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ABS Offices - ACT (Central Office)

Living and Working at the Australian Capital Territory Offices (Canberra)

Canberra is renowned as a picturesque, cosmopolitan city offering all the benefits of big city living - business opportunities, cultural and sporting activities, excellent education and health care, great restaurants and night-life. It offers a unique lifestyle, combining the bustle of city life with peaceful parks, sparkling lakes, clean fresh air, and some of the best recreation and sporting venues in Australia.

Picture: Australian Capital Territory

Canberra is located about 150 kilometres inland from the beautiful South Coast beaches of NSW, an easy three hour drive to Sydney and a quick 50 minute flight to Melbourne. It is the gateway to the ski fields of the Snowy Mountains, which are within easy reach by car or bus.

Canberra residents number over 335,000 people, drawn from around 136 different ethnic communities. This cultural diversity ensures we are well catered for in both variety of restaurants and multicultural festivals and events. As Canberra is a planned city made up of 70 per cent national park or native bushland, residents get the best of both worlds - an infrastructure to match any capital city, while being only minutes away from the peace and quiet of the countryside.

The beauty of Canberra lies in its uniqueness, offering residents diversity, quality lifestyle and opportunity.

Living and Working in Canberra

Canberrans are committed to maintaining and enhancing ease of getting around the city. Canberra has been referred to as 'a city in a park', and its public transport system, roads, and bicycle paths ensure congestion free and relaxed travelling. Canberra recognises the benefits to the community of walking and cycling around our city. As such there are many bike and walking paths around the city which is a good way to see the surrounding bush lands.

Canberra also has links to Sydney and Melbourne via key rail and road routes and has an international airport with regular flights to all states.

The Canberra education system is highly regarded and includes a range of primary, secondary and tertiary education options including the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT). The Australian National University (ANU), University of Canberra and the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) are nationally recognised and committed to providing high quality learning. See

Canberra provides access to inner-city living close to cafes and shopping, while rural properties are within a 15min drive to the city.

Canberrans have access to high quality health care. See for further information about the services available.

The diverse range of sporting and social activities provides Canberrans with a healthy lifestyle. The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is a central figure in Canberra which fosters a sporting community. It allows residents to enjoy being recognised as having Australia's highest participation in sports. Football, netball, hockey, soccer, swimming and many more activities can be enjoyed by participants and spectators alike.

Some other popular activities enjoyed include:
  • Balloon Fiesta, held in autumn, which attracts balloons from all over the world with launches from old Parliament House;
  • Floriade, the festival of flowers which is held annually and offers splashes of colour and smells to delight. This month-long event incorporates entertainment and workshops with something for everyone;
  • Summernats Car Festival, held in early January, with many burnouts, stunts and entertainment to be enjoyed; and
  • Skyfire, the annual fire works display over the shores of Lake Burly Griffin.
There are many other attractions that can be experienced in Canberra:
  • National Museum;
  • Canberra Zoo;
  • Australian War Memorial;
  • Parliament House, both old and new;
  • Telstra Tower;
  • National Gallery of Australia;
  • wineries;
  • diverse shopping and eating experiences; and
  • numerous pubs and clubs.
Useful Websites

Canberra Tourism's web site
ACT government website -
Living in Canberra -
General information -

The ABS in Canberra

There are two separate ABS offices within the ACT - the ABS Central Office and the ACT Regional Office. Both are located in ABS House, Belconnen.
Picture: Australian Capital Territory

ACT Regional Office, Belconnen

The role of servicing the government is a key function and the primary reason for the physical separation of the ACT Regional Office and Central Office. The ACT Regional office works in partnership with the ACT government to ensure that high priority statistical needs of the ACT government are addressed through the provision of a range of statistical services.

The ACT Regional Office coordinates bilateral and multilateral discussions between senior ABS staff and ACT government departments to establish statistical priorities for the ABS' national program and the ACT Regional office forward work program. ACT Regional Office staff stay closely connected to ACT government departments through their role as statistical liaison officers. Staff also have the opportunity to work with ACT government departments through an outposting or by undertaking various statistical consultancies. Consultancies are also provided to the wider ACT community.

The ACT Regional Office publishes a quarterly publishes a quarterly electronic publication. Entitled in fACT (cat - 1308.80), it provides statistical data, analysis and commentary on a wide range of information about the ACT and the surrounding region.

The Population of Census and Housing is conducted every five years. It aims to accurately measure the number of people in Australia on Census Night, their key characteristics and the dwellings in which they live. The ACT Regional Office plays an important role in its contribution to the Census – in terms of field operations, product awareness, marketing and dissemination.
Central Office (CO), Belconnen

The Belconnen office was purpose built for the ABS and has been in use since 2002 with over 1500 staff employed. It is a state of the art building with many features including an adjoining cafe, change rooms, library and is only a two minute walk to Belconnen Westfield Shopping Centre and the same distance to the beautiful Lake Ginninderra. Staff parking is available in a convenient location behind ABS House. The Belconnen bus interchange is a two minute walk and there are many cycle ways leading into the Belconnen CBD and hence the ABS office.

Career Prospects and Promotional Opportunities

As Central Office holds the majority of positions and work programs, it tends to have the most promotion opportunities and room for movement between sections.

Bulk rounds and single specialist vacancies are advertised on a regular basis in Central Office and provide ample opportunity to further your career.

Social Activities

CO has an active social club which hosts events such as the ABS Ball, the ABS Fun Run and many other sporting and social events including the renowned ABS Staff and Family Christmas parties. The ABS also hosts Trivia nights and the Great Shave as fundraisers for charities. On Thursday afternoons the 4.51 club is a great place to meet with colleagues and friends for cheap drinks and special events. There is also the social club shop-front that sells a vast array of items from movie tickets, books, linen and bags to batteries. The shop-front also provides services such as film processing and dry-cleaning. The social club database provides all up-to-date information and also includes a diary of upcoming events. There is also the on-line classifieds where you can buy and sell goods and also promote events and services.

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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