Australian Census — Its not to late to be counted!


Officers from the Centre of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics were in Bourke last week helping locals to fill out their census forms – NSW Engagement Manager Merinda Rose and Community Field Officer Robert Dixon. Photo TWH

Census night was Tuesday 10 August, but it’s not too late to be counted.

And although there were problems with COVIDSafe procedures, forms going missing and getting forms to every household, you can still fill out your census form.

Engagement Manager with the Centre of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics, Merinda Rose, was in Bourke last week, and said that people could still contribute to the Census count – and that they should.

Merinda said that census workers had had a good response in Bourke and having the census pop-up hub at the Outback Division in Oxley Street has helped.

In the past, census forms had to be filled out on a specific date but with the increasing use of online forms, Merinda said that was not as critical for the 2021 census.

“We have been able to allow people to fill them in online two weeks prior and also after Census night,” she said.

“Anyone having trouble can still get in touch with me as Community Engagement Officer and I’ll help people to make sure they are counted.”

“We’ve had local community field officers assisting and if anyone didn’t get a form or is still having trouble completing their Census, they can get in touch, and we can help them.

“You can do the Census online, by paper or with help from us. If you haven’t received your letter, don’t worry, you can go online and complete your Census without a code, or ask for our help.

“It is most important that we get Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people counted accurately.

“Previously, Aboriginal people have been under-counted across Australia by 17 per cent, so it’s important that people complete their forms.

“A lot of communities around NSW like Bourke and others in the western region, lack the services they need and deserve. We know a lot of Bourke locals drive to bigger regions to receive health treatment for example.

“There are a lot of services lacking and that’s because our numbers don’t reflect the actual population numbers within these communities.

“When funding bodies can provide grants and so on, they are looking at an inaccurate number, and that’s why it is so important to get those forms filled,” Merinda said.

To contact Merinda, you can call 0418 797 448 or go to https://www.abs.gov.au/about/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-peoples/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-engagement

The Centre of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics is part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which conducts the Australian Census.