Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Indigenous Health and Welfare

The latest comprehensive statistical overview of Australian indigenous health and welfare has been released:
The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008 (cat. no. 4704.0) brings together data from a range of sources.

Topics include demographic and population characteristics; housing circumstances; maternal and child health; health risk factors; health status; disability; and access to, and use of, services.

Check the Expanded Contents to access sections on homelessness; overweight/obesity; child protection; trends in mortality; and many more areas.

The breadth and depth of data assembled for this report will also provide the basis for the development of an ABS Framework for the measurement of Indigenous wellbeing. The Framework has been identified as a key strategic area in the ABS Indigenous statistics program and will be developed in consultation with Indigenous researchers and stakeholders.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Information Sessions Regional Victoria

The ABS will be conducting a series of free Information Sessions in regional Victoria during May and June 2008. The ABS has a wealth of information freely available to assist regionally based organisations understand what is happening in their region and to more effectively target their services.

The Information Sessions will cover:
how you can access Census data for the areas you are interested in; practical case studies with a regional focus; and who to ask for assistance.

Session Dates / Venues:

6 May 2008 - Whittlesea
10.00am - 12.00 noon Civic Centre, City of Whittlesea

21 May - Geelong
1.30-3.30pm Deakin University, Waterfront Campus, Lecture Theatre D2, 194

27 May - Horsham
10.00am - 12.00 noon; & 2.00-4.00pm University of Ballarat, The Auditorium

11 June - Mildura
10.00am - 12.00 noon Latrobe University, Brian Grogan Lecture Theatre

18 June - Bairnsdale
1.00 - 3.00pm East Gippsland TAFE, Lecture Theatre

26 June - Wodonga
10.00am - 12.00 noon Latrobe University, Lecture Theatre 6101

RSVP: to reserve a place, please email or phone (03) 9615 7535 for further information.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fatal Facts

Data about causes of death are published annually by the ABS, sourced from deaths registrations administered by the various state and territory Registars of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

The latest Causes of Death, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 3303.0) was released in March 2008. The main publication includes data across a range of major causes of death, including both underlying causes of death and multiple causes of death.
Additional data cubes are now available providing detailed breakdowns by Causes of Death. For example, data is available for each year from 1997 to 2006 for deaths from diseases such as whooping cough, HIV, or eating disorders; or external causes such as 'victim of lightning', 'fall from a tree', or 'bitten or struck by crocodile or alligator'.

This year's release was accompanied by a new publication: Information Paper: ABS Causes of death statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2006 (cat. no. 3317.0.55.002). It is important to be aware of the issues explored in this paper when using causes of death statistics. They include the way in which the data may fluctuate from year to year, differences between jurisdictions in the practices of registrars and coroners, and the impact of incomplete information on coding.

Suicide data is now also included in the Causes of Death publication, where previously it was released as a separate publication. A recent paper in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, April 2008: Deaths due to suicide: the effects of certification and coding practices in Australia looks at the importance of understanding the official suicide data in light of the issues inherent in death registration, certification and coding practices before interpreting suicide trend data.

The Explanatory Notes for Causes of Death, Australia, 2006 are also vital for highlighting issues related to the publication's data: for example, including a discussion of differences in number of deaths due to assault (murder) in comparison with the numbers in Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4510.0).

The National Coroners Information System (NCIS) is another source of detailed data relating to Australian deaths. This database contains information about every death reported to an Australian coroner since July 2000, and also releases several publications available to the general public. These include:
Fatal Facts - which identifies and summarises all coronial recommendations added to the NCIS and provides in depth cases where recommendations were made, for example: level crossing fatalities, deaths related to the prescription of medication, or bicycle deaths.
Also the House Fires Bulletin, and the Product Related Bulletin - which provides an overview of deaths contributed to by a faulty, misused or poorly maintained consumer product - such as car jacks or prams.

Additional resources to note:
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau releases Road Deaths Australia (monthly and annual data).
The Research Centre for Injury Studies (RCIS), incorporating the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Injury Surveillance Unit (NISU) releases a range of relevant publications including Injury deaths in Australia; recent releases include Deaths and hospitalisations due to drowning, Australia 1999-00 to 2003-04 (March 2008).

Further information is also available via the AIHW Mortality portal, which includes the 2006 publication: Mortality over the twentieth century in Australia: trends and patterns in major causes of death.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Is life in Australia getting better?

The ABS has released new information to help Australians assess how our society, economy and environment are developing.

Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators gives a snapshot of national progress over the last decade, using key measures. The publication also includes an article on the relationships between society, economy and the environment.

This publication is part of the suite of Measures of Australia's Progress products produced by the ABS. This suite includes Measures of Australia's Progress (cat. no. 1370.0), which presents a detailed set of indicators, currently released every five years, and Measures of Australia's Progress: At a Glance (cat. no. 1383.0.55.002), a small summary booklet released annually. The MAP products are designed to inform Australians of changes in their lives and the human and natural environment.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Community Indicators Victoria

Community Indicators Victoria (CIV)
offers a wide range of local community data for Victorians in the form of Wellbeing Reports for each Local Government Area (LGA). The data used to compile these reports comes from a range of sources including the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Victorian Government departments and a new statewide Community Indicators Victoria Survey (2007).

CIV is a jointly supported project, funded by VicHealth and hosted by the McCaughey Centre, School of Population Health, at the University of Melbourne.

This survey was conducted to close the gaps of data that other sources were not able to fill. Validated questions, previously used in other ABS surveys were used in this survey. Details of how this survey was conducted are provided on the website.

The CIV website was launched in July 2007, and has included 2006 Census data from the ABS since November. The website is easy to navigate, using a geographically segmented map of Victoria to allow users quick access to data of their preferred community sector. There is also an added option of selecting between metro and non-metro LGAs. Upon selecting a local area, a Wellbeing Report is compiled offering measures of wellbeing across a range of social, economic, environmental, democratic and cultural trends.

CIV aims to improve citizen engagement, community planning and policy making. Therefore, the data is particularly useful for anyone with a general interest in the wellbeing of their local community, local and state government members - particularly policy and planning staff, and other non-government organisations, for example local businesses wanting to better align their products and services to meet the needs of the community.