Census jobs - what an opportunity!

23 February 2011 | CO/08

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is looking for 43,000 people from every pocket of Australia to work on the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.

Karen Barker’s decision to become a Census Area Supervisor changed her life.

“Are you sitting down? I was an office worker for 22 years before I became involved in the Census,” she says.

In 2006, Karen successfully applied for the part time Area Supervisor position in Sydney’s southern suburb of Rockdale.

“I just relished the chance to be out in the community, and the sense of achievement at the end of the project was extraordinary,” she adds.

Karen’s role as an Area Supervisor in 2006 led to a career change and eventually a full time job with the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Census team.

Across Australia more than 3,500 Area Supervisor jobs are now available, from Sydney’s highly populated inner city to the expansive cattle stations of outback Western Australia.

Head of the Population Census program Paul Lowe says Area Supervisors are crucial to the success of the Census and ensuring that everyone in Australia is accurately counted.

"Area Supervisors make an enormous difference to the quality and accuracy of the data that we produce from the Census. The data has benefits for every state, every town and every community," Mr Lowe says.

Shireen Armstrong is another Census worker with great memories of being an Area Supervisor.

The Alice Springs mother was pregnant with her fourth child during the 2006 Census recruitment phase.

“You could say I was doing my bit for the count,” Shireen laughs.

As an Area Supervisor, Karen managed eight Census Collectors and oversaw the distribution and collection of Census forms for two thousand Alice Springs households.

“It’s a fantastic part-time job. I was looking for something different. I have a great interest in numbers and statistics,” Shireen says.

Shireen plans to be part of the Census workforce again in 2011, and is still doing her bit for the count.

“I’m pregnant again, this time with my sixth child.”

Mr Lowe says the ABS has increased the salaries of Area Supervisors in recognition of the fantastic work they do.

"These are rewarding part-time jobs that pay between $4,300 and $7,500 with the bonus of contributing to life in your community."

Area Supervisors will be employed from 18 April until 7 October 2011.

The ABS provides all training for Area Supervisors.