Giving Our Youth a Voice

What are the issues that truly matter to our young people today? A recent survey of 19,500 youth across Australia gives us an interesting insight.

The Mission Australia Youth Survey is carried out each year with 15-19 year olds across Australia, to discover what they feel are the most important issues facing Australians today. 

The 2023 survey results indicate that the Environment is the primary concern of today’s youth, with 44% of respondents naming this as the area they are most worried about. Equity and Discrimination, and the Economy and Financial Matters, come second and third, both at 31%. Mental health sits at a close fourth, at 30%.

Students also identified personal challenges that they had experienced, with 49% facing school-related challenges (such as high workload, academic pressure, challenges with teacher, or learning difficulties), 24% with mental health challenges (such as stress, anxiety, depression, self-harm, diagnosed disorders), and 21% with relationship challenges (with family, friends or significant others). Mission Australia highlights the interesting fact that 1 in 3 of these young people responded that during these challenges, there was nothing more that could be done, or they were unsure if anything else could be done, indicating that our youth need further assistance in identifying and accessing support resources that are available in the community. 

While almost two thirds of young people said that they were extremely satisfied or satisfied with their school studies, one third of respondents indicated that the top two barriers to learning included mental health and academic ability.

Hillcrest’s Virtual Learning Community provides a quality educational option for students who are not finding success in mainstream schooling. Sometimes this is due to mental health challenges, anxiety around school attendance (school refusal), or social challenges in the school environment. The VLC can offer a ‘circuit breaker’ to allow young people to prioritise their emotional and mental wellbeing, with many students preferring to continue in the virtual learning environment right through to their senior studies. If you would like to find out more about how your child can experience success in a school that listens to the voices of our young people, please contact us at www.hillcrestvlc.school today.

CEO of Mission Australia, Sharon Callister, states that “Young people hold the key to a brighter future for all of us. We must ensure their voices are amplified, their needs properly met and they feel valued and supported, so they can carve their own path towards a better future for themselves and for all of Australia.”

Keep reading