2903.0.55.002 - How Australia Takes a Census, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/08/2006  First Issue
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July 31, 2006
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Mufti urges support for Census

The imam of Lakemba Mosque, Sheik Taj el-Din Al Hilaly- the Mufti of Australia- has urged Muslims in Australia to stand up and be counted on Census Night – Tuesday, 8 August.

In a meeting today with the NSW ABS Regional Director Ian Ewing, Census District Manager Syed Hasan and Special Collector Fatima Mawas- the Mufti expressed his support for the 2006 Census.

“The Census is vitally important for Australia's future and I encourage all Muslims to make sure they fill out their Census forms on Tuesday 8 August,” he said.

“It is particularly important that Muslims answer the question on religion on the Census form as this will help us to build an accurate picture of our community.”

The NSW Regional Director for the ABS, Mr Ian Ewing, welcomed the enthusiastic support shown by the Islamic community.

“The Census helps to paint a picture of your community,” he said.

“This call by the Mufti for his community to be counted builds on the work undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to ensure that all ethnic and culturally diverse communities are well informed about the 2006 Census.”

Some of these activities include-

A community and information campaign involving the dissemination of translated information in the form of pamphlets posters and web based information to community leaders, relevant government
organisations and relevant pan-ethnic organisations
A paid media advertising campaign to get information directly to community members including advertisements in ethnic media and radio;
The provision of language assistance to households to enable them to successfully complete the Census

The recruitment of culturally and linguistically diverse Census Collectors will also help to ensure that the needs of people from a broad range of ethnic backgrounds are able to be counted on Census Night.

Many Islamic groups in Australia, including the Australian federation of Islamic Councils, the United Muslim Women Association and the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia support the Census as a way to make their communities count in the most comprehensive snapshot of the nation.