4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Oct 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/11/2006   
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In the last issue of Culture and Recreation News, we outlined a project to assess the current statistical priorities of, and decide future directions for, NCCRS with regard to arts and cultural heritage research and statistics. In consultation with the Cultural Ministers Council Statistics Working Group (CMCSWG), NCCRS prepared a key issues paper that identified policy issues, potential research questions and useful data sources relevant to the arts and cultural heritage. This paper, and an accompanying feedback questionnaire, were emailed to government arts agencies, peak bodies, community arts networks, city councils, regional bodies and researchers across Australia. NCCRS thanks everyone who provided feedback on the key issues paper. The quality of responses was high in terms of the level of detail provided, and this has given us a greater understanding of data needs, as well as useful information about particular industry/sector issues, other sources of data, and how to improve definitions, classifications and data collections.

A summary of the feedback was prepared for CMCSWG, together with a proposal for a one-day workshop at which its members could prioritise needs, determine whether further investigation of priorities was required, and discuss possible actions to meet priority needs. At the October meeting of CMCSWG, its members decided to hold a facilitated workshop in Brisbane around the end of November to discuss and decide research and statistical priorities. This workshop will include discussion of the need to define a broad set of cultural indicators which are relevant to the National Cooperation Framework for Arts and Culture recently agreed to at the September meeting of the Cultural Ministers Council. Following the workshop, NCCRS will provide information about the priorities decided upon (and any proposed actions) to everyone who responded to the feedback questionnaire, and to others who have expressed an interest in the project. NCCRS will also use the information to prepare an ABS Information Development Plan for the Arts and Cultural Heritage (with target publication date of June 2007). The plan will be reviewed regularly in order to incorporate new data sources and identify changes in policy priorities and data needs as they arise.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about this project, or would like to receive updates about its progress, please contact Sue McKay on (08) 8237 7394 or email <nccrs@abs.gov.au>.