Australian Bureau of Statistics
2006 Census: Everyone Counts - Cultural Diversity
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will be conducting the 15th national Census of Population and Housing on Tuesday 8 August.
The Census also employs Collectors with skills in languages other than English, and operates a Language Helpline through the Census Inquiry Service.
The Language Helpline caters for 20 of the most commonly used languages in Australia. If the caller is not conversant in any of the 20 languages offered by the Census Inquiry Service, a customer service representative will connect them to an external interpreting service and set up a 3-way conference between the Census Inquiry Service, the caller, and the interpreter provided by the external service.
In addition, Census Management Units throughout Australia consult with Migrant Resource Centres. Presentations about the Census are given to principals, teachers and students of Adult Migrant Education Service centres.
These consultations are part of an ongoing effort to gain and maintain trust in the Census amongst ethnic communities. The ABS understands that the past experiences of many migrants to Australia mean that trust is an important issue.
A big part of gaining that trust is in making sure everyone knows that Census information is kept strictly confidential. People from a culturally or linguistically diverse background, like all Australians, can be confident that their information will remain confidential.
Individuals' information is protected by law. After Census forms are processed, all names, addresses and other information that might identify individuals is removed from Census records. All past or present ABS officers (including Census Collectors) are legally bound to secrecy under the Census and Statistics Act (1905) never to release personal information to any person or organisation outside the ABS. Organisations like the Federal Police, Centrelink, Immigration, ASIO, the Tax Office and private marketing companies can never obtain personal information from the Census.
Return to 2006 Census Fact Sheets / Articles of interest
This page first published 8 February 2006, last updated 24 July 2008