Census | beyond the count was held at the Hilton on the Park in Melbourne from 2 to 4 March, 2011.
The conference was a great success that saw many great stories presented on how the Census has been used to provide and improve services to communities all over Australia. It also brought together people from all areas of policy and service providers including local, state and federal governments, businesses and academics and provided many networking opportunities for the 300+ attendees.
Bernard Salt gave the keynote presentation on Day One. During his presentation, Bernard discussed the changes in life cycles and retirement ages with the more recent inclusion of the 'lifestyle' and 'grey nomad' periods before settling into 'old age'; the skills shortages Australia is anticipated to encounter over the next decade; and his popular research into 'the man drought'. On Day Two, Dr Cassandra Goldie discussed closing the gender pay gap and issues faced by those of a diverse sexual orientation, and described how Census data can be used to provide evidence in determining policies created to address these issues.
Two panel discussions - on Homeless and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples - were held on Day One and addressed the different issues faced in regards to enumerating both these population counts and what can be done to improve the undercount as well as gaining the trust from both these groups. These panels generated much interest and discussion amongst delegates and were certainly a valuable component of the conference program.
During the Day Two plenary, Ivan Motley told us why he thinks 'Census is sexy', Catherine from IBM discussed how they are providing smart technology to run the eCensus, and Lara Wilde showed us how she uses the Census with local intelligence to match people to compatible rural towns.
The Connect with Census area was very popular as were the workshops, where delegates were able to learn more about the 2011 Census products as well as ask Census experts any questions that they had. Interest in the new statistical geography standard was particularly high, as was interest in the TableBuilder demonstration and discussion on what to expect for 2011.
The gala dinner held on Thursday night was a big hit. In keeping with the theme of 'a night in the lucky country', each table centrepiece represented an Australian location and was decorated with items provided by tourist centres from around the country - thank you to all the participating areas. These included Kentia Palms from Lord Howe Island; rough pearl shells, Zebra rock and sandalwood products from Broome; and Blue Lake lemonade from Mount Gambier. Dinner guests were joined on the night by some iconic Australian personalities - the Awful Umpires made sure that everyone was playing by the rules, while Dame Edna and Kath and Kim tribute artists provided entertainment. Everyone had a laugh and a good night, letting down their hair to dance to some great Aussie music.
The conference was rounded out by 'pecha kucha' session. The fast-paced pecha kucha format put some of our ABS staff to the test as they powered through 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each to tell their Census story.
Overall, Census | beyond the count provided a well-rounded balance of stories and information on many different topics, plus a bit of fun! Thank you to everyone who came along and made this conference a fantastic success.
Selected presentations from this event will be available shortly, as will some of the photos taken across the days. Check back here soon for more info.
Census | beyond the count has just started - we're looking forward to the great Census stories that will be shared over the next two days.
Check out our twitterfall for all latest conference activity. We also encourage you to join the conversation by using the conference hashtag : #beyondthecount.
Census | beyond the count is about to kick off! Thanks in advance to all of our speakers, exhibitors and delegates who will make this event a fantastic success.
If you're not able to come along, keep an eye on our twitterfall for all latest conference activity. You can also join the conversation by using the conference hashtag : #beyondthecount.
In addition to our expert staff who will be running workshops, attendees at Census | beyond the count will also have the chance to meet some of our key Census staff during the Census one-on-one sessions. These sessions will run for half-an-hour each and will be held in the Connect with Census area during the break periods.
Our experts, and the times they'll be available, are :
Margaret Sherley, ABS Census Data Analyst
10:30am Thursday, 3pm Friday
Margaret is the manager of the Census Analysis team, which will be writing analytical articles using 2011 Census data. She has worked in several roles within the Census program over the past 4 years and prior to that worked in the ABS Health and Disability area.
Ros Harvie, 2016 Census
12:30pm, Thursday and Friday
Ros is the manager of the 2016 Census team, which was established in late 2009 to start looking at future directions. She joined the ABS a year before the 2001 Census and has worked on a diverse range of census projects over the last decade. You can catch up with Ros at 12:30 on Thursday and Friday.
Paul Lowe, Head of Population Census
Paul Lowe is the Head of the Australian Population Census program and is responsible for all aspects of the program from enumeration through to the dissemination of the results. He has over 20 years experience in census taking in Australia and has worked in all areas of the program including the role of Executive Director of the Census Data Processing Centre.
He has also worked as a census technical advisor for the National Statistical Offices in PNG, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, and Thailand. He is also a member of the International Technical Advisory Boards for both the Afghanistan and Iraq censuses.
He was the principle editor of the UN publication "Handbook on Census Management for Population and Housing Censuses" and has presented many training courses on census management in developing countries.
Alan Wong, Census Products and Services
3pm Thursday and 10:30am Friday
Alan Wong is Director of Population Census Products and Services. Alan studied Statistics at Victoria University and Social Sciences at Curtin University during which time he completed a dissertation on transitional impacts of gentrification using Census data. Alan has worked with the ABS for more than 10 years in various statistics roles including the Remote ABS Data Laboratory, Census Data Enhancement, Census Processing. Come meet Alan at 3:00pm on Thursday and 10:30am on Friday
Michelle Howe, Census PR Director
Michelle's marketing and communication career spans years primarily in the public sector, in both Queensland and Canberra. In Brisbane, she worked for the Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association, before taking up positions with a number of Queensland Government departments. She held marketing, communication and media roles at the Office of Fair Trading, the Department of Communities, and Queensland Transport. She moved to Canberra to lead and manage the external communication activities of the Child Support Agency within the Department of Human Services. Michelle joined the Australian Bureau of Statistics in March 2010, where she is the Director of Census Public Relations, responsible for leading the development and implementation of the 2011 Census communication and public relations campaign. She holds a degree in Creative bertWriting Production.
We've had lots of great feedback about our fantastic conference program and it's shaping up to be a busy couple of days.
To ensure that your organisation gets the most out of this important event, we would like to extend a special 3-for-the-price-of-2 offer. For each organisation that registers two full-paying delegates, another delegate will be entitled to a complimentary registration.
To take advantage of this offer, contact Conference Solutions on 02 6285 3000 for details on how to register.
Census | beyond the count will provide delegates with the opportunity to meet one on one with key Census experts as part of our Connect with Census area. Some of the key experts include:
Patrick studied Statistics and Demography at Macquarie University, and has worked with the ABS for 30 years in various demography, labour and population statistics roles in Sydney and Canberra. A member of several national and international professional associations, Patrick was recently elected President of the Australian Population Association.
Patrick will be on hand to chat about Australia’s future population, and the role of the ABS in informing Australia’s population futures.
SEIFA (Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas)
Jeff Wright and Peter Radisich
SEIFA is a series of four measures, created from Census data which summaries different aspects of the socioeconomic conditions of people in that geography area. These indexes allow you to see how disadvantaged an area is, compares with other areas in Australia.
Jeff has worked at the ABS Central Office in Canberra for the past six years, working on several research projects in the Analytical Services Branch with most time spent on probabilistic data linking. For the past six months, Jeff has taken on the role of managing the SEIFA project.
Peter has worked at the ABS for the past three years in Analytical Services Branch. He has spent most of this time working on SEIFA, and was part of the team that produced the 2006 SEIFA indexes.
Jeff and Peter will be in the Connect with Census area can answer any questions about the potential uses of SEIFA.
Alister Nairn and Marcus Blake
Alister joined ABS in 2006 as Director of Geography after working with Geoscience Australia and its predecessors on numerous surveying, GIS, and mapping projects as well as a few years in spatial information policy. Since joining ABS he has been intimately involved with completing the development of Mesh Blocks, the development of the ASGS and supporting the Census and other parts of ABS.
Marcus joined the ABS after initially training and working at working at Leeds University. He has been involved in address coding support for the 2006 Census and for the past 4 years as Assistant Director Geography involved in implementing changes resulting from decision to adopt the ASGS for the 2011 Census.
Alister and Marcus will be available in the Connect with Census area to give you and overview of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) and to answer any questions you may have.
Jo Prezzi is the Project Manager for the data systems aspect of the 2011 Census Output Program. Jo will be in the Connect with Census area to guide you through a few of the tips and tricks for TableBuilder and describe what's coming for 2011.
Census Client Education and Support
Emily is the manager of the Census Client Education and Support team. Emily joined the ABS in November last year, however she has over 6 years experience in Census between 1999 and 2005.
Emily has extensive experience building and interrogating databases and will be available in the Connect with Census area to show you just how powerful Census data is.
Due to adverse weather conditions, our online registration was unavailable yesterday. This issue has now been resolved and you can register now.
If you're attending Census | beyond the count you'll have the opportunity to attend five free Census workshops to help you make the most of Census data.
Run by expert ABS staff, these workshops will show you the tips and tricks to understanding how to use Census data for your individual needs. To ensure that you have the chance to see your desired workshop all five will be presented on both days.
These workshops are:
- Understanding the new geography - this session will provide illustrations and answers to many of the common question surrounding the new geography and provide an opportunity for attendees to ask their own questions.
- Tips and tricks for TableBuilder - you will be guided through an interactive demonstration of how you can use TableBuilder to suit your unique data needs.
- Demystifying SEIFA - understand what SEIFA is and the context for when it should and should not be used.
- Australia's future population - where are we going? - this session will explain the role of the ABS in providing evidence to inform debate, discussion and decision making, and how to use population projections in an informed way.
- Unearthing the diamonds of Census data - attendees of this session will learn how to find the data and develop ideas about how to use it.
See our workshop presentation page for more information.
Register now so you don't miss out.
Steve Cannane, ABC TV and radio reporter, producer and presenter will join Census | beyond the count as the conference MC and facilitator.
Steve was the founding presenter of triple j’s current affairs program Hack. In 2006 he won a Walkley Award for Broadcast Interviewing. Steve has also won the Excellence in Drug and Alcohol Media Reporting Award at the National Drug and Alcohol Awards.
In 2008, Steve presented The Hack Half Hour on ABC2. In 2009 he fronted the ABC 1 documentary series Whatever - The Science of Teenagers. In 2009, Steve published a book First Tests: Great Australian Cricketers and the Backyards That Made Them.
Steve is now working as a presenter of The Drum on ABC News 24 and is a reporter on Lateline.
We're thrilled that Steve will be our MC and we look forward to the insights that he will bring to the conference.