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South Australia



Kids Help Line 2005 Report

General information

  • In 2005, Kids Help Line received 40,268* telephone and online contacts from South Australia and were able to respond to 20,137* of these contacts (18,506* telephone contacts and 1,631 online contacts).
  • 40% of calls to Kids Help Line required counselling or support.
  • 96 young people from South Australia reported current thoughts of suicide, while 268 young people reported having deliberately injured themselves (as distinct from suicidality).
  • 14% of telephone callers were referred to other support services in their local area. Duty-of-Care actions, such as contacting an emergency service or child protection agency, were required for 42 South Australian callers.

* Estimation due to 6 days of missing data.

Location of callers

Region % of calls
Adelaide metropolitan 40.0%
Adelaide mobiles 35.4%
Iron belt/Northern SA 10.3%
SA regional mobiles 11.0%
South-east SA 3.3%

The following figures are based on data gathered from 3,016 telephone counselling sessions with children and young people in South Australia aged 5-25 years:

Age and sex of callers

Age Females Males Total
5-9 years 4.5% 1.9% 6.4%
10-14 years 29.0% 10.1% 39.1%
15-18 years 38.3% 11.2% 49.5%
19-25 years 3.3% 1.6% 5.0%
Total 75.2% 24.8% 100.0%

10 most frequent concerns of South Australian KHL clients, 2005

Concern % of SA contacts Proportion of national contacts
Family relationships 21.3% 17.7%
Peer relationships 13.0% 13.4%
Partner relationships 9.5% 10.0%
Child abuse 6.6% 4.9%
Emotional/behavioural management 6.6% 7.1%
Mental health issues 6.2% 6.9%
Bullying 5.9% 5.8%
Homelessness/leaving home 3.3% 4.0%
Pregnancy 2.8% 3.0%
Grief and loss 2.1% 2.4%

The report is available for download from the Kids Help Line website:

Source: Kids Help Line 2006, South Australia 2005 Report, Kids Help Line, Milton, QLD [viewed 25/1/2007].

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Study into teen use of internet chat rooms, 2005

A Flinders University study into teenagers' use of internet chat rooms has found that more than half (56%) of those surveyed reported 'no parental interest' in their chat room use despite 62% of respondents expressing a need for 'professional help in dealing with the problems of chat room use'. Only 18% of respondents reported 'parental guidance and support' relating to their use of chat rooms.

The study was based on information gathered during focus group discussions with 114 secondary school students (aged 13-17 years).

Other findings from the study:

  • 43% of female respondents reported little or no parental interest in their chat room use.
  • 76% of male respondents reported little or no parental interest in their chat room use.
  • Over one-quarter of respondents reported using the internet daily, considering it to be 'an important part of their lives'.
  • 7% of respondents reported that they were 'becoming addicted to the routine of accessing the internet'.
  • The average internet use of respondents was 13 hours per week.

Flinders University:

Source: Flinders University media release 15/11/05, Chatrooms: Help needed, [viewed 25/01/2007].
The Adelaide Advertiser, 11/03/06, p.55.

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Fake ID project, 2003

The Fake ID project was launched in August 2003. The investigation, which was conducted by the Office of Crime Statistics to discover the prevalence of false IDs, found that most students were not being asked for identification when entering licensed venues.
The survey of 472 students aged 16 and 17, from three public schools and one private school in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, found:

  • 53% of 17-year-olds and 45% of 16-year-olds had attended a licensed venue.
  • Almost a quarter said they had attended a licensed venue in the last week.
  • 10% of students were refused entry to a licensed venue on their most recent attempt.
  • 25% of teenagers who tried to gain entry were carrying false IDs.
  • More than half of the teenagers who frequented venues while under-age had tried to buy alcohol, with almost 90% successful.
  • Almost 80% of students said they entered licensed venues to be with friends, 50% to consume alcohol, 41% to dance and 30% to see live music.

Source: Adelaide Advertiser, 25/6/2005, p.5.
To download the full report, Evaluation of the Fake ID project, log on to Office of Crime Statistics [viewed 25/01/2007].

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Figures from the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC), 2005

Preliminary figures from SATAC show:

20% of South Australian students have deferred their university studies for 2005: 2,527,
– compared with 2,086 in 2004 and 2,138 in 2003.

617 offers were rejected of the 17,738 offers made for courses for 2005.
In 2004: 493 rejections out of 17,363 offers.

2005 acceptance rates are stronger, with lower application numbers being attributable to the 25% rise in HECS costs for all three universities in SA.

Number of students who have accepted offers for 2005: 12,950
– compared with 13,359 in 2004 and 11,969 in 2003.

For further information log on to the SATAC web site.

Source: Adelaide Advertiser, 18/2/2005, p.12.

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Young drivers and road safety, 2003

'In 2003, the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia (RAA) conducted a series of metropolitan and regional workshops involving young people aged 15 to 25 years to discuss a range of road safety issues specific to this demographic. The workshops were designed to "test the temperature" of young drivers in relation to these issues and to provide the impetus for the next stage of the research.'
In 2004, McGregor Tan Research was engaged to conduct four group discussions – three in regional centres and one in Adelaide – to formally validate the findings of the exploratory workshops. These focus groups involved a total of 41 young drivers.
Subsequent to the completion of these focus group discussions, a quantitative survey of young drivers aged 16 to 25 years was undertaken. A total of 405 interviews were conducted (150 from metro Adelaide and 255 from rural areas).

Categories covered in the survey included:Seat belts
  • Speeding
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Mobile phones
  • Risk taking
  • Attitude to police

Source: Royal Automobile Association:

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Young people in VET, 2003

Number of persons between the ages of 15 and 20 attending VET in South Australia in 2003: 19,567

Males: 11,417
Females: 8,150

Persons aged 15-20 in South Australia, not at school, attending vocational education and training, 2003:

Males 323 989 1,669 2,818 2,960 2,658 11,417
Females 271 663 1,041 2,156 2,187 1,832 8,150
Source: 2003 VET collection, ABS Cat. 3201.0, Population by Age and Sex, June 2003, Table 7 (Preliminary figures).

Source: Young people and vocational education and training in South Australia, a paper prepared for the review into the South Australian Certificate of Education, by Tom Karmel, Managing Director, National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), September 2004.

The full paper is available online [viewed 25/01/2007].

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Sexual harassment by peers, 2004

Results from a study of 200 students (100 male and 100 female) in Years 8 or 9 (mean age 13.5 years), from state coeducational schools in the Adelaide region in South Australia:

Percentage of students in study witnessing sexual coercion:

Every day
of the week
Most days
a week
Once or twice
Less than
Boys 8 9 17 16 50
Girls 8 14 18 13 47
Note: N=200 (boys = 100, girls = 100)

How respondents indicated they would react as bystanders:
  • The most common response among both boys and girls was that they would "certainly" or "probably" object to the boy's action – 45% of the boys and 61% of the girls.
  • 21% of boys and 30% of girls indicated they would provide indirect help by "telling a teacher".
  • 38% of boys and 25% of girls would ignore the boy's action.
  • 13% of boys and 2% of girls indicated they would probably or certainly support the boy.
Source: 'Students as bystanders to sexual coercion', by Ken Rigby and Bruce Johnson, Youth Studies Australia, vol.23 no.2, 2004, pp.11-16. Dr Ken Rigby's web site which is titled Bullying in schools and what to do about it [viewed 25/01/2007].

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School suspensions, 2003

In Term 2 in 2003, number of SA students suspended at least once: 3,828
… in Term 2 in 2002: 3,488
Number of students excluded: 230
… in 2002: 217

Suspension means that a student is banned from school for up to five days. Exclusion lasts for 4-10 weeks, during which a student is placed in an alternative learning program.

Of total suspensions:

  • 108 cases involved drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, inhalants and misuse of prescription drugs.
  • 29.9% involved threatened or actual violence.
  • 40.1% were for threatening the 'good order' of the school.
  • Almost half involved students aged between 13 and 15.
  • 25.4% involved students aged 10-12.
  • 12% involved students aged 7-9.

Source: Sunday Mail, 11/04/04, p.7.

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Gambling and other risky behaviour

One in six SA students in Years 10-12 gamble at least once a week on Keno and 'scratchie' tickets. A psychologist at Adelaide University, Dr Paul Delfabbro, surveyed over 500 upper-secondary-school students and found that of those who gambled regualrly, 23% also smoked, 32% drank alcohol, 28% smoked marijuana and 13% took hard drugs.

The Education Department has concerns about increasing numbers of students gambling and illegally playing poker machines, so has introduced a gambling education program to schools, called Dicey Dealings. The program is to target students in Years 6-10.

Dr Delfabbro said, 'There is strong evidence to suggest that those who gamble inetnsively as adolescents are more likely to go on and become problem gamblers.'

Source: Sunday Mail, 21/03/04, p.5.

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Youth population in South Australia, 2001

2001 Census figures

0-14 years 15-24 years
Males 147,382 98,344
Females 139,796 93,598
Total 287,178 191,942
Percentage 19.7% 13.2%
Source: adapted from Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

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