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Each quarter, our peer reviewed journal publishes up to six research- and practice-based articles on Australian youth. Find out more.

YSA September cover (thumbnail)



Hoons and pay disputes hit the media

The latest edition of 'Youth Studies Australia' has received more media attention than any other edition! Two of its papers have been the subject of articles in the 'Sydney Morning Herald', numerous radio programs and even a spot on the 'Sunrise' TV show. The two articles are:

'Young people, dangerous driving and car culture' (by Rob White and Hannah Graham), on the perceptions of danger associated with hooning and car culture, exploring the purposes that these activities play in the lives of young men,

'Underpaid and exploited: Pay-related employment concerns experienced by young workers' (by Paula McDonald, Sandra Backstrom and Aaron Allegretto), about inquiries made to the Young Workers Advisory Service in Queensland that found evidence of exploitative practices in young people's workplaces regarding their remuneration and employment conditions.

No less interesting, the other papers in this issue of the journal are:

'Young people and citizenship: An everyday perspective'
by Anita Harris, Johanna Wyn and Salem Younes

'The politics of education: Why stand-alone youth work degrees matter'
by Judith Bessant

'Review of the National Youth Work Training Package - more of the same or radical rationalisation?'
by Tim Corney and Robyn Broadbent

'Youth work - a deconstructive approach for those who work with young refugees'
by Ann Ingamells and Peter Westoby

Read more about these articles in 'Youth Studies Australia' v.26, n.3, September 2007 at: or better still, support the work of this clearinghouse and become a subscriber to the journal ($88 a year, including GST and postage). See:

Tell us what you think of us

You've told us what you think of this newsletter, now we want to know what you think of our journal, 'Youth Studies Australia', and our websites. Your feedback will be much valued. The survey is only online for a short while -- until 15 October 2007. By completing the survey, you can put yourself in the running to win a copy of 'Outrageous: Moral panics in Australia'. Go to


The September issue of the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault newsletter 'Aware' (n.15) contains a review of 'Lighting the path: Reflections on counselling, young women and sexual assault' -- a book issued by Zig Zag Young Women's Resource Centre in Brisbane (and ordered by YFX but not yet received). Written by a range of authors, including experienced researchers and practitioners, the book is divided into sections titled,
Reflecting on the context: Feminism, young women and sexual assault;
Working with young women in specific settings; and
Feminist counselling practice with young women survivors.
The publication is available via Zig Zag's website at: and the ACSSA review is at: (Source: ACSSA 'AWARE Newsletter' n.15, September 2007,, viewed 18 September 2007.)

Literature on the treatment of men and boys who sexually abuse

The ACASSA newsletter 'Aware' n.15 also contains as its feature item a literature review, 'Perspectives on the treatment of men and boys who sexually abuse'. It focuses directly on therapy and interventions with adults, boys and young men, but its author, Cameron Boyd, is aware of the problematic nature of approaches to this field. He sets out 'to highlight the relevance of a feminist-informed gender analysis of sexual offending' explaining that the challenge for treatment providers and researchers is 'to build upon these insights in working with boys and men who sexually abuse'. See:
While on the topic of youth who sexually offend, the ACSSA website also contains a bibliography on young offenders, at:


Fear of youth and a disconnection between the generations

The summer 2007 edition of 'The Edge', the newsletter of the UK's National Youth Agency, contains an opinion piece on the 'exaggerated fear of young people' held by many members of the general population. The piece is written by Stuart Waiton, a director of Generation: Youth Issues, an organisation which seeks to bridge the gap between young people and adults by 'contesting the criminalisation of youth' and re-establishing trust between young people and adults (see for further information. Waiton discusses the findings of a report by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) titled 'Freedom's orphans: Raising youth in a changing world'. Drawing on data from comparative interviews, the report found that fear of young people was higher in the UK than in a number of other European countries and recommended increasing the number of structured activities for young people as a means of addressing this issue. Waiton, however, disagrees, saying that structured youth activities do nothing to improve relationships between adults and young people. He concludes his piece by warning that 'the more that local authorities intervene to protect adults and regulate young people's activities, the more the disconnection between the generations will increase, the more young people will feel free to disregard the 'odd' local adult who does intervene and the greater the fear of young people will become'. (Source: 'The Edge', n.18, 2007, p.7.)

Generation whY?

In September, many organisations and services -- InfoXchange, Australian Policy Online, 'YAPRap' (from the Youth Action and Policy Association of NSW), and our own journal 'Youth Studies Australia' -- all made mention of a new report by AMP and the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM). Titled, 'Generation whY?', it examines the habits of Generation Y (or Gen Y, those aged 15 to 30, born between 1976 and 1991). The report looks at what this generation values in life, how it feels about the housing market, finances and career prospects. Compared with an earlier cohort of youth (Generation X, born between 1961 and 1975), Gen Ys are more likely to be living at the parental home and for longer (in order to save money to buy a home, study or travel); more likely to be working while studying (50% of young people who study full-time also have jobs, while 70% of those who study part time also work full time). While there are more Gen Ys than baby boomers in work, Gen Ys are spending less of their income on clothes, food and alcohol than their Gen X counterparts did at the same age, and twice as likely to be single parents; and half as likely to be part of a 'traditional' family (a couple with children). Report co-author Craig Meller said that the report's findings indicate that Gen Ys are 'more responsible than often thought by others, in that they are focused on education and their careers, and are at least thinking about their future'. (Sources: Youth Monitor, compiled by Kate Gross for 'Youth Studies Australia', September 2007; and InfoXchange, viewed 27 August 2007.) The report can be downloaded as a PDF from the AMP website, (view PDF at:


In August, a new national voice for parents, families and carers was formed. The National Federation of Parents, Families and Carers website is currently at: (Source: InfoXchange,, viewed 18 September 2007)


Forthcoming events are cited with brief contact details on the ACYS events calendar at: Do make use of the calendar to promote your youth-related event.


'Reading between the lines: Representations and constructions of youth and crime' is a doctoral study examining the constructions of youth deviance during the 2002 election year in Aotearoa/New Zealand. It is available online at: or directly from its author, Fiona Beals, email: fiona.beals[AT]


New treatment and planning package for consumers and carers

As part of the National Comorbidity Initiative, the Australian Department of Health and Ageing recently released a kit for involving consumers and carers in planning their own treatment. The kit can be downloaded at:

Quality-assured health information for youth

Somazone is a health information website for young people, which is provided by the Australian Drug Foundation and developed by young people for young people. The website provides fast, free and anonymous access to quality-assured health information on a range of issues, including alcohol and other drugs, body image, mind health, relationships and sexual health. See: Its various sections include:
* an anonymous and professional question and answer service;
* a safe space for visitors to anonymously share their stories and experiences;
* a range of free fact sheets; and
* a searchable help and support services database of Australian youth-friendly health services.

As part of its question and answer service, Somazone has a range of qualified health professionals with an interest in young people who volunteer their time and expertise to answer several of these questions per week (GPs, community and practice nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and alcohol and drug/mental health/sexual health/relationship counsellors). Professionals wishing to volunteer should ring Anne at the ADF, ph: (03) 9278 8100; email: somazone[AT] (Source: DrugInfo Clearinghouse,

DrugInfo Clearinghouse news

'Prevention Research Quarterly' -- published by the ADF's DrugInfo Clearinghouse since November 2003 -- has undergone a change in recent months. It now consists of an issues paper and a reading and resource list. Both resources focus on a specific drug prevention topic. The issues papers examine the integration of research into practice, while the reading and resource list provides references for those needing to explore topics further.

Issues paper 2 in this series is a fact sheet on local governments reducing harm from alcohol consumption. Back issues of 'Prevention Research Quarterly' are at:

Koori Youth Alcohol and Drug Healing Service

The Ngwala Willumbong Cooperative Limited, Victoria's largest Koori drug and alcohol service provider, has joined in partnership with the Youth Substance Abuse Service (YSAS), a specialist youth drug and alcohol treatment service provider, to create a professional and culturally appropriate residential rehabilitation service for Koori young people with drug and alcohol problems. Located on a 1-acre property in Hastings, Victoria, the Koori Youth Alcohol and Drug Healing Service is designed to accommodate up to 6 young people (aged 15-20 years) and a number of workers at any one time, with extra accommodation provided for Elders and family members of young people to stay towards the end of the program. YSAS and the Ngwala Willumbong Cooperative Limited are working to implement this service in Victoria. The Australian Youth Research Centre at the University of Melbourne is participating in a 4-year evaluation of this service. The evaluation involves helping participant organisations to develop and implement an action research framework and a blueprint for future partnerships of a similar nature. (Source: 'Youth Research News', v.17, 2007, p.5.)

National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre

In conjunction with the National Drug Research Institute in Perth, the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) produces a free quarterly newsletter, 'CentreLines', to increase communication between the national research centres, other researchers and workers in the drug and alcohol field. The August edition of 'CentreLines' contains an information piece on the newly established National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC), which was briefly mentioned in an earlier edition of YFX (n.131). The NCPIC will work to reduce the demand for cannabis in Australia 'by preventing uptake and minimising the harms associated with its use in the Australian community. This will be achieved by providing the community with high quality, evidence-based information on cannabis use, and building the capacity of service providers to respond to the intervention needs of cannabis users and their families'. The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre has been awarded the tender to be the lead agency for the NCPIC, which will be located on the Randwick campus of the University of NSW. The NCPIC has a budget of around $12 million over 4 years. Its plans for 2007-2008 include the development of 'community information resources and evidence-based training materials and workshops on motivational interventions among adolescent cannabis smokers'. (Source: 'CentreLines', August 2007, p.2.)

Modelling cannabis diversion in Australia

The paper 'Modelling cannabis diversion in Australia: A systems approach', written by National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre research fellow Caitlin Hughes, outlines the use of systems modelling as a means of testing the impact and effectiveness of cannabis diversion programs in Australia. Systems modelling allows researchers to 'describe and analyse the behaviour of complex systems' and can be used to assess the impact of changes in one part of a system on the system as a whole. Systems modelling can also be used to 'test or answer policymakers' hypotheses or questions, even comparing multiple scenarios. The Drug Policy modelling Program (DPMP) is adopting a systems approach 'to model the criminal justice response to cannabis users through both cannabis diversion and traditional court responses'. For further information, visit the DPMP website: (Source: 'CentreLines', August 2007, p.3-4.)


BCA on rethinking our education system

The Business Council of Australia is a strong advocate for the wellbeing of young Australians. A July 2007 BCA discussion paper, 'Restoring our edge in education: Making Australia's education system its next competitive advantage', includes a paper by Prof. Geoff Masters, CEO of ACER, plus a summary analysis and recommendations by the BCA. The paper focuses on two concerns: 1) the significant proportion of young people who become disengaged during their school years, achieving only minimal educational outcomes and limited subsequent engagement in work or further learning; and 2) the shortage of young people with the knowledge and skills required for effective participation in the workforce. A 5-point strategy for addressing these concerns includes: early intervention, customisation of education and training, professionalisation of teaching, increased investment, and improved governance. A PDF version of the paper is at:

National Careers Summit

As part of the Federal Government's investment in higher education announced in September, the Australian Association of Graduate Employers Ltd will be funded to conduct a series of 5 national careers summits over the next three years. The summits will bring employers, university careers service representatives and other key stakeholders together to work out strategies to help university graduates find suitable employment. Other funding included in this announcement is $1.2 million for a national internet-based approach to teaching mathematics. More at: (Source: Department of Education, Science and Training, media release, 11 September 2007,, viewed 19 September 2007.)

Dipping into 'Education Review'

'Education Review' (15 August 2007) includes 4 short news stories on:
* Cognitive load theory -- This, the subject of a recent international conference at the University of NSW, is truly more interesting than it sounds. 'It is based on the notion that one can either solve a problem or learn a solution but not do both simultaneously.' UNSW's Prof. John Sweller, burdened with the descriptor 'founding father of cognitive load theory', is fascinating on the topic and its implications in education.
* Fast-tracking gifted students at university -- University of Tasmania V-C Daryl Le Grew announced a plan to enable 'super bright' Year 12 students to undertake university subjects.
* A national system of teacher accreditation -- Teaching Australia has proposed an Australian Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
* Bullying of teachers by parents and colleagues -- The University of New England is hosting an online national survey to investigate this type of bullying in both government and non-government schools.
Among other interesting items in this issue is comment on the public/private school debate by Jane Caro, author of 'The stupid country: How Australia is dismantling public education'. (Source: 'Education Review', v.17, n.5, 15 August 2007; APN Educational Media PL, ISSN 1834-7967;, viewed 17 September 2007.)


IR in NSW and youth

New law in NSW will ensure that those under the age of 18 will retain wages and conditions at least equal to existing State award provisions. A recent ruling by the (NSW) Industrial Relations Commission provided a clear guideline for the fair treatment of that State's 150,000 children engaged in formal employment. The NSW Government had asked the IRC to develop a set of no-net-detriment principles to support its Industrial Relations (Child Employment) Act NSW 2006. The Act was framed in response to the Commonwealth's Work Choices regime. (Source: 'Exchange', the newsletter of the NSW Commission for Children and Young People, n.30, winter 2007.)

Youth Transition Support Initiative

The Victorian Department of Education has implemented a Youth Transitions Support Initiative in 12 regions across Victoria. This 4-year program provides regions with 2 full-time equivalent positions dedicated to providing young people with tailored support and assistance to connect with suitable education, employment and training options. Regions are developing different partnership and case management models in order to best address the barriers preventing young people from engaging in education, employment and training. The Australian Youth Research Centre at the University of Melbourne has been commissioned to conduct a formative evaluation of the program to inform future service delivery. Its final report is due in November 2007. (Source: 'Youth Research News', v.17, 2007, p.3.)

10. ELECTION 2007

Are you enrolled to vote?

Many of the current youth peak newsletters are highlighting the issue of young people getting themselves and/or their updated addresses onto the electoral roll in time for the close of polls once a federal election is called. The South Australian youth peak's current newsletter, 'YACSA eBulletin', n.34, outlines these issues at:

The Australian Electoral Commission is encouraging people to act now and enrol or update their details on the electoral roll before a federal election is called, to avoid missing out on voting altogether. This is likely to be the case for many thousands, especially young people who frequently change address, or have never enrolled before, due to changes in the law regarding close of polls arrangements -- some groups will have only 12 hours in which to update their electoral roll details from the minute an election is called. A fact sheet clearly explaining this is available on the AEC website at: The fact sheet is also on the Youth Coalition of the ACT's website at: For enrolment information call the AEC: ph: (02) 6271 4411 or 13 23 26; email: info[AT]

VibeWire's ElectionTracker will be returning for the forthcoming election, and is busy recruiting writers and volunteers. Keep an eye on:

YouTube YouthVote 2007

The Youth Action and Policy Association of NSW (YAPA, the youth peak body for that state) has created an online space where election candidates and young people can hear each other's views on youth-related issues. YouTube YouthVote 2007 invites election candidates (from NSW electorates only) to post short videos on YouTube outlining what they would do for local young people if elected. It also invites young people to post videos outlining what they think elected representatives should do for young people. The site contains links to these videos and has email links to all candidates so that young people can ask those who have not yet posted a video to do so. YouthVote is not party political; YAPA is treating every party and candidate equally. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage young people to participate in the election campaign, to raise candidates' awareness of youth-related issues and to encourage them to respond to youth issues. For details on this initiative, contact YAPA's John Ferguson ph: (02) 9319 1100 (ext. 5); email: policy[AT] or visit; or: (Source: 'YAPRap', v.17, n.8, 2007, pp.1-2.)


Indigenous Youth Leadership Programme scholarships

Applications are now open for the Foundation for Young Australians IYLP tertiary scholarships for 2008. Young Indigenous students from non-metropolitan areas either entering, or already placed, in tertiary education are invited to apply for the scholarships -- up to $6,000 annually to cover university course fees and other educational costs. In addition to the scholarship, various opportunities will be offered to IYLP scholars for the development of leadership skills, personal development and work experience. For information and application forms call (03) 9670 5436 or see


Young Action on Breast Cancer (YABC), a committee of young survivors, is holding a National Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer in Australia, to be held in Melbourne on 13-14 October 2007. Details at: (Source: InfoXchange,, viewed 18 September 2007)

The conference, Diversity in Health 2008: Strengths and Sustainable Solutions is being held next year at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, from 10 to 12 March 2008. More in future editions of this newsletter.

The 10th National Rural Health Conference will be held in Cairns in May 2009. The first announcement will be the call for abstracts in early 2008. Keep an eye on the National Rural Health Alliance news page at:


Marie Stope International is interested in hearing what other services around the country are planning for World AIDS Day on 1 December. More at:


Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care news

The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) has reprinted a limited number of copies of its 2003 report 'State of denial: The neglect and abuse of Indigenous children in the Northern Territory'. Researched and written by Julian Pocock, this report 'provides an analysis of the systemic failure of the child protection system in the Northern Territory to meet the needs of Indigenous children and families'. Hard copies of the report can be ordered online at no cost. The report can also be downloaded in electronic format. To order, visit the SNAICC website: (Source: 'SNAICC News', July 2007, p.5.)
In the same edition of its newsletter, SNAICC outlined a Ten-Point National Action Plan to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect as part of its response to the federal government's intervention to prevent the abuse of Aboriginal children in the Northern Territory, and requested that the federal government establish a national task force (under COAG, the Council of Australian Governments) to 'lead the development of a national action plan as proposed and outlined by SNAICC'. It has also requested that the federal government expand the Northern Territory Emergency Response Taskforce to include 'a senior experienced child protection practitioner' and that the federal government and the NT Taskforce 'convene a national forum to hear the views of experts and stakeholders, including Indigenous child and family welfare specialists, on maximising the impact of the emergency response in the NT' and identifying 'key areas for action in the development of longer-term responses for the NT and all other states and territories'. ('SNAICC News', July 2007, p.15.)
The same edition of the newsletter also reviews the key policy commitments of each of the four main political parties in Australia relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families compiled from publicly available information from the Australian Democrats, the Australian Greens, the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal-National Coalition. ('SNAICC News', July 2007, pp.8-10.)


UK Government announces 10-year youth strategy

The UK Government's Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has recently released a policy document outlining the ways in which the government plans to provide young people with facilities and services that allow them to spend their free time in positive and enjoyable ways. Titled 'Aiming higher for young people: A 10-year strategy for positive activities', the strategy includes progressively devolving up to 25 per cent of control over local authority budgets for positive youth activities to young people themselves; using unclaimed bank assets to fund the construction of new youth facilities and exploring the possibility of staging a 'Youth Week', based on the Australian model, during which young people's achievements are celebrated. For further information, visit the DCSF website: (Source: 'The Edge', n.18, 2007, pp.1, 6.)

The future of youth work policy in the UK

In the summer 2007 edition of 'The Edge', the newsletter of the UK's National Youth Agency (NYA), outgoing NYA chief executive Tom Wylie has written a piece outlining what he believes is needed to 'keep youth work thriving into the next decade'. He outlines both the local vision and the national role needed to sustain youth work, concluding with the following remarks: 'While there is much innovative practice and occasional flurries of policy attention to youth work, the national architecture is too fragmented. Anyone can call themselves a youth worker, so that title should be protected in law. The continuing professional development of the vitally important workforce is neglected. Unlike other sectors, it has no leadership college to improve management skills. But while more should be expected of national and local government, the sector itself needs to accept increased responsibility. Some of the direct work is simply not good enough to meet the challenging needs of the young. [Youth work] also has to be better at showing its beneficial impact on young people's lives'. (Source: 'The Edge', n.18, 2007, p.8.)

The post-conference press release for the Commonwealth Youth Programme's recent event, 'Investing in Youth', is at:


Fundraiser for new SANE youth website

SANE Australia is conducting a campaign to raise funds for the 'itsallright' website, to provide young people with accessible information on mental illness, help them better understand mental illness and learn how to cope with it when it affects people around them. The New Generation Fundraising Campaign aims to raise $100,000 by December 2007. Those interested in taking part in the fundraiser need to create a personal goal and seek sponsorship towards it. Further information is available on the New Generation Campaign page of the Everyday Hero fundraising website: (Source: SANE Australia 'Activist' email update, spring 2007; Everyday Hero fundraising website, viewed 18 September 2007.)

Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Sciences (Young people's mental health)

This course is offered through the University of Melbourne's Department of Psychiatry, in conjunction with ORYGEN Youth Health. It is specifically focused on youth mental health, and covers the theory, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness in young people from a clinical perspective. The course is a two-year, part-time program delivered exclusively via distance education. Teaching materials consist of DVD lectures, with lecture notes and reading materials being provided online. In addition, there are also a number of short courses in young people's mental health (also offered via distance education) available from the University of Melbourne on issues such as depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis and dual diagnosis. For further information and application forms, go to: or contact Nazan Yuksel, ph: (03) 9342 3754; email: nyuksel[AT], or contact Dr Anna Sidis, Course Coordinator, ph: (03) 9342 3758; email: asidis[AT] (Source: email, ORYGEN Youth Health, 5 September 2007.)


CREATE Foundation, in partnership with Atari Australia, received an encouragement award for excellence in community business partnerships for their workplace learning program -- a 10-week, workplace readiness program. To date, the program has helped 8 young people to find employment, achieve independent living, participate in the graphic arts industry, study at TAFE, and contribute to, a guide for young people leaving care.

DSF's change of focus: Addressing the workforce skills and knowledge required for environmentally sustainable development

For the past 20 years much of the work of the Dusseldorp Skills Forum has been directed at improving young people's transition into the world of work. Its new focus will be on addressing the skills and knowledge young people will need for environmentally sustainable development, and the organisation has announced that it believes 'tackling tomorrow's work opportunities will mean coming to grips with the challenge of environmental sustainability'. Read more about the DSF's strategic plan at:

Changes afoot at Auseinet:

A special issue of the Auseinet newsletter, 'Auseinetter' (August 2007), covers the project's recent period of "review and reflection" and presents their vision for the immediate future. The key areas Auseinet will now focus on are:
1) Promotion, prevention and early intervention for mental health; and
2) Implementation -- From policy and evidence to practice.
After 9 years of sole reliance on Australian Government funding, Auseinet will now be operating from a diversified funding platform and aiming towards a sustainable business platform. More at: (Source: 'Auseinetter', n.28. August, special issue; ISSN 1329-8720.)

Other changes:

The new Northern Territory Youth Affairs Network and DARWWYN coordinator is Alice Bignall. All contact details remain the same (PO Box 84 Darwin NT 0800; ph: (08) 8930 0651; email: ntyan[AT]

The Australian Federation of Homelessness Organisations has changed its name to Homelessness Australia For the time being their website is still and they can still be contacted at afho[AT] Their new website will be launched soon.


Programs for young parents

The July/August edition of 'YAPRap', the newsletter of the Youth Action and Policy Association of NSW (YAPA), contains an article on respecting and supporting the needs of young parents. This article highlights two programs for young parents that are run by youth services in NSW: the Young Parents Early Intervention Parenting Program (YPEIPP) run by the Shoalhaven Division of GPs, and the Parenting Young Project run by the Mountains Outreach Community Service (MOCS). This edition of the newsletter also contains a feature on YPEIPP; the next edition of the newsletter will include a feature on the MOCS Young Parenting Project. The YAPA website includes a page on the topic of young parents, which contains links to a number of recent news articles on the topic. See: (Source: 'YAPRap', v.17, n.7, 2007, pp.12-13.)


Youth participation and empowerment: Getting beyond the rhetoric and slogans' is the title of a symposium taking place in Goa India from 30 October to 3 November 2007. The event is being managed by the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. on behalf of the International Council on National Youth Policy and to date, 60 delegates from 25 countries have registered. For more information, contact Peter Kenyon, email: pk[AT] or see:


Anti-Poverty Week takes place on 14 - 20 October 2007.

Child poverty's falling, according to a report published on Australia Policy Online on 17 September 2007. See: However, one in 10 Australians is living at, or below, the poverty line, according to new figures on income in Australia published in a new report: 'A fair go for all Australians: International comparisons, 2007: 10 Essentials'. Published on behalf of Australia Fair by the Australian Council of Social Service, this report compares available data from Australia with other countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to find out where Australia is falling behind other wealthy nations in offering a fair go for all. It follows from Australia Fair's 2006 consultations with people in each State and Territory about what exactly it is that ensures a "fair go" for all Australians. (Sources: Youth Coalition of the ACT's 'YC eBulletin', 13 September 2007, and ACOSS website,, viewed 19 September 2007.)

Poverty and inequality: Concepts, measurement trends and meaning

This was the title of 2 lectures presented at FaCSIA's National Office, Canberra by Rob Bray, Chief Analyst, FaCSIA Strategic Policy Branch, in 2007. Read more in 'FaCSIA Research News', n.29, September 2007, at (viewed 19 September 2007).


'Listening with compassion, responding with respect: The wellbeing of refugees in rural and remote Australia'

The proceedings of this National Rural Health Alliance seminar, held on 7 August 2007, are now available on the NRHA website at:

The Australian Government's Settlement Grants Programme (SGP)

This is a Federal Government grant programme which provides funding to organisations to help new arrivals settle in Australia. It is expected to be advertised nationally on Saturday 22 September 2007. To apply, see details on the department's website at:

Working with newly arrived refugee youth and their families

Workers who support newly arrived refugee young people will be interested in the 'Juggling expectations' training offered by the Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues in November this year. The training will focus on family dynamics and conflict in relation to culturally and linguistically diverse young people. It will also focus on ways to engage with refugee young people, their families and with broader cultural communities. The training sessions are being offered on 8 November and 22 November 2007 at the CMYI Training Venue, 308 Drummond Street, Carlton, Victoria. Contact Rosemarie Iera, CMYI Training Coordinator, ph: (03) 9340 3700 or email: riera[AT] -- or download the PDF document about the training sessions from:

The needs of refugee learners

The August 2007 edition of 'Professional Educator', the magazine of the Australian College of Educators, contains a brief report on a study of the needs of Sudanese refugee learners conducted by researchers Ursula Burgoyne and Oksana Hull. Produced for the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), the study 'Classroom management strategies to address the needs of Sudanese refugee learners' identified the 'specific needs and characteristics of adult Sudanese refugee learners presenting for tuition in English language, literacy and numeracy classes'. The study particularly 'sought to identify teacher interventions that were successfully addressing these needs and characteristics' and to 'highlight areas where needs were not being met'. Data were gathered from specialist English, literacy and numeracy teachers and from non-teaching experts in refugee rehabilitation and resettlement. The majority of participants were located in New South Wales and Western Australia. Results of the study indicated that while teachers were able to meet the needs of Sudanese learners where these needs 'coincided with those of other learners of a similar profile', they were 'less successful in those areas requiring specific knowledge and understanding of their Sudanese learners' backgrounds in language learning and use'. Large class sizes and a lack of flexibility in program delivery were also among the factors which compromised teachers' abilities to meet the needs of Sudanese learners. Additional support from funding bodies and registered training organisations is required to address these issues. (Source: 'Professional Educator' v.16, n.3, 2007, pp.30-33.)

Refugee resettlement and mental health

The latest edition of 'Synergy', the magazine of Multicultural Mental Health Australia, contains a piece on the impact that refugees' pre- and post-immigration experiences can have on their mental health and wellbeing. The piece is written by Adamu Tefera, a mental health bilingual worker with Melbourne Citymission's Health Outreach Service in Footscray. Tefera developed a program specific to the needs of newly arrived immigrants from the Horn of Africa (HOA) who fled to Australia from situations of war, ethnic conflict and drought in their home countries. The program aimed to identify 'how culture impacts upon people's mental wellbeing as well as develop culturally appropriate models of psychosocial rehabilitation'. It also promoted mental health and wellbeing among this community and 'worked with key stakeholders to provide and promote culturally sensitive practices and research into mental health issues' affecting members of the HOA community.
Factors that were identified as having an impact on the mental health and wellbeing of HOA immigrants included: unemployment, underemployment or lack of job satisfaction, lack of English-speaking skills, racial and language prejudice and stereotyping by other Australians, conflict emanating from the differing worldviews of older- and younger-generation immigrants, and the breakdown of the community's traditionally strong collective lifestyle. Tefera also noted many from this community relied on religious practice, affiliation and belief to help them cope with 'adversity and symptoms of mental illness'.
STARTSS (Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma) has produced a series of colourful storybooks for young refugees which reflect the issues and traumatic experiences that these young people may have faced during their lives. Stories in the 'Jungle Tracks' series focus on hope, courage and positive outcomes. They aim to promote hope and empowerment while helping readers to discover their own courage and resilience. The books are suitable for both primary- and high school-aged children.
(Source: 'Synergy', n.2, 2007, pp.10-11, 16.)


Communities and Change: Research partnerships and collaborations in education and social work

The Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney is organising the inaugural 'Communities and Change' conference on 22-26 October 2007. The conference is part of a week-long research festival for researchers, policymakers and practitioners, exploring key issues in education, social work and social policy. Details at:

'FaCSIA Research News'

The latest issue of 'FaCSIA Research News' (n.29, September 2007) from the Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs contains feature items on the HILDA Survey, currently collecting its seventh wave of data and recently classified as an ongoing program. It also contains news on the 'Costs of children' research commissioned by the Ministerial Taskforce on Child Support in Australia, updates on both the 'Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children' (LSAC) and 'Footprints in time: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children' (LSIC) studies. It also contains brief reports on FaCSIA-sponsored conferences and events such as the biennial Australian Social Policy Conference, hosted by the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in July, and outlines of talks given at FaCSIA. (Source: FaCSIA website,, viewed 19 September 2007)

Talking of LSAC, the inaugural Growing Up in Australia: Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Research Conference will be held in Melbourne on 3-4 December 2007. Details are at:


HREOC seeks nominations for its awards

Each year, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) seeks nominations for the Human Rights Medal and award categories of Law, Community (individual and organisation), Arts Non-Fiction, Print Media, Television and Radio. This year, Tom Calma, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, has urged Indigenous Australians to nominate for the prestigious awards. To nominate the achievements of an individual or organisation, see the form at: or ph: (02) 9284 9618 and forward supporting material by 5 October, 2007. (Source: HREOC email list, 31 August 2007.)


Queer Corner: a resource for health and community service workers

Queer Corner is an ongoing project of Western Primary Health Care Services at the Central Northern Adelaide Health Service, and was devised by Lauren Riggs. The Queer Corner model is an email-based information sharing and awareness-raising tool that aims to inform health and community service workers about issues experienced by GLBTIQS communities, and to increase workers' ability to challenge homophobia and heterosexism in their workplaces (e.g. among staff, clients or patients, and community members). The Queer Corner CD and the accompanying manual contain all the information needed to plan, implement and evaluate Queer Corner within an organisation. Contact: Lauren Riggs at Central Northern Primary Health Care Services - Western Dale St Women's Health Centre in Adelaide, ph: (08) 8444 0713; fax: (08) 8447 7043; email: lauren.riggs[AT]



Applications for the National Youth Roundtable 2008 are now open. All Australians aged 15 to 24 years are encouraged to apply. Applications close on Thursday 18 October 2007. See: (Source: email, Debbie.O'donoghue[AT], 6 September 2007; and 'Youth Bulletin',

South Australia's 'Youth sector newsletter'

The first edition of the SA Office for Youth's new quarterly newsletter is online, aiming to share policy and practice news with the youth sector in that state. See:


What can you do with a youth studies degree? For some ideas from the University of Minnesota, see:

For a list of tertiary courses offered in youth studies in Australia, see the ACYS website at: If you are a provider, please send your updated details to us so that we can keep that section of our site up-to-date.


'Rock and Water' national training tour

Details of the dates for this tour, taking place in October - November 2007 and March - April 2008, are available from the Family Action Centre at the University of Newcastle. Send an email to: FAC-Events[AT] or go to:


New legal resource: 'What do I do when ...'

Youthlaw, a specialist young people's community legal centre in Victoria, has launched a new guide to the law for those who work with young people. 'What do I do when ...' was developed by Youthlaw in response to the increasing number of inquiries they were receiving from youth workers on matters pertaining to their work. Although not meant to replace specific legal advice, the resource provides practical, accessible legal information and advice designed to help those working with young people feel more comfortable in their interactions with the law and the legal system. It answers many legal questions commonly asked by youth workers and details areas of the law commonly faced by youth workers, such as duty of care; confidentiality and privacy; reporting abuse; complaints about workers; parents and guardians; working with police; court procedures; professional boundaries; employment checks; banning clients from services; discrimination; alcohol and cigarettes; and young people and sex. 'What do I do when ...' was developed with the support of the Victoria Law Foundation, the Department for Victorian Communities, Department of Justice and the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria. It is available to download from the Youthlaw website: (Source: 'Yikes!' (newseltter of the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria), v.5, n.4. 2007, p.20.)


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