Canberrans who know their local area and care about helping their community tell its story are encouraged to apply to work on the delivery of Australia’s 2021 Census.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) requires nearly 20,000 field officers across the country, and 282 will be recruited in the ACT.
Field officers deliver Census instructions and forms and visit households that have not yet responded.
Previous experience is not necessary, the roles are short term, and hours will vary across weekdays, weekends and evenings.
Census executive director Andrew Henderson said field officers played a vital role by promoting Census participation and answering people’s questions.
The ABS is also looking for people who speak a language other than English to help engage culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
“We want to recruit motivated people who are keen to tell their community’s story through the successful collection of Census data,” Mr Henderson said.
“Helping members of the public who need special support to complete the Census is a key role for our field officers.”
The ABS is also looking for 38 ACT-based field managers to oversee teams of field officers.
How is the Census helpful?
The ABS describes the Census as the most comprehensive picture of Australia’s population and housing.
It captures crucial data which tells a story about the economic, social and cultural make-up of the nation.
Cancer Council ACT CEO Sandra Turner said her organisation used Census data to ensure it delivered cancer education and prevention initiatives like the SunSmart program “to the right people, in the right places, at the right time”.
SunSmart uses age, education and ancestry data from the Census to decide where it will have the most impact on reducing skin cancer rates amongst Canberrans.
Independent community foundation, Hands Across Canberra, supports 300 organisations and 100 community projects by raising money and directing it to those who need it most.
Hands Across Canberra CEO Peter Gordon said 2016 Census data was instrumental to its Vital Signs community check-up report, which revealed the needs of disadvantaged people in the community.
“Since 2011 we have distributed $3 million to community projects,” Mr Gordon said.
“To ensure our grants have an impact, we need to prioritise funding for where it is needed most to address the critical needs in the community.”
Areas of Canberra with higher educational disadvantage and youth unemployment were identified using 2016 Census data, helping to locate communities with a higher risk of mental health issues and suicide.
In response, Hands Across Canberra granted $25,000 to Canberra’s Police Community Youth Club (PCYC) for an engagement program for at-risk boys living in South Tuggeranong and West Belconnen.
“It’s a program to keep kids off the street and out of trouble,” explained Mr Gordon.
“PCYC has already changed the lives of 30 boys through great experiences and positive connections, and 200 boys are on the waiting list to join.”
Mr Gordon said it was important for everyone to complete the Census because funding decisions must be based on credible data to make a difference in communities.
The Census is on Tuesday 10 August 2021 and will be Australia’s 18th Census.