Involvement in arts and cultural events and activities, defined as the proportion of Aboriginaland Torres Strait Islander Australians aged 15 years and over who participated/attended anAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, social or cultural activity. (continued next page)Box 5.7.2(continued)Participation in sport and recreational activities, defined as proportion of Aboriginal andTorres Strait Islander Australians aged 15 years and over who participated in sporting andphysical recreation activities.The most recent data for both measures are from the 2008 ABS National Aboriginal and TorresStrait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) (all jurisdictions; age; remoteness).Supplementary measures on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s and young people’sparticipation in organised sport and selected art and cultural activities are also presented. Themost recent available data are from the 2008 NATSISS for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanderchildren and the 2009 ABS Children’s Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities Survey(CPiCLAS) for non-Indigenous children (all jurisdictions: age; sex; remoteness). These data arecomparable.Measuring participation in sport, arts or community group activities gives an indication ofhow connected an individual is to their local community, by mapping formal networks ofsocial relations (Stone 2001).Involvement in arts and cultural events and activitiesThere is a positive association between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’involvement in cultural events and activities, as captured in the 2008 NATSISS, and arange of positive socioeconomic indicators, such as higher educational attainment, andhigher probability of being employed (Dockery 2011).In 2008, in remote areas, feeling happy was associated with participating in culturalactivities – with 83 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who wereinvolved in art, craft, dance, music or story-telling reporting they felt happy some or mostof the time. Of those who attended cultural activities at least once per week, 81 per centGOVERNANCE, LEADERSHIP AND CULTURE5.73
were happy some or most of the time, compared with 71 per cent among those who rarelyor never attended cultural events (ABS 2010b). Dockery (2011) also found thatparticipation in cultural events and activities is associated with better mental health, and toa lesser degree increased happiness.For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians aged 15 years and over, attendance atcultural events in 2008 varied across states and territories, and by remoteness:attendance at cultural events in the NT (81.3 per cent) was significantly higher thanother states and territories (table 5A.7.6)attendance at cultural events increased with remoteness, from 57.0 per cent innon-remote areas to 80.5 per cent in remote areas (table 5A.7.7).