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Media release –

Wallabies hop on-board to support the 2011 Census

20 July 2011 | CO/28

Australian Rugby Union players, Anthony and Saia Fainga'a, Kurtley Beale, Matt Hodgson and Assistant Coach Jim Williams are encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to self-identify on the Census of Population and Housing on Tuesday, 9 August 2011.

The five Wallabies have become Census advocates ahead of this weekend’s Tri Nations test match against South Africa.

Jim Williams, a 14 test veteran says self-identifying on the Census form helps the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) accurately capture the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia on Census night.

“An accurate Census count will help our people get the services that we need," Mr Williams says.

"Sporting facilities, education and health services are all planned using Census information so we need everyone in your household counted."

“If you need some help completing your Census form, the ABS has employed local Aboriginal staff across Australia who can help you fill out your form."

Wallabies playmaker Kurtley Beale says the Census provides important information to decision makers and communities to help plan for the future.

"Make sure you identify your Aboriginal heritage on your Census form."

"Remember, the information you give about yourself and your family is kept completely private and protected by law," Mr Beale says.

Head of the Population Census program, Paul Lowe says the ABS has employed a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers throughout Australia to help ensure an accurate count.

“In regional areas Indigenous Engagement Managers have been working with remote communities, while in the urban areas, Indigenous Assistants have formed solid partnerships with city stakeholders,” Mr Lowe says.

Mr Lowe adds that the information you give about yourself or your family on the Census form is completely secret.

“No other government agency will see your answers. This includes Centrelink, The Department of Housing, The Department of Community Services and the Tax Office.”

More information is available online at www.abs.gov.au/census

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