Sensing the census is upon us
“Knock, knock.” Who’s there?
Probably one of 29,000 collectors who started delivering Census forms and eCensus envelopes this morning, posted the 2011 Census Australia Facebook group on July 29.
Once every five years, Australians have the chance to stand up and be counted in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Census and that night, Tuesday, August 9, 2011, is finally upon us.
Over the past couple of weeks, local Census collectors have been doing the rounds of Port Hedland, handing out Census forms and ascertaining where people will be staying on this specific night.
Mayor Kelly Howlett, the first Census collector to be profiled on this year’s Australian Census Facebook page, has joined the now 148,000 strong national doorknocking team to assist in form distribution.
Walking the walk and talking the talk, she’s also been able to remind people via Facebook that, “It’s very impt [sic] we get the right count for Hedland.”
Many aspects of statistical analysis, like population age averages in specific regions and rural versus city distribution, to name but the tip of the numbers iceberg, play a vital role in distributing money amongst communities.
Hedland resident Amanda Lomas is one community member who decided to be a Census collector this year.
She understands one of the most important ways Census data is put to use.
“I believe in getting funding into our towns and the Census is the best way we can do it,” Mrs Lomas said.
Cr Howlett also talked Census with some local schools.
Chatting with students at South Hedland Primary School, her engaging discussion, including photos of Hedland fifty years back, helped the kids understand in simple terms that if everyone makes sure they’re counted, we’ll be able to work out how much money we need for future town projects.
This included things they’d be likely to need at their grandparents’ age.
A bingo place was the first shout out from the classroom, followed by walking sticks, “old people’s homes” and motorised wheelchairs.
Whilst the discussion was lighthearted, the kids discovered that to be counted is not just about numbers but about building a better town for all of our futures.
If for no other reason than finding out whether Australia is home to more than the six people employed as squid jiggers in 2001, the National Census is worth getting everyone out for the count.