FROM THE DIRECTOR
Welcome to the first edition of Culture and Recreation News for 2011.
The last few months have seen a flurry of releases, particularly for sport and physical activity. Information from the 2009-10 Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation survey and the 2009-10 Spectator Attendance at Sporting Events survey were released in December 2010, while results from the 2010 Involvement in Sport and Physical Activity survey were released in November 2010.
The 'Perspectives on Sport' series grew with several articles released in January. We have also added to our suite of 'Perspectives' series with the release of the first edition of the 'Perspectives on Culture' earlier this month. Previously these articles appeared as attachments to the Statistical Overview that is released annually. The new series will allow us to provide readers with articles more frequently and address issues that are topical in a more timely manner.
The Statistical Overviews are also changing. They will still provide information in one location, however, that information will now be more up to date. Previously, Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview and Sport and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview were published once a year with updates to the various data sources being held over until the respective overview releases. Both overviews will now be electronic with rolling updates occurring soon after new data is released. A final PDF file will still be available in December that consolidates all of the updates.
The 2009-10 Cultural Funding by Government survey is currently underway with results expected to be released in August. This survey provides details about expenditure on arts and cultural heritage at all levels of government. The Cultural Participation survey is also currently in the field - the field phase runs through 2010-11. We expect results to be released early next year, however, we will let you know more in the next newsletter.
There are also other changes occurring to the work programs. A major change is to the four yearly Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation survey. The most recent survey was conducted with respect to 2009-10 with the next survey programmed for 2013-14. Following the release of The Future of Sport in Australia (aka the Crawford Report) by the Independent Sport Panel in late 2009, the ABS has been working with the Australian Sports Commission and the Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport to conduct a Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation survey in 2011-12. Plans are well advanced for the survey which will now be conducted every two years rather than four. This will result in a regular single measure of sports participation.
On 13 February the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) released a communique that highlighted a reform plan to create a new system of Ministerial Councils. While Ministerial Councils play a key role in progressing important work across all levels of government the changes will see a shift towards a council system focussed on strategic national priorities and new ways for COAG and its councils to identify and address issues of national significance. The changes effectively halve the number of councils - from 40 to 23. The National Centre for Recreation and Sport has been supported over a long period of time by the Ministerial Council system and while these reforms may result in some changes the NCCRS is looking forward to continuing its relationship with both the Culture and Sports sectors.
As always, I hope you find this newsletter both informative and interesting. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions about the work of the National Centre for Recreation and Sport please feel free to contact us.