4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Jan 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2005   
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Happy New Year to all readers, and I hope you have come back from the Christmas break refreshed, as I have, after a healthy dose of holiday recreation and culture. Australians' involvement in the arts and culture was the subject of a recent ABS publication (as summarised in this newsletter). The same survey asked about volunteer involvement in sport (coaching, umpiring, administrating, etc.) so look out for the publication that will be released next month (Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity (cat. no. 6285.0)).

This newsletter reports on recently released data related to involvement in arts and sport by people with disabilities, and also on visits to heritage areas by Australians. These are just a few of the many ABS data sources that shed light on various aspects of sport and culture. The publication, Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview (cat. no. 4172.0), is a "must have" if you need a reference to ABS data sources in this area (note that a similar reference for sport was released earlier last year).

While these many pieces of data are useful on their own terms, it is difficult to interpret them all together. How do we assemble the jigsaw to answer the big questions - e.g.: what factors determine whether people participate in arts, culture or sport? Later in the year we will release our findings from some analytical projects, using multi-variate techniques, which we hope will provide a more robust interpretation of the factors influencing sport participation and non-participation, for both children and adults. While the focus to date has been on sport, we plan to extend this to analysing arts and culture activities later in the year.

There are many other projects in progress, or being developed and debated - more than can be expressed in these few paragraphs. If you want to find out more, please be in touch. We are all looking forward to an interesting and busy year.

Lisa Conolly