2001 Census: Everyone counts, Aug 2001

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August 03, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

2001 Census: Everyone counts

The next five-yearly Census of Population and Housing will include everyone in Australia on Census night, 7 August 2001.

To ensure the most accurate Census count, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has developed strategies to maximise the effectiveness of collecting information among people in special circumstances. Here is a summary of the groups and Census strategies developed for them:

Cultural diversity:
  • ABS consults closely with government, ethnic and community organisations;
  • staff visits to local ethnic organisations;
  • case studies showing the benefits of the Census data to ethnic groups;
  • strategies for problem areas such as high-rise buildings or communities where there may be a reluctance to give personal information to a government agency;
  • bilingual staff at community functions;
  • school information kits for children from Non-English speaking households; and
  • recruitment of people with appropriate language skills as census field staff

Indigenous Australians:

Lessons from the last Census, advice from indigenous education consultants and feedback from indigenous communities across Australia have identified these areas for special consideration:
  • counting young males, children and visitors;
  • coordinating indigenous and mainstream enumeration;
  • developing indigenous field management structures;
  • quality assurance, validation and documentation of data collected from indigenous communities; and
  • employ/train local indigenous people to work with new ABS staff structures for maximum flexibility and awareness.

The homeless:
  • developing contacts with government and non-government agencies to prepare lists of local services for the homeless;
  • seeking the cooperation of groups providing services to homeless people (eg. meals, mailbox) to identify locations where homeless people might be found;
  • engaging/training homeless people to help on Census night;
  • canvassing/employing local people who know the movements and gathering places of the homeless - such as health and welfare workers and rangers;
  • less intimidating question forms for homeless people with low literacy; and
  • a simple form to maximise cooperation and reinforce reassurances of confidentiality.

People with disabilities:
  • encourage people with disabilities who might have difficulty in filling out their forms to enlist the help of others they trust, such as a family members, friends, carers or neighbours;
  • Census Collectors can assist disabled people with completing their form. Census Collectors are required by law to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the information supplied to them.
  • encourage organisations for people with disabilities and carers' groups to help;
  • Special Collectors are recruited for people in hospitals, nursing homes retirement villages and hostels.

If people have any questions about the Census or require assistance with any of the questions, a Census Inquiry Service is in operation seven days a week to provide help and information - phone 137 219. A telephone interpreter service will also be available by dialling 137 206. There will also be a Telephone Typewriter facility to assist people with hearing impairments - phone 137 201. A public information website is also available at www.abs.gov.au/census.