Use your voice - put pen to paper

Published on LEUT Sarah West (author), LSIS Jake Badior (author), LSIS James McDougall (photographer)

Seaman Olivia Saunders completes her 2019 Defence Census. (photo: LSIS James McDougall)
Seaman Olivia Saunders completes her 2019 Defence Census.
Sailors and officers working in every corner of the Navy – at sea and ashore – will receive the 2019 Defence Census today and have until the 9th of April to complete and return it.
Today is Defence Census day and uniformed personnel who receive the census are encouraged to fill it in today if they can. 
The census gives serving members of the Australian Defence Force an opportunity to answer questions about their working and living conditions.
Data collected from the Defence Census will be used extensively by the ADF and Department of Defence to enable more informed decision making on things like developing personnel, financial and non-financial conditions of service and family support policies and programs.
Defence has appointed specialist research contractor Roy Morgan Research to conduct the Defence Census 2019.
This is the eighth Defence Census since 1991, and aims to capture the demographic profile of the 100,000-strong workforce.
HMAS Canberra’s ship’s company and embarked forces are completing the 2019 Defence Census as they sail through the Bay of Bengal.
The Royal Australian Navy’s flag ship is visiting India for the biennial bilateral naval exercise AUSINDEX, while conducting this year’s three-month Indo-Pacific Endeavour deployment.
Canberra’s Executive Officer, Commander Brett Westcott, said the ship’s company and embarked forces would be handed their census questionnaires today.
“Each person has the right and ability to have their say in an anonymous forum.
“The important thing is that we all get to participate while deployed,” he said.
Completing the Defence census is voluntary. 
All responses are confidential and will only be reported in aggregate.  No respondents can be identified from reported data.
All of Navy’s Fleet Units, at sea or alongside, have been provided with hard copies of the census questionnaires for every member of their ship’s companies.
Reserve members will receive their census in the mail. Defence Australian Public Service staff will complete the Defence Census in May 2019, combined with the on-line APS Employee Census.