News from MyHeritage Australia – 11 August 2011


It’s been a huge week in Australian genealogy as the once-every-5-years census was distributed and completed on Tuesday night.

The key thing for the genealogy community was spreading the word about the importance of saying “yes” to Question 60 on the census, which asked Australians if they’d like their physical census records to be retained in the national archives for 99 years.

For the uninitiated, Australia has a default position of destroying census records once the statistical data is removed, which is something the genealogy community as a whole has been trying to change.

To read more about the background to this you should read the recent blog post we ran on the topic.

The response to our #justsayyes twitter campaign was amazing as people from all over the world leant their support to get the word out.

To everyone who helped out we’d like to say “thank you!”. Time will tell how successful the message was, but we know that we gave it the best chance we could thanks to your help.

Speaking of the census, another interesting aspect this time around was the introduction of online forms.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics expected 25 per cent of people to complete this year’s census online. This is a huge step in the right direction as it helps to eliminate transcription errors and also helps to make the data available faster.

That’s it for this rather extraordinary week in Australian genealogy news. Next week we promise to get back to our normal programming.

With that in mind, if you have any information or events you’d like to tell us about that relate to Australian genealogy or family history research, please let us know in the comments and we’ll try to get them into next week’s post.


Kim is MyHeritage’s Australia and New Zealand Community Manager. Based in Sydney, he’ll be keeping our large community of Australian and New Zealand users up-to-date on all of the latest family and genealogy news. Kim also tweets regularly from @MyHeritage.

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