Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate this page
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
2902.0 - Census Update (Newsletter), Jul 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/07/2001   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

The life of a census collector is never dull

Every five years, thousands of recruits get out into the field to go a-knock-knock-knocking on every door in the land - and it’s just amazing what experiences they have and the stories they have to tell. Below are just a few of the stories that have come back from our collectors.

It’s enough to give you the hump!

A Census collector had the honour of visiting a hippie commune on his rounds near rural Parkes. He thought he was experiencing love not war when invited in for a cuppa, however on taking his leave, his faith was quickly shattered. As he walked out of the front door, he was confronted by a rampant bull camel who expressed disdain for the census by spitting all over the collector’s yellow satchel. Yuk!

More animal antics

A hotline Action Advice from a householder in Albany read: “Extra form required. Dog ate form and will continue to if people not home. Advice to the collector: Give dog a bone.”

Case of the vanishing household

A collector in Hervey Bay knocked on a household door and delivered a census form. When he returned to collect the form, it wasn’t there. Neither was the door. Neither was the house. The house had been picked up and moved, leaving only a vacant block. Nothing had been left - not even a forwarding address.

Space-time dimension

In answer to the census question: ‘Length of residence in Australia’, someone filled in: ‘Thirty-two feet, including the verandah’.


A teenager opened the door and handed a $20 note to a mystified collector. But I’m your census collector! Oh, sorry, I saw your yellow bag and thought you were delivering our pizza.

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2016

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.