The 2016 Census has been in the news over the past few days, as the first substantive results are released. And those results are, of course, fascinating for us as researchers, whether we seek to understand social trends or the changing nature of our clients’ markets. There are some startling headlines – the steep decline in religious affiliation, the rise in the identification of same-sex relationships, the continued growth of Melbourne, the increasing significance of migrants from Asia in the population and the finding that almost half of us are first or second generation migrants.
This is all fascinating in itself, but the 2016 Census raised some other significant questions – about public attitudes to privacy, about how to engage people in large scale survey activity for government and about willingness to participate in online data collection. As researchers these are big questions for us too.
- Do the people we seek to engage trust us with their data, and how much do they trust us?
- Are concerns about privacy changing willingness to participate in research, or what people are prepared to tell us?
- Do people still trust research undertaken on behalf of government?
- What did the Census tell us about how to engage the public in data collection activity?
- And how good is the Census data, given public concerns about privacy, and the switch to a largely online mode of collection?
A forthcoming AMSRS event in Melbourne addresses these questions, and explores what the new Census data is telling us. On the evening of Wednesday 12th July, we are lucky enough to have Jonathan Palmer, the Deputy Chief Statistician (and 2i/c at ABS) in town to talk to us. This is a fabulous opportunity to engage with someone at the heart of the ABS and the person in charge of the Census. In addition to his presentation, Jonathan will take part in Q&A where he will be joined by 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.
This is a big event for AMSRS in Melbourne, and essential for anyone who uses, or is interested in the results of the Census. Places are filling fast – this is sure to be a popular event and space is limited. And if that is not enough of an incentive, there will be two free drinks and finger food, and plenty of opportunity for networking!
Find out more and register HERE.