2006 Census papers shed new light on housing, culture and Indigenous Australians (Media Release)

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November 20, 2008
2006 Census papers shed new light on housing, culture and Indigenous Australians

The Academy of Social Sciences Australia (ASSA) will release the first three of its 2006 Census Series occasional papers today as part of the NatStats08 conference in Melbourne. Further papers will be released progressively from March 2009.

The papers produced by some of Australia's foremost academics and social sciences researchers, draws on data from the 2006 Census to illustrate contemporary Australian Society.

The papers released today are:

Housing: Mirror and Mould for Australian Society (Professor Andrew Beer, Flinders University)
It's not just those on low incomes who are feeling squeezed in the housing market - the 2006 Census shows that almost 500,000 high income households are spending more than 30% of their income on housing, putting growing numbers of well-off households in positions of housing vulnerability. This report looks at recent trends in housing, including affordability, house size and stay-at-home children.

Creative Australia: The Arts and Culture in Australian Work and Leisure (Professor David Throsby, Macquarie University)
The stereotypical Australian leisure pursuit is sport; but this report finds that art and culture are important too. In 2006 there were over 150,000 creative workers in Australia, which is about 9% of all professionals and 2%of the labour force. The report finds that as people's leisure time and disposable incomes increase, so too does the likelihood of their involvement in arts and culture activities.

Lives of Diversity: Indigenous Australia (Dr Maggie Walter, University of Tasmania)
This analysis finds that Indigenous Australians are still firmly embedded in disadvantage and marginalised from core life chances, and that strategies for ‘closing the gap’ will need to be far reaching, rigorously thought out and responsive. The report compares Indigenous experiences in three locations - Maningrida, Dubbo and Perth - to see how location affects housing, education and employment options for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

NatStats08 conference will, for the first time bring together key users and producers of official statistics to better utilise information resources across Australia and support a culture increasing reliant on evidence based decision making.

The 2006 Census Series papers are available for free download from the Academy of Social Sciences Australia website <http://www.assa.edu.au/>