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Census update

This year’s Census wasn’t great for capturing information about our families. If you missed it check out Justine's experience here. Since the Census night, we have been working with Equality Australia and Rainbow Families Qld on advocating for better inclusion of our families in the next Census. 

After many meetings and much consultation, we have sent a letter to the Australian Statistician Dr. David Gruen outlining the issues our families faced, and asking to meet with him to discuss our concerns further. We are also interested to hear his response to our recommendations for ensuring our families are accurately counted in the next census. 

To the people that shared their stories and participated in our community consultation, thank you. We have included your voices in the letter so that Dr. David Gruen and his team can understand the experience of our community in completing the Census. We also made a number of recommendations which we believe will ensure our families are accurately counted in the next Census. 



The following measures will enable LGBTQ+ families to more accurately record their families and to be properly included in population data collected by the Census.

  • Include a new question about sexual orientation providing a comprehensive list of identifiers in consultation with the LGBTQ+ community and a “prefer not to say” option for those who wish to opt out of recording their sexual orientation.
  • Replace the current male/female/'non-binary sex’ question with questions about gender and gender history. These questions would enable the ABS to accurately capture the transgender and gender diverse community and would be consistent with the two-step approach in the ABS 2020 Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables.
  • Include a new question on whether a person is born with variations of sex characteristics. This question would enable the ABS to accurately capture the intersex population and would also be consistent with the ABS 2020 Standards.
  • Ensure that questions such as the ancestry question are asked in an inclusive way by using gender neutral terms, such as ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’, or terms which reflect the information provided by the respondent.
  • Extend the question about having given birth to all respondents and ensure that the wording is sensitive to those who have had non-live births.
  • Include a question about whether someone is a parent to capture those whose child is not with them on Census night or who have not given birth to their child.
  • Expand the question on relationship status to provide an option for people who are separated from a de facto relationship.

If you would like to get involved in our Equality Team please get in touch