2049.0.55.001 - Information Paper - Methodology for Estimating Homelessness from the Census of Population and Housing, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/09/2012  First Issue
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The Australian Bureau of Statistics acknowledges and thanks the wide range of stakeholders who showed strong commitment and expertise in providing guidance to the ABS as it developed both its statistical definition of homelessness and its methodology to produce the first official ABS estimates of homelessness from the Census. The contributions through formal submissions, comments at meetings and participation in expert groups provided invaluable information to help ABS understand the complexity of homelessness and guide how we can both collect relevant data (in Censuses and surveys) and analyse and report transparently on homelessness in Australia.

The ABS established the Homelessness Statistics Reference Group (HSRG) to advise the ABS on the development, collection, compilation, production and dissemination of robust statistics for use in analysing, understanding and reporting on homelessness in Australia. The ABS thanks all HSRG members past and present for their invaluable contributions, commitment and time in advising the ABS, representing their organisations and wider sector stakeholder views as well as communicating the aims and progress of the work towards both an ABS statistical definition of homelessness and an estimation methodology using Census data.

The ABS particularly thanks HSRG co-chair Shelley Mallett (Hanover General Manager of Research and Service Development, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Melbourne University) for her expert knowledge in the field, strong facilitation skills, and dedication in representing the needs of members in finalising the development of both an ABS homelessness definition and the methods for estimating homelessness.

The ABS also acknowledges the contributions from homelessness services organisations and their staff, some of whom serve on HSRG, and many participated in public meetings to discuss the ABS statistical developments and gave their views in submissions. Many more provided their strong support for the enumeration of homeless people in the 2011 Census.

HSRG members include Professor Chris Chamberlain (Centre for Applied Social Research, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University); Associate Professor David MacKenzie (Swinburne University); Sarah Kahn (Council to Homeless Persons); Travis Gilbert (Homelessness Australia); Zoe Probyn (North West Homelessness Network); Mark Bagshaw (South Australian Department for Communities and Social Inclusion); Geoff Neideck and Vicki Bennett (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare); representatives from Housing NSW (NSW Family and Community Services); Kathryn Mandla, Arati Waldegrave, Leon Donovan, Barbara Beatty and Edmond Hsu (Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs); Dr Guy Johnson (Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute); Maria Leebeek (Queensland Youth Housing Coalition); Dr Jill White and Anthea Bill (Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services); Eleri Morgan-Thomas (Mission Australia); Dr Jennie Gray and Helen Hemsley (Anglicare, WA); Kedy Kristal (Patricia Giles Centre); Lindy Edwards (Sera's Women's Shelter/WESNET); and Katherine Blackwell and Helen Innes (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations).

The ABS also benefitted from the views of the Prime Minister's Council on Homelessness as well as other key stakeholders in homelessness policy and service delivery.

A special acknowledgement is extended to HSRG members Professor Chris Chamberlain and Associate Professor David MacKenzie for their ground breaking work in establishing a world first approach to the use of Census data in estimation of the homelessness population.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact Bob McColl on Canberra (02) 6252 6233.