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Youth matters

News and resources from Youth Field Xpress and the ACYS newsfeed that are relevant to this issue of Youth Studies Australia / by Ann Davie

Youth Studies Australia, v.29, n.2, 2010, pp. 7-8

PDF version

Underlying and unifying themes in this issue are those of engagement and participation. How does society foster an environment that encourages participation? How does the youth sector effectively elicit the involvement of the audience it seeks to support? How do we find safe means for young people to explore, experiment and discover their identities while participating in society?

‘Social inclusion’ is a popular term these days, most often used to describe the socioeconomic conditions that define levels of participation. Changes to policy are seen to be the means for exacting improvements to social inclusion.

Social and participatory media appear, at least on the surface, to provide inclusive and egalitarian communities where young people can experiment with participation. As is pointed out in one article, young people often create multiple identities to serve different purposes, even though they acknowledge that this can challenge their sense of self in both positive and negative ways. Cyberbullying threatens to further destabilise young people’s sense of safety and desire to participate.

Australia, as a multicultural society, struggles to come to terms with how to bring immigrant into its communities. Two articles highlight the challenges involved in engaging immigrant youth. The reaction of their communities – online and real – has an impact on how immigrant youth choose to share information and express their identity.


Social inclusion and young people

Policy, reports and statistics

Social inclusion website
Includes the Australian Government’s national statement on social inclusion, A stronger, fairer Australia.

How Australia is faring: Report of the Australian Social Inclusion Board
This report sets the baseline for measuring progress on reducing disadvantage in Australia and provides a platform for the board to address the topic of breaking the cycle of disadvantage over the coming year.  

Are young people learning or earning?
This Australian Bureau of Statistics report draws links between the development of young people’s individual capacity through education or work and building a socially inclusive society.[email protected]/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features40Mar+2010  

Recent news

UK Government releases interim report into its ‘Aiming high for young people’ strategy
In 2007, the UK Government published a 10-year strategy called ‘Aiming high for young people’, which seeks to increase participation by young people. The complete 58-page report can be downloaded from the National Youth Agency website:  

Find out more about the 10-year strategy from the UK’s Department for Children, Schools and Families website: Youth Field Xpress, April 2010  

Young Australians and economic adversity
The Social Policy Research Centre’s Making a Difference project explores the perceptions of economically disadvantaged young Australians (aged 11 to 17 years) and looks at how they experience economic adversity.  

Published: 2010-04-20

Catalyst program has a mission of social inclusion in South Australia
A new partnership between Flinders University and Mission Australia will promote learning and self confidence among a group of disenfranchised and marginalised South Australians.  

Published: 2010-01-19



One in 10 Aussie teens cyberbullied
One in 10 Australian teenagers experience cyberbullying, involving nasty messages or photos posted online or sent on mobile phones, every few weeks, according to new research.  

Published: 2010-04-14

Researchers share insights on cyberbullying – UTS
More than 260 guests from the education, health and law enforcement sectors and parents attended a lecture at the University of Technology Sydney to learn about the growing reach of cyberbullying in schools and the broader community and how to protect young people from becoming victims or perpetrators. Overview and links to presentation and materials:  

Published: 2010-03-25


Participation – face-to-face and online

What Works, an online resource that celebrates the work of youth-led organisations across the country
The series is made up of three separate reports. Partnerships in the youth sector focuses on youth organisations in collaboration with the business and legal sectors, community organisations and schools. Young people active in communities looks at keeping young people involved and motivated in community service, political lobbying and social change initiatives. Inclusive approaches with young people explores ways to help marginalised groups of young people reconnect with their communities.  

Published: 2010-03-22

Social media and young adults
This report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project is a part of a series of reports undertaken by the Pew Research Center that highlights the attitudes and behaviours of the Millennial generation, a cohort defined as adults aged 18 to 29.  

Published: 2010-02-23

Engaging young people through social media toolkit
The UK Department for Children, Schools & Families (DCSF) has created a set of materials to aid communication and collaboration with young people through social media and inspiring video content.  

Published: 2010-03-16

How nonprofit organizations can use social media to power social networks for change
A blog with information and resources for not-for-profit organisations on using social networking to best effect. Highlights the best free tools available.

Published: 2010-05-05


Online identity and safety

Australian teens protective of their online identity
Research conducted by Habbo Australia, the world’s largest virtual world for teens, shows that although young people perceive the internet as a valuable tool for building relationships with people they know in real life, Generation Z is generally vigilant, alert and discerning when it comes to who they connect with online.  

Published: 2010-05-11

Hi-tech teens are at risk of social phobias, family relationship issues
The amount of time adolescents spend in their rooms using electronic equipment could have a detrimental impact on peer and family relationships.

 Published: 2010-05-06

Youth, privacy and reputation
A literature review conducted by Harvard University’s Berkman Centre for Internet and Society about the intersections of youth, reputation and privacy online focuses on youth attitudes and practice.

Published: 2010-04-19

Fact sheet available from Australian Institute of Criminology
Covert bullying and cyberbullying are the subjects of an AIC factsheet (Tipsheet no. 9, February 2010), which can be accessed via the AIC website. The fact sheet presents a summary of a study into covert bullying and cyberbullying in Australian schools, and outlines strategies to tackle the problem.

Youth Field Xpress, March 2010

Parents don’t act on cyber-safety fears
Most Australian parents are concerned about the safety of their children online. But new research shows that parents don’t back up their concerns with meaningful actions, and that in any event they might well be concerned about the wrong risks.  

Published: 2010-03-29

Online risk and safety in the digital economy
This is the third annual report to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy on developments in internet filtering and other measures for promoting online safety.

Published: 2010-02-15


Immigrant youth

New book on young Australians’ views of Muslim– Christian relations
A national survey on attitudes to Islam and about Australia offers insights into interfaith relations as they are experienced by Muslim and non-Muslim Australian secondary students.

Youth Field Xpress, March 2010

Amplifying the voices of young refugees
This is the title of a report on research conducted by the Refugee Council of Australia. People aged less than 30 years on arrival now comprise the significant majority, and a growing proportion, of new arrivals to Australia under the Refugee and Humanitarian Program.

Published: 2009-12-07