1. The current Standard Indigenous Question will be retained without change for the present time. Another assessment of the Indigenous Status Standard will be considered around the 2021 Census or earlier should there be significant changes in the external social and political environment.
2. The ABS coding procedures will be changed, so that multiple unclear responses to the Standard Question will be coded to 'Not Stated'. This is now reflected in the Indigenous Status Standard (Cat. No. 1200.0.55.008).
The ABS will continue to work with data collectors and custodians to promote use of the Standard and to explain its purpose and usefulness.
Looking forward to the 2021 Census, the Review recommends:
1. Further investigation to determine the need for a new Standard Indigenous Question and potential testing strategies.
2. Further research and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, government agencies, researchers and other interested groups to formulate and test question that identifies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by sub-population groups.
The ABS is confident that the current Indigenous Status Standard is ‘fit for purpose’ and has a wide applicability across various sectors and statistical collections. The review found that there was strong support for the Standard Indigenous Question (SIQ) to remain unchanged from a larger number of stakeholders and data users. The ABS recognises the feedback from stakeholders that the current SIQ may not accurately capture all of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and will continue to assess this issue in the future.