The report will cover the three public, private and non-profit sectors and explore the types of leisure and recreation facilities each sector provides in the local government area (LGA) of Campbelltown. The population of Campbelltown LGA according to the 2016 census was reported to be 157,006 with 49% males and a slightly higher 51% female residents. Most of the residents in Campbelltown have parents who were born in Australia while there is an increase in the number of parents who were born overseas. 31.4% of the population in Campbelltown attended an educational institution and the median age for the population was 34 years. The median income for a person aged 15 and over in Campbelltown was $632 and the median household income of $1459. Majority of the population in the LGA speak English at home but 33.8% speak a non-English a language. The importance of leisure and recreation is highlighted in the report and the issue of people with a low socioeconomic status (SES) finding it difficult to access these services. Recommendations have been made on issues of low SES groups finding it difficult to access these various recreation and leisure-based services. Out of the three sectors, there were more private organisations catering to leisure/recreation, sports and healthcare facilities than public and non-profit agencies. A lack of number of public agencies in the LGA is a gap along with the fact that very limited trips/tours and natural and cultural history activities that run in the LGA. The services provided by private organisations may be costly and therefore is hard for people and families with a low SES to access. Increasing the number of public agencies in Campbelltown and ensuring the services they provide are cost-efficient and easily accessible will result in more participation levels in leisure-related activities by low SES groups. In order to help improve the overall health of the general community, certain types of measures need to be implemented and more public, private and non-profit agencies need to be available to the public to access.
Leisure, sport and recreation activities play an integral role in developing and improving the overall community health. The leisure- recreation facilities should cater to the needs of the public and all age groups starting from children to the elderly population. The purpose of this report is to highlight the LGA of Campbelltown informing about the local demographics to highlight community recreation and leisure activities offered by the local government, private and non-profit agencies in Campbelltown. Additionally, further investigations on problems, redundancies, gaps that impact on the community’s daily leisure activity and a recommendation on how to improve upon these issues is also provided in the report. A total number of 86 agencies have been identified and displayed in the excel spreadsheet and maps which will be discussed a bit later. These include 27 public, 41 private and 18 non-profit agencies offering leisure, recreation, sport, healthcare and education-based facilities in Campbelltown.
In the 2016 census, the total population in the LGA of Campbelltown was 157,006 with 49% male and 51% female residents. The median population group age was 34 years and 12,094 residents between the ages of 30-34 years made up the highest population age group accounting for 7.7% of the total Campbelltown population (‘2016 Census QuickStats: Campbelltown (C) (NSW)’, 2018).
According to the 2016 Census, 31.4% of residents in Campbelltown attended an educational institution. Out of these, 31.4% were attending primary schools, 21.9% attending secondary schools and 19.2% attending a tertiary, technical or further education institution. 62% of the local residents of Campbelltown were born in Australia while other countries of birth also included India (2.9%), New Zealand (2.7%), Philippines (2.6%), England (2.5%) and Bangladesh (2.1%) respectively. In Campbelltown, 38% of people both parents who were born in Australia whereas 44.6% of people had parents who were born overseas. 63.8% of people only spoke English at home and 33.4% spoke a non-English language. Other languages spoken at home included Arabic (3.4%), Bengali (3%), Hindi (2.4%), Samoan 2.2% and Spanish (1.7%). The median weekly personal income for people aged 15 years and over in Campbelltown LGA was $632 and the median household income was $1459.
Summary of Findings
The excel spreadsheet contains a list of 86 recreation, leisure, healthcare and sports facilities available in Campbelltown LGA. It clearly outlines the three public, private and non-profit sectors listing the services which fall under that specific sector. The results are displayed on maps showing leisure and recreation facilities available in Campbelltown for the community to access. There are three maps displaying results from a different sector each; public, private and non-profit. It was evident from the research that there was a significant difference in the number of public and private agencies with private agencies being more prevalent. This can have positive implications in the sense that there is a diverse range of facilities available including mini golf, music stores, gymnasiums, cinemas, yoga training centres and massage places etc. However, a negative implication of more private organisations being available than public agencies is the cost involved. 7.9% of the have no qualifications (“Campbelltown LGA Statistics”, 2019). Based on these statistics and the research, more public agencies catering to community needs that are either free or cost efficient need to be made available. This would enable people or families with a low socioeconomic status (SES) to have access to these facilities. The data assembled for the report has been acquired from government websites, peer-reviewed journal articles and commercial websites ending with .com which provide relevant information but does not have background research providing evidence. Information about the LGA was obtained about the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2016 Quickstats, containing demographic information about Campbelltown. Information about the population, percentage of males and females, education, language diversity, average weekly income and employment have been obtained from the ABS 2016 QuickStats and Campbelltown City Council websites. Information about the public, private and non-profit agencies were obtained from private websites, government websites and the Yellow Book website which provides information on local agencies.
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Discussion of Findings
A study was carried out by Jones, Kimberlee, Deave and Evans (2013) seeking to evaluate the association of participation in community centre activities, the psycho-social wellbeing and health related behaviours. It was found that group-related activities held in community centres are related to improvements in health and wellbeing of adults facing some form of social disadvantage and experiencing poor health (Jones et al., 2013). The local government should work to ensure more community centres are built to cater to the various leisure and recreation needs of the growing community in Campbelltown. There is beneficial association between leisure and wellbeing with evidence indicating that greater levels of leisure activities lead to greater life satisfaction. It is said that leisure activities mediate the relationship between health and wellbeing and could have important implications for health recommendations for psychological improvements (Paggi, Jopp and Hertzog, 2016). The local government along with the private organisations and non-profit agencies should work collaboratively to focus on low SES groups in Campbelltown and allocate free or cost-efficient recreation facilities for them. For example, individuals with a low SES will not be able to access private gyms and aquatic centres because these facilities are costly. Many private organisations are located far from modes of public transport and need to be accessed with by private transport. This may prevent disadvantaged groups with a low SES from accessing these services and impact their overall health. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) website (2018), people in lower SES groups face a greater risk of poor health outcomes, have comparatively high mortality rates,, illnesses and disabilities and tend to have a lower life expectancy than people from higher socioeconomic groups. (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018).
It is evident from the research that organisations in Campbelltown outnumber the public ones. Cost is also an issue as many private organisations are expensive therefore, low SES groups will be less likely to access these services. As stated before, a number of private facilities are located far away from public transport services and need to be accessed using private transport which is another major concern.
It is evident from the spreadsheet data that there are limited Trips/Tours offered to the Campbelltown community. Out of the 86 agencies listed, only eight host various trips or excursions. Out of these eight, an astounding seven agencies are public or secondary schools meaning services are restricted to children, elementary school kids and the youth. Trips/Tours should be held more often in the LGA for adults and the elderly population. The Natural and Cultural History programs that are offered also need to be increased in Campbelltown. The services are again restricted to mainly the children and youth due to these being offered mostly at public, secondary and private schools and educational institutions. Only 18 non-profit agencies were identified for the research. Due to an increasing number of people born overseas living in Campbelltown, religious institutions in the LGA can be increased to meet the needs of all community and religious groups.
Overlaps and redundancies
A wide range of leisure/recreation services in the Excel spreadsheet have been identified to be overlapping with public and private agencies. In order to minimise this overlap, the local government should work collaboratively with private organisations targeting the health of the population and aiming to reduce health inequalities. Non-profit organisations and commercial groups also provide a range of facilities although some of these facilities may be expensive which restrict some individuals and communities from attending them.
Leisure and recreation-based activities help individuals achieve a sense of satisfaction and happiness outside of their work-related commitments. These types of activities are essential in maintaining overall physical and mental wellbeing. Campbelltown provides lots of facilities to the local community but the private sectors outnumber the public ones which is a concern looking at the overall demographics of the LGA. The local government should be more involved in the planning and creation of more local community centres, leisure centres, community parks, etc to cater to the growing needs of the lower SES groups and to promote a healthy environment for the community to enjoy and services to have access to. In a more client focused approach, fitness programs, healthy eating classes and other activities such as meditation and yoga classes can be held by the public sectors on a more regular basis at local venues such as PCYC and community parks. The issue of transport needs to be looked at in Campbelltown to facilitate local residents travelling to these leisure and recreation venues especially the private ones which may be quite distant from public transport. The government should implement new methods to tackle this problem for example, increasing the number of public bus services within and ensuring buses run to and from these leisure facilities so that everyone can have access to it. The public agencies should have more community programs such as walking trails, local sporting competitions and social activities that are cost-efficient. There should be more recreational programs targeting the needs of adults and the elderly population. To conclude, it can be said that the report evaluates the three different sectors and the leisure and recreation services that are provided by each sector in the Campbelltown LGA. There are a range of services available but public sectors need to ensure they have more facilities catering to the needs of the community and more events focusing on different age groups such as the elderly needs to be planned and carried out in the LGA.