Industry Report: Focus: Asia & Oceania
Vital Signs: Cultural indicators for Australia
by Meeting of Cultural Ministers – Statistics Working Group
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS), supported by the Cultural Ministers Council, has launched an online survey in order to develop a new report on the strength of the arts and cultural sector and its contribution to economic and social wellbeing
In 2007, Cultural Ministers agreed to support the development of a suite of high level cultural indicators and to report periodically on the strength of the arts and cultural sector and its contribution to economic and social wellbeing. A report was produced, providing a basis for the measurement of the contribution arts and culture make to the public good in Australia. It suggests that contribution can be captured using three broad themes: economic development, cultural value, and engagement and social impact.
This was the first time such a project had been undertaken in Australia, although many national governments, including New Zealand, have had well-developed sets of cultural indicators for some time.
National indicators play an important role in many fields of policy (notably in education, the economy and the environment) in enabling governments to assess the strength of a sector, the key features of its contribution to the community, the impact of policy initiatives, and trends in its growth or decline over a period of time.
Vital Signs was the first attempt to create such a measurement tool for arts and culture in Australia. Developed through extensive research on cultural measurement it aligns with current research that gives a central place to cultural value. It also acknowledges the importance of arts and culture as a catalyst for economic growth, and underlines the growing recognition of the importance of arts and culture to personal and community wellbeing and social inclusion.