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Identifying and Definitional Attributes
QH 040623 v2
Data Element
Data Element
Australian South Sea Islanders are the Australian-born descendants of predominantly Melanesian people who were brought to Queensland between 1863 and 1904 from eighty Pacific islands, but primarily Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.
Health Services: The accurate identification of Australian South Sea Islander patients/clients in Queensland Health data collections is crucial to getting information about their health status, their use of health services and the effectiveness of interventions.
Australian South Sea islander status
Representational Attributes
Permissible Values


Supplementary Values


9Not stated/unknown
Collection and Usage Attributes
Australian South Sea Islanders will know who they are and will respond accordingly. However, there is a risk that some people could answer 'yes' when they should answer 'no' simply as a result of uncertainty about the term 'Australian South Sea Islander'. This may apply to people who have migrated to Australia from islands in the Pacific. The following information provides appropriate guidance if asked for clarification.

Australian South Sea Islanders are almost invariably Australian-born. There may be a rare instance of the child of an Australian South Sea Islander being born overseas.
Patients/clients born in Samoa, Tonga, or Fiji (sometimes referred to as Pacific Islanders) or their Australian born descendants are not Australian South Sea Islanders.
Patients/clients born in countries such as Vanuatu or the Solomon Islands are not Australian South Sea Islanders (even though these are the major island groupings from which the original South Sea Islanders came). Only descendants of the original South Sea Islanders qualify for this term.

If necessary reassure these people that we collect health information about their community by analysing birthplace data. We cannot do the same for Australian South Sea Islanders since they cannot be distinguished from other Australian-born people by this method.
Ask every patient/client 'Are you of Australian South Sea Islander ancestry?' in a straightforward manner. Australian South Sea Islanders asked the Queensland government to recognise them as a distinct community. Most will welcome the opportunity to identify as an Australian South Sea Islander.

If queried about its purpose, explain that the hospital/facility is trying to make sure that they have an opportunity to identify as an Australian South Sea Islander. Say that the information will be used to get a better picture of the health of their community so that their needs can be taken into account in planning health services and programs. If necessary, reassure the person that the information s/he is providing is confidential.

While only a small number of the total patient/client group will answer 'yes' to the question of Australian South Sea Islander ancestry, it is still important to ask every patient/client the question. It is not appropriate to try and guess a person's identity. For data accuracy, the patient/client, their carer, or next of kin must be asked the question directly.

NB: Some patients/clients have an Indigenous as well as an Australian South Sea Islander ancestry. They may identify as either or both and so some may answer 'yes' to both the Indigenous and the Australian South Sea Islander questions.

In the Corporate Reference Data System (CRDS) the data domain appears as:
1 Australian South Sea Islander
2 Not Australian South Sea Islander
9 Not Stated/Unknown
The Queensland Government recognised Australian South Sea Islanders as a distinct cultural group in September 2000. As part of its Action Plan it says that Queensland Government agencies will "design forms and documents to enable people wishing to identify themselves as Australian South Sea Islanders to do so".
Relational Attributes
Related Metadata References

Related Metadata References_IR

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ViewRelationshipMetadata Item TypeMetadata Item SubtypeNameIdentifier & VersionApproval Status
SupersedesData ElementData ElementAustralian South Sea Islander statusQH 040623 Version 1Superseded
Implementation in Metadata Sets


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ViewMetadata Item TypeMetadata Item SubtypeNameIdentifer & VersionObligationApproval StatusEffective FromEffective To
Information AssetData CollectionQueensland Hospital Admitted Patient Data Collection (QHAPDC)QH 020001 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-200319-Oct-2008
Source and Reference Attributes