“Time to Speak Up”: Mission Australia Seeks Voices - Salt 106.5

“Time to Speak Up”: Mission Australia Seeks Voices

The charity is asking Australia's youth to share their thoughts on a range of issues to help forge a better society.

By Salt 106.5 Network Thursday 11 Apr 2024NewsReading Time: 3 minutes

It’s a survey that government leaders, non-profits, and schools use to understand the concerns of Australia’s youth – and ­­­it’s calling out for participants.
Key points
  • The survey provides young people an opportunity to express their thoughts, worries and concerns about life in Australia, and their future.
  • “I encourage community groups, schools and sporting organisations to publicise the survey and support young people to get involved,” Mission Australia CEO Sharon Callister said.
  • Last year, the survey uncovered that the top four issues for Australia’s youth were the environment, equity and discrimination, cost of living, and mental health.
  • The Youth Survey 2024 is available to complete online until August and takes around 20 minutes to complete.

Mission Australia is asking people aged 15-19 to have their say in the charity’s 23rd annual Youth Survey.

The Youth Survey provides young people an opportunity to express their thoughts, worries and concerns about life in Australia, and their future. It also aims to raise key issues impacting the country.

“The results of the 2024 survey will reflect the current reality for young people in Australia,” said Mission Australia CEO Sharon Callister.

“Our young people are living with the existential anxiety of climate change while also navigating a cost-of-living crisis where housing stress is impacting many families.”

The survey provides young people an opportunity to express their thoughts, worries and concerns about life in Australia, and their future.

“Get involved”

The Youth survey focuses on range of topics that includes:

  • Mental health and well-being.
  • Sources of support and community connections.
  • Housing and financial situation.
  • Climate change (environment).
  • Personal concerns including body image, bullying, discrimination and stress.

Further, this year there will be new areas of focus in the survey. These will include the impacts of social media use, loneliness, and opinions relating to alcohol and drugs.

“I encourage community groups, schools and sporting organisations to publicise the survey and support young people to get involved,” Mission Australia CEO Sharon Callister said.

Ms Callister said that government policymakers, organisations and schools use the Youth Survey data to help make decisions that impact young people.

“So I encourage community groups, schools and sporting organisations to publicise the survey and support young people to get involved,” she said.

High anxiety

Last year, 20,000 people completed the survey for Mission Australia.

The survey uncovered that the top four issues for Australia’s youth were the environment, equity and discrimination, cost of living, and mental health.

“In the past year, I have struggled with anxiety regarding my future, and climate change,” one 17-year-old girl said in the report.

Last year, the survey uncovered that the top four issues for Australia’s youth were the environment, equity and discrimination, cost of living, and mental health.

And of course, the youth also expressed concern over housing affordability and homelessness.

“Homelessness is a traumatic experience which can have ongoing impacts on a person’s life, their well-being and their future,” Ms Callister said last year.

“As such, we strongly urge all levels of government to take immediate action to end homelessness.”

Covid distress

In 2022, the Youth Survey revealed how the pandemic may have affected Australia’s youth, with around 30 per cent of those surveyed reporting they had “high psychological distress”.

“Australia must do all we can, so the negative impacts of the past few years don’t cause ongoing problems for this generation,” Ms Callister said at the time.

Indigenous concerns

The Youth Survey also shines a light on the ongoing “gap” that exists between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians regarding matters of health, life expectancy and more.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people rated their well-being lower than their non-indigenous peers on a range of measures,” 2023’s report stated.

“And a greater proportion reported they were subject to unfair treatment or discrimination.”

Light work

The Youth Survey 2024 is available now to complete online (until August). It takes just 20 minutes to complete, according to Mission Australia.

The results are shared with government and non-government organisations, schools and the public.

The Youth Survey 2024 is available to complete online until August and takes around 20 minutes to complete.

For more information visit here.


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