4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Apr 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2001   
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At NCCRS, we are often asked the question: "How does Australia compare with other countries in terms of culture and recreation?" Providing an answer to that question is no simple task since so many different factors and issues need to be kept in mind when making international comparisons. Yet, we agree that it is important to see what we can learn about Australia from such comparisons and, over the longer term, work towards improving the standardisation of questions and methodologies across the borders.

As a result, NCCRS recently undertook a comparison of sport participation data from five countries. The results of this comparison are presented in this newsletter. The importance of thoroughly understanding the scope, methodology and questions of different surveys is highlighted in that article since, if one were to take the recorded participation rates at face value, erroneous conclusions would result. Note that NCCRS is also currently undertaking an international comparison of attendance at cultural venues and activities; a report on the outcomes of that comparison will be included in a forthcoming edition of the newsletter.

In this newsletter, we also provide an update on work undertaken to date on the development of an information model. An information model will provide the basis for determining how culture and recreation information could and should be structured, as well as assist in identifying where further data collection and analysis are required.

Information on a project that NCCRS is conducting in relation to the social impacts of sport and physical recreation is also presented. The remainder of the newsletter provides details about two recent ABS surveys on Internet use.

As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Adriana Vanden Heuvel