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Youth Initiatives

Youth Studies Australia, v.29, n.2, 2010, p. 64 

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The Minister for Youth, Kate Ellis, released the National Strategy for Young Australians on 14 April 2010. The Strategy is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to giving young people a better deal and a voice in decisions that affect them. It will be used to guide Australian Government action and to encourage and help young people to take charge of their own lives.

The Strategy builds on billions of dollars of Government investment and focuses on young people aged between 12 and 24 years. At the heart of the Strategy is a vision for all young people to grow up safe, healthy, happy and resilient and to have the opportunities and skills they need to learn, work, engage in community life and influence decisions that affect them. Developed with young Australians, the Strategy describes what it’s like to be young in Australia today and highlights eight priority areas for Government action now and into the future. The eight priority areas are: health and wellbeing, education, families, communities, online, work, early intervention and safety.

The Strategy is a clear statement about why the Australian Government values young people, what it offers by way of support and how it plans to support them into the future. It takes a whole-of-person approach where every aspect of a young person’s life is considered, because we know that every area of life is connected. For example, health and wellbeing is linked to educational attainment, which is linked to how well a person does at work.

The Strategy highlights the challenges young people face, acknowledges disadvantage and recognises that social conditions influence young people’s ability to succeed. It has been written to benefit ALL young people including those who face disadvantage such as young people from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds, those with a disability, young people with caring responsibilities, those living in geographically disadvantaged areas and some Indigenous young people.

While the Strategy is an Australian Government framework, it also aims to be beneficial to the youth sector, state and territory governments and young people themselves. The Strategy acknowledges the many individuals and groups that support young people, and invites young people, families, communities, the youth sector and other levels of government to get involved.

The Strategy contains seven sections:

Why a youth strategy
Explains why the Australian Government has released the National Strategy for Young Australians.

Being a young Australian
Provides a snapshot of what it means to be a young Australian today.

Showcasing the youth sector
Provides information on some youth organisations.

Young people’s perspective on the Strategy
Describes how young people were involved in the development of the Strategy.

Immediate priorities for action
This section contains more detailed information about the eight priority areas including why they were chosen, what young people said about them, what the Government is currently doing and future directions.

Where to from here
Describes the directions for future action from the Australian Government.

Contains a listing of publications and websites that were consulted in the development of the Strategy.

More information
For more information on the National Strategy for Young Australians, please visit: