THE Australian Census will embrace the country’s gender diverse population for the very first time when it is collected next month.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has announced it will recognise citizens who don’t identify as either male or female, allowing them to write down a separate response, leaving the male and female boxes unmarked.

Victoria’s gender and sexuality commissioner Rowena Allen has been a strong advocate in this area, and believes this is a major milestone for Australia’s trans and gender diverse communities.

“This is a huge step for the trans, gender non-conforming, and intersex people of Australia to be seen and counted,” Allen told the Star Observer.

“It has been a huge advocacy piece of work for many years by many people.

“Change is happening across Australia and the ABS has recognised that which is fantastic… they are setting an incredible example for others.”

While respondents will be able to write their own individual response on the paper form if they don’t wish to identify as male or female, responding online requires an extra step.

Respondents will have to call the Census Inquiry Service, request a login for the special online form and then select “other” when completing the question.

Allen said despite the extra step, the move still sends a clear and positive message.

“In my line of work, I would call this a great day at the office,” Allen said.

“Yes people have to go through an extra step, and some that is not perfect, but we can still be counted with very limited trouble and I know that is what people have wanted to see.

“I’ll be making that phone call and getting a new email so I encourage others who don’t identify as either M or F to join me.”

This year’s Census marks 105 years since the first one in Australia.

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