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Written by Peter Wood.

This scene begins with Character A frustrated with the census form. Character B then encourages Character A to properly complete the form. Character A refuses but is pushed by Character B to do so.

Some of my favorite facts from the 2016 Census Australia:

- There are more women than men.

- There are more people with “English” backgrounds than “Australian” backgrounds in Australia.

- Over 8 million people in Australia have both their parents born in overseas countries.

- Mandarin is the second highest spoken language in Australia.

- 780,000+ people are unemployed.

- Over 13 million people did unpaid work during the week of Census 2016.

- There are 650,000+ First Nations people, making up to 2.6% of the entire Australian population.

Character B gives of a George Orwell: “1984” presence as they say “You’ll get into trouble if you don’t do it” and followed by “They know you exist.”

In Australia, for EVERY DAY you do NOT complete the census past its due date, it conjures a magical fine of $180 to appear at your door. That is $180 PER DAY. Providing misleading information also grants you a fabulous $1800 fine. Less than 100 fines were issues during the 2016 Census because those citizens refused to complete the form. They would have completed it by now, otherwise that is one hefty fine they’re building up.

What a lot of people don’t know is that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) hire hackers to hack their websites to make sure it’s safe. They also delete all the information before the next census (which is in 2020). The Census on August 9 2016 was the first Australian Census to go digital, encouraging all of Australia to log onto a website to complete it. This would supposedly save over $100 million of taxpayer’s moneys.

The ABS was so over-filled with people logging on, the website crashed. Some say it was hacked by 4 unknown overseas hackers, some say it was just overloaded by citizens. We will never know. Government officials say one thing, the ABS say another. It’s hard to tell. No matter the truth, people want our information. Why? Possibly because of what Character A says - “They use it to sell us things we don’t want.” Businesses and governments have access to the data and CAN use it to their benefit. This is a known fact.

Come see actors Peter Wood and Paige Poulier do this scene in Love and Information by Caryl Churchill, co-presented by Metro Arts and Robert the Cat. August 2019.

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