Census Analysis Conference - Guest Speakers



  • Professor Peter McDonald, Professor of Demography and Program Head, Australian National University
  • Professor Graeme Hugo, Professor of Geography, Director of the National Centre for Social Applications of GIS, University of Adelaide
  • Dr Bob Birrell, Director - Centre of Population and Urban Research, Monash University
  • Professor Ann Harding, Director - National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling
  • Dr Natalie Jackson, Director - Demographic Analytical Services Unit, University of Tasmania
  • Chris Chamberlain, Associate Professor, Australian Housing and Urban Research, RMIT University
  • David Mackenzie, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University


There will also be a number of sessions presented by the ABS about the Census, such as 'How Australia takes a Census', issues surrounding the Census, and Census products and services. There will be a panel of ABS Census experts of whom you will be able to ask all those Census questions you have always wanted answered.


Peter McDonald is Professor of Demography at the Australian National University. He has recently been elected Vice President (2006-2009) and President (2010-2013) of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, the international association of professional demographers. Besides Australia, he is frequently consulted on the issue of population futures (causes, consequences and policies) by governments around the world, especially in Europe and East Asia. He is a leading expert on policies, including labour supply policies, for countries facing very low fertility rates. His work has changed the nature of the population debate in Australia by bringing demographic realities into a debate that had relied mainly on rhetoric. He has been highly influential in work and family policy and labour supply futures policy. His theoretical work on the causes of very low fertility rates is widely cited in academic papers and meetings and acknowledged by governments around the world that are addressing the problems associated with very low fertility rates.

Graeme Hugo is Federation Fellow, Professor of the Department of Geographical and Environmental Studies and Director of the National Centre for Social Applications of Geographic Information Systems at the University of Adelaide. His research interests are in population issues in Australia and South East Asia, especially migration.

His books include 'Australia’s Changing Population' (Oxford University Press), 'The Demographic Dimension in Indonesian Development' (with T. H. Hull, V. J. Hull and G. W. Jones, Oxford University Press), 'International Migration Statistics: Guidelines for Improving Data Collection Systems' (with A.S. Oberai, H. Zlotnik and R. Bilsborrow, International Labour Office), 'Worlds in Motion: Understanding International Migration at Century’s End' (with D. S. Massey, J. Arango, A Kouaouci, A. Pellegrino and J. E. Taylor, Oxford University Press), several of the 1986, 1991 and 1996 census based 'Atlas of the Australian People Series' (AGPS), 'Australian Immigration: A Survey of the Issues' (with M. Wooden, R. Holton and J. Sloan, AGPS), 'New Forms of Urbanisation: Beyond the Urban-Rural Dichotomy' (with A. Champion, Ashgate) and 'Australian Census Analytic Program: Australia’s Most Recent Immigrants' (Australian Bureau of Statistics).

In 2002 he secured an ARC Federation Fellowship over five years for his research project, "The new paradigm of international migration to and from Australia: dimensions, causes and implications".

Dr Bob Birrell is the Director of the Centre for Population and Urban Research. He has a degree in Economics from the University of Melbourne, and an honours degree in History (first class) from the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University. His PhD is in Sociology from Princeton University.

Dr Birrell was a member of the National Population Council from 1987-1993. He contributed to the Council’s population inquiry commissioned by the Labor Government in 1990. He was a member of NPC Working Party on Immigration Selection in 1988, which led to the reform of the migration selection system introduced in 1989. He was a member of the panel of experts appointed in mid-2005 which reviewed the General Skilled Migration Categories for the Commonwealth Government. He is currently a member of the Department of Education, Science and Training’s International Education Advisory Board.

His research interest range across the demographic spectrum, from the international movement of people to and from Australia, to the evolution of Australian partnering and fertility levels. The latter studies have involved extensive use of data from successive censuses.
He is the joint editor of the demographic quarterly 'People and Place', published by the Centre for Population and Urban Research.

Recent publications include: 'Men and Women Apart, Partnering in Australia', Australian Family Association, 2005 and 'Immigration in a Time of domestic Skilled Shortages', DIMA, 2005

Professor Ann Harding, After working on major policy reviews in several Federal government departments, Ann Harding was appointed Professor of Applied Economics and Social Policy and the inaugural Director of the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) at the University of Canberra in January 1993. She is an internationally recognised expert in the fields of microsimulation modelling, income distribution, and tax/transfer policy.

Under Ann’s leadership NATSEM has become one of Australia’s leading research centres, having constructed models and undertaken research across a wide spectrum of social and economic policy, including tax, social security, health insurance, hospital usage, pharmaceutical benefits, education, child care, effective marginal tax rates, income inequality, poverty, housing, wealth, child support and intergenerational transfers.

In 1996 Ann was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, becoming one of the youngest ever Fellows. Ann holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Economics with First Class Honours from Sydney University.

Dr Natalie Jackson is a Senior Lecturer in Social Demography at the University of Tasmania, and Director of the university’s Demographic Analytical Services Unit. She has a Ph.D. from the Australian National University and a Master of Social Science from the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Both are in the field of political economic demography.

Natalie has published extensively on population-ageing issues in Australia and New Zealand. Her current research is on the social, economic and political implications of the different rates of structural and numerical ageing unfolding across Australia’s States and Territories; and on the question of whether Australia’s baby boomers will change their retirement plans in line with government thinking on the issue.

Natalie is or has been a member of several federal, state and local government working groups on the topic of population ageing.

Chris Chamberlain and David MacKenzie are experts on homelessness. Chris is Director of the Centre for Applied Social Research at RMIT University and David is Senior Research Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology. Chris and David are the authors of 'Youth Homelessness: Early Intervention and Prevention' (ACEE 1998) and 'Counting the Homeless 2001' (ABS 2003). They are currently planning 'Counting the Homeless 2006' which will include reports for all state and territory governments.