4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Jan 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/02/2001   
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An increasing amount of the work which is being under- taken at NCCRS has been in line with our objectives of:

  • increasing standardisation across all culture and recreation statistical sources by developing (and encouraging the use of) models and standards; and
  • undertaking additional coordination work of all Australian culture and recreation statistics, including both ABS and non-ABS statistics.

These NCCRS objectives are in line with new ABS corporate strategies and build on work undertaken in recent years with the assistance of the Cultural Ministers Council Statistics Working Group (CMC SWG) and the Recreation and Sport Industry Statistics Group (RSISG).

Activities on information modelling and the development of classifications are contributing to these objectives. Here, we describe some of the other NCCRS coordination activities which are underway.

NCCRS has been developing 'Arts and Culture’ and 'Sport and Recreation’ theme pages which will soon be added to the ABS web site. The theme pages will inform readers about: the availability and nature of ABS data related to culture and recreation, relevant ABS reports, and non-ABS reports prepared by NCCRS about culture and recreation. It will also provide links to other organisations which have information about culture and recreation.

In the next few months, an ABS Data Directory of Culture and Recreation Statistics, currently being prepared by NCCRS, will be loaded to the theme pages. This directory will provide details of a wide range of ABS data collections which contain data of relevance to culture and recreation. Each directory entry will include details about data items (some of which have not been published) for which information may be obtained, and which may be able to be cross-classified with other data items to produce information of use to clients.

NCCRS has also begun work on a directory of non-ABS data, which is a longer term project. With funding from both RSISG and CMC SWG, NCCRS has initiated work on an inventory of statistical sources of relevance to culture and sport/recreation that are held by a number of government departments and other organisations. The aim is to produce a directory (that will be updated on an ongoing basis) that provides an easy reference point for those seeking statistical data on the sector.

NCCRS is also preparing a report on sport and physical activity participation statistics on behalf of RSISG. The project aims to present a comprehensive overview of participation statistics in Australia by identifying surveys that collected information from a health-benefit perspective (e.g. relating to energy expenditure over a specified period), as well as surveys that focussed more on participation from an industry perspective (i.e. involvement in particular sports and physical activities). It is hoped that in summarising what kinds of participation data exist at National and State/Territory level, the paper will inform the various persons and groups interested in such data, facilitate more effective coordination between groups collecting such data and assist in the development of standardisation in approach.

Finally, the health benefits of physical activity are well recognised, but less is known about the social impacts. Thus NCCRS is undertaking a project, with a funding contribution from the Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport (SCORS), to identify and collate existing empirical research on the social impacts of sport and leisure time physical activity. An annotated bibliography will be created which will include comments on the methodology used in the research.