australia. The AHS will include about 50,000 randomly sampled adults and children from all across Australia.
The AHS builds on previous health surveys allowing comparisons of health information over time across topics such as obesity, smoking, health conditions and how Australians manage their health.
The AHS will also collect information about what Australians eat and drink, how active they are, and biomedical measures. These biomedical measures will reveal new insights into heart and kidney disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions by examining health risk factors such as cholesterol, glucose and sodium levels. The survey will be able to compare these biomedical risk factors with lifestyle aspects for those who are healthy and those who are not.
While the biomedical component of the survey is voluntary, the ABS will encourage participation as this information will provide a better understanding of how lifestyle and diet relate to the health of Australians.
The survey will be conducted over 2011 to 2013 with first results available in late 2012, and will be used by a wide range of health researchers, public health advocates, government, clinicians and community health organisations. The information will be used to identify health issues, design and evaluate new health programs and understand what affects our health.
Further information and detailed questions and answers are available on the ABS website at www.abs.gov.au/australianhealthsurvey.