4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Mar 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/2013   
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What a month it has been!

On 14 March the Essential Statistical Assets for Australia, 2013 (cat. no. 1395.0) was released. This initiative is intended to identify the core set of essential statistical assets generated by governments and use this list to support the prioritisation of ongoing investment in these assets. The broader set of official statistics is still important and will continue to be produced but these core set are considered essential to inform decision making by governments. Cultural and sport participation and attendance have both been included in 2013 list of Essential Statistical Assets for Australia which is good news both for sport and culture data users.

On the same day arts and culture hit the headlines with the release of the new National Cultural Policy, Creative Australia, by the Arts Minister Simon Crean. This policy outlines the vision for the arts and culture sector over the next ten years. Some of the aims of the policy include: supporting growth and diversity in the arts and culture sector; encouraging innovation in a time of transformative technological change; and exploring the impact arts and culture has on the economy, as well as on society. The National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS) is mentioned in the policy in the context of the data we produce being used to track changes in the economic value of the arts, creative industries and cultural heritage as well as arts participation. For more information on Creative Australia please visit http://creativeaustralia.arts.gov.au.

The last few months have seen a stream of ABS publications released in relation to sport and physical activity and cultural activity. In October the April 2012 Children's Participation in Culture and Leisure Activities (CPCLA) (cat. no. 4901.0) data was released. The time series publication Children's Participation in Sport and Leisure Time Activities (cat. no. 4901.0.55.001) based on the results from the 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012 CPCLA surveys was released in December. Also released in December was the 2011-12 Survey of Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation (cat. no. 4177.0). This survey was conducted by the ABS with the support of the Committee of Australian Sport and Recreation Officials. Due to their continued support this survey is now being conducted on a biennial basis (instead of every four years) with the next survey to be run in 2013-14.

We have also updated both the sport and culture compendia products. The tenth edition of Sports and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview (cat. no. 4156.0) was updated in December 2012 and Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2012 (cat. no. 4172.0) was released in January 2013. The latest culture compendium is the first step in a transition to a new style of compendium which is designed to be more user friendly and easier to navigate as a web based publication.

I also draw your attention to the Australian Health Survey which includes data on physical activity. The first results from the survey were released in October 2012 in the publication Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001) with updated results to be released in June. Physical activity data from the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey will also be released in June. Please see Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001) for more information on results from the survey and the full release schedule.

The Census cycle is forever moving forward. Last year's release of results from the 2011 Census allowed us to update the publications Employment in Culture (cat. no. 6273.0) and Employment in Sport and Recreation (cat. no. 4148.0). However, we are already looking forward to 2016. The ABS has started development for the 2016 Census. We have included an article in this newsletter from the ABS Census Communication and Engagement team regarding the Census consultation phase. The consultation phase includes discussion of potential new topics and possible improvements to existing topics and will run until 31 May 2013.

In November last year, the publication Cultural Funding by Government (cat. no. 4183.0) was released with data from 2010-11. Work has commenced on the next cycle of the Cultural Funding by Government survey with two dispatches of the survey scheduled for 2013 to ensure that data will be available closer to the end of the reference period. The first, which will obtain data for the 2011-12 financial year, has already been despatched. The 2012-13 survey is due to be dispatched soon after the end of the current financial year. This change in timing will enable data to be collected from respondents closer to the end of the reference period while providing users with a more timely release of information.

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