It comes around every five years, that great moment where we can truly have our say and inform everything from the need for new schools to where new roads should go.
It's not an election - though perhaps it's something of a vote - but instead the census, with a brand new online system to make up for the disastrous 2016 edition.
Census night is officially August 10, where every household will need to record its occupants and answer a few questions.
Those answers will be used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for just about everything, adding to its store of knowledge from the decades.
This year, letters with codes have been sent out to households ahead of time, and anyone can complete it online before the official August 10 date.
It's hoped this will avoid the catastrophic traffic jam from 2016, when everyone tried to get onto the same website at once, and the website capitulated.
Anyone not comfortable using the online form can also request a paper version, by phoning 1800 130 250.
In Ballarat, this year's census will be particularly important - given the buzz about our rapid, booming growth, and the reported exodus of people from Melbourne to the regions, getting hard data will ensure governments and planners know exactly what's happening on the ground.
Federation University cyber-security lecturer Dr Adam Bignold said a huge amount of useful information was generated by the census, and it was an important thing for citizens to do.
"It's a way to make your voice heard," he said.
"This is a representation of your council, of your state, of your nation - what you put in here is fact, there's no bias here."
A data scientist, Dr Bignold said he was interested in seeing the results in relation to how the coronavirus has changed the way we live.
"I like to look at the housing in Ballarat, so how many people in a dwelling, how many free rooms, this gives us part of that picture into accommodation in Ballarat," he said.
"We learn how many people are living in each house, what they paid in rent or for their houses, and we get to cross that with what they're earning - something we've seen is wages not going up, but rent going up and capacity is going down, so it'll be nice to see how that trend is affected.
"Another is child education, so what we get from the census is how many single parents there are, how many people are changing homes, public and private education, educational attainment - it's a really important factor in the growth of a child, not just education, but proximity to a social environment, and school's the most important one they have.
"Another breakdown we have in the census is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and we see that even in Ballarat there's a disadvantage when it comes to education and housing, in somewhere like Ballarat where we think we're a beacon in terms of (the regions), but if you look at the numbers, there's still a bit to go."
Tech expert George Fong said this particular census will become even more important when seen in context with the 2016 and 2026 editions.
"It'll be interesting to see how (the pandemic) has impacted on how we want to live - for instance, has it been, as we think it might have been, a huge shift to regional and rural communities from the cities? If that is the case, you can't plan for these things over two or three years, it has to be a 10 or 15 year plan," he said.
"If you're moving 1000 people into a small town, do you have the hospitals? Sewerage? Roads? All that infrastructure has to be built at some time, and the only way to find out is to do things like the census."
While he'll be looking specifically at what the numbers end up saying about unmet digital infrastructure needs in regional areas, the data will be a goldmine for all sorts of professions when it's released.
"In terms of a broader planning perspective, I'm keen on finding out what population shifts have occurred in the last 18 months, that's going to be super critical to regional and rural Australia," he said.
"10,000 people moving out of a (metropolitan) suburb has no effect on that suburb, but 10,000 more people in a small community has a huge effect, a huge strain on resources, and a lot of councils will be looking at that data for forward planning in the next five years to ensure we have enough infrastructure."
Census executive director Andrew Henderson said in a statement the flexibility around filling out the form, on paper or online, will be more convenient for people - the ABS expects about 75 per cent of forms to be completed online this year, compared to 63 per cent in 2016.
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According to the ABS, it will take the average household 30 minutes to complete the census, with two new questions this year about long-term health conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes, and on defence force participation.
Twice-weekly tallies will be posted on the ABS website to track how many forms have been completed.
The first release of census data will be in June 2022.
For more information, visit census.abs.gov.au
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