80 Census Collectors head for the hills in the Blue Mountains

29 July 2011 | NSW/77

80 Census Collectors will hit the streets, roads and hilly terrain of the Blue Mountains today to deliver Census forms to every home, farm, hotel and caravan site and ensure every person is accurately counted on Census night, Tuesday, 9 August.

To help conduct the Census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has recruited Homeless Special Collectors to work directly with local services to ensure an accurate count of the homeless.

One Special Collector is Louisiana Griffin, whose contribution to her local community is simply inspiring.

Louisiana, who has vision impairment, is a Youth Liaison Officer and Management Committee Member at Blue Mountains Youth Accommodation and Support Services, a Youth Consumer Representative on the Nepean Regional Homelessness Taskforce and is currently studying Youth Work at TAFE.

"In order to provide the right housing and homeless services in the area we need to know where people who are experiencing homelessness are.

"I've been visiting schools and services throughout the Blue Mountains and western suburbs (from Blacktown to Lithgow) to raise awareness of the Census and really target the invisible homeless community or 'couch surfers'," explains Louisiana.

Louisiana, who draws strength from her own experience of being homeless, says that her passion for the Census comes from her drive to help people.

"I know what it feels like to be homeless, to sleep on a train and worry about my security. I want to help make other people feel safe and secure.

"We need to work together and get an accurate count of homelessness so that decision makers can act appropriately."

More information is available online at www.abs.gov.au/census or by calling the Census Inquiry Service on 1300 338 776