Privacy and ethics

Privacy statement

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children is conducted as a partnership between the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), with advice provided by a consortium of leading researchers.

Growing Up in Australia is an ongoing study with information collected using a variety of approaches including computer self-interview, paper and web form, telephone interview and face-to-face interview. Information is being used to further the understanding of child and adolescent development and wellbeing to help the government plan future policies and services. Data released to researchers or policy makers is de-identified, and only combined results (aggregate) are published. All information collected is kept strictly confidential.

In line with the Privacy Act 1988, separate consent is sought from study participants to release personal and sensitive information to any other person or organisation for the purpose of the study. If the organisation responsible collecting data for Growing Up in Australia changes in the future, the ABS will be required to disclose information to that organisation.

Participation in the study is voluntary. Growing Up in Australia study participants may withdraw from the study at any time or choose not to take part in some aspects of the study. However, information collected prior to withdrawal continues to be used and forms part of the Growing Up in Australia data.Any queries can be directed to Growing Up in Australia by:

  • Calling 1800 005 508 (freecall, excluding mobile phones)
  • Writing to Growing Up in Australia (Reply Paid 91263, Dandenong South VIC 3175)
  • Emailing Growing Up in Australia

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Wave 9 privacy

For information on privacy and how your data is used view the Wave 9 Privacy Brochure.

Wave 9 consent forms

During the Wave 9 interview process, some participants will be asked to sign a consent form:

This year we will be asking you to sign a Centrelink Consent form to authorise the Department of Social Services to provide your Centrelink benefits data (including personal circumstances data) dating back to your 16th birthday (for parents this will date back to 2003) and/or your current address details to Growing Up in Australia. This data linkage enables the Study to look at the impacts of changes to payments on people’s lives and design them so that they go to those in need. It also allows us to collect this information without having to ask you a lot of details about any payments you receive(d). If you have a Centrelink Customer Reference Number, it would be helpful if you could have this ready for this part of the interview. If you would like to view these forms at any time, they are available on this page. 

This wave, we’ll be asking for your permission to link your survey results to other government data about any further study you have done (or might do in future). This includes Higher Education (university) study and Vocational Education and Training (VET).

Even if you aren't studying now or planning to do any university or vocational study in the future, we would still really appreciate getting your consent now to link to any future data, just in case.

Linking your survey results with your university and VET records can improve the information for researchers who use the data. The information will only ever be used for approved research projects.

Your interviewer will provide you with a brochure and show you a video during your home visit, before seeking your verbal consent. For more information about this linkage, check out the Higher Education Linkage brochure on this page. 

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Privacy FAQs: Online survey

How secure is the online survey?

The survey website is accredited and maintained to Commonwealth Government internet security standards. These standards meet or exceed the Australian Information Security Standard (AS/NZS 4444).

Please see the ABS page Increasing your Safety Online for more information.

To protect your information from unauthorised access, please ensure you keep your user identifier and password secure.

Are you sure that no one will be able to access my online survey answers?

Yes. The information you submit is not able to be read by anyone but us.

Are my answers kept confidential?

Yes. All information collected is kept strictly confidential. Data released to researchers does not have any personal details which would enable participants to be identified.

Forgot your password?

Use the link next to ‘Forgot your password?’ on the log-in page to reset it. You will need the email address and mobile phone number you used to create your ABS Survey Account last time.  

Do you share my data with anyone?

Your privacy is very important to us. Strict procedures are followed to ensure that only authorised people have access to the information provided to us and that all interviewers, researchers and others involved in the Study comply with the Privacy Act 1988. Identifiable information (for example, name and address) are stored separately and not shared with data users.

Participation in the Study is voluntary. Growing Up in Australia Study participants may withdraw from the Study at any time or choose not to take part in some aspects of the Study. However, information collected prior to withdrawal will continue to be used and forms part of the Growing Up in Australia data.

If the organisation responsible for future data collection of the Study changes, the ABS will be required to disclose information to that organisation. 

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Privacy policies: DSS, ABS, AIFS

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children is conducted as a partnership between the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).

Privacy policy, DSS:

Privacy policy, ABS:

Privacy policy, AIFS:

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The research methodology and survey content of Growing Up in Australia is reviewed and approved by the Australian Institute of Family Studies Ethics Committee, which is a Human Research Ethics Committee registered with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The Ethics Committee ensures that Growing Up in Australia meets the ethical standards outlined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans.

Approval has been granted by education authorities in each state and territory in order to conduct research among the teachers of young people in the study.

Concerns/complaints regarding the ethical conduct of the study

AIFS is committed to researcher integrity and the ethical conduct of research projects. However, if you do have any concerns or complaints about the ethical conduct of the study you may contact the AIFS Ethics Committee secretariat on (03) 9214 7921 or The Ethics Committee secretariat is not connected with the research project and can facilitate a resolution to your concern in an impartial manner. 

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Approval from education authorities


Growing Up in Australia has been granted written approval from education authorities across Australia to approach schools and teachers to participate in the study.

If you have trouble accessing the letters of approval please email Growing Up in Australia.


Letters of approval

State/Territory Government schools

Australian Capital Territory [PDF 36 KB]

New South Wales [PDF 112 KB]

Northern Territory [PDF 44 KB]

Queensland [PDF 402 KB]

South Australia [PDF 417 KB]

Tasmania [PDF 37 KB]

Victoria [PDF 107 KB]

Western Australia [PDF 35 KB] 

Catholic schools

Archdiocese of Brisbane [PDF 62 KB]

Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn [PDF 38 KB]

Archdiocese of Melbourne [PDF 445 KB]

Archdiocese of South Australia [PDF 44 KB]

Archdiocese of Sydney - original approval [PDF 208 KB], Archdiocese of Sydney 2012 approval [PDF 124 KB]

Archdiocese of Tasmania [PDF 515 KB]

Diocese of Armidale [PDF 96 KB]

Diocese of Ballarat [PDF 243 KB]

Diocese of Bathurst [PDF 489 KB]

Diocese of Broken Bay [PDF 20 KB]

Diocese of Cairns [PDF 322 KB]

Diocese of Darwin - Please call (03) 9214 7888 and ask to speak to a member of the LSAC team

Diocese of Lismore [PDF 254 KB]

Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle [PDF 111 KB]

Diocese of Parramatta [PDF 267 KB]

Diocese of Rockhampton [PDF 110 KB]

Diocese of Sale [PDF 385 KB]

Diocese of Sandhurst [PDF 280 KB]

Diocese of Toowoomba [PDF 45 KB]

Diocese of Townsville [PDF 20 KB]

Diocese of Wagga Wagga [PDF 24 KB]

Diocese of Western Australia [PDF 359 KB]

Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes [PDF 22 KB]

Diocese of Wollongong [PDF 50 KB] 

Independent schools

Support for Growing Up in Australia has been received from the Independent Schools Council of Australia. However, the decision to participate in the study rests with each school principal.

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