How ADF voices can shape the future

From early April, ADF personnel will be able to contribute to the information used to inform who we are and how we work, by completing the ADF Census 2023.

The census is an important component for planning and development of the ADF workforce, with the information collected providing an anonymous evidence base of the overall circumstances of the ADF.

DG Workforce Planning BRIG Craig Dobson said the census snapshot was a useful way to test and design workforce initiatives and check that current conditions were keeping pace with emerging pressures.

“The census creates an authoritative and credible baseline demographic profile of ADF members and their families by gathering a range of information from ADF members that is not available from any other Defence or public source of information in the one anonymous record,” BRIG Dobson said.

Census data helps ensure the circumstances of ADF personnel are represented and considered when making policy decisions.

It provides information on how the ADF workforce is changing across attributes such as age, diversity, education, deployments, family composition, location and housing experience.

The census is conducted every four years.

All permanent ADF members and serving reservists will have the opportunity to participate from April 3 to 6. This includes ADF members outside Australia, whether on operations, at sea, on exchange, or filling another post.

An invitation to participate in the census will be sent to all members’ Defence email addresses. It will also be sent to SERCAT 5, 4 and 3 members’ alternative email addresses.

Members will have the choice of completing the questionnaire online or on paper.

The online census portal will be accessed through the unique code in the email invitation.

For personnel unable to access their email – for instance, on ships at sea or on exercise – paper questionnaires will be available at units, or from base managers and customer service centres.

Members will have until the end of May to complete the questionnaire, which is conducted in accordance with research and privacy standards.

BRIG Dobson invited all ADF members to complete the questionnaire.

“Census data has been highly useful in understanding the changes over time of our sailors, soldiers and aviators and their family circumstances. This is important information that informs policy development and review, ensuring our employment offer remains competitive,” he said.

Participation is voluntary and anonymous. The design of the census guarantees the anonymity of respondents, and respondents’ names are not collected.

Data is aggregated for analysis and reporting so that no individual can be identified, and all of the information collected is protected under the requirements of the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988.

Australian-based research company Roy Morgan Research has been engaged to conduct the census.

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