4713.0 - Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/05/2010  Final
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Contents >> Understanding Indigenous population data >> Indigenous Enumeration Strategy


As in previous Censuses, the ABS made considerable efforts to achieve an accurate count of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in 2006. The Census Indigenous Enumeration Strategy (IES) included awareness activities to encourage participation and identification. Alternative collection procedures to overcome potential cultural or linguistic barriers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were a major part of the IES. The strategy recognised the important role of consultation, liaison with Indigenous organisations and communities, and Indigenous involvement in all aspects of the collection process.

The information below describes special forms used to collect information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in discrete communities of Australia. Population Distribution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (cat. no. 4705.0) presents more detail on the IES and the evolving set of procedures tailored to improve the enumeration of Indigenous people.

Interviewer Household Form

The ABS uses careful design principles to maximise the collection of accurate information on Census forms. For the Indigenous population in urban and regional areas, the standard self-enumerated form was generally used. In remote communities and some discrete communities in non-remote areas, an Interviewer Household Form (IHF) was used and data collection took place by interview. In both settings, but particularly in remote areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people assisted with liaison between the ABS and Indigenous communities and with collection of information.

The interview approach is designed to collect the same information as the self-enumerated Census form, however for some questions there were differences in wording. In particular, the IHF contained a question regarding participation in the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme that was not included on the self-enumerated Census forms. When analysing CDEP data, users must be aware that this item is limited by form type - there will only be data for areas where the IHF was used. The data will be more complete in remote areas, where the IHF was more likely to be used, than in urban and regional areas.

In areas other than discrete communities, Indigenous people were enumerated using standard Census procedures and forms. In some areas, special collectors skilled in Indigenous language and culture were available to assist if required.

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