Australian Sport Policy

Australian Sport Policy         
Prepared by  Prepared by: Chris Hume and Christine May, Senior Research Consultants, Clearinghouse for Sport, Sport Australia
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Greg Blood, AIS Emeritus Researcher (July 2017)
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 6 August 2018
Please refer to the Clearinghouse for Sport disclaimer page for
more information concerning this content.

Community Sport Coaching
Sport Australia

Introduction

Public policy in Australia is formulated by governments to communicate and deliver on a strategic intent. It guides decisions and government investment including support and financial assistance provided to individuals, organisations, and other community groups.

Australian sport policy reflects the value and importance our society places upon sport. It will often be leveraged by or integrated with government and community objectives beyond the sport sector including preventative health and well-being, community and urban development, tourism and trade, and international relations.


Key Messages 

1

The Australian Federal Government makes a significant financial contribution to Australian sport, with over AUD $357M being invested to support sport and recreation activities and facilities in
2016-17.

2

Australian governments at all levels leverage the benefits of sport for the wider community. Federal and all State and Territory Governments in Australia, maintain ministerial level representation for sport and recreation.

3

It is important for sporting organisations to understand the current and historical context of public sport policy in order to better align and connect their program and funding initiatives to governments' objectives and investment priorities.


Australia has three levels of government - the Australian Government (also referred to as Commonwealth or Federal Government), State and Territory Governments, and Local Governments (also known as municipal or local councils). More information concerning the roles and responsibilities of Australian governments is available from the How Government Works website.

The Australian Government and State and Territory Governments, working independently or through coordinated approaches, develop and implement sport related policies and programs targeting all or part of the Australian sporting pathway from grassroots sport to elite level sport.

Australian Local Governments play an important role in developing and maintaining sport and recreation infrastructure, and provide a range of municipal services essential to making sport more accessible to all Australians.

Non-government organisations, such as national and state sporting bodies and their affiliated clubs, work closely with various government agencies to initiate and/or implement sport related programs and services.

A detailed description of the various segments of the Australian sport sector is provided in the Clearinghouse for Sport topic, Structure of Australian Sport.

The Australian Government makes a significant contribution to Australian sport, with over AUD $357 million being invested to support sport and recreation activities and facilities in 2016-17. [source: National Sports Plan website, Australian Government, (May 2017)]

In May 2017 the Australian Government announced the consultation process that helped to inform the National Sports Plan, a new long-term strategy for the whole of Australian sport. 'Sport 2030' was launched in August 2018. 

  • Sport 2030 (PDF  - 712 KB), Commonwealth of Australia, (2018). Informed by a comprehensive consultation process, Sport 2030 is Australia’s first national sport plan — and represents the Australian Government’s long-term commitment to seeing Australian sport thrive. Sport 2030 is the vision and the plan for sport and physical activity in Australia over the next 12 years to be delivered in partnership with Australia’s sporting, physical activity, technology, education and corporate community. The strategic priorities are:
    • Build a more active Australia — More Australians, more active, more often;
    • Achieving sporting excellence — National pride, inspiration and motivation through international sporting success;
    • Safeguarding the integrity of sport — A fair, safe and strong sport sector free from corruption; and
    • Strengthening Australia’s sport industry — A thriving Australian sport and recreation industry.

          Please visit the National Sports Plan website to learn more. 

          The Recreation Minister's Council was established in 1973 to provide a forum for Australian governments to discuss sport and recreation issues  This group has evolved into the current 'Meeting of Sport and Recreation Ministers' (MSRM). The MSRM is comprised of the Federal and State/Territory Ministers responsible for sport and recreation. 

          • The National Sport and Active Recreation Policy Framework (PDF  - 417 KB) was agreed to by all Ministers (Federal/State/Territory) responsible for sport and recreation in June 2011. The Framework guides cross-jurisdictional cooperation of public policy and program development for the sport and active recreation sectors. It identifies priority areas for investment and sets targets for a range of policy objectives, including participation, international sporting success, and the sustainability of the Australian sport system. 

          The Committee of Australian Sport and Recreation Officials (CASRO) supports the MSRM by preparing advice and discussing and responding to tasks referred by the MSRM. CASRO's member organisations include the Office for Sport, Sport Australia and the State Departments of Sport & Recreation. 

          The National Institute Network (NIN) comprises the Directors of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the eight State and Territory Institutes and Academies of Sport (SIS/SAS). The 2011 National Institute System Intergovernmental Agreement (PDF  - 594 KB) facilitates a collaborative approach between the respective high performance agencies, with a principal focus on the delivery of the high performance plans of National Sporting Organisations (NSOs).

          For more information about the various sections and inter-relationships of the Australian sport sector see the Clearinghouse Structure of Australian Sport topic. 

          Background

          Prior to the 1970’s there was limited Australian Government involvement in national sport policy or program development. However, during the Whitlam Government (1972-1975), the Hon. Francis 'Frank' Stewart [Wikipedia], Minister for Tourism and Recreation, initiated a more active involvement by commissioning two significant reports:

          • 'The Role, Scope and Development of Recreation in Australia' (PDF  - 349 KB) (Bloomfield Report). Professor John Bloomfield AM, (1973). The Bloomfield Report made a number of key recommendations, including a need for greater emphasis on the professionalism (i.e. governance) of Australian sporting organisations, and strengthening elite sport while championing the need to improve levels of community physical fitness. There was also a focus placed upon the development of a national institute of sport and federal sports funding grants to national sporting organisations and State/Territory Governments.
          • 'The Report of the Australian Sports Institute Study Group' (PDF  - 200 KB) (Coles Report). Dr. Allan Coles, (1975). This report responded to a number of recommendations stemming from the Bloomfield Report and specifically examined the feasibility of a National Institute of Sport. Key recommendations included the establishment of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra, with decentralised state branches; development of a national coaching system; and sports science and medicine services facilitated by the AIS. [held by Clearinghouse for SportGV675.A88].

          In 1976 some of the recommended national sport reforms were scaled back by the incoming Fraser Government. However, Australia's poor medal winning performance at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, and subsequent lobbying by national sporting organisations, provided a catalyst for reshaping the Australian Government’s policy position. Funding streams to sporting organisations were established and the Victorian Government's Life Be In It advertising campaign was launched as a national initiative to reverse the increasing trend toward sedentary lifestyles in the Australian population.  

          The Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Fraser unveiling the Acrobats statute on 26th Jan 1981

          The Prime Minister, Hon. Malcolm Fraser, unveiling the Acrobats statute at the official opening of the Australian Institute of Sport, Australia Day, 26th January 1981.
          (Image: Sport Australia) 

          AIS old and new logoAustralian Institute of Sport (AIS)  

          In 1978 the first signs of a national elite sport policy started to take shape. Then Federal Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for the Capital Territory, the Hon. Robert 'Bob' Ellicott [Wikipedia], successfully lobbied his Government to establish the AIS in Canberra. The AIS was officially opened on the 26th of January (Australia Day) in 1981 by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser [Wikipedia]. The establishment of the AIS was, in part, the Fraser Government's response to Australia's 1976 Montreal Olympic poor medal result, with the aim of improving Australia’s competitiveness in future international competitions. The AIS was established as a public company under the Australian Capital Territory’s Companies Ordinance, 1981. The AIS became a Federal Statutory Authority in October 1986 when the AIS Act 1986 was passed. The Act was repealed in 1989 when the AIS was officially merged with the Australian Sports Commission.

          United States-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games

          Australia competed at the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympic Games, and did not officially participate in the United States-led boycott. However, athletes were encouraged to boycott the Games by the Fraser Government. The Fraser Government's support for the United States President, Jimmy Carter’s, boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games was motivated by the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. 

          Australian athletes competed under the Olympic Flag at the 1980 Moscow Summer Games—120 competitors, 92 men and 28 women, took part in 92 events in 17 sports. [Australia at the 1980 Summer Olympics, Wikipedia]

          Further reading:
          In Australian Olympic circles Malcolm Fraser’s name provokes decidedly mixed feelings. For example, Fraser was a supporter of the establishment of the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra following Australia’s poor performance in the 1976 Games in Montreal. But his behaviour in 1980 still has bitter memories for some, including those whose once-in-a-life time Olympic dream was snatched away from them.
          Malcolm Fraser: Bitter memories of push to boycott 1980 Olympics. [paywall] Korporaal, G. The Australian (21 March, 2015)

          Sport Australia logoSport Australia

          Sport Australia is the operating brand name of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), a Commonwealth entity within the Australian Government’s Department of Health Portfolio. The ASC was established in 1985 and operates under the Australian Sports Commission Act 1989. It is governed by a board of commissioners appointed by the Australian Government. The board determines the overall direction, decides on actual allocation of resources and policy for delegated decisions, and is accountable to the Minister for Sport and to Parliament.

          The establishment of the ASC was first announced in 1984, when the Prime Minister, the Hon. Robert "Bob" Hawke [wikipedia], and the Minister for Sport, the Hon. John Brown [wikipedia], formally announced the membership of the ASC's Board and its terms of reference. They also announced the Australian Government’s intention to provide a statutory basis for the ASC and legislation was introduced into Parliament on 3 May 1985 and later proclaimed on 1 July 1985. The ASC was formally established as a Commonwealth Statutory Authority by the Australian Sports Commission Act 1985.

          Rationalisation of Commonwealth assistance to the sport sector in the late 1980's resulted in the amalgamation of the AIS with the ASC. The ASC subsequently became the principal Australian Government agency responsible for sport under the revised Australian Sports Commission Act 1989

          Sport Australia currently leads the implementation of two complementary sport strategy initiatives:

           

          National sport policy initiatives and strategies 

          The Federal Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, is responsible for national sport policy in Australia. The Minister is supported by the Office for Sport, operating from within the Australian Government Department of Health. The Office for Sport is responsible for leading and directing a range of Australian Government sport and physical activity policy areas, including integrity of sport issues, water safety, and the bidding and hosting of major sporting events in Australia. The Australian Government also assists sporting organisations and communities through other Government portfolio areas, such as the 'National Stronger Regions Fund' (NSRF) administered by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

          Current & previous national sport policies 

          • Sport 2030 (PDF  - 712 KB), Commonwealth of Australia, (2018). Informed by a comprehensive consultation process, Sport 2030 is Australia’s first national sport plan — and represents the Australian Government’s long-term commitment to seeing Australian sport thrive. Sport 2030 is the vision and the plan for sport and physical activity in Australia over the next 12 years to be delivered in partnership with Australia’s sporting, physical activity, technology, education and corporate community. The strategic priorities are:
            • Build a more active Australia — More Australians, more active, more often;
            • Achieving sporting excellence — National pride, inspiration and motivation through international sporting success;
            • Safeguarding the integrity of sport — A fair, safe and strong sport sector free from corruption; and
            • Strengthening Australia’s sport industry — A thriving Australian sport and recreation industry.
          • The Australian sports kit - Next Step (PDF  - 549 KB). Australian Government; Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories (1989). The Australian Government first plan of action, under the aegis of the ASC, to increase the level of participation in sport by all Australians. Equally, it aimed to improve the level of performance of Australian athletes nationally and internationally.
          • Maintain the momentum: Australian government sports policy 1992 to 1996 (PDF  - 149 KB). Australian Government; Department for the Arts, Sport, the Environment and Territories (1992). Maintain the Momentum was a four-year sports policy and funding program which brought the government funding cycle into line with the Olympic Games cycle. It also provided funding to continue to grow and consolidate the gains from the Next Step policy including maintaining, or increasing, funding to the ASC, AIS, and Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA).
          • Olympic athlete program: making great Australians (PDF  - 249 KB). Australian Government, Department of Environment, Sport and Territories (1994).  The Olympic Athlete Program provided $135 million funding over six years. This was additional funding to the Maintain the Momentum policy and was the direct outcome of Australia’s successful bid in 1993 to host the 2000 Olympic Games and Paralympics in Sydney.
          • Backing Australia's Sporting Ability - A More Active Australia (PDF  - 375 KB). Australian Government (2001). This policy had two objectives: to support top athletes to continue reaching 'new peaks', and to increase the talent pool for future world champions by increasing community sport participation.
          • Australian sport: the pathway to success (PDF  - 490 KB). Australian Government; Department of Health (2010). This policy announced a new way forward, one that focused upon boosting the participation of Australians for the benefit of communities and sporting success. A way forward that not only delivers on the Australian Government’s commitment to boost funding to both community and high performance sport, but also for the first time, one that delivers a significant investment to the development pathway, which is the vital link that connects grassroots and high performance sport. 

          Government policy is shaped by evidence accumulated from various reviews, discussion papers, and inquiries. For example, the Bloomfield Report (1973), and the Coles Report (1975), were precursors to the establishment of the AIS and ASC [now Sport Australia]. Other significant papers include:

          • Sport and recreation development: discussion paper (PDF - 1.1 MB). Department of Environment, Housing and Community, (1976). This discussion paper outlines the current state of sport, recreation and fitness in Australia. It briefly examines the Australian Sports Institute Study Group report. (Held by Australian Sports Commission [print], call number GV675.A87)
          • Interim Committee Report (PDF  - 7.5 MB). Report to the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism, March 1984, Australian Government Publishing Service (1985). This report looked at the potential role of the Australian Sports Commission and provided guidelines for its establishment. The report also discussed the role of the Commonwealth Government in sports development and outlined possible funding options for sport outside of government sources.
          • Active Australia: a national participation framework (PDF - 251 KB). Australian Sports Commission, (1996). The Active Australia Frameworkoffered a strategic and cooperative approach to encourage participation in physical activity by all Australians. The Framework was supported by the Standing Committee on Sport and Recreation (SCORS); the Department of Health and Family Services; the National Office of Local Government; State/Territory Governments; and national peak health organisations and sport organisations.
          • Shaping up: a review of Commonwealth involvement in sport and recreation in Australia (PDF  - 587 KB). 'Oakley Report'Sport 2000 Task Force, (1999). This review provides an excellent summary of the Australian sport system in 2000. Key recommendations involve the autonomy of sporting organisations, recreational organisations having greater access to Australian government resources, and development of four business units to assist sport and recreation industries.
          • The Australian Sports Commission: beyond 2000 (PDF  - 1.8 MB). Australian Sports Commission, (1999). Discussion paper by the ASC that looked at the Australian sport system beyond the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games. This paper argued that funding should not be diluted and the ASC role should move from an interventionist managerial approach to one based more on a facilitative approach.
          • Game Plan 2006: sport and leisure industry strategic national plan (PDF  - 1.6 MB). Sport and Tourism Division, Department of Industry, Science and Resources, (2001). A national strategic plan for the Australian sport and leisure industry. The plan endeavoured to take advantage of Australia hosting the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Industry encompassed four areas: professional services (coaching, sport science, fitness etc.); facility management (planning, construction and management); goods and equipment (manufacturing and retailing); and media (print, television, cable and satellite).
          • Australian sport: emerging challenges, new directions (PDF  - 2.6 MB). Department of Health and Ageing, (2008). This directions paper on Australian sport policy announced the appointment of an Independent Sport Panel. The Panel would examine the delivery of elite sporting programs to minimize duplication and maximise the benefits and effectiveness of available resources. Other areas for the Panel to investigate were: sport and physical activity as key elements of the Government's preventative health agenda; improving the status of women in sport; improving delivery of Indigenous sport; and improving access to sport for persons with disability.
          • The future of sport in Australia (PDF  - 14.4 MB). Independent Sport Panel, Department of Health and Ageing, (2009). This report, also known as the Crawford Report, made 38 recommendations; among them: development of a national  approach to sports policy at both an elite and community level; that the ASC should not be involved in service delivery; that the Active After-school Communities (AASC) program should be contracted out to appropriate providers at agreed performance standards; that there should be a wider definition of sporting success to include measures of our nation’s fitness and participation in activity; and that there should be an increased focus on physical education in schools.
          • Australia's Winning Edge 2012-2022: our game plan for moving from world class to world best, Australian Sports Commission in partnership with Australia's High Performance Network, (2012). Australia's Winning Edge was a collaborative effort led by the ASC with key partners in the sport sector, and builds on the National Sport and Active Recreation Policy Framework (the Policy Framework) and National Institute System Intergovernmental Agreement. The Policy Framework focussed on five key areas: investing for success; planning to perform; the right support; good governance & capability; and evidence-based decisions. 
          • The Future of Australian Sport: Megatrends shaping the sports sector over coming decades. Hajkowicz, S.A., Cook, H., Wilhelmseder, L., Boughen, N., Australian Sports Commission & CSIRO, (2013). The ASC partnered with Australia's peak science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), to jointly conduct research into the future of Australian sport. The sports played in Australia, as well as how and why we play them, are changing over time. The Report highlighted six sports megatrends, defined as: a major shift in environmental, social and economic conditions that will substantially alter the way people live. Megatrends occur at the intersection of multiple trends. A trend is defined as an important pattern of social, economic or environmental activity that will play out in the future, that will play a role in shaping long-term policy, investment, and strategic planning within government, the sport sector and broader community.
          • Market Segmentation for Sports ParticipationAustralian Sports Commission, (2013-2015). The Market Segmentation Studies provide key insights regarding how participation in sport is consumed among the Australian population. This research is designed to help organisations refine strategies to recruit and retain adults, children, parents and volunteers in sport and sport clubs and ensure our sporting landscape remains strong. Research was published relating to specific population groups including Adults (2013), Children (2013), Volunteers (2014), and Parents (2015). 
          • Play.Sport.Australia, Australian Sports Commission, (March 2015). The policy looks at how sport has changed in the last decade and plots the opportunities the Australian sports sector must embrace and maximise in the years ahead. It also provides a clear outline of where the Australian Sports Commission expects sports participation to be in the future. Play.Sport.Australia. complements  the national high performance plan and is built around better engagement with the community, stronger governance for sports, and innovative ways to improve their long-term financial sustainability. 
          • Intergenerational Review of Australian Sport (PDF  - 1.6 MB), BCG Boston Consulting Group for the Australian Sports Commission, (2017). In recent years, the ASC has observed significant trends relating to sports participation, performance and consumption. To understand these trends and their impact in the future and to best prepare Australian sport to adapt for success, the ASC Board engaged The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to undertake The Intergenerational Review of Australian Sport (IGRS). The IGRS had five objectives:
            • Objective 1: To identify the value of sport to Australia and the key forces and trends that are challenging sporting organisations and the sector as a whole;
            • Objective 2: To understand the current investment in Australian sport, within an international context; 
            • Objective 3: To articulate and quantify, to the extent possible, the return from the investment in sport in Australia and internationally;
            • Objective 4: To identify strategies to maximise the opportunities and return for all Australians, in line with broad government policy; and
            • Objective 5: To identify ways for the sports system to work together more cohesively. 
          • AusPlay survey (AusPlay). ASC/Sport Australia, (2015-). AusPlay is a large scale national survey that tracks Australian sport participation behaviours and informs investment, policy, and sport delivery by National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) and the sports network. Previously this data—which is used by many government initiatives who have adopted sport and physical recreation participation estimates as a performance indicator—was published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). However, in June 2014 the ABS announced their cessation of funding for all sport and recreation data collection. The Ausplay survey sought to fill this major gap in national sport and physical recreation data. Since late 2015 it has become the single-source data currency for government and the sport sector.  

          The Australian Government uses sport as a platform to support a number of other public policy objectives including preventative health and well-being, community and urban development, tourism and trade, and international relations.

          • Australian Sports Diplomacy Strategy 2015-18 (PDF  - 686 KB). Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; contributing portfolio agencies: Australian Sports Commission, Department of Health, Tourism Australia, Austrade, (2015). Sports diplomacy is an increasingly important aspect of diplomatic practice and a growing part of the global sports industry. The values of sport help build trust between countries and being people together. Sports diplomacy provides a practical opportunity to inform, engage, and influence key demographics, particularly youth. Sports diplomacy in the Indo–Pacific region can engage broader audiences than traditional diplomacy activities allow. This document provides a strategy that focuses on the goals of connecting, developing, showcasing, and sustaining new and existing channels of sports support, sports industry partnerships, and international sports networks. Australia’s sports diplomacy strategy is a whole-of-government approach that will maximise people-to-people links which develop cultural, trade, investment, education, and tourism opportunities.
          • National Binge Drinking Strategy ‘Be the Influence’. Department of Health, (2008). This program involved 16 national sporting organisations tackling binge drinking by providing sporting environments, from national through to community level, that were alcohol-promotion free. 
          • Match Australia – International Sports BusinessAusTrade. This is a business networking program that connects Australian businesses with global partners through major sporting events. 
          • Our WatchDepartment of Social Services, (2015). As part of the Our Watch campaign, grants are available to sporting codes to run public awareness campaigns against female and family violence. This program recognizes the power of sport to shape community attitudes, using a sports setting and high profile sportspeople to deliver a message.
          • Racism.It Stops with MeAustralian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), National Anti-Racism Strategy, (2012). In partnership with Play by the Rules sport is used as a platform to counter racism.
          • You Can PlayAustralian Human Rights Commission. In partnership with Play by the Rules this program promotes safe, fair, and inclusive sport. Key messages are that homophobia is unacceptable in sport and that athletes should be proud of who they are and their achievements, regardless of their sexuality.

          More information can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport topics, Sport for Community Development and Sport for International Development.

          State and Territory governments develop and implement policies and programs with a focus on community sport and active recreation participation, sports facility and infrastructure development, and high performance sport and talent pathway development.

          Since the early 1980’s State and Territory governments have established their own institutes and academies of sport to assist their high performance athletes. A number of regional academies for sport, primarily servicing talented young athletes, have also been established in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.


           Australian Capital Territory map
           
           New South Wales map

          New South Wales (NSW)


           Queensland map

          Queensland (QLD)


           Tasmania map
           Victoria map
           

          Victoria (VIC)


           Western Australia map
           

          Western Australia (WA)


           

          Local Governments across Australia play a significant role in supporting community sport. This support includes facilitating a range of business development resources, providing funding to clubs and individuals, building and maintaining sports related infrastructure, and sponsoring the hosting of local sports events.

          Some examples of Local Government practice are listed below:

          • Brimbank Council. Supports local sport in many ways including the provision of sport specific development meetings, training for volunteers, and assistance with business planning to support clubs in providing active participation opportunities for the Brimbank community. 
          • Cairns Regional Council. Provides a range of facilities and programs for its community.
          • Hume City Council. Sports policies, programs and resources
          • Moreland City Council. Facilitates a range of policies and programs resources via the Council's Active Moreland website.
          • Regional Sport Victoria (RSV). The peak body which supports nine independent organisations across regional Victoria. These nine organisations are classed as Regional Sports Assemblies and are charged with the critical role of supporting the sport and recreation sector within their regional catchment. RSV and the nine Regional Sports Assemblies work directly with 48 local government authorities in Victoria. RSV covers a population of over 1.45 million rural and regional Victorians and has a network of over 8,500 community based sport and recreation clubs.

          Working with local government: A guide for sport and recreation organisations, (PDF  - 456 KB), Government of South Australia, Office for Recreation and Sport. A key issue facing local government is ensuring that sport and recreation facilities will meet future needs, while being affordable and fit-for-purpose. To deal with this, Councils are looking at a range of strategies including:

          • a focus on multi-function and shared use facilities including schools;
          • facility consolidation; and
          • working closely with local communities, including sports clubs.

          Be Active WA (Physical Activity Taskforce). A whole-of-local government approach should be used within a council’s strategic plan to meet the needs of all relevant operational areas, ensuring physical activity is integrated into existing planning and decision making processes.

           More information can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport topic, Sport in Rural and Regional Australia.

          Sports Policy factors Leading to International Sporting Success (SPLISS)

          SPLISS is an international network of research cooperation that coordinates, develops and shares expertise in innovative high performance sport policy research in cooperation with policy makers, National Olympic Committees (NOCs), international (sport) organisations, and researchers worldwide. The SPLISS project has so far published two major reports: 

          • The global sporting arms race: an international comparative study on sports policy factors leading to international sporting success. De Bosscher, V., Meyer & Meyer Sport, (2008). This volume draws on research involving more than 1,400 athletes, coaches, and performance directors at the highest levels and seeks to evaluate and compare over 100 factors that lead to international sporting success. An international comparison of elite sports systems and policies in six nations (Belgium, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom) provides a basis for measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of sport management systems and identifies for investigation possible factors leading to international sporting success. Key concepts are funding, integrated policy development, participation rates, talent identification and development systems, long term athlete development including post career support, training facilities, coaching provision and coach development, intyernational competition and sports science research. [book held by the Clearinghouse for Sport, GV713.B67]
          • Successful elite sport policies : an international comparison of the sports policy factors leading to international sporting success (SPLISS 2.0) in 15 nations. De Bosscher, V., Meyer & Meyer Sport, (2015). This book deals with the strategic policy planning process that underpins the development of successful national elite sport development systems. Drawing on various international competitiveness studies, it examines how nations develop and implement policies that are based on the critical success factors that may lead to competitive advantage in world sport. An international group of researchers joined forces to develop theories, methods and a model on the Sports Policy factors Leading to International Sporting Success (SPLISS). The book presents the results of the large-scale international SPLISS-project. In this project the research team identified, compared and contrasted elite sport policies and strategies in place for the Olympic Games and other events in 15 distinct nations. With input from 58 researchers and 33 policy makers worldwide and the views of over 3000 elite athletes, 1300 high performance coaches and 240 performance directors, this work is the largest benchmarking study of national elite sport policies ever conducted.

          Canada FlagCanada

          New Zealand FlagNew Zealand

          South Africa FlagSouth Africa

          United Kingdom flagUK


          Annual reports and strategic plans

          Australian Government Ministers for Sport - 1972 to present day

          Australian Government Departments responsible for the Federal Sport Portfolio - 1972 to present day

          Various Government Departments have been responsible for the sport portfolio since 1972. The annual reports of these Departments contains information about activities and expenditures outside the budget of Sport Australia. These activities include: water safety, sport integrity, and major international sporting events in Australia. Annual reports from 1972 to 2000 are held by the Clearinghouse for Sport. Annual reports post 2000 can be located on the relevant Department website.

          • Tourism and Recreation (1972-1975),
          • Environment, Housing and Community Development (1976-1978),
          • Home Affairs (1978/79-1979/80),
          • Home Affairs and Environment (1980/81-1981/82),
          • Sport, Recreation and Tourism (1982/83-1986/87),
          • Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories (1987/88-1991/92),
          • Environment, Sport and Territories (1992/93-1996-97),
          • Industry, Science and Tourism (1997/98),
          • Industry, Science and Resources (1998/99-2000/2001),
          • Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (2001/2002-2007/2008)
          • Health and Aging (2008/09) - 2009/2010)
          • Prime Minister and Cabinet (2010/11)
          • Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport (2011/12-2012/13)
          • Health (2013/14 - current) 

          Budget documents

          Commonwealth legislation

          Parliament of Australia Reports

          The Parliament of Australia conducts inquiries into sport issues or legislation brought before its various Committees. These inquiries often invite public submissions and produce a report. Generally, the Australian Government will provide a response to recommendations made in these reports. Inquiries and submissions often provide valuable research and evidence on an issue, which can be helpful in policy formulation. Parliamentary inquiries have covered a broad range of topics, including: doping in sport; sports funding; facilities; broadcasting and communications; gambling; health and safety; physical education; Indigenous sport; and women in sport.

          • The way we play: Commonwealth assistance for sport and recreation. House of Representatives Standing Committee on Expenditure, Parliament of Australia, (1983). This report examined the pattern of sport and recreation provision and Commonwealth involvement, as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of specific Commonwealth programs in sport and recreation.
          • Payments to athletes and teams who did not participate at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, May 1984 (PDF  - 1.29 MB). House of Representatives Standing Committee on Expenditure, Parliament of Australia, (1984). This report examined the nature and purpose of payments made to athletes and teams that did not participate at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. The Fraser Government had requested sporting organisations and their athletes and teams boycott the Games.
          • Sports aviation safety. House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport Safety, Parliament of Australia, (1987). This report examined safety practices of Australian sports involved in aviation activities.  
          • Drugs in sport: an interim report. Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Recreation and the Arts, Parliament of Australia, (1989). This interim report examined allegations of doping practices relating to track and field and weightlifting at the Australian Institute of Sport. Recommendations from this report led to the establishment of the Australian Sports Drug Agency (now known as the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority).
          • Drugs in sport. Second report 'Black Enquiry'. Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Recreation and the Arts, Parliament of Australia, (1990). This report included responses to recommendations from the interim report and examined weightlifting, power-lifting and professional sports in Australia. 
          • Going for gold: The first report on an Inquiry into Sports Funding and Administration (PDF  - 3.65MB). House of Representatives Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration, Parliament of Australia, (1989). This report focused on high performance sport funding in Australia and made recommendations regarding the role of the Australian Institute of Sport.
          • Can sport be brought? 'Martin Report'. Second report on an inquiry into Sports Funding and Administration, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration, Parliament of Australia, (1990). This report focused on sports participation funding, particularly for women and sport for the disabled. The inquiry examined tobacco sponsorship of sport.
          • Equine welfare in competitive events other than racing. Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare, Parliament of Australia, (1991). This report examined equine welfare at rodeos, camp drafting, eventing and endurance riding. It did not cover the horse racing industry in Australia. 
          • Physical and sport education. Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Recreation and the Arts, Parliament of Australia, (1992). This report outlined the state of sport and physical skills in Australian school children, training of teachers and community sport providers in provision of physical education and sport, and the allocation of resources to physical education and sport in Australian schools.
          • Inquiry into the Sydney Olympics: the adequacy of existing and planned aviation services and infrastructure (PDF   - 1.55 MB). House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport, Communication and Infrastructure, Parliament of Australia, (1994). This report examined the implications of Sydney hosting the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games on broadcast spectrums, transmission facilities, aviation infrastructure and land transport.
          • Soccer: first report. Senate Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts References Committee, Parliament of Australia, (1995). This report inquired into player transfers in Australian soccer.
          • Soccer: second report. Senate Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts References Committee, Parliament of Australia, (1995). This second report examined the administration of soccer in Australia and followed up recommendations from the first report.
          • Cashing in on the Olympics: protecting the Olympics from ambush marketing (PDF  - 5.6 MB). Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee, Parliament of Australia,(1995). This report examined the scope of existing protection afforded to the words and symbols associated with the Olympic Games in light of Sydney winning the right to host the 2000 Olympic Games. [Held by Clearinghouse for Sport, GV722 2000.M1.A88]
          • Olympics 2000 … and the winner is? (PDF  - 4.46 MB). House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, Parliament of Australia, (1995). This report examined opportunities for Australian industries with Sydney hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Industries covered include: tourism, construction, broadcasting and communications, environmentally sustainable development, sports related industries, and merchandising. 
          • Rethinking the funding of community sporting and recreational facilities: a sporting chance (PDF  - 513 KB). House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment, Recreation and the Arts, (1997). Government response - 1998, (PDF  - 93 KB). There had been no funding for community sport since the termination of the Community Cultural Recreational and Sporting Facilities Program in 1994.  This inquiry found nearly universal support for the Commonwealth Government to re-enter the field of funding sporting and recreational facilities at the community level. 
          • Redevelopment of the Australian Institute of Sport, Bruce, Australian Capital TerritoryParliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, (August 2003). Report into the redevelopment of the AIS Bruce Facility, which was approved. 
          • About time! women in sport and recreation in Australia. Senate Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts, Reference Committee, Parliament of Australia, (2006). This Senate inquiry reported on five main issues related to women in sport and recreation: (1) health benefit of sport participation; (2) grass roots participation; (3) elite sport; (4) leadership and governance, and; (5) mass media.
          • The reporting of sports news and the emergence of digital media. Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communication and the Arts, Parliament of Australia, (2009). This report examined the nature of sports news reporting in the digital age, in particular the impact of new technologies, video streaming on the Internet, archived photo galleries, and mobile devices. It examined the role of sports organisations in relation to broadcasting.       
          • The advertising and promotion of gambling services in sport. Joint Committee on Gambling Reform, Parliament of Australia, (2013). Report on the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Advertising for Sports Betting) Bill 2013. This report focused on the advertising and promotion of gambling services in sport. 
          • Sport - more than just a game: contribution of sport to Indigenous wellbeing and mentoring. House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Parliament of Australia, (2013). This report focused on how sporting bodies can increase opportunities for Indigenous participation; non-government organisations utilising sport as a vehicle to improve health and social outcomes for Indigenous people; and the contribution of Indigenous sporting programs.
          • Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment Bill 2013. Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, Parliament of Australia, (2013). This report includes submissions on proposed amendments to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Act 2006. Proposed amendments included:  ASADA working more closely with police and intelligence agencies; banning athletes from working with sports professionals involved in doping; and increasing first offence bans from two to four years.
          • Practice of sports science in Australia. Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, Parliament of Australia, (2013).  This report examined the current state of sport science in Australia in terms of accreditation, management of sports scientists by sports organisations, and duty of care and ethical considerations of sport scientists. 
          • Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. (2013-). On Friday 11 January 2013, The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, then Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, appointed a six-member Royal Commission to investigate Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. A public hearing into sporting clubs and institutions was held in April 2016. It is the role of the Royal Commission to uncover where systems have failed to protect children so it can make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices.  The Royal Commission investigated how institutions such as schools, churches, sporting bodies and Government organisations have responded to allegations and instance of child abuse. It is also the role of the Royal Commission to uncover where systems have failed to protect children so it can make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices. 
          • Interactive Gambling Amendment (Sports Betting Reform) Bill 2015Environment and Communications Legislation Committee, (March 2017). Report from the Committee investigating the the Bill that proposes to amend the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 to implement harm minimisation measures to help individuals using online sports betting to better control their gambling. The Bill also proposes to establish an Interactive Gambling Regulator and National Self-exclusion Register.  The committee concluded that the evidence presented regarding problem gambling, and in particular, problem gambling in the online environment is highly concerning. And that national reform is necessary and should be a priority. However, the committee recommended not passing this specific Bill as it noted the government's commitment to establishing a safe wagering environment for Australians by implementing the recommendations of the O'Farrell review into the Impact of illegal offshore wagering as per the Government response

          books iconBooks

          ReadingReading 

          • World Congress on Elite Sport Policy (PDF  361 KB). The Federal Minister for Health, Hon.Sussan Ley MP, presented the Keynote Address to the World Congress on Elite Sport Policy in Melbourne on 23 November 2015.  The Minister discussed the role and responsibilities of the Australian Government in formulating and implementing elite sport policy. 

          Research iconResearch 

          • Federal Government Involvement in Australian Disability Sport, 1981–2015, Andrew Hammond & Ruth Jeanes, International Journal of the History of Sport, (2017). This paper profiles the history of the Commonwealth government involvement in disability sport and explores how the policy of ‘mainstreaming’ has emerged through partnerships led by the Australian Paralympic Committee with National Sporting Originations (NSOs) and government. It argues that while these changes have arguably made mainstream NSOs more aware of their legal obligations and have led to positive changes in the provision of opportunities for people with a disability through the development of ‘Paralympic pathways’, there are some potential caveats of ‘mainstreaming’. Specifically, an emerging body of evidence which suggests that despite these policy measures, people with disabilities still report being marginalized and excluded from ‘mainstream’ sporting programmes. The authors question if less governmental leadership is the right path given the limitations of the present policy framework. Additionally, they highlight how performance-based funding mechanisms such as ‘Winning Edge’ are narrowing who is eligible for funding and thus curtailing finite resources for only the most ‘abled’ of the disabled.
          • Finland as a small sports nation: socio-historical perspectives on the development of national sport policy. Pasi Koski & Jari Lämsä, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Volume 7, Issue 3, (2015). Elite sports are an important part of most nations’ culture and identity and international success in sport is highly valued. However, the increasingly important cultural, economic and political significance of sport has effectively created the equivalent of a global sporting arms race. This means challenges especially for the small nations who may have both limited populations and resources.
          • Implementing community sport policy: understanding the variety of voluntary club types and their attitudes to policy. Thomas May, Spencer Harris & Mike Collins, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Volume 5, Issue 3, (2013). This article looked at the awareness of, and willingness to comply with, government sport policies of voluntary community sporting clubs in England post-London 2012. The authors point out that policy makers are, perhaps overly optimistically, relying on these clubs to contribute to increasing participation and reducing the proportion of young people dropping out of sport. They conclude that more work is required in segmenting club types to identify their diverse support needs and the roles that they may be able to play.
          • Sport Policy in Australia,  Nicholson, M. & Hoye, R. (2011) in S. Georgakis & K.M. Russell, (Eds), Youth Sport in Australia, Sydney University Press
          • Population levels of sport participation: implications for sport policyEime, R et. al., BMC Public Health, (August 2016). Participation in sport can contribute to health-enhancing levels of leisure-time physical activity. There are recent reports that participation in sport in Australia is decreasing. However, these studies are limited to ages 15 years and over. 
          • Resisting self-regulation: an analysis of sport policy programme making and implementation in Sweden. Josef Fahlén, Inger Eliasson & Kim Wickman, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Volume 7, Issue 3, (2015). This article reports on a study of the largest government intervention in sport in Sweden with the purpose of exploring processes of responsibilisation and self-regulation at play in the relationship between the government and sport as well as between sport organizations on different levels. Results show how sport has received a more salient position on the government agenda, where more instrumental goals have been accompanied by increased resources to aid in their attainment. The sports organizations involved have embraced the new goals and resources. However, instead of self-regulating in the desired direction, each organizational level in the sports system has forwarded the responsibility for development to the next level below. This process has left the sports clubs with the full responsibility of meeting the government goals, a responsibility they have not accepted. 
          • Sport policy evaluation and governing participation in sport: governmental problematics of democracy and health, Malin Osterlind, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Volume 8, 2016 - Issue 3. Sport and participation in sport has become an important welfare policy issue and is regarded as a solution to many of the ‘problems’ that face contemporary societies. Together with the ambition of using sport as a policy tool there has also been an intensification in the use of evaluation measures to judge whether sport delivers services in line with policy objectives. This study draws on the concept of governmentality to examine one such sport policy evaluation, a Swedish state-appointed Commission of Inquiry on sport.
          • Sporting capital: a theoretical and empirical analysis of sport participation determinants and its application to sports development policy and practice. Nicholas F. Rowe, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Volume 7, Issue 1, (2015). This article proposes a theoretical perspective for sport development focused on the concept of ‘sporting capital’. The theory of sporting capital is tested empirically using data from the ‘Active People Survey’ (n = 4527) to create a 10-point ‘sporting capital index’. The results are discussed and suggestions made for how they can inform a new approach to sports development policy and practice that could lead to sustained population-wide increases in sports participation and a narrowing of long-standing inequities associated with social class and gender.
          • Sports funding: federal balancing act, Research paper, Dr Rhonda Jolly, Social Policy Section, Parliamentary Library (June 2013). Detailed description of Australian sport policy including policies and government funding.
          • The Olympics and Elite Sport Policy: Where Will It All End? Barrie Houlihan & Jinming Zheng, The International Journal of the History of Sport, Volume 30, Issue 4, (2013). The paper traces the emergence of increasingly sophisticated and expensive elite sports systems and then examines some of the characteristics of these systems. The main findings of the paper are that: (1) identifying sports in which a country has a relative competitive advantage remains crucial for the continuing success of major sports powers and is becoming increasingly important for medium sports powers; (2) the cost of maintaining a country's relative position in the medals table is considerable and arguably locks countries on to a path from which it is difficult for them to deviate; (3) the increasing concern with providing security for the Games may have a deterrent effect on the willingness of more open democratic countries to bid to host the Games; (4) the International Olympic Committee faces a potential challenge in providing the majority of countries that attend the Games, but which do not win a medal, with a return on their investment in the Olympics.
          • The 'price' of Olympic gold, Hogan,K and Norton K, Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport, Volume 3, Number 2 , pp 203-218 (2000). Examines the expenditure on high performance sport programs for 5 Olympics.

          Article iconTheses

          • 'Gold lust federal sports policy since 1975', Armstrong T (Ph.D.), Macquarie University (1988).
          • 'Sport as public policy, 1972-1985', Armstrong T (M.H.M.S.), University of Queensland (1985).
          • 'The sport development processes in Australia', Sotiriadou K (Ph.D.), University of Technology Sydney (2005).

          Video iconClearinghouse Videos

          Please note a number of the resources below (as indicated) are restricted to ‘GOLD' AIS Advantage small AIS Advantage members only.
          Please see the Clearinghouse membership categories for further information.

          • Facility planning and development. Paul Cammack - Tennis Australia and Robin O'Neill - Strategy and Government Relations, Our Sporting Future Conference 2015, Gold Coast. An integral part to growing participation is having access to adequate grassroots facilities to match consumer demand. Facility planning and development presents a number of challenges for the industry. Forward planning is required to appropriately engage government at all levels. There are also contemporary facility development requirements of solving economic and social issues through sport, addressing consumer needs and serving a variety of social purposes. Tennis Australia outlines its industry-leading facility planning and development strategy that recognises quality venues as a key driver of participation, addresses the planning challenges, moves away from traditional sports venues, and planning for more than tennis. AIS Advantage small
          • Gold Winning Policy – Insights from an International Comparative Study on Elite Sport Climate and Policies, Prof. Hans Westerbeek - Dean, College of Sport and Exercise Science and the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, Victoria University and Dr Camilla Brockett - Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, Victoria University, Smart Talk Seminar Series (12 February 2014) AIS Advantage small
          • An audience with the Hon Bob Ellicott QC, The Hon Bob Ellicott QC, former Federal Minister for Home Affairs and the Capital Territory (1977–1981) with responsibility for sport. (9 April 2013) AIS Advantage small
          • 30th Anniversary Series, Greg Blood reflects, Reflection on the development of the AIS and ASC over three periods of time. Smart Talk Seminar Series, Australian Institute of Sport (8 December 2011) AIS Advantage small
          • Reflecting on the AIS 1987-2000, Dr Ross Smith, former Acting AIS Director (1987-1990), Head of AIS Sports Medicine and Science (1990-2000). Smart Talk Seminar Series, Australian Institute of Sport (8 September 2011) AIS Advantage small
          • Don Talbot Reflects on the AIS and the development of Australian Sport, Don Talbot, AO, inaugural Director of the AIS (1980–1983) and Australian Swimming Head Coach (1989–2001), Smart Talk Seminar Series, Australian Institute of Sport (29 March 2011) AIS Advantage small
          • The last of the amateurs: Australian sport during the 1950's and 1960's, Greg Blood, Information Services, National Sport Information Centre. Smart Talk Seminar Series, Australian Institute of Sport (7 April 2008)
          • London's Olympic Experience, Hon Hugh Robertson, MP, British Minister of State for Sport and Tourism, Smart Talk Video Series, Australian Institute of Sport (8 May 2013). Minister Robertson talks about the success of the 2012 London Olympic Games. As part of this discussion he highlights improvements in Olympic performances made by the UK Team, and credits National Lottery funding to sport as one reason for this improvement.

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