Making Sense of the Census

Observations of the 2001 Enumeration in Remote Aboriginal Australia

D.F. Martin

F. Morphy

W.G. Sanders

J. Taylor

This book is copyright. Apart from fair dealings for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Inquiries should be directed to the publisher, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.


Table of Contents

Lists of figures and tables
Abbreviations and acronyms
Abbreviations for kin terms (chapter 3)
1. The context for observation
Out of sight, out of mind: remote census counts before 1971
The referendum of 1967 and beyond
The development of special enumeration procedures
Current practice
Data quality
Departures from standard procedures
2. Counting the Wik: the 2001 Census in Aurukun, western Cape York Peninsula
Pre-census preparation
Proposed collection methodology
Conduct of the census
Responses to the census questions
Completion of the count
3. When systems collide: the 2001 Census at a Northern Territory outstation
Putting the census team in place
From training to doing
The enumeration proceeds
The interviews
A complete enumeration?
The 'household' and its structure
Factors influencing the quality of the data
4. Adapting to circumstance: the 2001 Census in the Alice Springs town camps
Getting going
Twelve days in August: building the effort
The decision to focus on household forms
Analysis and policy implications for census collection
The Indigenous Enumeration Strategy: how special, how successful, how necessary?
5. The indigenous Enumeration Strategy: an overview assessment and ideas for improvement
Who to count
How to count
What to ask
Appendix A. Dwelling Check List, 2001 Census
Appendix B. Special Indigenous Household Form, 2001 Census
Appendix B. Special Indigenous Household Form, 2001 Census
Appendix B. Special Indigenous Household Form, 2001 Census
Notes on the authors
CAEPR Research Monograph Series

List of Figures

1.1. Procedural structure of the Indigenous Enumeration Strategy, 1991 Census
2.1. Example of a 'cluster' of households, Aurukun
3.1. Kin relationships between people designated as 'person 1' for each occupied dwelling, community A, Census 2001
3.2. The kin connections of the community A enumerators, 2001 Census
3.3. Siblings and cousins in the Anglo-Celtic and local Indigenous systems
3.4. Children in the Anglo-Celtic and local Indigenous systems
3.5. The Anglo-Celtic term mother and the local Indigenous term M compared systems
3.6. Dwelling J: actual relationships of usual residents systems
3.7. Dwelling K: actual relationships of usual residents and visitor
3.8. Anglo-Celtic kinship terminology and the nuclear family
3.9. Local Indigenous kinship terminology and the intersection of lineages
4.1. Alice Springs Community Living Areas, with hand annotations of town camp CD numbers

List of Tables

2.1. Family types, Aurukun, 2001 Census
2.2. Language spoken at home and English proficiency, Aurukun, 2001 Census
2.3. Religious affiliation, Aurukun, 2001 Census
3.1. Details of dwelling J as recorded on the SIHF, 2001 Census