Census a chance for Ellenbrook, Aveley and The Vines to count on Phil again


Phil McDonald is the Census 2016 area supervisor in Ellenbrook, Aveley and The Vines.  Picture: Marie Nirme        d457305
Phil McDonald is the Census 2016 area supervisor in Ellenbrook, Aveley and The Vines. Picture: Marie Nirme        d457305

BEING involved in the community motivated Ellenbrook resident Phil McDonald to work on the national head count a second time.

Mr McDonald is the Census 2016 area supervisor recruited by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to oversee field officers in Ellenbrook, Aveley and The Vines.

“I first became involved in Census in 2001 – it was a great way to become involved in an activity that benefits the community in so many ways,” he said.

“I was self-employed at the time and had the time to be involved. I was unable to participate in the 2006 and 2011 activities but jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the address canvassing field exercise in 2015.

“This saw us record every house within certain areas to assist in the building of the database of addresses for this year’s Census.”

Mr McDonald said it was a massive task that involved a lot of walking but it also gave him the chance to travel to some regional areas to do the job.

“Involvement in Census is a great way to become involved in the local community,” he said.

In the lead-up to the August 9 Census night, his job has entailed reviewing his area and making adjustments for new housing or retirement and aged care facilities.

“As Census draws closer I have been involved in the interviewing, employment and training of field officers with varying responsibilities,” he said.

“The field officers play a vital role in the follow-up contact with members of the local community to ensure we have a good response to the mail out campaign and to assist those that require paper forms to complete.

“The recording of all households across the country is a massive exercise,” he said.

“The change of focus to online submission with such a varied and diverse community has come with a change in the way Census is conducted.

“We will not have field officers delivering forms in many areas as they have done in the past. I am in what is known as a mail out area, with local residences receiving a letter notifying them of the ability to complete the Census online.

“This sees a change in the role of the field officer who now play a larger role in the ‘after census’ activities.”