4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Oct 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/10/2011   
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The next step towards a new National Cultural Policy

Development of a new National Cultural Policy (NCP) is one step closer following the August release of a discussion paper by Minister for the Arts, the Hon Simon Crean. It is envisaged that the NCP will set out a strategic vision for arts, cultural heritage and creative industries in Australia, and the Arts Minister invites all Australians to have a say. Suggested areas for consideration include:

  • the role the arts and culture can play in meeting Australian aspirations, as outlined in the goals;
  • what success for each goal might look like; and
  • ideas individuals have to get there.

The discussion paper outlines where Australia is now by considering questions such as 'Do current policies reflect and support the profile of modern Australia?' and 'How many Australians and which parts of the community participate in the arts?' whilst also highlighting associated reviews being conducted in parallel with the NCP development.

As a vision for the next decade, the aims of the NCP will be to ensure progress is made in the areas of culture and the arts and that this progress can be measured. Four possible goals of the NCP are put forward in the discussion paper and in broad terms these are:
  • Ensure the Government supports initiatives that reflect the diversity of Australia today and support and protect Indigenous culture.
  • Encourage the use of new technologies.
  • Support excellence and strengthen the role of arts in the telling of Australian stories.
  • Enhance the economic and social contribution of arts to the economy.

Further information can be found by visiting the website http://culture.arts.gov.au/ where you can download the discussion paper and, until 21 October 2011, contribute your suggestions or feedback.

Topics @ a Glance

Regular visitors to the ABS website may have noticed that we have made some changes to our Culture and Recreation theme page; the most obvious of which being that it no longer exists! However, there is no cause for alarm as we have converted our old style combined theme page into two new 'Topics @ A Glance' pages; one for Culture and one for Sport and Physical Recreation. We hope the new format provides users with an easier navigation path to an improved range of information relating to the Culture and Sport topics. The ABS Customer Insights team are developing new data visualisation tools and we are hoping to be able to incorporate some of these snazzy elements in our pages in the coming months.

To explore the new pages, click on the individual links above or go in through the 'Topics @ A Glance' home page and select the page you want from under the 'People' banner.

Sports and Cultural statistics highlighted in Australian Social Trends articles

Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0) is structured according to the ABS Wellbeing Framework which identifies culture and leisure as one of the broad areas of social concern. The publication is released on a quarterly basis and draws on a wide range of ABS and non-ABS data to present a picture of Australian society. The articles that are released as part of this publication aim to use statistics to tell a story about changes over time or issues relevant to the topic.

The June 2011 release of Australian Social Trends contained several articles based on Sports and Cultural statistics from a variety of sources.
  • Sport and Physical Recreation An article looking at who participates in sports and physical recreation; which activities are the most popular; and, how this may vary depending on where people live.
  • Culture and the arts An article examining Australians' attendance at selected cultural venues and events and how attendance varies across personal characteristics
  • Children of the digital revolution One of the main data sources for this article is the Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities survey. The article examines children's use of information technology and the internet including what children use the internet for and how long they spend online. It also explores children's online safety and security threats.