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Based on this demographic information, individuals were randomly selected for personal interview. For selected households in non-remote areas, up to two Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander adults (aged aged 15 years and over) and up to two Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children (aged 0–14 years) were randomly selected. In remote areas, up to one Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander adult and up to one Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child was randomly selected.
An elected household spokesperson also answered some financial and housing questions on behalf of other household members. Question topics included:
If a usually resident household member aged 18 years or over was not available, interviewers made appointments to call-back to the household, as necessary.
Information on demographic and household characteristics is provided in the Population characteristics chapter. A full list of the topics included in the survey is provided in the Introduction.
In order to conduct a personal interview with the selected person (ie the respondent), interviewers made appointments to call-back to the household, as necessary. All interviews were conducted face-to-face. Due to the sensitive nature of the survey questions, it was suggested that interviews be conducted in private. However, interviews may have been conducted in private or in the presence of other household members, according to the wishes of the respondent. Interviews, including the household assessment, took on average 101 minutes in remote areas and 107 minutes in non-remote areas.
Personal interviews were conducted with selected Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person(s) aged 15 years and over. Exceptions occurred where the selected person:
In the above instances, a proxy interview may have been organised. Where the selected person was mourning the death of a family member (Sorry Business) a personal interview was not pursued.
Proxy interviews were used to collect information on selected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0–14 years. Wherever possible, the proxy was a parent or guardian. If no parent or guardian was available, then a close relative or other household member who had responsibility for the child provided responses.
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents aged 15–17 years, permission from a parent or guardian was required. Where permission was not obtained, a personal interview was not conducted.
The questionnaire was administered by experienced ABS interviewers, who had received specific training for the survey. The questionnaire was further supported by detailed interviewer instructions, covering general procedural issues as well as specific instructions relating to individual questions.
The questionnaire is not fully indicative of the range of information available from the survey, as additional items were created in processing the data. For example, ABS classifications were applied to raw data inputs to create labour force status. Additionally, some questions were asked solely for the purpose of enabling or clarifying other questions, and are not available in survey results.
Initial household information was collected from one usually resident household member aged 18 years and over using a Household Form. This was similar in design to the household form used by the ABS Monthly Population Surveys (MPS). The random selection of household members was made from this information.
The personal interview consisted of a number of separate modules, collecting information on demographics; language and culture; social capital; life experiences; health; education; work; income and finances; housing and mobility; transport; information technology; and safety, crime and justice.
The questionnaire employed a number of different approaches to recording information at the interview:
To ensure consistency of approach, interviewers were instructed to ask the interview questions as shown in the questionnaire. In certain areas of the questionnaire, interviewers were asked to use indirect and neutral prompts, at their discretion, where the response given was, for example, inappropriate to the question asked or lacked sufficient detail necessary for classification and coding.
Copies of the survey questionnaire and prompt cards
The NATSISS questionnaire and prompt cards are available in PDF format via the downloads tab of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014–15 (cat no. 4714.0). The survey questionnaire and prompt cards are provided as a reference to the 2014–15 NATSISS and should not be used for administering survey interviews.
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