4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Mar 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/03/2010   
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Welcome to the first issue of Culture and Recreation News for 2010. There have been several publications released since the last newsletter as well as major progress in terms of the survey program. In January, the National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS) released Cultural Funding in Australia: Three Tiers of Government, 2007-08. The key findings from this survey are summarised in this newsletter. The 2008-09 survey is currently in the collection phase with results due out in the second half of 2010. Late last year the results of the national survey that gathered information on various cultural and leisure activities undertaken by children aged 5-14 years were published in Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2009 (cat. no. 4901.0).

On the survey front there is currently a flurry of activity with the Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation module and the Attendance at Sporting Events and at Selected Cultural Venues and Events module both currently being collected as part of the 2009-10 Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS). The results of both surveys are expected to be available late in 2010. In addition, the Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity survey (IOSPA) is due to go into the field next month (April) as part of the Monthly Population Survey. Again the results should be available later this year.

In the last newsletter I mentioned the new Adult Participation in Selected Cultural Activities survey module that will be collected as part of the 2010-11 MPHS. This survey is still under development with final testing scheduled to take place soon. Results should be released in late 2011. More detailed information can be found in the relevant section of the newsletter.

As part of our efforts to improve the consistency and comparability of reporting between cultural heritage organisations the NCCRS released the Information Paper: Towards Comparable Statistics for Cultural Heritage Organisations, 2008 (cat. no. 4916.0) in November 2008. The paper identified 16 key industry measures and outlined detailed guidelines on how to collect and report on them. It is now over a year since the release of the paper so we are about to embark on a review which will include an investigation of issues relating to the implementation of the guidelines. Feedback will be sought from the 40 major cultural organisations who were involved in initial consultations. Outcomes will be reported to the Cultural Ministers Statistics Working Group to determine the next steps towards achieving comparable statistics across cultural heritage organisations.

In late 2009 the Independent Sport Panel released the report, The Future of Sport in Australia (also known as the Crawford Report). This report identified a number of fundamental issues relating to the sporting system in Australia. From an NCCRS perspective a key recommendation was that the proposed national sports policy framework be supported by the availability of robust data. The ABS, primarily through the NCCRS, has long been active in providing information for a wide range of users, however, we look forward to being able to contribute to this framework and its related data needs.

I hope you find this newsletter both interesting and informative. If you have any comments about our program please feel free to contact us.

Andrew Middleton