Posted by: jkirkby8712 | July 29, 2011

Friday, 29th July 2011 – enquiries, CENSUS processes and celebrations!!

First of all, for all those thousands of people who attempted the sample questions from Australia’s Citizenship Test, here are the correct answers – you will have to refer back to yesterday’s entry to refresh your memory about the questions!


1a, 2a, 3c, 4b, 5a, 6b, 7b, 8b, 9c, 10a, 11a, 12b, 13c, 14b, 15c, 16b, 17b, 18b, 19b, 20b

The source was which that little exercise came, was the National Seniors organisation, and they had a couple of other items, which in view of my pending retirement, are of particular interest at this stage. One related to the current Government changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme [PBS], where it has been decided to defer the listing of new medicines on the PBS. Not sure what the basis of that decision is [other than a cost cutting exercise] because their inclusion has being recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.  National Seniors is concerned about the potential negative affect of this on older people. Their view is that   “Anecdotal evidence from our members suggest that already there are some older people, including concession card holders, who defer buying prescription medicines subsidised under the PBS because of the co-contribution they have to make. “We are concerned about the impact of the deferral decision on consumers, especially low income and disadvantaged Australians whose ability to access medicines and health care services heavily depends on Government assistance.”  I shall keep an eye on that topic, as will National Seniors who have promised to keep its members in the loop regarding any changes to the PBS issue.

The second item relates to future concerns about our ageing population.  The Victorian Government is holding an Inquiry into major issues facing senior Victorians including productive ageing, the workforce, services for seniors and more. The Family & Community Development Committee is calling for submissions to its current Inquiry into Opportunities for Participation of Senior Victorians.  The Inquiry will review national and international literature on preparing for an ageing society; examine the contribution of, and challenges facing, older members of Victorian community from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds; identify the role of government in supporting older Victorians as well as look at ways to promote positive ageing.  It also plans to look at the economic significance of older Victorians in the paid workforce and the voluntary sector and barriers to participation for those seniors who desire to work or contribute to the community, and how willing economic and social contributions can be fostered.
The final report will develop recommendations or strategies for whole of government and community responses to the needs of older Victorians now, and into the future, and incorporate in the recommendations the best international practice in support of ageing well. Submissions close on 2 September 2011.  An interesting exercise, and even more so, because it is happening at the same time as Australia’s national 2011 CENSUS, which I believe has just commenced, and I can expect a visit shortly.

In our last CENSUS [in 2006], that period was in between my permanent jobs, and I had the opportunity to be employed for a few weeks as a CENSUS collector. Certainly not a job I would have previously imagined undertaking, but it proved to be quite a fascinating and ‘educational’ exercise.  I was given the opportunity to do the job again this year, but the experience of 2006, where I had the time to do most of the work involved during weekdays , made me realise that 5 years  later and still involved in full time employment with various other commitments to the radio, etc, it would be taking on too much. I was also not too keen on wandering around unfamilar streets in the evening and knocking on householder’s doors after dark – I know how annoyed I usually feel at evening visits from salespeople – CENSUS collectors are often regarded as ‘government salesmen’!!!  I was reminded of the CENSUS today, when a collector called in at the office to advise that he would be delivering CENSUS forms throughout this housing estate throughout the day. An interesting exercise in itself, considering the high population of migrants and refugees living on the estate, in respect to language difficulties, etc.  Back in 2006, for the area of Sunbury that I was responsible for, communication difficulties in respect to language was generally not a problem ass most of the population were Anglo-Saxon or long term migrants, who were familiar with the process, irrespective of whether they considered the census project with much respect or not.

CENSUS night this year, will be Tuesday, 9th August –  more accurately described as the Census of Population and Housing, it aims to accurately count the number of people in Australia that night, their key characteristics, and the dwellings in which they live. Every household and person in the country is required to answer specific questions on the paper form [distributed to each household by t5he Census collectors], or  provide their responses through  eCensus online.

It’s an event undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics every five years.  This year’s Census also marks a significant milestone – 100 years of national Census taking in Australia. The Census underpins Australia’s democracy and is crucial to communities, private institutions and all levels of government when planning infrastructure, community services and facilities where Australians live.  For example Census information helps to determine where schools, hospitals, and roads are needed. Federal funding arrangements to the states and territories, including allocation of GST revenue, are also based on Census information, together with a whole host of other factors, etc.  As indicated above, I often wonder just how seriously some people take this responsibility, and therefore what kind of inaccuracies must arise from such a massive exercise.  Certainly, as a genealogist, the Census results from the past 100-200 years where they have been undertaken, are a valuable source of family history, which of course depends on accuracy. With that point in mind, I’m not sure how that reconciles these days with the advice that comes with the CENSUS information, that all information collected through the CENSUS is strictly private and confidential.  No one outside of the ABS (including other Government agencies) will ever see your Census responses. Also, individuals or households cannot be identified in Census results or data.  I think the laws have changed a little in recent decades, and it is probably only the historical census data that is available, as far as family records, etc, are concerned.

Speaking of family records, my son, who celebrated his 30th birthday last weekend, is having his own planned ‘celebrations’ tonight at one of the inner city hotels. I think most of the family are attending, although I think the bulk of his ‘invites’ have gone to a wide circle of friends, and I fear it is going to be a bit of a drink fest!!  I will certainly not be staying too late after as meal, etc, and intend to leave the ‘real’ celebrations to the ‘younger generation’. James’ mother and her 90 year old mother are attending – I hope they don’t stay around too long – I don’t think this venue has the reputation of being a quiet and peaceful abode, especially on a Friday night, and can be become very crowded and noisy!! We used to frequent this same hotel [living just down the road] back in the early days of marriage because the ‘kids’ started to arrive, although it has changed much since those days – now regards itself these days as an ‘Irish Pub’  although the genuineness of that has been sharply disputed by my Irish friend – who doesn’t consider such places to be ‘authentic Irish pubs’. I bow to his opinion on that!! Anyway, James’ mother and his Nan are booked into a motel around the corner from the pub, so they well be able to ‘escape’ from the pub without hazzle whenever they want. James himself has also booked into that motel, but I would advise his mother to stay well clear!!   It had been suggested that I do the same thing, however decided that would commit me to staying at the venue much later than I intended, and decided I would return home later tonight!  Will have at least one passenger – Susie, who has probably had the most strenuous week’s work in her life, the first of four weeks teaching placement at a school north of Sunbury, considers she will be too tired for a late pub night, so is strangely grateful that her Dad does not intend to stay late!!

I just hope the night passes without any incident of concern!

Meanwhile, with that function happening, this Blues’ fan is going to miss his team playing tonight, in their match against the North Melbourne Kangaroos at the Etihad Stadium!  I haven’t been for a few weeks, but would in fact have gone straight to that game from work, until I realised the ‘clash’. Oh well, perhaps for the better –  it is a huge game for Carlton with the Blues having won just one of the last eight matches against North Melbourne!!!!  However, my team will welcome experience back into the side with the return of one of my favourite players, Ryan Houlihan, who has been recalled to the team after playing the last three weeks for the Northern Bullants in the VFL.  It is a huge game for him also, his 200th AFL game,  after making his debut for Carlton back in round 11, 2000 against North Melbourne. Just a pity for him that for much of that period, he has played with a Carlton team at it’s lowest historical ebb, prior to the last couple of years. 

[Incidentally, over the last few days, the World Swimming Championships have been going on, in Shanghai, China. Although our Australian swimmers, particularly the girls, have been performing pretty well as usual,  surprisingly, last night, just three days out from the end of the competition, saw our first individual Gold Medal  – with James Magnussen winning the Men’s 100 metres.  Equally surprising, that was the first ever 100 metre World Championship Gold Medal for Australia in that event, and Magnussen is the youngest winner [19 yrs, 3 mths] since 1975.  Looking at the overall results, it seems as though China is dominating the results [home ground advantage!!] with Russia and the USA close behind!  Apparently, we have also won Gold in one of the Men’s relays – in which Magnussen also was a part. Interestingly, Australia is 5th on the medal table – 2 Gold, 8 Silver and 2 Bronze, behind China, Russia, USA and Brazil]


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