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Newsletters - National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS) - August 2005
 
 

Newsletters
National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics
August 2005

A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR
ABS PUBLICATION CHARGES ARE NOW HISTORY FOR INTERNET USERS
CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN ORGANISED SPORT - WHO IS? WHO ISN'T? WHAT ELSE ARE THEY DOING?
MUSEUMS RELY ON VOLUNTEERS
PUBLIC LIBRARIES LEND IN VOLUMES
INVOLVEMENT IN SUPPORT ROLES FOR ORGANISED SPORT
SPORT VOLUNTEERS AND OTHER VOLUNTEERS
INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS AND SPORT
NCCRS CONTACT POINTS


A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR

In the January newsletter I mentioned that we had embarked upon some analytical projects, using multi-variate techniques, in order to better understand the extent to which various factors influence sport or cultural participation. The first findings from one of these projects, on children's participation in organised sport, were presented by Mike Stratton at a conference in July, and are reported on below. You may have noticed some press coverage about the paper. Later in the year, Mike will present findings about the relationship between the amount of time children spend playing organised sport and other factors, such as the amount of time spent watching TV.

In other analytical projects we're using General Social Survey data to look at factors influencing sports participation by adults and attendance at cultural venues and events by adults.

Our newsletter usually focuses on interesting outputs from ABS data collection and analysis work. However, NCCRS is also involved in the development of the classifications and questionnaires used to collect and process the data that we use. As part of our input to the development of enhancements to upcoming surveys of adult and children's participation in sport and recreational physical activities, NCCRS has prepared a literature review of methodologies for measuring barriers and motivators for adult participation in sport and recreational physical activities, and a brief report about different methodologies for measuring children's participation in sport and recreational physical activities. Drafts of these reports have been sent to members of the Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport Research Group (SRG), and will either be turned into ABS Information papers or be available from NCCRS on request.

For the last few years, the ABS and Statistics New Zealand have been working together on reviews of the standard classifications of industries - the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) - and occupations - the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). ABS Information papers on the new versions of these classifications should be released shortly, and they will begin to be used in 2006. In particular, they will be used in the 2006 Census of Population and Housing, which is an important source of data about culture and recreation employment. NCCRS has provided significant input to both of these reviews, ensuring that the new versions of the classifications will improve the availability of culture and recreation employment data, compared with the current versions of the classifications, which were developed in the early 1990s. NCCRS will also be reviewing the Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications, to coincide with the release of the new ANZSIC and ANZSCO.

As always, we welcome comments and feedback on any of our publications and reports, and we are keen to hear from you about your culture and recreation research needs.

Lisa Conolly
Director

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ABS PUBLICATION CHARGES ARE NOW HISTORY FOR INTERNET USERS

While the first of July has traditionally marked the beginning of a new financial year, in 2005 it also ushered in a new era of freedom for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

For the first time, ABS publications and tables became available for free download from the ABS web site (www.abs.gov.au), a change that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, The Hon. Chris Pearce MP, described as "a historic outcome for an informed community".

The new policy, in combination with the ABS's email notification system which alerts clients to new material on the web site, means that interested people will be aware of and able to download a new publication within minutes of it being released.

As a result, the ABS web site which currently receives about 50 million page views per year, is expected to become even more popular with internet users looking to become better informed about Australian economic and social issues.

Members of the public will still be able to buy copies of printed publications via the ABS's e-commerce facility.

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CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN ORGANISED SPORT - WHO IS? WHO ISN'T? WHAT ELSE ARE THEY DOING?

In recent years there has been increasing concern about obesity among children and young adults. This has led to research and debate about issues such as the amount of time children spend on sedentary activities such as watching television and playing computer games; whether there are socioeconomic factors that are associated with non-participation in sport or physical activities; and the relative influences of diet and exercise on obesity.

To further inform this debate the ABS has undertaken some statistical analysis of information collected in the ABS survey of Children's Participation in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities.

The findings of the first stage of this statistical analysis were presented by Mike Stratton of NCCRS at the Australian Social Policy Conference in Sydney in July 2005. The paper, which is available on the conference Web site, was entitled The Young and the Restful - The Effects of Recreational Choices and Demographic Factors on Children's Participation in Sport.
The analysis indicates that screen-based activities do compete for a child's time, however modest amounts of time spent on these as well as on other leisure activities do not necessarily translate into a reduced likelihood of participating in organised sport. In fact, the analysis shows that children who had not used a computer or the Internet at home in the two weeks prior to interview were much less likely to participate in organised sport than those who had.

Instead, socioeconomic characteristics have more of an impact on the likelihood of participation. In particular, the children who were least likely to participate in organised sport were those in families with unemployed parents. Low rates of participation in organised sport were also more common for children who were born overseas, children whose parent(s) were born in a non-English speaking country, and children living in areas with a low overall socioeconomic status.

Of all the family and labour force combinations, children in couple families in which both parents were employed were the most likely to participate in organised sport.

In the second stage of this analysis, the ABS will examine the relationship between various factors and the frequency and hours of participation in organised sport. Findings from the second stage of the analysis will be presented at a conference in October 2005.

Further information about this project may be obtained from Mike Stratton on (08) 8237 7399 or by emailing <nccrs@abs.gov.au>.

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MUSEUMS RELY ON VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers continue to be the mainstay of Australian museums and art galleries, according to the recently released Australian Bureau of Statistics publication, Museums, Australia, 2003-04, which revealed that volunteers outnumbered paid employees by a ratio of almost 3:1.

The publication shows that during June 2004, an army of 20,443 volunteers worked a total of 343,139 hours in museums and art galleries throughout Australia - an average of almost 17 hours per person over the course of the month. These volunteers worked alongside 7,624 paid employees, of whom 4,291 (56% ) worked full-time, 3,252 (43%) part-time, and 81 (1%) were working proprietors and partners.

The Australian public were clearly appreciative of the fruits of these labours, with the 1,329 museums and art galleries recording more than 31 million admissions for 2003-04. Although the majority of admissions were free (66%), paid admissions still generated $56m or 6% of the total income of $919m.

Museums and art galleries derived the bulk of their income from government funding (68% or $628m), while fundraising (10% or $89m) and the sale of goods (5% or $50m) also made substantial contributions to their viability.

On the other side of the ledger, expenses for 2003-04 totalled $810m, with the main items being labour costs at $320m (40%), depreciation and amortisation at $99m (12%), exhibition or display development costs at $32m (4%) and purchases at $27m (3%).

Further information is available in Museums, Australia, 2003-04 (cat. no. 8560.0), which is freely available on the ABS Web site.

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PUBLIC LIBRARIES LEND IN VOLUMES

A survey of public libraries conducted by the ABS shows how extensively the collections are used by the Australian population as sources of information and recreation.

There were 105 million visits to the National Library of Australia (NLA) and state and local government libraries in the year to 30 June 2004. Of these visits, some 99.6 million were made to local government libraries, resulting in loans of 174.9 million books and other materials. This represented 5 visits per head of population for the year, and an average of 1.8 loans per visit.

At the end of June 2004, local government libraries had 4,638 Internet workstations available for public use - an increase of 64% since June 2000, when the survey was last conducted. This represented an average of three Internet workstations per local government library location (up from 1.9 in June 2000).

Local government libraries had total holdings of 41.5 million books and other library materials, of which 39 million items were available as lending stock, and each item was borrowed on average four times in the year. In addition to library stock, local government libraries also held 1.2 million heritage items at the end of June 2004.

The NLA and eight state and territory libraries held 11.3 million library items and a further 7.6 million heritage items at the end of June 2004. There were five million visits to the NLA, state and territory libraries in 2003-04.

A total of 10,606 people were employed at local government libraries at the end of June 2004, and a further 6,315 volunteers worked an average of nine hours each for the month. The NLA, state and territory libraries employed 1,865 people and utilised the services of 416 volunteers, who worked an average of eight hours each for the month.

Further information is available in Public Libraries, Australia, 2003-04 (cat. no. 8561.0).

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INVOLVEMENT IN SUPPORT ROLES FOR ORGANISED SPORT

The success of organised sport in Australia depends not only on people who play organised sport but also on people in support roles such as coaches, referees, scorers, timekeepers, committee members and medical support personnel. The Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity survey, which is undertaken every three or four years by the ABS, gives us some information about the people who support sport in this way.

In the year to April 2004, an estimated 3.7 million people played organised sport, while 1.5 million people were involved in support roles. Of the 1.5 million people involved in support roles, 60% also played organised sport.

The percentage of the population aged 15 years or more who were involved in support roles (9.6%) was similar to 2001 (9.5%).

Of the 1.5 million people in support roles:
  • One-third (33%) had two or more different support roles, meaning that the 1.5 million people were involved in 2.2 million different non-playing roles, or "involvements".
  • Just over one-third (34%) had a qualification relevant to their role. The highest percentage of people with qualifications relevant to their involvement were in a medical support role (93%).
  • More than half (54%) were associated with school or junior sport.

Most people received no payment for their non-playing involvement. Overall, 12% of the 2.2 million non-playing involvements attracted some form of payment. Of these paid involvements, 56% earned less than $5,000 for the 12 months prior to April 2004 and a further 16% earned payment in goods or services only.


Further information is available in Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity, Australia, April 2004 (cat. no. 6285.0).

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SPORT VOLUNTEERS AND OTHER VOLUNTEERS

The 2002 General Social Survey (GSS) included questions on volunteering. Earlier this year, NCCRS used the GSS data to undertake some analysis of the characteristics of and differences between volunteers for sports and other organisations.

The 2002 GSS found that, at the time of interview, there were 1.7 million people aged 18 years and over who had undertaken voluntary work during the previous 12 months for an organisation or group involved in sport, recreation or a hobby. These people (henceforth referred to as sport volunteers) comprised 12.1% of the total adult population. A further 22.3% (3.2 million) of the adult population undertook voluntary work for organisations or groups involved in other fields or activities (henceforth referred to as other volunteers). In the analysis, people who undertook voluntary work for both 'sport' and 'other' organisations were included in the figures for sport volunteers only.

Some of the other main findings of the 2002 GSS with respect to volunteers are as follows:
  • With a sport volunteer rate of 15.1%, males were more likely to volunteer for sports organisations than were females (9.2%). However, the reverse was true for other organisations, which had a volunteer rate of 25.9% for females compared with 18.5% for males.
  • Volunteer rates were higher in regions outside of the capital cities (15.6% for sport and 24.7% for other) than they were in the capital cities (10.2% for sport and 21.0% for other). In remote regions of Australia the sport volunteer rate was 23.9%, slightly exceeding the other volunteer rate (22.9%).
  • People who participated in or attended organised sport had much higher sport volunteer rates (25.6% and 19.3% respectively) than the adult population as a whole (12.1%).
  • For both sport and other volunteering, the more socioeconomically disadvantaged a household, as measured by the SocioEconomic Index for Areas (SEIFA), the less likely its adult members were to be volunteers. The sport volunteer rate ranged from 9.8% for members of households in the lowest SEIFA quintile (most disadvantaged) to 13.9% for members of households in the highest quintile. The corresponding rates for other volunteering were 19.5% and 26.8%.

A copy of the report Sport Volunteers and Other Volunteers - Some Data from the 2002 General Social Survey may be obtained from Colin Speechley on (08) 8237 7363 or by emailing <nccrs@abs.gov.au>.

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INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS AND SPORT

A report entitled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - Aspects of Sport and Recreation has been produced by NCCRS for the Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport Reference Group (SRG). The report draws together data from the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, the 2002 General Social Survey, the 2001 Community Housing and Infrastructure Needs Survey, the 2001 National Health Survey, and the 2001 Population Census.

Information is included on attendance at sporting events and participation in sport and recreational physical activities; sport facilities in Indigenous Australian communities; exercise levels and health status; and the occupations, industry and qualifications of Indigenous Australian people employed in the sport, recreation and leisure sectors.

As an example of the findings in the report: the participation rate for Indigenous people aged 18 years and over was 45.6% compared with 62.6 % for the non-Indigenous population. Younger Indigenous people had higher rates of participation than older people, with 59.5% of those aged 18-24 years participating; this declined in each age group to 25.7% for those aged 55 years and over. Comparative rates for the non-Indigenous population were 73.1% for those aged 18-24 years declining to 51.2% for those aged 55 years and over.

Until the report has been loaded to either the SRG or Australian Sports Commission Web site, a copy may be obtained from Colin Speechley on (08) 8237 7363 or by emailing <nccrs@abs.gov.au>.

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NCCRS CONTACT POINTS

Email: <nccrs@abs.gov.au>
Culture Topics: Chris Giddings on (08) 8237 7326
Sport Topics: Colin Speechley on (08) 8237 7363
Director: Lisa Conolly on (08) 8237 7402
Fax: (08) 8237 7366

Address:
National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics
GPO Box 2272
ADELAIDE, SA, 5001

ABS Internet site: <http://www.abs.gov.au>

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