1330.0 - Education News, Oct 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/10/2012   
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Education News - October, 2012

This newsletter highlights the latest curriculum related teaching resources, student activities and statistical tools that have been developed by ABS Education Services as well as other ABS resources that are useful for schools.


  1. CensusAtSchool News
  2. Births by Country of Birth of Parents
  3. An Idea for the Classroom: Migration Data and Google Motion Charts
  4. Migrant Data Matrices 2012
  5. Cultural Diversity - Census 2011
  6. ISLP Poster Competition
  7. ABS Year Books
  8. Conferences
  9. Interesting Publications
  10. Contact Details

A Word from the Editor
Welcome to the Term 4 edition of Ed News!

The theme for this edition is Migration and Multiculturalism in Australia.

It goes without saying that Australia is a country with a fascinating history of migration. The ABS has a wide variety of easily accessible data related to Migrant Statistics, ranging from population to health and education. Migration statistics are particularly relevant to teachers now, in light of the drive to incorporate Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia as a Cross Curriculum Perspective in the new Australian curriculum.

In 'An Idea for the Classroom', we have provided an activity that explores visualisation of historical migrant data. If you're looking for Migrant data, statistics and resources, check out our articles 'Migrant Data Matrices, 2012' and 'Cultural Diversity - Census 2011'. These articles will assist you to access rich ABS migration data and also provide some ideas on how you can use the data in the classroom.

For even more ABS data, statistics and resources around migration and multiculturalism in Australia, check out our 'Recently Released Publications' section. These publications offer a gateway into a range of recently published ABS products relating to this topic.

Are you interested in free ABS Year Books? We currently have a limited supply of pre-2012 year books to give away. If you're keen to get your hands on this valuable ABS product, jump online to see what's available and how to place your order.

We hope you enjoy our October edition of Ed News. If you have any suggestions for articles or activities that you would like covered in the next edition of Ed News, please don't hesitate to contact me on 1800 623 273.
Emma Salik.

Picture of Emma SalikThis edition's feature profile is Emma Salik. Emma joined the ABS in February 2012 as a Graduate in the Corporate Services Unit with a degree in Journalism. She has recently transferred to Education Services, starting with the team in September 2012, and will be working on conference planning, Education News, website publishing and responding to client queries. She is enjoying the change and looks forward to learning more about Education Services and their role within the ABS.

1. CensusAtSchool News CensusAtSchool Logo

The National Summary and Time Series data tables for 2012 have now been released on our CensusAtSchool website. Interesting data from the Time Series data has revealed a reduction over time in English as the dominant language spoken at home.

In keeping with our multicultural theme for this Ed News edition, here are some interesting facts about students' language preferences from the 2012 questionnaire:

  • The use of Mandarin is on the increase with 0.4% of students in 2006 compared to 1.2% in 2012 speaking this language at home.
  • Vietnamese has steadily increased in the past three years from 0.8% in 2010 to 1.2% of students in 2012 using it as their preferred language at home. This makes Vietnamese the second preferred language at home after English.
  • 2012 data has revealed that 1.3% of students speak Cantonese at home.

(Reference: Time Series Table 6)

Save this Date! The CensusAtSchool 2013 Questionnaire will open on 4th February 2013.

Are you keen to explore and use 2012 data? We encourage you to visit and view our extensive suite of Prepared Samples. These samples include numerical, categorical, and social and environmental data presented in Excel format. These files will be added to the CensusAtSchool website regularly in the coming month, and will contain both 'clean' and 'dirty' data samples. Teachers can use these samples to gain the flexibility that the random sampler offers, without needing internet access in the classroom.

Keep an eye out for the new 2012 Data for Calculators files - they're coming soon. On the Data for Calculators page you can download files for graphics calculators as well as random samples of categorical, discrete, continuous and bivariate data from the CensusAtSchool database. Data for calculators are provided in Excel, Casio and TNS file formats.

2. Births by Country of Birth of Parents

Did you know that 2010 was another record year for Australian births? A total of 297,000 births were registered in 2010 - the highest number of births ever registered in a single year. Of these, nearly 87,000 were babies whose mothers were born overseas. A similar number had fathers who were born overseas.

You'll find this fact, and many more about births, in 'Births, Australia'. This publication presents detailed data and commentary about Australian births, including information about the country of birth of parents. You can compare median ages for mothers and fathers based on their country of birth, investigate fertility and paternity rates for parents born in overseas countries, and access at least 3 years worth of historical data about the country of birth of parents.

You can start your investigation of Births data by using the Google search bar on the ABS website to search for the publication by its catalogue number - 3301.0 (Image 1). A new webpage will load with search results. Click on the 'Latest Issue' link in the yellow box - this will take you to the current issue of the publication (Image 2).

Education Services Top Tip:
  • By searching for an ABS product by catalogue number and selecting the 'Latest Issue', you are guaranteed to access the most up to date data.

Image 1 - Using the Google Search Bar to Find Catalogue Number 3301.0 (Births)

Image 1 - Picture of using Google

Image 2 - Accessing the 'Latest Issue' of Births

Image 2 - Births, Australia

Births data provide a vital component of Australian population data. Between each Census, Australia's population is 'estimated' - births data is an important ingredient in determining the change in the estimated population each year. If you're interested in using population data in your classroom, why not explore it today? You can access the ABS' Topics @ a Glance - Demography Releases homepage, where you'll find a suite of demographic data including population by age and sex, births, deaths and migration data.

If you are following the instructions above, you should now see the 'Summary' page of the most recent Births publication. This page displays a table of contents and a series of tabs across the top of the screen: Summary, Downloads, Explanatory Notes, Related Information and Past & Future Releases. To access the data for births by country of birth of parents, click on the grey 'Downloads' tab. You should now see a page that lists all of the Excel datacubes for Births data. If you would like to download the datacube which contains country of birth of parents data, click on the Excel file icon for 'Table 8: Births, Country of birth of parents, Australia'. The website will then walk you through accessing and/or saving the file (Image 3).

Image 3 - List of Births Datacubes

Image 3 - List of Births datacubes

A few ways you could harness these data in the classroom include:
  • using these tables and previous years' published data (2007 onward), to build and interpret a time series of births to migrant parents;
  • graph and discuss the differences in fertility rates for mothers born overseas compared to Australian born mothers;
  • explore how the pattern of data changes by geographic area for mothers and fathers born overseas compared to Australian born parents.

Graph - Births, Country of Birth of Parents, 2010
Source: Births, Australia, 2010 (cat.no. 3301.0)

And with the release of 2011 Births data on the 25th October, you can add another year's data to produce a five year time series of births by country of birth of parents (2007-2011). Do you think 2011, like 2010, will be another record year for Aussie births? Just use the instructions above, and you'll be taken to the 2011 edition of Births, Australia.
3. An Idea for the Classroom: Migration Data and Google Motion Charts

In this edition of Ed News, we are profiling one of out Maths lessons called 'MATE 2 - Migration'. This lesson uses data about the median age and sex ratio of Australian residents from 1996 to 2009. You will also use the Education Services motion chart to look for interesting statistics related to country of birth. This lesson provides an interactive opportunity for students to 'watch' data change over time through data visualisations.

Do you have a classroom idea that uses ABS data or ABS Education products? Let us know at education@abs.gov.au and we can share it with schools around Australia.

4. Migrant Data Matrices 2012

Did you know that in 2010-2011 that Australians aged 25-34 years, born both in Australia and overseas, made up the largest group of victims of physical assault? Or that the median age of Australian born women giving birth in 2010 was 30.4 years, compared to 31.8 years for mothers born in South-East Asia? You'll find these facts, and many more, in the 'Migrant Data Matrices, 2012' (cat.no. 3415.0). The Migrant Data Matrices provide users with a link to migrant data from a range of ABS products, covering interesting topics such as health, employment, population, housing and crime and justice.

The Migrant Data Matrices is a great way of introducing students to the rich data produced by the ABS - and in one easy to navigate product.

You can commence your journey of (migrant data) discovery by using the Google search bar on the ABS website to search for the publication by its catalogue number - 3415.0 (Image 1). A new webpage will load with search results - select the first result to be taken directly to the 2012 matrices (Image 2).

Image 1 - Use the Google search bar to find the Migrant Data Matrices.
Image 1 - Using the Google search bar

Image 2 - Select 'Migrant Data Matrices, 2012.'
Image 2 - Migrant Data Matrices search

The summary page of of the 2012 Migrant Data Matrices clearly illustrates a range of topics for which migrant data is available. Alternatively, click on the 'Downloads' tab to explore the available Excel datacubes (Image 3).

Image 3 - Contents Page for Migrant Data Matrices, 2012.
Image 3 - Migrant Data Matrices contents
With the inclusion of Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia as a Cross Curriculum Perspective in the new Australian curriculum, why not take some time to see how you could harness data available in this ABS product and apply it to the classroom?

But wait, there's more! Read on to our next article about recently released migrant and cultural diversity data from the 2011 Census.5. Cultural Diversity - Census 2011

Did you know in 2011 that 26% of Australia's population were born overseas and that a further 20% of Australians have at least one overseas born parent? The 2011 Census has revealed the rich cultural diversity that exists in Australia. This diversity is shown through the variety of ancestries, birthplaces, languages and religions reported by Australians when filling in their Census form. The Census article Cultural Diversity in Australia (cat. no. 2071.0) includes interesting historical and contemporary migration data.

This article can assist you and your students to explore fascinating topics such as:
  • the proportion of Australian's born overseas;
  • the concepts of first, second and third plus generation Australians;
  • patterns of migration from across the world;
  • and ancestry (as opposed to country of birth).

Top 10 Countries of Birth for Overseas Born Population 2011
Source: Census of Population and Housing, 2011

This article can introduce your students to a range of migrant data, which has been graphed in a variety of ways. An interesting finding from the 2011 Census was the age distribution of Australian born people and recent arrivals. The following graph illustrates that the median age of recent arrivals was 27 years - considerably younger than the Australian median age of 37.

2011 Census age and sex distribution pyramid
Source: Census of Population and Housing, 2011

Suggestions for use in the classroom:
  • Interpret and discuss the graphs of migrant data and the trends they show.
  • Graph and analyse the median age and/or sex ratio data for Australian born and overseas born people.
  • Explore data trends for selected ancestry groups.

If you're interested in investigating the cultural diversity of your state or territory, you can access useful data through Census QuickStats. Use the Quick Stats search function to request data for your state or territory.

Picture of Quick Stats Search Bar6. ISLP Poster Competition

Picture of ISLP logo

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is proud to be the national coordinator of the 2012-13 ISLP Poster Competition. The International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP) is a section of the International Statistical Institute (ISI). They operate to support, create and participate in statistical literacy activities and promotion around the world.

In 2010-11, 891 students from 30 countries participated in the competition, and the ISLP hope to gain more participants this year. So far 11 countries, including Australia, are signed up for the 2012-13 competition.

The aim of the competition is to build students’ ability to define their environment with statistics, and to use statistics as an instrument of learning on a daily basis. Students work in teams of two to three to design a poster on a selected topic of their choosing that ties into this year’s broader topic of agriculture.

The competition is free to enter and is run in three phases:

  • Schools select and submit their best posters locally;
  • The national juries select the best posters nationally;
  • The best posters are then displayed at the international final and the winner is chosen by the international jury.

Winners will be announced at the 59th World Statistics Congress in Hong Kong, China, 25-30 August 2013.

Posters must be submitted to the ABS for national judging by 8 March 2013.

Registration opened on 3 September. To register, simply fill in the Registration Form on the ISLP website by 29 March 2013. For further details on how the competition will function within Australia, including how to submit posters, please access our Information Flyer.

If you would like to see the International Winners posters from 2010, you can do so here.

7. ABS Year Books

Year Book logo

ABS Year Books provide an overview of Australia's economic, social and environmental conditions with a statistically orientated focus. We currently have a very limited supply of pre-2012 ABS Year Books to give away for free and have had an overwhelmingly positive response to these. If you are interested, please click on the pre-2012 ABS Year Book link to see what is available and how to place your order.

You can view the latest ABS Year Book 2012 now online. You can purchase a copy of the 2012 edition by contacting the National Information Referral Service on 1300 135 070, or clicking on the Information Consultancy link on the National Information and Referral Service webpage. 8. Conferences

Conferences Recently Attended:

Jean, Mary-Anne and Sarah attended the Maths Association of New South Wales (MANSW) conference in September. This conference was held at Novotel in Brighton-Le-Sands, Sydney.

Both Jean and Mary-Anne presented at the conference and the sessions were well attended. Mary-Anne took teachers on a tour of the ABS web pages. She also discussed the CensusAtSchool and Education Services resources available to teachers and students. Jean's presentation focused on finding and using authentic data to teach statistics for senior students.

The CensusAtSchool showbags with free goodies were a big hit amongst teachers. In particular the free Infographics posters were a hot item - you can download these by going to the CensusAtSchool webpage and selecting the Infographics link in the Data and Stats cube.

Upcoming Conferences:

The Education Services Unit of ABS will have representatives at various conferences over the following months:


26th October - Teacher PD (ACT)

31st October - 1st November - ACSA Curriculum Symposium, Adelaide


26 - 27th November - MAWA Conference, Fremantle


6 - 7th December - MAV Conference, Melbourne

9. Interesting Publications

Perspectives on Migrants, 2011 (cat.no. 3416.0)
This publication provides a statistical overview of the characteristics of recent migrants in Australia. Topics covered include source countries, labour force participation, occupation and non-school qualifications.

Characteristics of Recent Migrants, Australia, Nov 2010 (cat.no. 6250.0)
This publication presents information about labour force status, household income and education of recent migrants and temporary residents.

Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2011 (cat.no. 3235.0)
This publication provides estimates of the resident population of Australia by age and sex as at 30 June 2001 to 30 June 2011. Data for Australia as a whole, as well as the individual states and territories, can be viewed here.

Humanitarian Arrivals, Year Book Australia, 2012 (cat.no. 1301.0)
This article provides information about refugees who are granted an humanitarian visa. Topics covered include where the refugees are from, how they arrive in Australia, and how many are granted visas (ranging from temporary to permanent). Data for 2007-08 to 2009-10 can be viewed here.

Australia's Overseas Aid Program, Year Book Australia, 2012 (cat.no. 1301.0)
This articles provides information about Australia's overseas aid program. Topics covered include facts about global poverty, the structure of the aid program and how aid is provided. The article includes a breakdown of Australia's aid for 2011-12.

Census, 2011: There will be a three phased release for the 2011 Census data. The first data release occurred on 21 June 2012 (including core demographic data); and the second release will occur on 30 October 2012. The third release will begin on 28 March 2013 and conclude at the end of 2013. The third release (supplementary data) relates to the dissemination of highly specialised products. Visit Census release plans for more information.

Remember: all ABS publications are free to download from the ABS website.

You can view the full range of previously released publications from the ABS on the Statistics by Release Date webpage.

10. Contact Details

How to contact ABS Education Services

Free Call: 1800 623 273
Email: education@abs.gov.au

Mail: GPO Box 2796, Melbourne, 3001

Education News is a totally free resource that aims to assist teachers use of ABS data in their classroom. When you subscribe you will be notified of each new edition as it is published.