Media release: Friday, 5 August 2011
On Census night, 9 August 2011, Australians have an opportunity to ensure their story is preserved in our national history for generations to come.
When respondents tick 'Yes' to Question 60 on their Census form, they allow the National Archives to preserve information on microfilm in a 'time capsule' for 99 years. The information will then be made available in 2110 for family historians and researchers in the next century.
The option for Australians to have their information preserved by the National Archives was first introduced in the 2001 Census, when 52 per cent of respondents answered 'Yes'. More than 56 per cent of people answered 'Yes' in the 2006 Census.
Dr Stephen Ellis, Acting Director-General of the National Archives said, 'Our role at the Archives doesn't end in 2110 when the records are released – we will go on storing them indefinitely. The Census will be an invaluable public record for family historians and social researchers into the future, and I encourage all Australians to consider the value of saying "Yes" to Question 60.'
'We are hoping that the percentage of respondents who say "Yes" to Question 60 will increase to more than 60 per cent in this Census.'
Australians can rest assured their records are kept safe, with census information held in high-security vaults across a variety of locations within the Archives. The information cannot be accessed by any other government agency, including police or taxation, until the 99-year closed period expires and the records become public.
More information is available under Census time capsule.