Census data helps keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people informed over the airwaves  

[by Katie Puttock]


Image: supplied

First Nations radio services are a well-known and respected source of essential information, news and stories for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.


Community broadcasters play an important role in keeping their listeners informed in some of the most remote parts of Australia.


First Nations Media Australia uses Census data about communities to help keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people informed.


First Nations Media Australia’s Media Operations Manager, Jennifer Nixon, an Amnatyerr, Kaytetye and Alyawarr woman, said they keep an eye on what is changing in regions and communities by keeping up to date with Census data.


“Census data shows where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are and where communities are growing. We then look at whether people in that area have enough media services to keep them informed,” Jennifer said.


Census data about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages was critical when broadcasters needed to get COVID-19 health messages out to remote communities.


“Understanding how many mob speak different languages in a region was used to target public health messages to those listeners,” Jennifer said.


Jennifer wants Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to complete the Census, so First Nations radio services can provide more targeted and relevant information to their listeners across Australia.


“We want to make sure we’re looking after you, and the Census is a way of collecting information about everyone across Australia, all at once.” Jennifer said.


The 2021 Census will be held on Tuesday 10 August. Census field staff will be in remote communities during July and August to help people complete their Census form.


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