THE AJN joins our communal leadership in urging all members of our community to indicate they are Jewish in tomorrow’s census.
The census is an important tool for Australia. It gives invaluable data on who we are as Australians, where we come from and where and how we live. It is more than just numbers; it is a picture of who we are as a nation.
As Jewish Australians, it gives us a chance to put our hands up as an essential part of the fabric of multicultural Australia, whether we’re in the communal hubs of Sydney or Melbourne or further afield in the Goldfields town of Ballarat or the outback town of Broken Hill.
Federal, state and local governments use the data gleaned from the census to plan and allocate resources.
In our own communities, the census is invaluable in planning for the future.
By analysing the data on births, we know if our Jewish day school infrastructure is sufficient to see us through the years ahead; by looking at age groups by cohort, we know if our aged care facilities are up to the task.
By examining population movement we can ascertain the need for communal facilities in new areas. Yet other data helps us to best plan how to allocate often scarce social services resources.
There may be some in our community who identify as cultural and not religious Jews.
We urge those people – as there is no other place in the census to indicate their affiliation to the community – to still indicate they are Jewish in the religion question.
For those concerned about security, there are safeguards in place to ensure the data does not fall into the wrong hands.
There is no record of a person indicating they are Jewish in any Australian census ever leading to threats against them or the community.
A paper form can be obtained for those who feel uncomfortable filling the census out online.
So wherever you are reading this, help secure the future of our community. Indicate you are Jewish.
Stand up and be counted.