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Media release –
New South Wales

Multicultural communities urged to pause and make a difference in the 2016 Census

27 July 2016 | NSW/148

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today briefed multicultural media and community representatives in Sydney on the upcoming 17th Census of Population and Housing (Census), which will take place on August 9.

The 2016 Census Program Head, Duncan Young, stressed the importance of the Census in gaining an accurate snapshot of Australia’s cultural make-up.

“We are fortunate to enjoy so much diversity in Australia. In 2016 we expect to see for the first time that more than half of Australia’s population are either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas,” Mr Young said.

“Census data is used to plan for services and allocate billions of dollars of funding in communities around Australia.

“Making sure everyone takes part on August 9, across all of Australia’s 200 different countries of birth and the 300 different languages spoken at home, helps us understand the needs of each community. Census data informs planning for services used in these communities every day, such as translation, migrant, settlement and English language services.

“It’s heartening to see community organisations representing cultural groups in Australia showing so much goodwill and commitment to raising awareness of the Census among multicultural communities,” Mr Young said.

NSW Minister for Multiculturalism John Ajaka said the NSW Government relies on accurate Census information to make important policy decisions that support culturally diverse communities.

“Good policy requires good data. The Census provides rich and important information which helps the NSW Government develop the best possible policies and services that our community needs,” Mr Ajaka said.

“Importantly, getting a true picture of established and emerging ethnic communities in Australia heightens our understanding of these groups and is a positive step to fostering social cohesion.”

Community and media briefings were also held in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, with attendance by media, government and community organisations.

In 2016, 16 million people are expected to complete the Census online, making this the largest online event in Australian history.

Later this month, most households will receive a letter addressed ‘To the Resident’, containing a unique login and instructions on how to complete the Census online, as well as details on how to request a paper Census form.

All information provided in the Census is private and will not be shared with anyone else, including other Government agencies.

For further information on the 2016 Census, visit www.census.abs.gov.au.


Key 2016 Census dates:

August 1, 2016 Delivery of instruction letters and forms begin
August 9, 2016Census night
August 26, 2016Field officers begin household visits
April 20172016 Census data released



Media inquiries

National Media Manager (P) 02 6252 6617 (E) census.media@abs.gov.au


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