• Providing information to the Australian Bureau of Statistics can help your community (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Proud Noongar man and media personality, Neil Coyne, is spreading the word about the importance of the upcoming Census on August 9.
3 Aug 2016 - 1:13 PM  UPDATED 3 Aug 2016 - 1:19 PM

As a Census Community Supporter, respected community leader, media personality and father of six, Neil Coyne is encouraging all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to complete the Census to support the future of Indigenous communities.

“The main reason the Census is important, is that it allows us to look at the areas where people may need help and support, particularly around issues like health and education,” he said.

“Our communities often talk about coming together and standing together as one. The Census is one way we can do that with each other. We have to show our community members that none of us are standing alone- we are in it together and there are more of us now- all over Australia.”

“When it comes to our communities, a priority for me is showing where the education needs are. More and more of our people are becoming part of mainstream education systems and that’s so important for us to know, so we can support them better.”

In addition to broader planning, Neil says the Census also provides Government with a true picture of where Indigenous communities are based and how their needs could best be met.

“We have members of our community who might be scared to go to the doctor and things like that. The Census can help us work out whether we might need to consider employing more Aboriginal doctors or delivering more culturally appropriate services in some areas.”

Despite the fact that there can often be misconceptions or nervousness about the Census, Neil says it’s a positive process that can provide a greater understanding of how Indigenous communities are growing,

“The Government looks at our statistics to make decisions. They may think there are less Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people than there are - but we know our communities are growing. The Census is our way of letting them know that we are getting bigger and that we are here.

“I know there are a lot of people who think the Census is worthless and that it doesn’t mean anything but it’s really important to show that we are out there. It really is an opportunity to help people.”  

“I know there are a lot of people who think the Census is worthless and that it doesn’t mean anything, but it’s really important to show that we are out there. It really is an opportunity to help people.”

Most importantly, Neil says it’s a way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to stand together and send a positive message.

“Our communities often talk about coming together and standing together as one. The Census is one way we can do that with each other. We have to show our community members that none of us are standing alone - we are in it together and there are more of us now, all over Australia.”

To find out more about the Census, search “Census” on the Internet.


 

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