1308.7 - Inform NT, Jun 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/06/2009   
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Picture of Aboriginal dot paintingDEVELOPMENTS IN ABS STATISTICS

Statistical Literacy Pilot Kicks Off on the Tiwi Islands
2011 Census Engagement Underway
NSS Newsletter
ABS Runner-up in Excellence in e-Government Award
Historical ABS Publications
Australian Social Trends
Community Indicators Summit 22-23 July


The ABS recently completed a pilot programme on the Tiwi Islands to help Indigenous school students improve their statistical literacy through football.

The Tiwi Islands Sport Statistical Literacy Pilot project was developed to use the high level of interest in Australian Rules Football (AFL) on the islands to improve the statistical literacy of the Tiwi College students in a fun yet educational way.

Students involved in the pilot collected data on their handball and goal kicking abilities and then learnt how to analyse the data to tell a story.

Initial feedback on the pilot has been very positive and it will hopefully result in a project to be conducted across the entire Tiwi Islands during their home and away football season. If the project is deemed a success, it may become a national Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy (ICES) training package that can be adapted to sports other than AFL.

The pilot could not have been run without the support of the Tiwi Island Shire Council, the Clontarf Football Academy, Tiwi College, the Tiwi Education Board and the Tiwi Land Council.


In May 2009 the first Census engagement visits were undertaken in the Top End and Central Australia. Pam Tyler travelled to the communities of Gapuwiak, Milingimbi and Ramingining in Arnhem Land while Michael Bourchier took to the red dust in the Centre to visit Yuendumu, Papunya and Mt Liebig. The purpose of these visits was to make contact with the key players in each community to gain their support for the upcoming Census 'tests' and to gain the intelligence needed to plan for the tests.

A new concept of 'mobile teams' will be used to enumerate these communities for the test, replacing the Census Field Officer approach used in the 2006 Census. Some newly-designed forms will also be tested and, as in all Censuses, a number of local people will be employed to assist with the count.

It is anticipated that the mobile team personnel will be recruited and trained before mid-July this year, after which a second visit will be made to these communities with the primary object of recruiting local staff and familiarising the new teams with Census testing activities.

Picture of Yuendumu turn off on Tanami Road Northern Territory

The first edition of the National Statistical Service (NSS) Newsletter was released in April this year. This newsletter aims to keep readers in touch with developments in the field of statistics. The April edition features a review of the NatStats08 Conference, the upcoming Community Indicators Summit, and the completion of the National Data Network pilot project. Future issues of this newsletter will focus on statistical initiatives being undertaken by all levels of government in Australia.

You can subscribe to NSS News by sending an e-mail to inquiries@nss.gov.au requesting your name be added to the mailing list. Alternatively you can access the newsletter directly on the NSS website.


Recently the ABS was awarded runner-up in the 2009 excellence in e-Government award for the development of CData Online. This is an outstanding achievement for the ABS and well-deserved recognition for all staff involved.

The excellence in e-Government award promotes excellence in the use of information and communication technology in Australia at all levels of Government.

What is CData Online?

CDATA Online is a free online tool which combines information on Australian society from the 2006 Census, with web graphing and mapping capability. It allows you to create your own tables of Census data on a range of different topics. With CDATA Online, you can cross-tabulate chosen Census data variables to produce a table which can also be viewed as a graph or a thematic map. You can access data for areas as small as a Collection District (around 225 households) or as large as Australia. CDATA Online allows you the freedom to select and combine areas that interest you by creating your own customised geographic areas. A detailed user manual is also available.


The ABS website is an excellent repository for modern statistical information, but what about all that data collected before the advent of the internet? Historical publications are continuing to be loaded to the ABS website and provide a valuable statistical picture of Australia since Federation.

Titles completed and available:

1908 - 2008 Year Book, Australia (cat. no. 1301.0)
1993 - 2009 Labour Statistics, Australia and its predecessor 1911 - 1997 Labour Report (cat. no. 6101.0)
1960 - 2008 Schools, Australia (cat. no. 4221.0)
1991 Census of Population and Housing (various catalogue numbers)
1986 Census of Population and Housing (various catalogue numbers)
1981 Census of Population and Housing (various catalogue numbers)
1976 Census of Population and Housing (various catalogue numbers)
1972 - 2008 Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0)
1961 - 2008 Balance of Payments, Australia (cat. no. 5302.0)
1967 - 2008 Average Weekly Earnings (cat. no. 6302.0)
1972 - 2009 Consumer Price Index (cat. no. 6401.0)
1964 - 2008 Education and Work, Australia (cat. no. 6227.0)
1979 - 1994 Labour Force Status and Educational Attainment (cat. no. 6235.0)
1992 - 2007 Research and Experimental Development, Business Enterprises, Australia (cat. no. 8104.0)

Planned releases:

Australian Economic Indicators (cat. no. 1350.0)
Social Indicators (cat. no. 4101.0)
Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0)


On Friday 27 March ßetaWorks was released to the public. ßetaWorks is a "sandpit" environment developed by the ABS that enables new web design concepts and enhancements to be show-cased and tested by the general public. It allows users to post comments in a blog format on new concepts as our website evolves, and facilitates our clients being involved in shaping the look and feel of the future ABS website.

Projects that are currently available for comment include ABS Office Locations, Time Series Directory, and CDATA Online tutorials. Why not go and have a look for yourself.

Before posting comments on ßetaWorks please read the Terms of Use and be aware that comments posted will be available to view by the public.


After 15 years of presenting an annual statistical picture of Australian society, Australian Social Trends (AST) is now a quarterly publication. The March 2009 issue of Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) is the first of four issues being released in 2009 and features articles about Australia's ageing population, including future population trends, retirement and superannuation. There are eight articles in all, covering these and a range of other topics such as marriage and partnering, mental health and renewable energy.

Australian Social Trends contains a series of state and territory data cubes on the following topics: population, family and community, health, education and training, work, economic resources, housing, and other areas of social concern, with the full range of topics available for the NT. These spreadsheets will be updated on a rolling basis, with updates to the population spreadsheets, and the education and training spreadsheets planned for the June 2009 issue.

The entire set of Australian Social Trends articles published since 1994 is available via the 'All articles' section.

The next release of Australian Social Trends will be on the 30 June 2009.COMMUNITY INDICATORS SUMMIT 22-23 July

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will be hosting a Community Indicators Summit in Brisbane from 22-23 July.

The summit is one part of a series of global initiatives aiming to move ‘beyond GDP’ to a more comprehensive view of societal progress that takes into account social and environmental concerns as well as economic ones.

The Community Indicators Summit will provide a unique opportunity to share learnings, exchange ideas and strategies and report on advancements in the field of community indicators in Australia and internationally.

An exciting programme is being developed and will include practical interactive workshops on the themes of Measuring Australia’s Progress, using Community Indicators for Better Local Government, and Wellbeing in Indigenous Communities. Interactive sessions will provide an opportunity for you to discuss current issues facing the development and use of community indicators, and to contribute your ideas for the future. A feature of the Summit will be practical demonstrations that showcase exciting community indicator initiatives.

For information on how to register, email inquires@nss.gov.au or visit the Summit website www.nss.gov.au/communityindicators09