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Mission Australia Youth Survey: Tell Us What You Really Think

Molly McLaughlin

What does independence mean to you?

The definition of independence is freedom, self sufficiency and having your voice heard. For the past 155 years, Mission Australia has been working to help people regain their independence by reducing homelessness and strengthening communities. While Mission Australia’s most visible work is their support programs on the ground, they also conduct research and policy development and that’s where you come in!

If you are between 15 and 19 years old or you know someone who is, Mission Australia is conducting the largest annual nationwide poll of young Australians and would love to hear what you think. The Mission Australia 2016 Youth Survey is an integral part of making sure that the support is matched to the needs of young people. Last year, 160 young people in ACT participated and Mission Australia is hoping to hear even more of their thoughts, suggestions, and experiences in 2016.

“Our annual Youth Survey is important as it provides insight into their concerns and allows us to ensure they are considered by key decision makers including politicians, policy makers and community organisations,” says Mission Australia ACT State Director Ben Carblis. “We believe ACT’s young people deserve a fulfilling and bright future and therefore we must encourage them to get involved and speak up and for us to really listen to what they have to say.”

Because young people often have radically different perspectives to their parents or decision makers, the results from past surveys have allowed Mission Australia to understand and support young people more effectively. For example, in 2015 just over half of ACT respondents felt there would be barriers to the achievement of their study/work goals. The top three barriers were academic ability, financial difficulty and lack of jobs. Through the survey since 2013, alcohol and drugs and international relations have been increasingly identified as key issues.

“Our previous surveys have highlighted that today’s young people experience major challenges,” says Ben Carblis. “These include high unemployment and the rapidly changing job market, coping with stress, school or study problems, the rising cost of housing and concerns around alcohol, drugs and mental health. This year we have included new focus questions to understand young people’s experiences of discrimination as well as questions focused on young people’s sense of community.”

As a young person it can sometimes feel like no one is listening, but the Mission Australia Youth Survey is a chance to have your voice heard and make a real difference.

Mission Australia’s 2016 Youth Survey is open to all Australian young people aged 15-19 years old. To take part in the survey, go to

Image of ‘group of young…‘ via Shutterstock


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author

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