Data-based approach for good community outcomes

A data driven and evidence-based approach to ensure good outcomes for Murrumbidgee 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will commence its release of 2021 Census data this month. 

Census data is an incredibly rich resource, containing a wealth of information and providing a snapshot of our community. 

With a background in academia, I am a strong advocate for the importance of using a data-driven and evidence-based approach to inform neighbourhood outcomes and strategic policy. 

I believe it’s absolutely critical that Government decisions and directions must be based on sound evidence and solid data in order to:  

  • understand and respond to the real needs of our community; 
  • obtain funding and resources to respond to urgent matters requiring immediate attention; 
  • ensure efficient use of resources; 
  • reduce the risk of mistakes and cost to the community; and 
  • incorporate a range of perspectives and experience, ensuring inclusivity for all Canberrans. 


Some of the areas of Census data which I am most looking forward to learning more about and sharing, and considering what it means for the future of Murrumbidgee are: 

  • population and demographic data, and how this differs across Weston Creek, Molonglo Valley and Woden Valley; 
  • family relationships and gendered distribution of income, unpaid work and care; and 
  • correlations between mode of transport, type of work and distance to places of work. 


I am also a strong advocate for the sharing of data as widely as possible. The value of data is maximised when it’s shared openly, transparently and accurately (in a manner that protects individual privacy and balances security risk and threat). 

The ACT Government has an ambitious program to take advantage of available data and technology and to position such data at the heart of decision making to drive better outcomes for our community, the environment and business. The ACT Government’s Digital Strategy recognises that:  

  • data is a cornerstone of planning, policy and research to deliver better services for all Canberrans; and 
  • better use of data can enable government to perform its functions more efficiently and effectively – to differentiate needs, to understand the impact of its interventions, to prioritise where it spends resources and to build feedback loops to enable continuous adaptation. 

I commend the ACT Government on its commitment and continual improvement to obtain and use data from across a wide range of diverse sources for research and policy purposes; to monitor and track how it can make better use of available data sources; and to continually assess and publicly share all appropriate data within its remit. 


Information about the release schedule of 2021 Census data including data access tools is available at: