David Kalisch (economist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

David Kalisch
15th Australian Statistician
Assumed office
15 December 2014 (2014-12-15)
Preceded by Brian Pink
Personal details
Born David Wayne Kalisch
(1960-08-09) 9 August 1960 (age 58)
Adelaide, South Australia
Nationality Australian
Alma mater University of Adelaide
Occupation Public servant
Profession Economist

David Wayne Kalisch (born 9 August 1960) is an Australian economist and public servant. He is the current Australian Statistician in charge of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Early life and education[edit]

Kalisch was born in Adelaide, South Australia, and was educated at Brighton High School before studying for a Bachelor of Economics degree at the University of Adelaide.[1]

Public service[edit]

Kalisch joined the Australian Public Service in 1982, holding various positions including senior executive roles from 1991. In 2006, he was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing. From 2009 to 2010, he served as a commissioner on the Productivity Commission. In 2010, he was appointed as chief executive officer of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a statutory agency responsible for gathering statistics on health and welfare in Australia.

Australian Statistician[edit]

In December 2014, Kalisch was appointed as the Australian Statistician, the senior bureaucrat in charge of the national statistics agency, the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The position had been vacant for nearly a year when Kalisch's appointment was confirmed by Treasurer Joe Hockey.[2]

In February 2015, Kalisch spoke to The Australian newspaper, where he stated that the ABS needed more funding to upgrade its computer systems and software. While lobbying the federal government for the funds, he also outlined the possibility of charging businesses for statistical data, and developing data linkages between the census or social statistical surveys, and government data such as benefits, Medicare and taxation records.[3] In December 2015, the ABS announced it would be retaining names and addresses from the census indefinitely "for the purpose of richer and more-dynamic statistics". Former Australian Statistician Bill McLennan called the decision "the most significant invasion of privacy ever perpetrated on Australians by the ABS", and questioned the legality of enforcing name collection.[4] Kalisch wrote an opinion column in Fairfax newspapers,[5] saying he had made the decision to enable the ABS to produce better statistics on economic and social outcomes.[6]

On the night of the census, 9 August 2016, the census website was taken down and was not restored for nearly two days. Kalisch apologised on behalf of the Bureau for the outage, stating that the site had been subject to a "malicious" denial-of-service attack and had been taken down to prevent exfiltration of census data.[7]

As Australian Statistician, on 15 November 2017 Kalisch announced the result of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey which had been conducted by the ABS.[8]


  1. ^ Who's Who in Australia 2016, ConnectWeb.
  2. ^ Thomson, Phillip (12 December 2014). "David Kalisch new Australian Statistician: Leads Australian Bureau of Statistics after tumultuous year". The Canberra TImes. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  3. ^ Uren, David (3 February 2015). "Dated tools a drag for data trawl". The Australian. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  4. ^ Martin, Peter (21 July 2016). "The Bureau of Statistics endangers the census by asking for names". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  5. ^ Kalisch, David (21 July 2016). "Give us your name on census night, it'll be safe". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  6. ^ Martin, Peter (22 July 2016). "The ABS has been quietly holding on to our names for years". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Census debacle puts the Prime Minister on notice". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  8. ^ Nguyen, Han (15 November 2017). "Australians had to wait an extra four minutes to hear the results of the same-sex marriage postal survey". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
Government offices
Preceded by
Brian Pink
Australian Statistician