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ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION
PERSONS ATTENDING SELECTED CULTURAL VENUES AND EVENTS(a), By sex, 2009-10
Frequency of attendance
Some cultural venues and events were more likely to attract repeat visitors than others. Over two-thirds (70%) of Library attendees reported visiting at least five times during the 12 month period prior to interview. Cinemas were also popular with over half (53%) the patrons having attended at least five times in the preceding 12 months. The venues or events where the majority of people attending had been only once in the 12 month period were Other performing arts (with an attendance rate of 64%), Dance performances (56%), Musicals and operas (55%) and Museums (52%).
Attendance by people with a disability
The survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers asked respondents about their attendance at selected cultural venues and events. Generally, the 2012 survey showed that while most persons with a disability had participated in at least one activity in the last 12 months, rates of participation in some of these activities were lower among those with a profound or severe disability. For instance, persons with a profound or severe disability aged 15 to 64 years were less likely to have attended a movie, concert, theatre or other performing arts event than those with a moderate or mild disability (42% compared with 50%).
In 2012, nearly four in five persons with a disability aged 15 to 64 years, participated in a cultural activity (79%). Persons with a disability aged 65 years and over had the lowest attendance rates across all activities. Attending a movie, concert, theatre or other performing arts event were the most popular activities for those aged 5 to 64 years of age, with the highest rate of attendance found in the 5 to 14 years age group (70%). Almost half (49%) of persons aged 5 to 14 years visited a public library. By contrast, less than a third of persons aged 15 to 64 years (29%) and 65 years and over (26%) visited a public library.
Parental involvement in cultural activities as part of children's informal learning
Parents play an important role in children's informal learning. The ABS survey of Childhood Education and Care, Australia captures data on parental involvement in selected cultural activities that form part of children's informal learning in the seven days prior to interview.
The survey findings show that in the last week of June 2011, 80% (or 701,000 parents) read from a book or told a story to their children aged 0-2 years, making it the most popular activity. The proportion of parents that had read from a book or told a story each day for seven days prior to interview was 57%, up 6% from 2008.
The number of books that are in the home was also reported in the survey. The proportion of homes that had at least 25 children's books was 73%.
The survey also found that in the last week of June 2011, 77% of parents played music, sang songs, danced or did other musical activities with their 0 to 2 year old children. Just over half (52%) of respondents assisted their children aged 0-2 years with drawing, writing or other creative activities.
Among parents involved in cultural activities with their 3-8 year olds, 96% told stories, read or listened to the child read in the previous week and 49% were involved in this activity each day for the previous seven days. More parents watched TV, videos and DVDs with their children (89%) than were involved in music, art or other creative activities (65% of parents).
There were some differences in the level of parental participation across the states and territories. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion (89%) of parents who read from a book or told a story to their children aged 0-2 years, followed by South Australia (84%). Whereas the Northern Territory had the lowest proportion at 76%.
Queensland had the highest proportion (64%) of parents who read from a book and told a story to their children each day for seven days to the end of June 2011. This is above the national average of 57%.
The proportion of parents who told stories, read or listened to their 3 to 8 year old children was similar across all states and territories. However, Victoria (53%), Western Australia (52%) and Tasmania (52%) were the only states to have more than one half of the parents involved in this activity each day for seven days to the end of June 2011.
Tasmania (73%), the Australian Capital Territory (70%) and Northern Territory (70%) had the highest proportion of parents who were involved in music art or other creative activity with children aged 3 to 8 years. New South Wales had the lowest proportion at 61%.
Additional information on the involvement of parents in cultural activities is available in the datacube attached to the publication Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2011 (cat. no. 4402.0).
Children's participation in organised cultural activities
Many children take part in cultural activities during school hours often as part of compulsory lessons. Some children also undertake cultural activities in their own time.
According to the 2012 ABS survey of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, 35% of children aged 5-14 years were involved in at least one of four selected organised cultural activities outside of school hours. In the 12 months to April 2012, Playing a musical instrument was the most popular of the selected cultural activities (490,200 children), followed by Dancing (418,100), Singing (143,200) and Drama (130,300). Participation rates of girls (19%) were higher than that of boys (16%) for Playing a musical instrument, and girls were much more likely to take part in Dancing than boys with participation rates of 27% and 4%, respectively.
CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN ORGANISED CULTURAL ACTIVITIES(a), 2012
The 2012 survey of Children's Participation in Selected Cultural and Leisure Activities was conducted in regard to the activities of 5-14 year olds and showed that girls were more likely to read for pleasure than boys at any age. During the two-week reference period, 77% of girls read for pleasure compared with 65% of boys. The average time spent by girls who read for pleasure during the two-week period was 6.9 hours, compared with 6.3 hours for boys. Additional data on reading for pleasure is available in the datacube for the Children's Participation in Selected Cultural and Leisure Activities (4901.0) publication.
READING FOR PLEASURE(a), By age and sex, 2012
In 2006, the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (cat. no. 4228.0) found that reading was a favourite activity for 61% of people aged 15 years and over. The activity was a favourite for 73% of females surveyed, compared with 50% of males.
More than three quarters (77%) of those aged 15 years and over read a newspaper at least once a week with 58% and 48% reading magazines and books respectively. People likely to read more frequently were those in the 45-64 years age group and those with university or higher qualifications.
ADULT READING PREFERENCES(a)(b), By selected characteristics, 2006
(b) In the 12 months prior to interview.
Source: ABS data available on request, Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, 2006 (cat. no. 4228.0)
INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION IN CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's participation in cultural activities are important elements of traditions and community sustainability, as well as spiritual and social well being. Cultural activities include arts and crafts, music, dance or theatre and writing or telling stories.
The 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) found that of these selected cultural activities, Arts and crafts was the most popular, with 17% (almost 56,600) of Indigenous persons aged 15 years and over taking part at least once in the 12 months prior to interview. Participation rates were similar for both age groups interviewed, with 28,400 (16%) persons aged 15 to 34 years and almost 28,200 (18%) persons aged 35 years and over having participated in Arts and crafts. Participation in Writing or telling stories was higher for Indigenous persons aged 35 years and over (20%), compared with 12% for those aged 15 to 34 years.
INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED CULTURAL ACTIVITIES(a), By age, 2008
Female participation rates were higher for Arts and crafts (20%) and Writing or telling stories (17%) compared with males (14% for both activities).This pattern was evident across both the 15 to 34 year old and 35 years and over age groups. Male participation was higher in Music, dance or theatre (12%) compared with females (10%).
INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED CULTURAL ACTIVITIES(a), By sex, 2008
In 2008, participation in selected cultural activities was higher for those Indigenous persons aged 15 years and over living in remote and very remote areas compared with those living in non-remote areas. For Arts and crafts, 22% of Indigenous persons living in remote areas of Australia participated in this activity compared with 16% living in non-remote areas. Of those Indigenous persons living in remote areas, 21% participated in Writing or telling stories (16% for Music, dance or theatre) compared with 14% living in non-remote areas (9% for Music, dance or theatre).
INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED CULTURAL ACTIVITIES(a), By remoteness, 2008
Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4114.0)
Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0)
Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2011 (cat. no. 4402.0)
Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, Apr 2012 (cat. no. 4901.0)
Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, Summary Results, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4228.0)
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0)
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