Professor Fiona Stanley launches Census in WA

2 August 2011 | WA/38

Child health researcher Professor Fiona Stanley has called on all Western Australians to accurately complete their Census form on Tuesday, 9 August for the future of Australia.

The 2011 Census was launched in Western Australia today by Professor Stanley at Roseworth Primary School in Girrawheen.

Professor Stanley has worked extensively throughout Western Australia with much of her work focussing on the importance of population data in providing health, social and economic benefits to communities.

“The wonderful thing about the Census is that it is completed by the entire community so we get a full and accurate picture of our society,” Professor Stanley says.

“For research to be effective, we need to be able to analyse information that’s not skewed by issues such as whether people can be bothered filling out their forms, are in hospital, or have remembered to post them back.

“Census data is essential for us to look at a whole range of factors that might affect children and families and find ways to improve the health and wellbeing of the community.”

The information collected in the Census will help guide future decision making and funding for health, education, infrastructure and services for all Australians.

There's just one week to go until Census night and Western Australia's 3,000 Collectors have already begun delivering Census forms and secure eCensus codes to every residence in the state.

Collectors will be delivering forms on foot, by car, and in some cases by boat or plane, everywhere from remote Aboriginal communities, offshore oil platforms, mining camps, hospitals, hotels and inner city apartment blocks.

There are special Collectors who help count Western Australia's homeless people and assist people with English as a second language to complete their forms.

Western Australia Census Director Mike Scott says the Census is the largest operation undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and provides us with a snapshot of the state and nation.

"There are many challenges to ensuring a full and accurate Census count but the WA Census team has been working hard for well over a year to overcome these challenges,” Mr Scott says.

“We have built strong relationships with regional communities, government, mining communities, Aboriginal communities, business communities and multicultural and itinerant groups right across WA and are working together to make the Census a success."

Everyone in Australia on 9 August needs to fill in or be included on a Census form where they are on the night, regardless of whether they are Australian citizens, on short term visas, or just visiting. People can complete the paper form or use eCensus online.

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