Aboriginal leaders call for greater 2016 Census participation


Neil Coyne, aka NC Viper.
Neil Coyne, aka NC Viper.

ABORIGINAL leaders are calling friends and family to arms ahead of the 2016 Census, encouraging them to highlight their Aboriginal or Torres Islander backgrounds in the one-in-five year event.

Curtin University’s Noongar Danjoo presenter and Rivervale resident Neil Coyne was Australia’s first Aboriginal wrestler, known as NC Viper, and is among the faces urging the Indigenous community to participate in the census.

“Make a difference to your community by participating in the census,” he said.

Census state director David Waymouth said Mr Coyne was recognised as a trusted role model through reconciliation efforts, sport, youth or media.

“The ABS is honoured to have such an inspiring group of people come together and help promote the 2016 Census,” Mr Waymouth said.

“We want people to understand that by taking part in the Census, they are helping their families and communities get access to the services and infrastructure they need.

“Census data will give us a snapshot of what Australia looks like, so we need people to identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander on the form.”

The Census is being conducted in remote communities during July and August 2016. Remote Area Mobile Teams are already working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to ensure everyone is counted this Census.

From early August, households in urban areas will receive a letter with instructions on how to complete the Census online or request a paper form.

The information provided in the Census is kept private and not shared with anyone, including the Police, Housing, Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or Centrelink.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is preparing to count close to 10 million dwellings and about 24 million people across the nation on Tuesday, 9 August.