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Second Round Table on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics
 
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MEDIA RELEASE
28 May 2013
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)
92/2013

Second Round Table on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) Round Table on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics met in Alice Springs last week to discuss Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' perspectives on homelessness and the development of the 2014 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey.

Fiona Shalley, ABS Director of Special Social Surveys, said the focus of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey is on collecting information to explore the extent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' participation in society and barriers to that participation.

"The Round Table members came from remote, regional and urban areas across Australia to provide advice to the ABS on the concept and importance of leadership to well-functioning communities. Feedback on community strength and leadership from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has been welcomed, and government departments are increasingly aware of the importance of these characteristics to positive wellbeing," she said.

Members discussed important elements of community strength and leadership for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples which included:
  • access to role models;
  • membership of community groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations;
  • ability to influence decisions made about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues; and
  • the availability of people to provide advice and guidance.
The spiritual connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to their land, their customs and their values was also acknowledged as an important dimension of leadership.
"The group was incredibly engaged around the value of statistics to their own people as a way to track their progress and to help plan their children's future. Members felt positive about their input to the survey development process.

"We're excited by the level of contribution from this group and encouraged that their input is from people who have considerable grassroots experience in working with their own people," Ms Shalley said.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey is part of an established program for the collection of statistics on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The next survey will start collecting data from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in August 2014. The input from the Round Table will be combined with input from other stakeholders to help ensure the content is relevant to the needs of both government and community.

For interviews, please contact ABS Media on 1300 175 070.

Media notes:
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.

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