2021 Census

Australian Bureau of Statistics

The Census aims to count every person in Australia, and while it is compulsory, the 2021 Census aimed to encourage willing participation. The first Census conducted over the global pandemic, there were unprecedented impacts on the usual process of running the Census.

The concern was reaching culturally and linguistically diverse communities, who already face barriers to participating in the Census, both in the functional completion of the survey and comprehension, and in a lack of understanding of its purpose.

Our challenge was to create willingness to complete the Census from CALD communities, and to do that, we had to clearly understand the needs and barriers of these audiences. Taking a behavioural science approach, we identified that the CALD Census campaign needed to shift slightly from the mainstream structure to focus on the CALD audience’s needs.

We utilised a range of tactics to deliver an integrated campaign through culturally relevant communications that educated, persuaded, and provided further detail on completing the Census. We ensured that our approach was dynamic and responsive to changing external influences, which could occur with COVID-19 complications, and scalable for larger CALD communities, and tailored to address key touchpoints and channel needs.

Overall, the CALD Census communications campaign was highly successful, with 717 culturally appropriate advertising materials in up to 29 languages engaging the target CALD communities.