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AMSRS & ABS: Cutting through the myths – Lessons from the 2016 Census

12th Jul 17

What will this session cover?

  • Emerging headlines from the 2016 Census – what has changed over the last five years?
  • What does the 2016 Census tell us about attitudes to privacy, trust in sharing personal data, and understanding of the value of the Census?
  • What was the impact of public resistance to completing the Census?
  • How do these issues of public consent and trust impact on our research?

The 2016 Census was the first in Australia which favoured an online response. As well as the widely reported outage of the website on Census night, the Census aroused significant debate about issues of data privacy and data security. In the end, the overall response rate was very similar to that in 2006 and 2011, and nearly 3 in 5 submissions were online.

What does the 2016 Census, and the debate that accompanied it, tell us about attitudes to data privacy, data sharing, and consent to large scale data collection by government? Did public concern impact the Census? And what does this tell us as research professionals about how we address these concerns with our own research?

Our main speaker for this event is the Deputy Australian Statistician, Jonathan Palmer. He will talk about some of the emerging headlines from the 2016 Census, provide insight from an ABS perspective on what the Census tells us about public attitudes, and how the debates about privacy and data security impacted on participation and data quality.

After his presentation Jonathan will join a Q&A panel, which will include Jayne Van Souwe, Principal of Wallis Market and Social Research and a specialist in data privacy, and Ivan Motley, founder of .id - the population experts, and major users of Census data.

Date: Wednesday 12th July
Time: 6.00pm for a 6:30pm start - 8.00pm
Tonic House, 386 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000 (between Queen and William Streets)
Costs: (inc. GST) $45 for AMSRS Members, $70 for non-members
Inclusions: 2 drinks and canapes

Jonathan Palmer, Deputy Australian Statistician

Jonathan heads up the Census and Enabling Services Group, which was responsible for the conduct of the 2016 Census. An IT professional by training, Jonathan’s career of more than 30 years has been largely devoted to official statistics and the ABS. He has held Chief Information Officer positions with the ABS, Statistics New Zealand and for the International Monetary Fund (2006-12) in Washington DC. He is a graduate of the University of Canberra, and has served that institution as an Adjunct Professor with the School of Information Sciences and Engineering.

Jayne Van Souwe, Principal of Wallis Market and Social Research
Ivan Motley, founder of .id - t
he population experts

Jayne is the Principal and Chair of Melbourne-based Wallis Market and Social Research. She sits on AMSRS’ Professional Standards and AMSRO’s Privacy Compliance Committees, and was involved in writing the Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code and the AMSRS Code of Professional Behaviour. Jayne was made a fellow of AMSRS in 2008 in recognition of her work in promoting good business practice in the industry.

Ivan is the founder and director of .id – the population experts, a demographic based consulting company, and providers of demographic information and population forecasts. As a geographer, Ivan is passionate about introducing special thinking to organisations. He works with local government and the private sector to help them view places through a demographic lens and use an evidence-base to make informed decisions.


Start Time:
6:00 PM

Tonic House, 386 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000

Non-member Price:
AU $ 70 (Inc. GST)

Member Price:
45.00 (Inc. GST)

Your Price:
AU $ 70.00 (Inc. GST)

Registrations Open:
11th May 17 12:00 AM

Registrations Close:
11th Jul 17 11:59 PM


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