Year Book Australia is the principal reference work produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It provides a comprehensive statistical picture of the economy and social conditions in Australia. In addition, it contains useful information on Australia’s geography and climate, the environment, government, international relations, defence, education, and the health and welfare systems.
The first Official Year Book of the Commonwealth was published in 1908, although individual Australian states and colonies had been producing year books for several decades previously. Over more than 100 years, the ABS and its predecessor, the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, have maintained the tradition of publishing the Year Book. This is the 91st edition of Year Book Australia, and as with previous editions, feature articles are included.
The world-wide Girl Guide movement celebrates its centenary this year. To commemorate this, and to recognise the contribution that Guiding has made to the Australian community, the Australian Government has designated 2010 the Year of the Girl Guide. Girl Guides Australia gladly accepted the ABS's invitation to contribute to an article featured in this edition of the Year Book.
The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. The Department of the Environment, Heritage, Water and the Arts, the Australian Government agency with responsibility for coordinating Australia's involvement in this International Year, has contributed an article that highlights the unique characteristics of Australia’s biodiversity and explains the importance of Australia’s biodiverse environment to individuals, society and the economy. Other articles are also presented consistent with this theme.
The United Nations has also deemed 2010 to be the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship has contributed an article on Australia’s cultural and linguistic diversity. This is supported by an article from the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies on the languages of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Again, other articles consistent with this theme, are presented in this edition.
I am very grateful to these agencies, and all other organisations, for their excellent contributions. ABS products rely on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations, their continued cooperation is very much appreciated.
My thanks also go to the many ABS staff who contributed to the preparation and production of Year Book Australia 2009-10.