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Newsletters - National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics (NCATSIS) - Issue Number 6, November 1999
 
 

ABOUT THE CENTRE

The National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics (NCATSIS) is located in the Darwin office of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The Centre incorporates the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Welfare Information Unit (ATSIHWIU), a joint program of the ABS and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

NCATSIS has national responsibility for quality statistics relating to Australia's Indigenous peoples. The Centre also provides expert advice to government departments, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, and other users of Indigenous statistics, particularly those concerned with population, health and welfare.

Contact details are:

Phone NCATSIS on (08) 8943 2190
Phone (Free Call):1800 633 216 (outside Darwin)
Fax: (08) 8941 6276
Email: ncatsis@abs.gov.au

Or write to:
Michael Bourchier
National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics
GPO Box 3796
Darwin NT 0801
Email address: michael.bourchier@abs.gov.au


RECENT ACTIVITIES


THE DIRECTOR OF NCATSIS

Tony Barnes, who was the Director of NCATSIS, resigned in August to take up the Director position at the Co-operative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Tropical Health. He is based at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. Staff in the Darwin ABS office wish him well in his new role.

Tony had been the Director of the ABS Section responsible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics for six years and was the catalyst in forming NCATSIS in 1995. Tony has made a major and lasting contribution to the statistical efforts within ABS and elsewhere in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics.

Harry Kroon is the Director of NCATSIS until a permanent replacement is appointed. Recruitment action is currently underway for the Director position as well as a new Deputy Director position.


MAJOR PUBLICATION RELEASE

The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 1999

The second edition of this biennial report was released on 10 August at the Australia-New Zealand Health Services Research Conference in Manly. Joan Cunningham from NCATSIS gave a presentation to the conference on 'Monitoring the health and welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples'. Jan Reid (Chair of the AIHW Board) handed over the publication to Sol Bellear, Chair of the ATSIHWIU Advisory Committee who accepted the publication on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. A press conference followed and considerable media interest was generated over the following days.

The publication provides a single source of national level information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and welfare covering topics such as mortality, morbidity, health risk factors, and recent developments in health and welfare statistics.

Dissemination activities relating to the publication are under way. To begin, a complimentary copy has been sent to all Aboriginal Medical Services on the NCATSIS mailing list. You will also find a plain language summary of the publication enclosed with this edition of the newsletter.

Information seminars have been scheduled for all state capitals over the next two months. It may be possible to arrange additional sessions if there is sufficient interest. If you would like to attend and have not already been contacted please get in touch with Mary Beneforti on 08 8943 2194 or email: mary.beneforti@abs.gov.au


INDIGENOUS ADMINISTRATIVE STATISTICS PROJECT

Administrative statistics are produced as a by-product of the data collected routinely by a range of organisations. Examples of administrative data include hospitals records, birth and death registrations, school enrolments and government payments. NCATSIS has been working with a number of organisations to improve the way they capture data about Indigenous people. Improved data collections through administrative sources will provide information vital to planning and decision-making processes.

Births and deaths data:

Across Australia, State Registrars, in conjunction with the ABS, funeral directors and the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector have formed working groups to evaluate and improve the quality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births and deaths data. The 1998 figures indicate that there has been an improvement across Australia in the number of registrations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births and deaths. These figures will be available in ABS publications, Deaths Australia, Catalogue number 3302.0 and Births Australia, Cat No. 3301.0

For more information please contact the ABS representative in your state:

NSW Carol Chan (02) 92684114 or email carol.chan@abs.gov.au
Qld Jane Hawthorne (07) 3222 6308 or email jane.hawthorne@abs.gov.au
SA Mike Stratton (08) 8237 7414 or email m.stratton@abs.gov.au
WA Chris Spencer (08) 93605237 or email chris.spencer@abs.gov.au
NT Tracey Brandrup (08) 8943 2152 or email tracey.brandrup@abs.gov.au
Vic Soula Macfarlane (03) 96157080 or email soula.macfarlane@abs.gov.au
ACT Will Blythe (02) 6207 0282 or email will.blythe@abs.gov.au
Tas Keith Churchill (03) 62225832 or email keith.churchill@abs.gov.au

Hospitals: Report released:

Assessing the Quality of Identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Hospital Data

This is a report on a project funded by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) and co-ordinated by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Welfare Information Unit. It was published in June. This report outlines a methodology for assessing the completeness of the identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in hospital separation data. For copies of this report please contact Barbara Gray on (08) 8943 2147 or email barbara.gray@abs.gov.au

The findings of this project will be implemented by all state and territory health departments by 2001, with methodological assistance from NCATSIS. This process involves implementation of best practice guidelines in the collection of Indigenous status information by assisting with training for data collectors and health administrators, public awareness raising and continued assessment of data quality. For more information, please contact Gabrielle Friebe on (08) 8943 2157 or email gabrielle.friebe@abs.gov.au

Law and Justice:

NCATSIS in conjunction with the ABS National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics is working to assist a number of jurisdictions to improve the quality of Indigenous statistics. NCATSIS staff have presented papers outlining the issues involved at a number of forums including the Restoration for Victims of Crime: Contemporary Challenges Conference in Melbourne on Sept 9 -10, and the Best Practice in Corrections for Indigenous Peoples in Adelaide on October 13-15. For more information please contact Gabrielle Friebe.

Education and Training:

NCATSIS together with the Education and Training Section of ABS has carried out a preliminary data analysis, comparing statistics derived from schools with those from other sources. Following this investigation the Taskforce on Schools Statistics has recommended that data quality in schools statistics be further investigated. For more information please contact Gabrielle Friebe.

Community Services:

The availability of quality data on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the Community Services sector has been identified as the highest priority need in 'The National Community Services Information Development Plan'. Appropriate guidelines outlining the processes required to achieve data quality within the Community Services sector must be developed for this priority to be realised. Without consistent national standards for the collection of information, there is no mechanism to measure the performance of services in achieving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The National Community Services Information Management Group has requested that the ABS undertake the development of data quality standards and protocols on their behalf. This national strategy will set out principles and standards to improve the quality of Indigenous data within Community Services collections. For more information please contact Phillipa Scurrah on (08) 8943 2142 or email phillipa.scurrah@abs.gov.au

If you would like to know more about what we can offer your organisation with regard to advice, training, promotional material and data quality methodologies, please contact Gabrielle Friebe on (08) 8943 2157 or email gabrielle.friebe@abs.gov.au


TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER STATISTICS

In recent years, there has been a growing demand from Torres Strait Islander people and organisations for estimates of the size of the Torres Strait Islander population as separate from the Aboriginal population. To meet some of this need, the ABS has offered to produce experimental estimates of the Torres Strait Islander population for census years. In the first instance estimates will be produced as at 30 June 1996. Estimates will be produced by age groups and sex. For more information contact Phil Browning on (02) 6252 7083.


COMMUNITY HOUSING INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS SURVEY

The Community Housing Infrastructure Needs Survey (CHINS) collects information from each Indigenous organisation that manages or owns community housing, with additional infrastructure information collected for discrete Indigenous communities. The survey was conducted on behalf of ATSIC from August to October 1999.

Housing information includes the number, condition and size of community houses, repairs and maintenance expenditure, and amount of rent collected. Infrastructure information includes details of water supply and quality, power supply, sewerage, drainage and solid waste. Transport and communication issues, as well as access to education, health, and other community facilities, are also included.

An ABS publication is expected to be released by the end of March 2000 presenting summary information at the National and State levels (including Northern Territory) as well as containing maps showing the distribution of Indigenous housing organisations and discrete communities across Australia. Other products are being developed for ATSIC which present data at the community and ATSIC Region levels. It is expected that these products will be made available to other organisations.

A brochure providing more details on the survey is available on request. For further information, please contact Ian Brodie-Reed on (02) 6252 7269 or email: ian.brodie-reed@abs.gov.au


2001 CENSUS: INDIGENOUS ENUMERATION STRATEGY

The Indigenous Enumeration Strategy (IES) for the 2001 Census is currently being finalised. The IES consists of a collection strategy for enumerating Indigenous people in both nominated discrete communities and other Indigenous households, and of Census awareness activities targetted at the Indigenous population. The proposed IES for 2001 is based on the experience of previous Census strategies and has been modifed in light of evaluation of the 1996 enumeration. Important foci of the strategy remain: the recruitment of Indigenous people wherever possible, and the continued use of specially designed forms to conduct the Census in discrete communities. It is anticipated that Indigenous emumeration will be more fully integrated with the standard collection than it has been in the past. Strategies will also be put in place for homeless enumeration and ethnic enumeration.

For more information, contact Deborah Wade-Marshall on 08 8943 2199 or email: deborah.wade-marshall@abs.gov.au


SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDEXES FOR AREAS (SEIFA)

These five indexes, constructed from 1996 Census data, add value to other data and allow comparisons of social and economic conditions between different geographic areas. They go down to Collection District in geographic level. A copy of the SEIFA brochure is included with the newsletter. For further information, please contact Nick Stathis on 02 6252 6786 or email: nicholas.stathis@abs.gov.au


RECENT PUBLICATIONS


NCATSIS PUBLICATIONS

The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ABS Cat.no. 4704.0) Cost: $41.00

This publication is the second edition in a two-yearly series of reports which provides a comprehensive statistical overview, largely at national level, of Indigenous health and welfare. Most of the publication refers to the Indigenous population as a whole, but some limited information about the health and wellbeing of Torres Strait Islanders is also provided.

An executive summary of the publication is available on the ABS Web Site.

For further information please contact Mary Beneforti on 08 8943 2194 or email: mary.beneforti@abs.gov.au

Assessing the Quality of Identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Hospital Data (Free publication)

Examines the completeness of identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in hospital separation data.

For copies of this report please contact Barbara Gray on (08) 8943 2147 or email barbara.gray@abs.gov.au


OTHER ABS PUBLICATIONS

Regional Statistics, Northern Territory 1999 (ABS Cat.no 1362.7) Cost: $24.00

This publication gives a statistical overview of the Northern Territory, including commentary and tables specific to the Indigenous population. Indicators on origin, language, labour force, occupation, education, households and population are included for Indigenous people at the Statistical Local Area level for six NT Government regions.

For further information about the publication please phone Rebecca Luxford on (08) 8943 2124 or email rebecca.luxford@abs.gov.au


Australian Social Trends (ABS Cat no. 4102.0) Cost: $40.00

Australian Social Trends 1999 draws on the latest data from ABS social, labour and demographic collections and from other official sources. It includes a review on Indigenous languages and an overview of the numbers of speakers of Indigenous languages and their location. It also presents information relevant to the maintenance of these languages and their co-existence with English. It shows that although most Indigenous people in Australia live in the more populous eastern and southern States, almost all speakers of Indigenous languages live in the centre and north of Australia.

This year's edition of Australian Social Trends also reviews the demographics and socio-economic characteristics of island populations, including a special section on islands with large Indigenous populations.

To order a copy of Australian Social Trends call 1800 813 939.


NCATSIS CONSULTANCY SERVICE

NCATSIS provides a statistical consultancy service to clients and is able to produce customised tables and maps from the Cenuses of Population and Housing over the period 1971 to 1996. Data are also available from the 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey.

Please ring Rod Silburn on 08 8943 2191 or email: rod.silburn@abs.gov.au with any enquiries.


NCATSIS CLIENT SERVICES


INDIGENOUS STATISTICS ON THE ABS WEB SITE

There is a considerable amount of free data about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people available from the ABS' web site at http://www.abs.gov.au/. Data is found in several places on the Statistics page which can be accessed by clicking on Statistics in the green bar running down the left hand side of the home page. NCATSIS is currently developing its own page on the ABS Web Site and it is hoped this will be ready early in the year 2000.



          Statistics
          Selected Main Features
          2. Census of Population and Housing
        2034.5 - Census of Population and Housing: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Western Australia (1996 Census)
          3. Demography
        3230.0 - Experimental Estimates of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population, 30 June 1991 - 30 June 1996
        3231.0 - Experimental Projections of the Indigenous Population, 1996 to 2006
          4. Social Statistics
        4179.3 - 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey: Torres Strait Islanders Queensland
        4228.0 - Aspects of Literacy: Assessed Literacy Skills, 1996
        4704.0 - The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
        4806.0 - National Health Survey: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Results, Australia, 1995
          Australia Now - A Statistical Profile of Australia
          Population
        The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population
        Special Article - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: A statistical profile from the 1996 Census
        Special Article - A Profile of Australia's Indigenous People (Year Book Australia 1996) (also available under Special Articles)
        Special Article - Aboriginal Lands in South Australia (Year Book Australia 1997) (also available under Special Articles)
        Special Article - Statistics on the Indigenous Peoples of Australia (Year Book Australia 1994) (also available under Special Articles)
          Crime and Justice
        Special Article - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey: law and justice issues (also available under Special Articles)
          Special Articles
          Australia's Indigenous Peoples
        A Profile of Australia's Indigenous People (1996)
        Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: A statistical profile from the 1996 Census (1999)
        Aboriginal Lands in South Australia (1997)
        National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey: law and justice issues (1999)
        Statistics on the Indigenous Peoples of Australia (1994)
        The Mabo Case and the Native Title Act (1995)
        Unity and Diversity: The History and Culture of Aboriginal Australia (1994)
          Census of Population and Housing
          Community Profiles
        Indigenous counts are included in table B01
          ABS Papers and Classifications (includes full text of the paper)
          Occasional Papers
        3315.0 - Mortality of Indigenous Australians
        4189.0 - Law and Justice Issues, Indigenous Australians, 1994
        4701.0 - Cigarette Smoking among Indigenous Australians, 1994
        4702.0 - Overweight and Obesity, Indigenous Australians, 1994
        4707.0 - Self-Assessed Health Status, Indigenous Australians, 1994
        4708.0 - Population Issues, Indigenous Australians, 1996
          Working Papers
        Census Working Paper 93/6 - Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Counts (1991 Census)
        Census Working Paper 99/5 - 2001 Census Indigenous Enumeration Strategy (Draft)
          News
          Newsletters (will be updated to include most recent issue)
          NCATSIS NEWS - Issue Number 4 - October 1998
          NCATSIS NEWS - Issue Number 5 - April 1999
          NCATSIS NEWS - Issue Number 6 - November 1999



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