Check out the latest news, announcements and updates for Census | beyond the count.

Presentations now available

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Selected presentations from Census | beyond the count are now available for download. Available presentations include our afternoon plenary sessions, all ABS workshops and selected concurrent presentations.

Visit the presentations page  to access these slideshows.

Conference wrap up

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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.

Kick off

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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.

It’s almost time!

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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.

Get to know the Census a little better

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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

1pm Thursday

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

1pm Friday

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.

Buy two, get another one for free

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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.

Connect with us at beyond the count

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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 Corr
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.

Census TableBuilder
Jo Prezzi
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 Walter
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.

Rego system up and running again

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Due to adverse weather conditions, our online registration was unavailable yesterday. This issue has now been resolved and you can register now.

Census workshops at beyond the count

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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 is our Master of Ceremonies

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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.

IBM joins Census | beyond the count

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Census | beyond the count
is happy to announce that two IBM presenters will join us in March to share their Census story.

Catherine Caruana-McManus, Smarter Cities Executive for IBM, will join our afternoon plenary session on Friday 4 March. Catherine is responsible for advising organisations on IBM's Smarter Cities Initiative for sustainable and intelligent urban eco-systems across water, education, infrastructure, transport, health and energy use in the built environment. Catherine's presentation Smarter Census: adding intelligence for better decision making will discuss the idea of the ‘Smarter’ Census and the opportunities that exist to harness the power of technology to enable more automated data collection and intelligence to be added to the data for better decision making about the future of our nation by both public and private sectors.

Rod Hennegan
, the lead IBM architect for the 2011 and 2006 eCensus program, will present 'eCensus: a Case Study' during the afternoon Census+ Workshop on Thursday 3 March. In this workshop, Rod will discuss the unique nature of the eCensus requirements and its solution. The workshop will discuss the roles played by ABS and IBM, the security and capacity measures necessary to support Census night and secure the highly sensitive data eCensus collects, and provides a business level view of the underlying technologies that make it possible.   

We look forward to seeing both presentations at Census | beyond the count!

Happy New Year!

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Census | beyond the count is now only two months away!

Our early-bird rate is no longer available, however you can still register for this event for just $850, inclusive of all presentations, workshops, access to exhibition space and social functions.

beyond the count welcomes Lara Wilde

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Census | beyond the count is happy to welcome Lara Wilde, Rural Ambassador and founder of Local Intelligence, as one of our afternoon plenary presenters on Friday 4 March.

Born in Atherton, North Queensland, Lara has lived her entire life throughout rural and regional Australia. After leaving school, Lara enrolled to study university externally while working throughout rural and regional Australia in numerous roles.

In 2006 Lara wrote ‘Welcome to the Bush’, a simple guide to rural and regional communities for people who have never been out of the city or who are from another county. This work has since been embraced by both tree changers and immigrants alike.

It is Lara’s aim to move, touch and inspire people about the opportunity and possibility for the rural and regional Australia using Local Intelligence to provide everything they need to live a life they love in the bush.

In her presentation ‘Local Intelligence: Taking statistics and what the Locals know and using it to welcome the world’, Lara will talk about how Local Intelligence takes strong factual data by reputable sources such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics and combines that with locally sourced stories and information to provide a simple, easy to use, central source of Local Intelligence to guide your business or family when choosing a life in rural or regional Australia.

Make the most of Census data

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As part of Census | beyond the count we will be featuring a series of ABS run workshops titled Empowering the Census to help you get the most out of Census data. These workshops are included in the registration and to make sure that you can still see your desired concurrents they will be presented on both days.

The 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.  

To find out more information on these workshops please visit the presentations page. For the times that they will be presented please view the program.

Call for speakers now closed

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We've had a fantastic response to our call speakers and have received some great Census stories from across Australia. Our conference program is almost full, so we will no longer be accepting presentation submissions.

Thanks to everyone who submitted proposals, your interest in presenting at this exciting event is greatly appreciated. We're looking forward to showcasing many of these stories at Census | beyond the count in March.

Join us at Census | beyond the count

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On behalf of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) we would like to welcome you to Census | beyond the count.

Australia's next national Census will be held on 9 August, 2011 and will mark the centenary of national Census-taking in Australia. Census | beyond the count is an excellent opportunity for all levels of government, businesses, community groups and policy influencers to look beyond the numbers and share their stories.

This exciting event will showcase how the Census has made a difference to Australian society.

The conference program will feature speakers and presenters who will explore Census issues and the stories that matter to Australian communities.

We look forward to seeing you at Census | beyond the count. In the meantime, we invite you to explore the conference website.

Brian Pink

Australian Statistician
Australian Bureau of Statistics

Paul Lowe

Head Population Census
Australian Bureau of Statistics

Day Two keynote speaker announced

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We're delighted that Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS, will be the keynote speaker on Day Two of Census | beyond the count.

Cassandra has had an extensive career in the human rights and community service sector in Australia and internationally.  

Prior to her appointment at ACOSS, Cassandra was the Director of the Sex and Age Discrimination Unit at the Australian Human Rights Commission where she played a pivotal role in the Inquiry into the Sex Discrimiination Act, Pay Equity, national homelessness legislation, reforms to corporate governance to promote women in leadership and decision making roles, and the campaign to achieve Paid Parental Leave.

Cassandra has previously been the Director of the Homelessness Legal Rights Project at UNSW, a consultant to UN Habitat, Senior Executive with Legal Aid in Western Australia and Executive Officer of the Darwin Community Legal Service for five years.

Cassandra has also been President of NTCOSS and Board Member of ACOSS (2001-2002) and was an ACOSS Law and Justice Policy Advisor (2000-2006).

We're looking forward to Cassandra's thoughts on how the Census is making a difference to social issues across Australia.

Registration now open!

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Registration for Census | beyond the count is now open. Register today and join us in March to discover the difference that the Census makes to Australia.

Find out more about registration benefits, rates and how to register on our registration page.

Calling for (a few more) speakers

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We've received some fantastic proposals from potential speakers for Census | beyond the count and our program is really starting to take shape now.

Only a few presentation slots are still available, so if you would like share a Census story at this exciting event please send us your proposal ASAP. Find out how to submit a presentation proposal.

Thanks to everyone who has already submitted a presentation. We will be in touch shortly.

Keynote speaker announced!

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We are delighted to announce that Bernard Salt, demographer and trend forecaster, will be the keynote speaker on Day One of Census | beyond the count.

Bernard is a best-selling author of three popular books on demographic change. He is a columnist with The Australian and Melbourne Herald Sun newspapers. He is a Partner with KPMG and heads a group of researchers providing demographic advice to business.

Bernard is also one of Australia's most quoted social commentators. He is a regular on many radio and television programs including Sunrise, Today Tonight, A Current Affair and many others.

Bernard is a compelling and entertaining speaker, who manages to combine an astute observation of human behaviour and change with hard data. We are certain that you will enjoy his opening presentation at Census | beyond the count .

Share your Census story!

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We are now calling for speakers to present at this exciting event! The program will feature a variety of presentation formats, including plenary presentations, panel discussions, concurrent sessions and workshops.

We are seeking presentations of approximately 20 minutes in length, that demonstrate practical examples of how Census data has been used to 'make a difference' across a wide range of sectors, at all levels of government and business, and in communities across Australia.

If you would like to join us at Census | beyond the count or know of others who have a Census story to tell, we would love to hear from you.

To be considered as a presenter, please email with the following details:

  • Your name and title
  • Your organisation
  • Title of your presentation
  • Key points you wish to cover
  • Your availability for Day One (March 3), Day Two (March 4) or both days
  • Preferred contact details
  • Any other comments regarding your proposed presentation

If you have any questions regarding presentation opportunities, please contact Georgina Kelly on (02) 6252 5831.