4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Mar 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/03/2008   
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The year 2008 has started with great energy, as you will see from this bumper issue of Culture and Recreation News, the newsletter of our National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS) . I am very pleased to say we have completed several large and complex projects, including our Arts and Cultural Heritage Information Development Plan, and a Sport and Exercise Conceptual Model. These reports are the result of several years of research and consultation and I anticipate that they will fruitfully guide statistical development and research for many years to come, making their long gestation period worthwhile.

In addition, we completed a minor review of the Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications, and have proposed some modifications as to how the culture and leisure industries are compiled. These classifications have been used to identify 'sport and physical recreation' occupations and industries and 'arts and cultural heritage' occupations and industries in recent analyses of Census 2006 data, presented in the products Employment in Culture, 2006 (cat. no. 6273.0) and Employment in Sport and Recreation, 2006 (cat. no. 4148.0), which were recently released.

While the Census provides good data on a person's 'main job' (i.e. the job in which they worked the most hours during the week before the Census), there are many people working in sport and cultural occupations who do so as part of a second job, or who volunteer their time. The results of the ABS survey of Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities were released in December 2007, and provide a source of information about people's involvement in arts and sport support roles in either a paid or unpaid capacity. There are over thirty different arts and culture activities explored in this survey, including, for example, people who are involved as writers, musicians, visual artists, or in providing museum or library services. The sport supporting roles are focussed on organised sport and include: coaching or training; referees or umpires; medical support persons; committee members and scorers or timekeepers. More details of the publications produced from this data source are provided in this newsletter.

When analysing the data sources relating to work in culture and leisure, data users have raised questions about what constitutes 'work' in the arts or sport, particularly given that many 'professionals' in this area may not receive an income from their 'work'. The NCCRS is currently scoping a new project to develop a conceptual framework to better define the various types of involvement that people can have in arts, sport, and other culture and leisure activities, and there will be more information about this project available soon.

The rest of 2008 promises to be a full and interesting year in NCCRS, and I shall be handing this work program over to the new Acting Director, Andrew Middleton, from March 25, 2008. I have very much enjoyed my time managing the NCCRS, I am sure Andrew will benefit greatly from the experience of working with such a dedicated team of staff in NCCRS, as I have.