Ice age meets information age
For the first time in history, expeditioners wintering in Australia’s Antarctic territory went online to complete their forms for Census night.
The Census aims to count all people in Australia on Census night, with the exception of foreign diplomats and their families. Also included in the Census are those people outside Australia who are not required to undertake migration formalities, such as those on oil and gas rigs or on Australian Antarctic bases.
Taking advantage of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ new eCensus option, Census information from Casey, Davis, Mawson and Macquarie Island stations was collected in a matter of hours. Previously the paper Census forms could only be processed once they were physically shipped out on the summer resupply voyages at the end of the year.
National Head of the Census, Paul Williams, said the Tasmanian Census Management Unit and the Australian Government Antarctic Division began coordinating the logistical side of Antarctic Census count late last year.
“The materials, including Census Form Numbers, a sealed envelope containing an eCensus PIN number which gives access to eCensus and Census Personal Guides, left for Antarctica on the summer voyages between January and March 2006,” Mr Williams said. “They were distributed by each of the four Station Leaders who took on the role of Special Census Collectors. In preparation for this they signed the ABS Undertaking of Fidelity and Secrecy.”
To get the best possible picture of the population, the ABS goes to great lengths to ensure that all Australians are counted. The eCensus is making counting Australia easier, more cost effective, and allows for faster processing of Census information.