Children in a bush cubby
Junior netballers in a huddle
A volleyball player jumping at the net

Year in review

The past year of 2015/16 has been another interesting and productive one for our industry. In a time of social change I am very pleased the Department has continued to successfully partner with those in the sports and recreation industry.

The State Sporting Associations, industry bodies, our clubs, partners and stakeholders are passionate and committed to ensuring Western Australian sport and recreation is strong and resilient.

The State has again invested in a strong local industry. This investment in our delivery system continues with high-quality local people making informed local decisions that get as many West Australians as possible active. We achieved this in Western Australia through having talented, committed, good people as presidents, chief executive officers, officials, volunteers and parents.

Many of our sports prepared our most talented athletes during 2015/16 for the Rio Olympics, working in partnership with WAIS and the elite facilities managed by VenuesWest. Of course many of these elite individuals began competing in sport at grassroots level, playing at local government facilities. It takes a whole community to get athletes to any level of international competition and our pathways in Western Australia encourage participation right through to elite performance.

This year we released Strategic Directions 6, the latest chapter of the five-year plan to help deliver successful outcomes for sport and recreation. While SD6 recognised the very high rate of participation of Western Australian children in sport and active recreation – around 63% – we must continue to protect the image and reputation of sportspeople which at times is being tarnished by isolated cases of bad behaviour, match fixing and drugs. The Department will continue working with the WA Sports Federation and our sports to protect the integrity of sport, while communicating positive messages around participation in community sport.

As the Perth Stadium neared 50% completion we have been able to turn our attention to how this community facility will be used. As co-chair of the Perth Stadium Steering Committee with Richard Mann (Department of Treasury), I wish to thank our partners and colleagues in government for their continued diligence and commitment to this once-in-a-lifetime project. The facility and Sports Precinct will be a great venue for all of our sports and entertainment options, one for Western Australians to be proud of. We look forward to seeing our two AFL clubs, cricket, soccer, rugby union and rugby league thrive and prosper there in future years.

I particularly wanted to acknowledge our friends and partners in local government. Through programs like our historic Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund (CSRFF), KidSport, ActiveSmart, the new SilverSport initiative and others, we are able to build facilities and programs that get people active in their suburbs and neighbourhoods.

During 2015/16 we issued our 55,000th KidSport voucher since 2011. The incredible take up of this program would not happen without the support of local government staff and local sports clubs.
We note that between 2013 and 2014, Perth had the fastest population growth rate among Australia’s capital cities, with the largest population growth occurring in the outer suburban areas of Greater Perth. It’s critical we support our outer growth suburbs like Wanneroo, Swan, Serpentine, Armadale and others to provide quality facilities and open space opportunities for their burgeoning populations.

Our Department was invited to attend a countering violent extremism and social inclusion workshop in Canberra convened by the Prime Minister. We were the only sport and recreation entity invited to attend, demonstrating the power of sport and recreation to address broader social issues and strengthen community engagement.

As in previous years we consolidated our strong focus on investing in programs promoting social cohesion and supporting refugees, such as our work with the Edmund Rice Centre, Communicare and through the Youth Engagement Scheme.

Part of our core business is helping build community facilities which saw another successful year with more than 87 community facilities sharing in more than $9 million worth of grants through CSRFF. With co-contributions from local government and community clubs, this results in an investment upwards of $27 million.

To all our industry partners in the 87 State Sporting Associations, the recreation peak bodies and our friends at Lotterywest, the TAB and the WA Sports Federation, thank you. The work we do wouldn’t be possible without your local knowledge, commitment and support.

Ron Alexander
Director General

Ron Alexander in front of people playing basketball

Sport and recreation is a vehicle for positive social change

Sport and recreation is not a luxury, it’s one of the most cost-effective investments any government can make to achieve a better society.

We all want to be physically and mentally healthy. We all want our kids to do better at school. We all want a stronger healthier, happier and safer community. Increasing participation in sport and recreation can help achieve all these important goals.

Sport and recreation contributes to the triple bottom line

30 ways sport and recreation benefits people and communities

  1. Brings people together, providing opportunities for social interaction.
  2. Empowers, inspires and motivates individuals.
  3. Keeps kids away from the TV or computer screen!
  4. Kids who participate learn better and are more likely to enjoy school.
  5. Improves mental health.
  6. Eases pressure on the health system.
  7. Contributes to social capital.
  8. Healthy workers are more productive and take less sick days.
  9. Creates positive alternatives to youth offending, antisocial behaviour and crime.
  10. Reduces pollution – promotes use of active modes of transport like walking and cycling.
  11. Provides a vehicle for inclusion, drawing together people of different races, religions and cultures.
  12. Creates opportunities for, and promotes, volunteering.
  13. Contributes to higher levels of self-esteem and self-worth.
  14. Helps to sustain the environment through protecting open space and natural areas.
  15. Sport and recreation clubs are the hub of community life, especially in the regions.
  16. Provides work/life balance.
  17. Binds families and communities through shared experiences.
  18. Helps shape our national character and pride.
  19. Creates employment opportunities.
  20. Promotes a healthy, active lifestyle.
  21. Develops life skills and leadership abilities.
  22. Provides a sense of belonging.
  23. Fosters community pride.
  24. Tones and strengthens the body.
  25. Galvanises communities in times of need.
  26. Economic growth through business investment, employment, major events and tourism.
  27. Contributes to lifelong learning.
  28. Great opportunities for networking.
  29. Reduces obesity.
  30. Can help to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Funding support

Our Department’s core business is to support the development of a sustainable and diverse sport and recreation structure that encourages participation, develops talent and contributes to the health and wellbeing of individuals and groups in WA.

Significant funds provided by Lotterywest through the Sports Lotteries Account (SLA) and Sports Wagering Account (SWA) are administered by our Department and help us to achieve this goal. These monies are used to fund sport and active recreation activities and initiatives.

Sports Lotteries Account (SLA)

2015/16 – $15,880,886

Funds provide sporting organisations with financial support for the development of sport and recreation in WA.

Sports Wagering Account (SWA)

2015/16 – $3.9 million

Funds are directed to us through the Gaming and Wagering Commission Act 1987, which allows for the disbursement of funds to our Department.

A group of swimmers in a pool
Cyclists riding along a river

The work we do

The Department has four divisions that work collaboratively to ensure all aspects of the industry are addressed and support sport and recreation to be recognised as an important part of the fabric of our communities.

To keep our industry thriving, we must invest in it. The Department remains proactive in advocating the undeniable benefits of sport and recreation and we take every opportunity to talk about the projects which further that agenda. Our portfolio of grants and programs is diverse, making sure that as many sectors and people as possible are able to take part in sport and active recreation and lead healthier lifestyles.

Industry Development and Participation

Organisational Development

The business of sport demands stable foundations, especially when most of our human resources are volunteers and community-based. Just like an athlete needs good skills to play well, our sporting organisations must govern strongly and fairly, be advocates and know how to value and educate their people. Our job is to support them and provide training to deliver what we believe is one of the best sports systems in the world.

The following examples are ways we invest in sport and recreation organisational development:

Integrity in sport

We provide funding to initiatives to assist in safeguarding the integrity and value of sport, including:

Western Australian Sports Federation (WASF)

Receives funding to ensure a collaborative effort across the sport and recreation industry to:

  • Improve corporate governance practices.
  • Maximise community inclusion.
  • Develop socially-responsible clubs and behaviours relating to the management and consumption of alcohol and club culture.
  • Create child-safe sporting environments and compliance with Working with Children Legislation.
  • Promote enterprise best practice, intelligence and innovation to enable WA sport to work towards a more financially independent and sustainable future.

Organisation Sustainability Program

The Department is committed to working with sport and active recreation organisations to develop and pursue a philosophy of good governance and continuous improvement. The program aims to help create a stronger Western Australian community by:

  • Enhancing the delivery of a variety of activities to address community needs.
  • Increasing organisational capacity to provide a welcoming and safe environment.
  • Providing expertise to support and enrich organisational culture in relation to business development and growth.
More information on the Organisation Sustainability Program.
million of funding
State Sporting Associations (SSAs)
Industry Representative Organisations (IROs)
Dispute Resolution Service
Offers advice, referral, education and mediation to the sport and active recreation industry.
Dr Heather MacGowan OAM Scholarships
Contribute to the development of future leaders within State Sporting Associations and Industry Representative Organisations.
Australian Institute of Company Directors Course
50 board members enhanced their capacity to assist in the governance of sport and recreation organisations.
Five human resource projects
Concussion Project
Promoting best practice management to WA sporting community from grassroots to elite levels.
$3 million over three and a half years
Top Club Online Planning Tool
Helps identify club culture and develop strategies to create a strong and positive culture.
Fair Safe Sport Strategy
(Delivered by WASF)
  • Child safetyt
  • Cyber safetyt
  • Member Protection Information Officerst
  • Complaint management
Board Evaluation Project
Assists voluntary boards in our industry to understand best practice governance and identify opportunities for improvement.
Financial Management Support Project
Improves the financial management processes, analysis and planning of SSAs, IROs and affiliate clubs.
Drugs in Sport Education Project
(Delivered by Sports Medicine Australia WA)
Ensure WA athletes are free of performance and image enhancing substances and other illegal drugs and understand the adverse effects of legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco.
Career Pathway Program
Gives participants an increased understanding of the sport and recreation industry and develops skills to increase their capacity to work in it.

Club Development Scheme
Helps clubs become sustainable and increase participation numbers

  • 3,464 WA clubs
  • 1,552 metro
  • 1,912 regional
  • 42 Club Development Officers
  • 60 local governments.
43 State Sporting Associations (SSAs)
Support SSAs to implement new project initiatives and enhanced their capacity to deliver strategic outcomes.
Club Equipment Subsidy Scheme
748 regional clubs
383 metropolitan clubs
Consults to sport and recreation organisations
on business development and growth.
Volunteer Recognition
Celebrating their hard work in providing community sporting opportunities.


Aboriginal youth playing football in the PilbaraSport and recreation is widely recognised as a powerful vehicle in achieving greater inclusion and participation. The programs we fund are designed to drive greater physical activity, increase participation, encourage inclusion and facilitate community development. Through these programs we work with a wide range of community groups and help reduce barriers to participating in sport and recreation.

Our Community Inclusion Team also hosts a number of annual events to raise awareness and provide educational opportunities around topical themes.

The Department recognises the importance of sport and recreation participation for all and is committed to providing services to a diverse Western Australian community, including those with a traditionally low level of participation such as:

While winning is often considered the pinnacle achievement, when we get more people participating in sport and recreation, the whole State wins. We believe that an active and inclusive community is a stronger, healthier, happier and safer one.

More information about participation.

Participants of the StarKick program with footballs

The Department runs a number of successful programs that encourage greater participation and inclusion in sport and recreation. These include:

Your Move

An innovative physical activity and active transport behaviour change project by DSR and the Department of Transport. It offers individualised active lifestyle coaching, infrastructure upgrades and community services to households, schools and businesses within a local government area.

The program’s success was recognised with an Institute of Public Affairs Australia (IPAA) Award for Best Practice in Collaboration Across Government Agencies in the Same Jurisdiction and named a finalist in the 2015 Premier’s Awards.

More information about Your Move.

10,259 households
registering for personalised goal setting and motivational coaching.
Website and social media pages developed with 1600 of the registered households opting in online and more than 2800 Facebook likes.
Most popular action plan categories included walking, gym/fitness, social/recreational activities, cycling and sport.


ActiveSmart is our behaviour change program aimed at increasing physical activity and improving community connectedness.

Using the same methodology as Your Move it focuses on physical activity and seeks to achieve voluntary behaviour change by improving the participant’s knowledge, awareness and perceptions of the options available to them when making lifestyle decisions. It also empowers participants to identify, act on and take ownership of solutions.

ActiveSmart paricipants in a gym

Get Onboard And Lead (GOAL)

Get Onboard And Lead (GOAL) seeks to increase the contribution of women to the sport and recreation industry, particularly in leadership roles. GOAL builds on existing industry systems to make it easier for women to advance as leaders on and off the field. The program includes a number of other projects under its banner:

  • Women in Sport and Recreation Project
    Improving board and management diversity in the industry.
  • Champions of Change
    Cultural change program aimed at leaders of SSAs and Industry Bodies. Consists of eight inaugural member SSAs.
  • Next Steps Program
    Provides professional development opportunities and board-readiness tools to potential and existing women on SSA and industry boards.
Coach with West Coast Fever players in a huddle
$66,000 total funding

Sport 4 All

A six-year, $30 million package to increase participation in community sport and recreation that comprises of four programs:

KidSport participants with their netball coachKidSport
  • 132 local governments (29 metro and 103 regional)
  • 108,245 vouchers
  • 58,522 individuals
  • 89 sports/recreation groups
  • 920 referral agents
  • 62% of kids never registered in a club before
  • 2500 clubs have had kids join
  • 34% recipients Aboriginal, CaLD or with a disability.
Community Volunteer Program
  • 770 clubs engaged
  • 16 presentations
  • 22 workshops
  • 130 attendees
  • 128 new volunteers.
  • $1.68 million
  • 50 SSAs and IROs
  • 870 volunteers
  • 72 workshops.
A child playing in a sandpitNature Play WA
  • 212,312 nature play passports
  • 56 Family Nature clubs
  • 4300 families and key stakeholders participated in Nature Play WA events
  • 150 families joined Friends of Nature Play
  • 34 corporate sponsors
  • 22 schools and local governments engaged.


An exciting trial funded by DSR and the Department of Local Government and Communities, for seniors 60 and over encouraging participation in sport and active recreation.

More information on SilverSport.


  • Seniors 60 and over
  • Encourages participation
  • Covers costs associated with sport club memberships or physical activity programs.
  • Up to $200 per senior
  • 4 local governments.
Seniors getting into a kayak

Youth Engagement Scheme

This scheme enables organisations to target at risk youth by assisting them to connect with their communities and increase participation in sport and active recreation.

More information on the Youth Engagement Scheme.


  • Activities provided in safe environments
  • Mentors and leaders
  • Volunteer and leadership opportunities to increase capability, build resilience and sustainability.
Junior netballers with netball on an outside court
Ignite Basketball
Saturday night diversionary basketball and life skills program for youth in the City of Armadale.
Communicare Get Active Program
Promote the value and benefits of participation in sport and recreation for CaLD, Aboriginal and low socioeconomic youth.
Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER)
Youth Initiatives

Professional development for teachers to better deliver sport and active recreation in schools.
CaLD Trails Expansion
Increase the number of CaLD communities exposed to outdoor walking.
North West Metropolitan Sport and Active Recreation Project
To increase participation by creating inclusive sport and recreation club environments.
A diversionary basketball and development program for youth.
Tech Savvy Seniors Exergaming
Technology-based games and activities to increase the physical activity, social interaction and mental wellbeing of those over 60.
Community Participation Funding
Grants of up to $5,000 to increase participation of low-participation groups.
Disability Sport and Recreation Forums
Build connections for people with disability to get involved in sport and recreation.
Leeuwin Youth Development Program
Active Achiever Awards
Chronicle magazine
Showcases work by affiliated groups and partners that deliver sport and recreation outcomes for the Aboriginal community.
Kaart Koort n Hoops
Lifestyle program using basketball to build the capacity and skills of young people, in particular Aboriginal youth.
Wirrpanda Foundation
Great Southern Aboriginal Sport Development Program addresses sport and culture participation within the Aboriginal community.
Garnduwa Agreement
Three Aboriginal Sport Development Officers in the Kimberly.
Newcrest Mining
Partnership program facilitates sports carnivals and other activities for Aboriginal communities in the Western Desert region.
Australian Sports Commission Sports Agreements
SSA funding to run programs to increase skill, capacity, participation and pathways.
Softball WA Aboriginal Female Softball Program
Funds to Softball WA to run a women’s Aboriginal softball carnival.
Ngurra Kujungka Pilbara Multisport Project
Delivers training and development for local community recreation officers, community leaders and volunteers in nine Western Desert Communities.
Indigenous Advancement Strategy
Ngurra Kujungka improve safety, wellbeing and health in five remote communities.
Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Corporation’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy
Seeks to increase safety, wellbeing and health in the greater Geraldton region.
Women in Prisons Project
Delivers Certificate One Sport and Recreation to residents at Bandyup Prison.
Active Schools
Deliver activities to develop personal wellbeing, healthy living, social skills, social inclusion and community belonging for CaLD youth.

Strategic Policy, Recreation and Regional Services

Strategic Policy

We take an active role in progressing a shared policy agenda across government in areas like water, health, education, justice, tourism and Aboriginal affairs to effect more holistic changes. It’s important we lead the way in offering guidance, potential strategies and a focal point on challenges which affect our industry, like sports integrity.

The following are projects and issues supported to help develop our industry and further policy:

Shared Policy Agenda

The Department provided significant input to State and Federal agencies and actively participated in committees and groups helping guide policy including:

  • Peel Green Growth Plan.
  • Australian Sports Commission’s Governance Reform in Sport: Discussion Paper.
  • Liveable Neighbourhoods.
  • Resilience and engagement for at-risk youth through sport and culture.
  • Water resource legislation.
  • Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Recreational Access to water catchments.
  • Strategic Directions 2016-2031 for arts, culture and creative sectors.

We’re also part of the Commonwealth of Australian Sport and Recreation Officials (CASRO).

Strategic Directions for the Sport and Recreation Industry 2016 – 2020 (SD6)
In consultation with industry, SD6 was created to identify challenges and opportunities for the industry and provide a dynamic framework of vision and direction for sport and recreation policy formulation and strategic industry planning.
Sport and recreation research

The Department works with various tertiary institutions to support research on our sector. This included:

Public Open Space Strategy Guide
To assist local governments to develop effective public open space strategies.
Sport International Program

Maintains and develops links through sport and recreation in the Asian and Indian Ocean Rim that deliver tangible economic, social and geopolitical benefits to the State.

Public Open Space with water playground, paths and trees

Places and Spaces – Recreation

To maintain a thriving sport and recreation system now and into the future, we need to have spaces to play sport and enjoy active recreation. DSR must optimise the State’s investment in facilities at a State, regional and community level.

We strive to influence policy in key portfolios that impact on sport and active recreation, like planning, water, environment and regional development to ensure its importance is considered and provided for. We also believe it’s vital to be an active part of strategic planning for key activities to guide investments like the Western Australian Mountain Bike Strategy and State Sporting Facilities.

We work in the outdoors and recreation sector in the following ways:

Regional Services

Our Department provides a vital service to regional communities across the State. Through local partnerships, people and organisational development projects, as well as through funding support for facilities and programs, our nine regions play an important role in the provision of sport and recreation opportunities in regional WA.

The Department has offices in the Gascoyne, Goldfields, Great Southern, Broome, Mid West, Peel, Pilbara, South West, Northam and Narrogin. Through them, the Regional Services team provides valuable support and services in delivering key Department projects and programs.

Staff from the Great Southern Sports Talent Association holding up a banner

Communications and advocacy

The Communications Team promotes and supports the Department’s programs and services to stakeholders, industry, across government and the public through communications, advocacy and design. It uses various internal and external media to communicate with its stakeholders, the general public and the office of the Minister for Sport and Recreation to spread the positive messages around sport and active recreation.
Put your best foot forward (image of a boot made up of various sports balls).



media releases








Recreation Camps

The Department of Sport and Recreation operates five recreation camps:

They provide affordable adventure recreation experiences, building upon our Department’s mission to increase participation in physical activity and enhance the quality of life of Western Australians.

The core programs are adventure-based entry level activities that support the development of self-confidence, promote teamwork and activate recreation as the Fourth R in the outdoors.

In 2015/16 the recreation camps delivered:

  • 209,353 physical activity hours
  • 88,479 bed nights
  • 139,569 participations
  • 714 events serviced.
A group of school children participating in roping activities
A group of children with saftey helmets on top of the Cube.


The provision of well-planned facilities and public open space leads to an increase in physical activity and participation. Communities are ultimately the beneficiaries of these projects. Quality facilities create spaces for community to gather and connect and also provide a way for clubs to increase their membership.

Regional facilities

In 2015/16 the Department completed the Regional Level Sporting and Recreational Infrastructure Business Case. This was to identify the need for regional sporting and recreation facilities given population growth and the current and estimated future forecast shortfall in Public Open Space.

A regional facility
A regional pool

Great Southern Regional Sporting Facilities Plan aims to develop a consolidated strategic approach to the development of regional facilities.

  • $30,000
  • Supported by the local government across the Great Southern Region

Community Pool Revitalisation Fund has been made possible with $13.2 million funding over four years through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program.

  • 92 regional aquatic centres
  • Four water playgrounds
  • $2,958,667 – maintenance, upgrades, purchase of pool equipment and staff training
  • Leisure Institute of Western Australia Aquatics granted $141,333 to purchase items for regional aquatic centres including electronic water testing kits and pool inflatables.

Metropolitan facilities

Western Australian Football League (WAFL) Grounds

The Department provided $25,000 to Town of Victoria Park to assist with a business case for the redevelopment of the Perth Football Club facilities at Lathlain Park. The City of Fremantle received $25,000 to prepare a business case to investigate options to co-locate the East Fremantle Football Club and South Fremantle Football Club at Fremantle Oval given the Fremantle Football Club’s relocation to Cockburn.

State Tennis Centre

With the Perth Stadium located adjacent to the State Tennis Centre land has been excised for public transport rail infrastructure, resulting in a need to plan for the future of the State Tennis Centre. This year the Department continued working on a business case to investigate the future needs of the State Tennis Centre and supporting infrastructure.

State Football Centre

Building on work undertaken by Football West on its Home of Football concept, the Department commenced work on a business case for the State Football Centre.

Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA)

The Department continued to provide assistance to plan the redevelopment of the WACA Ground. The State Sporting Facilities Plan Stadium Hierarchy Model has been guiding the development of a supporting business case.

WA Rifle Association and WA Smallbore Rifle

Construction of WA Smallbore Rifle Association’s facility at the Whiteman Park International Shooting Complex facility was completed and opened in February 2016. Construction of the WA Rifle Association’s facility in Pinjar started in October 2015 with completion anticipated in November 2016.

Baseball WA

Building new ablutions and upgraded lighting at Baseball Park.

A sporting facility under construction

Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund (CSRFF)

Each year, community groups and local government authorities across the State receive financial assistance to develop basic infrastructure for sport and recreation through CSRFF. Priority is given to projects that lead to facility sharing with multi-purpose infrastructure required to meet similar needs and increase sustainability.
$9,070,790 in grants were allocated to 87 facilities projects Statewide.
Football (soccer) pitches under construction

Perth Stadium

Perth Stadium will be a 60,000 seat multi-purpose venue capable of hosting Australian Rules Football, rugby union and league, football (soccer), cricket as well as entertainment events.

The project remains on schedule to open in time for the start of the 2018 AFL season.

The Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR) is the Client Agency for Perth Stadium and responsible for defining the service scope plus functional requirements to ensure that this world-class facility is fit for purpose for fans and the different events it will host.

DSR employees are part of an integrated State Project Team made up of staff from the Department of Treasury – Strategic Projects and Asset Sales, VenuesWest, Public Transport Authority and Main Roads WA.

The Project Team led the development of the Project Definition Plan, released in 2012. This Plan detailed the Master Plan for the Stadium and surrounding parkland, the project program, cost plan, procurement strategy, financial analysis and governance structure. The Project Definition Plan provided a basis for the Request for Proposals documentation prepared in 2013.

DSR leads the communications and stakeholder management for the project, liaising with a range of internal and external stakeholders including the Stadium’s nine User Groups, project staff, contractors, media, the future Stadium users, local residents and the general public.

Establishment of the Sports Fans User Group, made up of 30 sports fans from across Western Australia, has been integral in ensuring that Perth Stadium and the surrounding Stadium Park delivers on its ‘fans first’ aspiration. This User Group has collectively provided input into the design and operational components of the venue ensuring it is fit for purpose.

Additionally, the Access and Inclusion User Group, which included representatives from the disability sector, provided advice on accessibility matters relating to the Stadium and surrounding infrastructure on both event and non-event days. The work undertaken by this User Group and the State Project Team ensure that the Perth Stadium and surrounding Stadium Park will cater for everyone regardless of age, experience or ability.

The Department is also responsible for developing the Benefits Realisation Plan to ensure that there is a clear relationship between the project’s objectives and outcomes. The Plan sets baseline measurements and timelines alongside project objectives which will be reviewed across the initial 25 year life span of Stadium operations.

artist impression of the Perth Stadium and Sports Precinct

Issues and trends

Issues and trends affecting us in the sport and recreation industry

Facilities and Public Open Space

A walker on a path in a parkBeyond making our suburbs more attractive and providing venues for sport and recreation, well-designed and planned public open space plays a vital role in building healthier, more vibrant communities. Recent rapid population growth and forecasted growth is increasing the pressures on public open space and sport and recreation facilities, both in outer corridor greenfield development and through urban densification.

The Department is working with other State Government agencies and local government to ensure public open space is identified early to facilitate planning and access to sport and recreation facilities across the state. We encourage projects that lead to facility sharing and rationalisation, as this reduces the infrastructure required to meet similar needs and increase sustainability.

Over the past decade enormous investment has been made in sport and recreation facilities and infrastructure all over the State, from Perth Stadium to local community facilities to world-class walking and cycling trails. The State now needs to capitalise on the new and improved facilities to ensure the viability and sustainability of this investment.


Participation barriers

Two senior men posing for a photo with bowls in hand

Western Australians of all ages are leading increasingly sedentary lives and being deprived of the many physical, social and community benefits of participating in sport and recreation. While some are time-poor and are choosing alternative avenues for entertainment, others are reluctant or unable to participate due to social or economic circumstances.

The Department promotes and supports inclusive environments for sport and recreation activities through its Inclusive Sport Funding, providing sports with the capacity to implement programs which encourage wider participation and also funds many programs which directly target low participation groups.

Behaviour change initiatives such as ActiveSmart help people live more active lifestyles and the highly successful KidSport initiative provides children with the opportunity to access sport and recreation options which would otherwise be financially out of reach.



A group of office workers conducting a meetingThe governance of sport and recreation organisations is becoming increasingly sophisticated and organisations are required to position themselves and respond on a range of social and ethical matters. Different backgrounds, skills, experience and ideas are widely accepted to promote better governance, leadership and decision-making outcomes.

The Department supports sport and recreation organisations in their governance and management through the Organisation Sustainability Program funding, the Club Development Officer Scheme and the Department’s sports consultants, as well as promoting and facilitating women in leadership positions in sport and recreation through the Get Onboard And Lead (GOAL) Program.

Sports integrity

Sample bottlesParticipants, partners, volunteers, sponsors and government invest incredible amounts of time, effort and resources into sport and recreation at all levels. However, this traditionally positive image and reputation of sport and recreation is under threat from a variety of negative influences and incidents, including performance enhancing and illicit drugs, risks to child safety, violence and inappropriate behaviour including match-fixing.

The Department holds strong positions on integrity and value-based issues and are committed to promoting a positive sport and recreation culture.

Business Management

The Department of Sport and Recreation has 302 staff, which includes around 120 casual staff working at our camps. Our staff work in either our Leederville office, our regional offices or camps.

We promote our Department as a vibrant, responsive and progressive organisation that’s accountable to government and the community. Our Department invests in and supports its people so they, in turn, can actively contribute to an agenda of industry support and reform.

Our business services division supports the following areas:

  • Financial Management
  • Information Services
  • Record-keeping
  • Administrative Services
  • Human Resources
  • Corporate Health and Wellness
  • Occupational Safety and Health
  • Training
  • Compliance
  • Business Innovation and Improvement.

Thank you

Behind every team is its supporters.

We gratefully acknowledge all our partners and sponsors, without whom a great deal of the Department’s work wouldn’t be possible. Thanks for supporting our team to build stronger, healthier, happier and safer Western Australian communities through sport and recreation.

Australia Sports Commission
Newcrewst Mining
Department for Infrastructure and Regional Development
Royalties for Regions
Seven West
RAC logo