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Media release –

Census celebrates NAIDOC Week in Tasmania

5 July 2016 | TAS/38

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 Tasmania, and encourage people to make sure their voice is heard on Census night Tuesday, 9 August 2016.

Tasmanian Census Director, Georgia Chapman, says NAIDOC Week is an important time to talk with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about the Census and why it’s important they take part and identify their origin.

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

Census Manager, Christine Boonstra, says NAIDOC week is not just about celebrating culture and achievements, it’s also a chance to meet other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“I was born in 1971 which was the first year that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were included in official population estimates. It’s important for the ABS to attend NAIDOC events and celebrate almost 50 years of inclusion in the Census.

“By being a part of the Census, I can make sure we provide accurate data to inform government decision-making around a range of cultural, social and health issues specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Ms Boonstra said.

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). Out of Tasmania’s total population (495,390 people) there were 19,625 people (4.0 per cent) who identified themselves as either Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

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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