Australia is recognised internationally as a nation that is very much involved in sport. Sport and recreation form an integral part of Australian culture and there are believed to be many benefits associated with participating in sport and physical activity, including enjoyment, social interaction, health, personal achievement, national pride and community involvement. In many ways sport unites and personifies the nation. Interestingly, Australians competed internationally as 'Australia' in sport before Australia was federated as a nation.
Sport and recreation administration
Governments invest in sport and recreation because it returns both tangible and intangible benefits to the nation. Federal, state, territory and local governments all play an important role in the development of Australian sport and recreation. The provision of quality facilities, whether they be state of the art stadiums or community cycling paths, encourages physical activity and, importantly, good health.
Sport and Recreation Ministers' Council (SRMC)
The SRMC provides the major mechanism for liaison between the Commonwealth Government and state and territory governments on matters concerned with sport and recreation in Australia and, more recently, in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. The SRMC is a forum for consultation and cooperation between the respective governments, with its membership comprising ministers with prime responsibility for sport and recreation.
The Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport (SCORS) - comprising representatives of the relevant ministers' departments and the Australian Sports Commission - provides advice and administrative support to the SRMC.
The Recreation and Sport Industry Statistics Group is a sub-committee of SCORS. Its role is to improve the range, definition and quality of statistics for the sport and recreation industry. It comprises representatives from Commonwealth, state and territory departments responsible for sport and recreation, the ABS, the Australian Sports Commission and Sport Industry Australia.
National Sporting Organisations
Sports in Australia are managed and coordinated by National Sporting Organisations (NSOs). Each organisation manages the participation and development of a specific sport in Australia. They are able to offer guidance and further contacts for those seeking information on their sport. There are 129 such organisations in Australia.
Australian Sports Commission (ASC)
The ASC is the Commonwealth government agency responsible for the funding and development of sport in Australia. The ASC’s national leadership role is achieved through two operational areas: the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Sport Development Group (SDG).
Through the AIS and the Active Australia program, the ASC supports a wide range of initiatives designed to develop sporting excellence and increase participation in organised sport by all Australians. The ASC works in partnership with NSOs to establish specific sport development programs at all levels.
The AIS is the elite sport development arm of the ASC. Its core business is to provide a world class training environment to support AIS athletes and coaches. The AIS has four operational areas: Planning and Evaluation; Coach and Athlete Services; Technical Direction; and Business Development. In 2002, these areas supported 35 programs in 26 sports for the 700 athletes on scholarship. For more information about the AIS, refer to the article Australian Institute of Sport in Year Book Australia 2002.
The SDG provides a full range of advisory and support services to assist NSOs and their affiliated organisations and clubs, with the aim of increasing the number of people participating in sport across Australia, especially in rural and regional Australia. In addition the SDG administers the ASC’s Sports Excellence and Sport Development grant programs. These programs provide essential funding to NSOs to support the operation of their organisation, as well as high performance and sport development activities.
Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA)
The ASDA is the custodian of Australia's athlete anti-doping program and it plays a leading role, within Australian and international sports communities, in delivering drug testing and education services. ASDA also provides policy advice to sporting organisations and the Commonwealth Government regarding 'drugs in sport' issues. ASDA is an independent statutory authority and was established in 1990.
Australia Sport International (ASI)
ASI was established by the Australian Government to connect international businesses to Australian suppliers of sport- and recreation-related goods and services. ASI helps organisations in the Australian sports and recreation industry to enhance their export performance by providing access to a range of services designed to support their international marketing efforts.
Sport Industry Australia
The peak body for the sport and recreation industry in Australia is Sport Industry Australia. Established in 1976 as the Confederation of Australian Sport, it sees its role as maximising the contribution that sport and recreation make to the health and wellbeing of individual Australians, their community and the Australian economy. It aims to build and strengthen the network between what it refers to as the not-for-profit sport and recreation sector, sport businesses and governments.
Australian Olympic Committee (AOC)
The AOC is recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the National Olympic Committee in Australia responsible for the protection and development of the Olympic Movement in this country, as well as the promotion of its goals and principles. The AOC is committed to: the development of Australia's athletes; organising and funding Australia's Olympic teams; and encouraging the development of high performance sport through athlete support and funding initiatives.
Australian Paralympic Committee (APC)
The APC administers funding provided by the ASC for athletes with disabilities to undertake high-level training and compete in the Paralympic Games and other major international sporting events. The APC is also responsible for the selection, assembly and management of Australian teams participating in international events for athletes with disabilities.
Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA)
The ACGA is responsible for assisting the growth of the Commonwealth Games movement in Australia and the development of the athletes and sports which are the foundation of the Games. The ACGA also assists other nations, especially the emerging nations, with development programs and projects.
The ACGA provided support for the Commonwealth Games held in Manchester in 2002, and will be closely involved with the management of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.
Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Pty Ltd
Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Pty Ltd is the organising committee for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. The Committee's board members were nominated by the state government of Victoria, the ACGA and the Commonwealth Games Federation.
Sport and Recreation Training Australia (SRTA)
SRTA is a national Industry Training Advisory Board for sport and recreation industries.
The primary roles of SRTA are to advise government on, and assist industry with, vocational education and training matters for the sport and recreation industries.
Some of the key activities undertaken by SRTA include:
- industry consultation, research and analysis relating to vocational education and training matters
- information dissemination and marketing to industry stakeholders
- development and maintenance of national training packages
- management of, and participation in, nationally based vocational education and training projects (e.g. workplace assessment, case studies, and support materials)
SRTA has developed training packages for various sectors of the sport and recreation industry, including outdoor recreation, sport, fitness and community recreation. The former two packages were re-released in 2002. The latter two packages are currently under review.
Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER)
ACHPER is a national professional association representing people who work in the areas of health education, physical education, recreation, sport, dance, community fitness or movement sciences.
ACHPER is a membership-based non-profit organisation, governed by a volunteer board comprising professionals from educational and community sectors. ACHPER advocates and lobbies on behalf of its members, undertakes research and provides an advisory consultancy service, conducts teacher professional development programs, and conducts leadership training programs for community fitness instructors.
- participation in industry and government committees, forums, networks, and consultation and planning processes.