Involvement in arts and cultural events and

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Involvement in arts and cultural events and activities , defined as the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians aged 15 years and over who participated/attended an Aboriginal 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 and Torres Strait Islander Australians aged 15 years and over who participated in sporting and physical recreation activities. The most recent data for both measures are from the 2008 ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) (all jurisdictions; age; remoteness). Supplementary measures on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s and young people’s participation in organised sport and selected art and cultural activities are also presented. The most recent available data are from the 2008 NATSISS for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children 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 are comparable. Measuring participation in sport, arts or community group activities gives an indication of how connected an individual is to their local community, by mapping formal networks of social relations (Stone 2001). Involvement in arts and cultural events and activities There is a positive association between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’ involvement in cultural events and activities, as captured in the 2008 NATSISS, and a range of positive socioeconomic indicators, such as higher educational attainment, and higher probability of being employed (Dockery 2011). In 2008, in remote areas, feeling happy was associated with participating in cultural activities – with 83 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who were involved in art, craft, dance, music or story-telling reporting they felt happy some or most of the time. Of those who attended cultural activities at least once per week, 81 per cent GOVERNANCE, LEADERSHIP AND CULTURE 5.73
were happy some or most of the time, compared with 71 per cent among those who rarely or never attended cultural events (ABS 2010b). Dockery (2011) also found that participation in cultural events and activities is associated with better mental health, and to a lesser degree increased happiness. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians aged 15 years and over, attendance at cultural 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 than other states and territories (table 5A.7.6) attendance at cultural events increased with remoteness, from 57.0 per cent in non-remote areas to 80.5 per cent in remote areas (table 5A.7.7).

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