This monograph presents the refereed, and peer-reviewed, edited proceedings of a conference organised by Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS): ‘Social Science Perspectives on the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey’. The conference was held in Haydon Allen Tank at The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra over two days on Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 April 2011. This conference is generously supported by ANU, ABS, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and The Economic Society of Australia. CAEPR is grateful for this support, which has allowed participation by some leading international researchers as well leading national analysts, commentators and researchers in Indigenous policy. While we are extremely grateful to all contributors who were part of a stimulating, enjoyable, and informed debate, I would particularly like to thank Mick Dodson AM who presented a provocative paper on Indigenous perspectives on national statistical collections on behalf of his countryman Peter Yu, CEO of Nyamba Buru Yawaru Ltd. Of course we are obliged to Matthew Snipp from Stanford and Harry Patrinos from the World Bank who provided vital international context to understanding of indigenous statistics and disadvantage. Special thanks are also due to the chairs of the respective sessions at the conference who provided rigour, discipline and breadth to the discussion.
The ABS were very supportive of the event as they were keen to facilitate responsible and informed use of their data. The main form of that support was the guidance for authors on the use of their Remote Access Data Laboratory and extra data provided to facilitate our evaluation of the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS).
The final acknowledgement must go to the dedicated and professional CAEPR team who were responsible for the organisation of the conference over several months, especially Hilary Bek, Gillian Cosgrove, John Hughes, Susie Russell and Denise Steele. Without their hard work, the conference would never have been completed successfully. Two anonymous referees and many readers also gave invaluable comments on early drafts of the chapters for this monograph. A final thanks must go to Hilary Bek, and the ANU E Press team, for patient assistance with the copy-editing of a draft of the manuscript for this book.