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2903.0.55.002 - How Australia Takes a Census, 2006  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/08/2006  First Issue
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MEDIA RELEASE

August 1, 2006
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
C28/2006

    ABS works actively with Indigenous Australians on 2006 Census
To ensure the best possible snapshot of Australia in the 2006 Census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is working hard to include every Indigenous person in the count.

“Over 1,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collectors are employed across the nation -- in remote communities, as well as urban and regional areas -- as part of a comprehensive Indigenous collection strategy”, said Head of Census Paul Williams.

A key aspect to this strategy is the recognition that people living in remote and traditional settings require different approaches to those used when counting urban Indigenous populations.

Marissa Russ, State Indigenous Manager for Western Australia said that the ABS has been actively working with local communities in remote areas.

“We employ Indigenous residents wherever possible, often senior and respected people, from within communities as Census Community Coordinators and Collectors”, she said.

“The remote community collection strategy involves a Collector interviewing the people in each dwelling to gather the Census information”.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma supports the Census and encourages all Indigenous Australians to take part.

“I urge all Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders to participate in the Census and make sure that our issues are accurately reflected in government policy, programs and services”, he said.

Census figures are used to help with the allocation of funding for things like housing, education, health and community services. Community organisations such as Co-ops, Land and Community Councils use Census information for funding applications and for making decisions about the provision of services.

All information collected in the Census is strictly confidential. Organisations like Centrelink, Housing, Community Services, Tax Office and any other agencies can never obtain personal information from the Census.

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