Research and Data

The Australian Government Will Now Be Collecting Ethnicity Data To Measure Diversity

This is quite refreshing news and in just weeks since the new Government took power in Australia, a lot of changes are happening. In this instance, the Australian Government will start collecting ethnicity data in Australia in order to measure diversity in Australia. This is a move which has been welcomed by experts and multicultural groups in Australia.

Previously, the Australian census has only collected information on the “country of birth” and “language spoke at home” as diversity measurements, but experts have long warned that this is not an accurate measurement as many people coming from a culturally diverse background are born in Australia and speak English – so this new style of collecting ethnicity data is very important.

Image via ABC News

Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Minister Andrew Giles spoke about how Australia has failed in the past to collect this data and is way behind the mark of countries like the US, Canada and NZ (via ABC News):

“Australia does not effectively measure our diversity,” 

“I looked at the sort of countries that we often compare ourselves to … and we weren’t compiling data that enables us to understand the representation of different population groups,” 

“This became a much bigger issue, of course, during the pandemic, where we saw really uneven health impacts, particularly in the vaccination rollout.”

Image via ABC News

Chin Tan, Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner has welcomed this move, but has also called for data collection which captures information on racism (via ABC News):

“While we applaud and will support initiatives toward multicultural data collection, we are also looking at data collection that will capture race and race issues in this country as well,”

“Our multicultural future needs to be enhanced, and needs to be strengthened, and reinforced,” 

It will be interesting to see how this data will be used when collected!~

Images via ABC News

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