METEOR is Australia's Metadata Online Repository for national metadata standards for a range of sectors including health, aged care, early childhood, and housing and homelessness

METEOR is administered by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). It was first developed as METeOR in 2005 to replace the previous repository, Knowledgebase. It is designed to support a disciplined approach to the development, storage and management of metadata, and is based on the international information modelling standard ISO/IEC 11179.

Knowledgebase was the web-based repository of Australian health, community services and housing assistance metadata standards from 1997 to 2005.

In 2003 AIHW reviewed Knowledgebase, and it was decided that it was time to replace the system. The ISO/IEC 11179 standard for metadata registries was released during 2003, and this informed the development of METeOR. More information on the ISO/IEC 11179 standard is available on the international standards for metadata and related technologies workgroup and the International Organization for Standardization  websites.

Synop Pty Ltd worked with AIHW to develop METeOR, and created the system by customising their XML-based content management system. This first version of METeOR was released in March 2005.

In 2020 AIHW announced their plan to replace the platform with a custom in-house build using Azure cloud technologies. The new METEOR (without the lower-case e) was launched in 2022. It is also based on ISO/IEC 11179.

Metadata registries

Metadata is the information about how the data are defined, collected and structured. It provides meaning and context, and helps with interpreting the data. A metadata registry is a system where this information is stored, managed and disseminated.

As a metadata registry, METEOR also provides tools for the development of metadata. Metadata developers are able to create, edit and submit new metadata to METEOR.

Registry staff (known as registrars) then advance these new metadata through an endorsement process, on the authority of the relevant governing body (registration authority). Once metadata are endorsed, these metadata reside in METEOR, and they can be downloaded as documents.


METEOR could not have been developed without the valued cooperation and efforts of the key stakeholders, committees, and internal specialists. The Institute thanks them for their assistance and insights provided on the design and implementation of the system, and the reengineering of its contents.


METeOR won a FutureGov international award for innovation and modernisation in 2011, in the Information Management category. METeOR was also a finalist for the inaugural Excellence in e-Government Award (e-Award) in 2006.

National Data Dictionaries

National data dictionaries for health, community services, and housing and homelessness were created in the past as a way of providing consistent metadata standards for national collection and reporting. The data standards now contained in METEOR are effectively the current, searchable, data dictionaries for all sectors. Archives of previously published data dictionaries are here.