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4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Mar 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/03/2007   
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A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR

Christmas 2006 and New Year 2007 have been a time of plenty for sport and culture statistics. Recent releases have covered cultural and sports attendance, adult participation in sports and physical recreation, and children's participation in cultural and leisure activities. I am pleased to say that the data collections involved provided enhancements to previous data collections for these topics in that

  • the cultural attendance survey asked new questions about where people had visited art galleries and museums within Australia
  • the sports and physical recreation survey provides new data on the regularity of participation, and on barriers and motivators
  • the children's participation survey provides new data on homework activity.

More information about the recent releases is provided later in this newsletter.

Currently the ABS is undertaking a review of its entire Household Survey Program. Government agencies are being consulted about the relevance and use of these surveys and their priority. Key policy agencies in the areas of sport and culture are included in this consultation. I would particularly like to thank the members of the Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport Research Group, and the Cultural Ministers Council Statistics Working Group, for their efforts in providing ongoing feedback and advice about the ABS program.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the detailed data that is contained in the ABS program, and we are trying to assist users with publications that bring different data sets together on sport and culture, with an emphasis on key topics of interest to users. Recently we released the reports Music in Australia: A Statistical Overview and Cultural Participation by Persons with a Disability and Older Persons (details are provided in this newsletter). We are also endeavouring to keep our two major compendia publications up to date so that you can orientate easily in this field of statistics – Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview and Sport and Recreation: A Statistical Overview. Both these publications are available on-line with individual chapters being progressively updated.

In the next few months, new data will be released from the ABS General Social Survey (GSS) which was conducted in 2006. The GSS summary publication and user guide are due for release on 4 April, while the basic and expanded Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) and accompanying CURF technical manual are due for release on 13 April. Lastly, the state tables are due for release on 23 April. The GSS includes sport and culture data items and statistics about voluntary work and social capital. NCCRS are planning to make good use of this data. In addition, the results of the 2006 Time Use Survey (TUS) are expected to be released in October this year and, again, we hope to do some analysis of the data from this source. Following our analyses of these data sources, we hope to present two new electronic publications (one for sport and one for culture), which will enable us to publish short articles on sport and culture related topics. These publications will be a way of disseminating our analyses of GSS data, TUS data and data from other sources.

As always, please get in touch with us if you need any advice or assistance with sport or culture data.

Lisa Conolly
Director

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