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Media release –

Census celebrates NAIDOC Week in QLD and reminds people to identify their origins

5 July 2016 | QLD/47

As part of NAIDOC Week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders culture, history and achievements at events throughout Queensland (QLD), and encourage people to make sure their voice is heard on Census night Tuesday, 9 August 2016.

QLD Census Director, Caroline Deans, says NAIDOC Week is an important time to talk with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about the Census and why it’s important Indigenous people take part and identify their origin.

“We know that language and stories passed on from one generation to another maintains Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ connection to country and helps people identify themselves,” Ms Deans said.

“The Census also provides an opportunity for every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person to identify their origin and be counted - which helps planning for important services like schools, healthcare and housing in communities across Australia.”

Indigenous Engagement Manager, Edwina Yasso, said she’s looking forward to talking with community members about the Census and how people can make sure their voices are heard.

“During NAIDOC Week we will be visiting rural and remote communities between Mount Isa and Brisbane, to talk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about the Census and like NAIDOC theme Songlines, leave a legacy behind for future generations to benefit,” Ms Yasso said.

The Census will be conducted in remote communities during July and August 2016, with Remote Area Mobile Teams already working with Indigenous communities to ensure they’re counted in the Census.

From early August, households in urban areas will receive a letter which provides information on how to complete the Census online. It also provides information on how to request a paper form.

The information provided in the Census is kept private and not shared with anyone, including the Police, Housing, Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or Centrelink.

Background information on the 2016 Census of Population and Housing

The 2016 Census of Population and Housing aims to count 10 million dwellings and approximately 24 million people in Australia on Tuesday, 9 August to help shape Australia’s future.

Data from 2006 and 2011 Census showed one in eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people spoke an Australian Indigenous language at home. Out of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons who spoke an Australian Indigenous language, 18 per cent spoke a language from the Arnhem Land and Daly River Region, 14 per cent spoke Western Desert languages and 11 per cent spoke a Torres Strait Island language.

Data from the 2011 Census told us the largest populations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians lived in New South Wales (208,500 people) and Queensland (189,000 people). The smallest population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians lived in the Australian Capital Territory (6,200 people).

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

Key 2016 Census dates:

Late July to late Aug 2016Census Mobile Teams and Local Census Field Staff visit remote communities
Late July to early Aug 2016 Instruction letters and forms will be delivered
9 August 2016Census night
Mid Aug to late Sept 2016Field visits
April 2017The first results from the 2016 Census released

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National Media Manager (P) 1300 175 070 (E) media@abs.gov.au

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