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FEATURE ARTICLE: PARTICIPATION OF MIGRANTS IN CULTURE AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES
Sporting and physical recreation activities by adults
In Australia, as in many other countries, attendance at sporting events or participation in sporting activities has been a common avenue for individuals to engage with the wider community (Taylor 2003).
The results from the 2006 General Social Survey showed that participation in sporting activities (either formal or informal) through playing, coaching, refereeing or administrative roles, was a popular means of social interaction. Almost two-thirds (65%) of people from main English-speaking countries and just over half (53%) of people from other countries reported some form of participation in sport in the previous 12 months. The proportion of people born in Australia who participated in sporting activities (64%) was similar to that of people from main English-speaking countries.
The results from the Multi-Purpose Household Survey 2005-06 showed that persons born in other countries had a lower rate of participation (52%) in sport and physical recreation than persons born in main English-speaking countries (72%) or persons born in Australia (68%).
Walking for exercise was the most popular activity for all birthplace groups with a quarter of the total population (25%) participating in this activity (table 14.26). Those born in main English-speaking countries had the highest rate of participation in walking for exercise (31%) compared with people born in Australia (25%) and those born in other countries (20%).
Sporting and leisure activities by children
The survey of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities conducted in April 2009 showed there is a noticeable difference in the participation rate of children born in other countries compared with those born in Australia or in a main English-speaking country. Around two-thirds (64% and 62% respectively) of children born in Australia and main English-speaking countries participated in organised sport outside school hours, whereas the participation rate for children born in other countries was 40% (table 14.27).
The most popular organised sports for children aged 5-14 years born in other countries were swimming, with 17,600 participants (13%) and soccer (outdoor) with 16,600 participants (12%). The level of participation in swimming and soccer (outdoor) were 19% and 13% respectively for children born in Australia, and for those born in main English-speaking countries the levels were 20% and 13%.
The rate of participation in Australian Rules football was lower for children born in main English-speaking countries (7.1%). In comparison, 9.2% of Australian born children participated in Australian Rules football. Children born in main English-speaking countries had a higher rate of participation in netball (7.6%) compared with children born in other countries (1.6%).
Cultural activities by children
The survey of children's activities showed that children born overseas were more likely to have visited a public library (60%) than their Australian born counterparts (53%) (table 14.28). Children born in main English-speaking countries had the highest attendance rate at museums and art galleries at 47%, compared with those born in Australia (42%) and in other countries (33%). For performing arts events, children born in main English-speaking countries had the highest participation rate at 37%, followed by children born in Australia (34%) and children born in other countries (28%).
Participation rates for playing a musical instrument and singing were very similar across all country of birth groups. For dancing and drama, children born in other countries tended to have lower participation rates than children born in main English-speaking countries.
Attendance at cultural venues
Migrants born in main English-speaking countries had higher attendance rates than migrants born in other countries at all heritage and arts venues (table 14.29). They also had higher attendance rates than their Australian born counterparts at all heritage venues and most performing arts, excluding popular music concerts and cinemas.
The cinema was the most popular venue for both migrant groups, as well as for people born in Australia. People born in Australia and main English-speaking countries had higher rates of attendance (86% and 90% respectively) than did people from other countries (76%) in at least one venue or event.
Attendance at sporting events
The Multi-Purpose Household Survey 2005-06 showed close to half (44%) of the population aged 15 years and over attended a sporting event or venue in the 12 months prior to interview. Proportionally more Australian born people (50%) attended sporting events compared with those born in main English-speaking countries (42%) and other countries (21%).
These differences are also highlighted in the attendance rates for different sporting events (table 14.30). Overall, the most popular sport attended by each birthplace group was Australian Rules football with an attendance rate of 19% for persons born in Australia, 12% for persons born in main English-speaking countries and 6% for persons born in other countries. Four per cent of those born in other countries attended horse racing and 3% attended a motor sports event. In comparison, those born in Australia had higher attendance rates for these events, with attendance rates of 15% and 11% respectively. Soccer (outdoor) was the only sport that was attended by a greater proportion of people born in other countries (4.0%) compared with those born in Australia (3.3%).
Data sources and definitions
Data for this article are primarily from the 2005-06 Multi-Purpose Household Survey and the 2006 General Social Survey. The Multi-Purpose Household Survey included modules on participation in sport and attendance at sporting and cultural events. The General Social Survey collected data on a range of social dimensions. This allows analysis of interrelationships in social circumstances and outcomes including the exploration of multiple advantage and disadvantage.
A migrant is a person who was born overseas and obtained permanent Australian resident status prior to, or after, their arrival.
Main English-speaking countries are the main countries from which Australia receives, or has received, significant numbers of overseas settlers who are likely to speak English. These countries comprise the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, Canada, the United States of America and South Africa.
People born in other countries refers to people who were not born in Australia or in a main English-speaking country. These people may or may not be proficient in spoken English.
For more information see:
General Social Survey: Summary of Results, 2006 (4159.0)
Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2005-06 (4177.0)
Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2009 (4901.0).
Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events, Australia, 2005-06 (4114.0)
Sports Attendance, Australia, 2005-06 (4174.0)
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2004, Information Paper: Measuring Social Capital: An Australian Framework and Indicators, 2004, (1378.0) ABS, Canberra, last viewed 16 November 2009, <http://www.abs.gov.au>
Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) 2009, Fact sheet 4 - More than 60 years of post-war migration, National Communications Branch, DIAC, Canberra, last viewed 16 November 2009, <http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets>
Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) 2002, DIMIA Annual Report 2001-02, DIMIA, Canberra, last viewed 16 November 2009, <http://www.immi.gov.au/about/reports>
Jupp, J 2002, From White Australia to Woomera, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.
Parliamentary Library 2006, Skilled migration to Australia E-brief, Parliament of Australia, Canberra, last viewed 16 November 2009, <http://www.aph.gov.au/library/intguide>
Taylor, T 2003, 'Diversity Management in a Multi-cultural Society: An exploratory study of cultural diversity and team sport in Australia', Annals of Leisure Research, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 168-187.
The General Assembly of the United Nations 1948, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations, New York, last viewed 16 November 2009, <http://www.un.org/en/documents>