Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement

There is increasing demand for higher quality data about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to inform key policy initiatives such as Closing the Gap, and to better fulfil ABS’ commitment to return information to the community.

We are dedicated to early and ongoing conversations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to increase the participation and relevance of our statistical collections.

CoATSIS

The Centre of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics (CoATSIS) has a leadership and coordination role for national statistical activity about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. CoATSIS is dedicated to early and ongoing conversations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to increase participation in, and the relevance of, ABS statistical collections. They engage with communities across a range of statistical activities and outputs from Indigenous specific surveys such as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and social surveys, the five yearly Census, administrative data, and data integration projects. The objectives of CoATSIS are to:

  • inform Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, organisations, and the wider community about current and emerging statistics and statistical issues related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • provide governments with reliable statistical information on Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population that can be used to support policy development and evaluation
  • contribute to national reporting including Closing the Gap
  • assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations in the effective use of statistics
  • support best practice in the enumeration of statistics related to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and in relevant quantitative methods
  • promote improvements in the quality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics from ABS and other survey administrative collections, and in the integration of datasets
  • ensure that broad consultation with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community remains a priority in the coordination and development of national statistics whilst providing cultural security in all interactions with First Nations peoples.
 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Management Unit

The ABS has a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement staff based in ABS State and Territory offices throughout Australia to support meaningful engagement with their local communities on ABS work. Their role is to:

  • engage with urban, regional and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through collaborative partnerships to increase understanding of and participation in ABS collections
  • return information to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities including the provision of statistical training to communities in order to increase their access and usage of ABS information
  • Improve the quality and relevance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics for key stakeholders including meeting the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
 

Meet our engagement managers

Victoria and Tasmania

 

South Australia

 

Queensland

 

New South Wales

 

Northern Territory

 

Western Australia

 

 

The Round Table on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics

The Round Table is an advisory group established by the ABS to work with us to improve data quality and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Round Table helps ensure our statistics program is delivering culturally appropriate solutions that meet the information needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations, as well as reliably informing government policy.

The group also focusses increasing participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our statistical collections, including the Census.

Membership is made up of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people with experience in research, policy, service provision and advocacy on issues important to Indigenous Australians from a range of urban, regional and remote communities.

Current membership

Jason Oakley (Chair) 
Sonia Townson (Deputy Chair) 
Aven S Noah 
Dawn Casey 
Dean Wright 
Dianne Baldock 
Donna Fraser 
Eunice Yu 
Gerry Moore 
Laurie Hutchison 
Luke Shannon 
Mara West 
Norsiyah Mokak 
Sharon Barnes 
Sharon Hayes 
Peter Riley