Illawarra Census Collector taking the road less travelled

18 August 2011 | NSW/120

480 Census Collectors are sweeping across every corner of the Illawarra region to collect completed forms as part of the national Census of Population and Housing, which took place on Tuesday 9 August.

First time Census Collector and born and bred Gerringong local Rosalyn Dalley, is looking after the Census form collection in Foxground, Toolijooa, Broughton Village and Gerroa where a 4WD is a must to complete the task.

"When I applied to be a Collector I was hoping to avoid a rural area as I'm not great with animals, particularly dogs, but I've fallen in love with my assigned patch. The people are so friendly, the scenery is stunning and the homes are gorgeous," Rosalyn says.

"My area is very rural and I have to drive on dirt tracks, damaged roads, over causeways and through rainforests.

"I'm so lucky to work in such beautiful surroundings. I've taken stacks of photos along the way to document my travels."

With lengthy distances between households and many access routes to properties cut-off by fallen trees, Rosalyn has called upon her family for support.

"We've had some wild weather in these parts over the past six months and the roads can be hard to navigate so my mother or sisters join me for companionship. My mother has particularly enjoyed the experience, bringing along her camera, a thermos and picnic lunch on each trip."

Rosalyn says that the Census experience has exceeded all her expectations.

"There is so much more to being a Census Collector than I expected. It's been really enjoyable. I have such a great Area Supervisor and our small team of Collectors get along so well. There is a great social aspect to the role.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my first Census experience and I’m already looking forward to being involved in the 2016 Census when I'll be asking to work in a rural area again," Rosalyn adds.

It's not too late to complete your 2011 Census form. Census Collectors will be out collecting until 28 August and the online eCensus option is also still open.

If you haven’t received a Census form or need an eCensus Number you can request one at www.abs.gov.au/census.