4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Mar 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/03/2012   
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This year is set to be an exciting year in sport, particularly with the 2012 London Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games running from the end of July to mid-August. In light of this, the Prime Minister has set out to inspire sports participation amongst primary school children with the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Challenges. The Challenges encourage children to spend more time participating in a variety of sports in the lead up to, and during, the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games and reward the most active individuals and groups for their efforts. This coincides with the ABS' Survey of Children’s Participation in Culture and Leisure Activities which is scheduled to be undertaken throughout April 2012.

In December 2011 it was announced that sports and arts policy will be moving from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to the newly established Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport. In early March 2012 the Prime Minister announced a cabinet reshuffle with Senator Kate Lundy taking on the role of Minister for Sport and Multicultural Affairs, while the Hon Simon Crean continues as Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government and Minister for the Arts.

For those of you who may have missed it, the National Sport and Active Recreation Policy Framework was released in June 2011. The framework will be used by government departments and organisations to develop policies, strategies and programs relating to sport and active recreation. It focuses on achieving:

  • increased sports participation
  • success at international sporting competitions
  • strong national sporting competition.

Still on the policy front, work is continuing on the development of the National Cultural Policy (NCP). As I mentioned in our previous newsletter, a discussion paper outlining the proposed goals and strategies for the new NCP was released by the Minister for Arts, the Hon Simon Crean in August 2011. Since that time a number of organisations, community groups and interested members of the public have taken the opportunity to have their say. The Minister is reviewing all the feedback received prior to finalising the NCP which he expects to release later in 2012. Public submissions are available for viewing through the National Cultural Policy page on the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport website.

I also draw your attention to the first issue of Participation in Selected Cultural Activities (cat. no. 4921.0) released in February 2012. The publication outlines the participation of Australians in a range of cultural activities, the patterns of cultural participation and other various points of interest. It is expected that this survey will be conducted every three years.

There are also a number of publications due for release this month, including Sport and Social Capital (cat. no. 4917.0) and Volunteers in Sport (cat. no. 4440.0.55.001). A new edition of Perspectives in Sport (cat. no. 4156.0.55.001) is expected to be released mid-year.

I hope you find this newsletter informative and interesting. Please feel free to contact the National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics with any questions, comments or suggestions.

Andrew Middleton