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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 4287

Mr STEWART (Lang) (Minister for Tourism and Recreation and Vice-President of the Executive Council) - by leave - The document I am about to table will, I believe, make a significant contribution to finding the most appropriate training program for recreation workers. Throughout Australia, educational institutions are wondering how to provide the expert leadership which, in the 1980s, will guide the community to a greater appreciation of and creative involvement in leisure. In preparing this paper Mr Elery Hamilton-Smith has had the assistance of many individuals from educational institutions and recreation administration. The names of the people are listed in the paper and I wish to record my sincere thanks for their contributions to the study.

Mr Hamilton Smithhas done a fine job and at a later date, after consideration of his findings and consultation with my colleagues, the Australian Government's program and policy on education for recreation workers will be announced. I propose to table the document now to enable honourable members and the public to read it and to express any views they may have on the subject, which has far reaching implications for the ultimate success of the Government's plans for the enrichment of the growing leisure hours of all Australians.

I shall give honourable members a very brief rundown on the report. Mr HamiltonSmith identifies a requirement for 3 basic types of recreation workers. Firstly, he deals with people responsible for administration, planning, consultation training, program development and resources provision to other workers or other activities at national, state, regional or municipal level. Positions for these kinds of workers are found in a variety of governmental agencies as well as many nongovernmental organisations. Secondly, there are those workers more directly concerned with the management and operation of a recreation and sporting facility. These workers would be involved in the management and operation of single or multipurpose sports centres, youth centres, swimming centres, urban or national parks and commercial establishments such as health and fitness centres.

Lastly, there are recreational workers whose primary job is the face to face 'operative' task whether as a youth leader, a sports coach, a ski instructor, a drama producer or any of the hundreds of different tasks at this level. Mr Hamilton-Smith suggests that professional education should be established at the diploma and bachelor level, in school of recreation studies at universities, colleges of advanced education and teachers colleges. For facility managers, he suggests associate diploma or technical certificate level and for his third type, intense job oriented courses. Mr Hamilton-Smith also stresses the importance of voluntary workers and the need to foster this important group in Australian recreation. These volunteers, the report says, are the key to any large-scale recreation scheme in any country. He then goes on to make recommendations on how the Australian Government can facilitate training.

Our Government is firmly committed to facing the issues involved in planning opportunities for a more creative use of leisure time. Our program so far has introduced many new initiatives. They cover capital assistance for the development of recreation facilities to assistance to sporting teams and research and information dissemination. This creative use of leisure is an issue of which Governments are aware. We can meet the challenge if we begin now to plan towards the time when, early retirement, shorter working hours and longer vacations will be a reality. The universities, colleges of advanced education and technical colleges have sensed the need for trained leadership and I believe this document, with its many positive recommendations, is timely in that it helps to paint a clearer picture of training requirements for recreation workers. I table the report.

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