” Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were asked to list the three issues they considered were the most important in Australia today.
In 2019, the top three issues identified by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were mental health, alcohol and drugs and equity and discrimination.
- Nearly three in ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people indicated that mental health (28.9%) and alcohol and drugs (28.1%) are important issues in Australia today.
- Around one in four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents reported that equity and discrimination (24.3%) and the environment (23.7%) are important national
- Since 2018, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people reporting the environment as a key national issue has more than tripled from 8% to 23.7%. Conversely, concerns about mental health and bullying have decreased since 2018.
Extract from Report What issues do young people think are the most important in Australia today? see Pages 37-57
The Mission Australia Youth Survey is the largest annual survey of young people of its kind in Australia.
It provides a platform for young people aged 15 to 19 to share their values, aspirations and concerns.
The Youth Survey provides a platform for young people to ‘speak up’ about the issues they are concerned about and it offers valuable insights into the experiences, concerns, challenges and ambitions of young people living in Australia.
Mission Australia CEO James Toomey says “Our Youth Survey has come of age this year and we take very seriously our responsibility and commitment to elevating the voices of young people who come from all across Australia.”
The results of the Youth Survey are shared widely with governments, schools, not-for-profit and community organisations, so that NGOs, social commentators, decision-makers and policymakers have access to current evidence on what young people are thinking, feeling and hoping in 2019.
The Youth Survey gives us the vital evidence needed to advocate with young people, and for them, for the services and policy responses that they need.
Young people have a vital role in shaping our tomorrow. If we ensure young people have the right supports and opportunities to be heard, the future will be brighter for everyone. Through this survey, once again, they are speaking to us, speaking to people who need to listen to them and respond to their very real concerns and aspirations.”
For more information or to register your interest for the 2020 Youth Survey, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download full 2019 Youth Report
Download 2019 Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people Report
Profile of respondents
A total of 1,579 (6.4%) respondents to Mission Australia’s 2019 Youth Survey identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. Of this total, 1,310 (5.3%) respondents identified as Aboriginal, while 149 (0.6%) identified as Torres Strait Islander (the remaining 0.5% identified as both).
Nearly half (49.6%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents were female and 42.7% were male.
Language background other than English
A total of 173 (11.1%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents stated that they were born overseas and 298 (19.2%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people reported speaking a language other than English at home. Of the 43 languages other than English spoken at home by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents, the most common were (in order of frequency): Indigenous languages, Chinese, Spanish, Kriol and Japanese.
A total of 216 (13.8%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents identified as living with a disability. Twice the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males (14.4%) identified they were living with a disability (compared with 7.0% of females). The most frequently cited disabilities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents were (in order of frequency): autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, anxiety disorder and deafness or hearing impairment.
As indicated in Table 2.1, 83.1% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents were studying full-time, which is similar to the 83.3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents studying full-time in 2018. A slightly higher proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females reported studying full-time (86.8% compared with 82.3% of males). Conversely, a slightly higher proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males reported they were not studying (11.6% compared with 8.1% of females).
Respondents who reported that they were currently studying were asked how satisfied they were with their studies. Responses to this question were rated on a 5-point scale that ranged from very satisfied to very dissatisfied. As in previous years, the majority of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents reported that they were either very satisfied (10.8%) or satisfied (45.7%) with their studies. Around one in ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents indicated they were dissatisfied (5.9%) or very dissatisfied (5.4%). As shown in Table 2.2, a slightly higher proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males reported feeling very satisfied (12.7% compared with 8.6% of females), yet a much higher proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females indicated they felt satisfied (52.2% compared with 41.2% of males).
Of those that were still at school, 89.7% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents stated that they intended to complete Year 12 (compared with 96.4% of non-Indigenous respondents). More than twice the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males indicated that they did not plan to complete Year 12 (14.0% compared with 6.3% of females).
1 of 2 Interviews from our NACCHO Youth Conference Darwin 2019
This years NACCHO youth conference theme was ‘Healthy youth, healthy future’ with sessions follwing sub themes of leadership and resilience.
24 year old Gamilaroi and Dunghutti woman, and co-founder of Tiddas 4 Tiddas, Marlee Silva talked with our youth about the importance of social media among the Aboriginal and Torres Striat Islander population and how to use social media as activists to make a change for the better for our people!
“Tiddas 4 Tiddas is a social media based movement that is all about empowering and giving a voice to our Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander woman and girls.”
What issues are of personal concern to our young people?
Young people were asked to indicate how concerned they were about a number of issues over the past year, as shown in Figure 2.5. Responses were rated on a 5-point scale that ranged from extremely concerned to not at all concerned. The items were ranked in order of personal concern according to the summed responses for extremely concerned and very concerned for each item.
The top three issues of personal concern for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were coping with stress, body image and mental health. The next most personally concerning issues were school or study problems and physical health.
- Coping with stress was the top issue of concern, with nearly four in ten (38.4%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents indicating that they were extremely or very concerned about this
- Around three in ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were extremely or very concerned about body image (31.7%), mental health (31.5%) and school or study problems (30.5%).
- Around one quarter of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents were extremely or very concerned about physical health (25.6%) and family conflict (23.3%).
2 of 2 Interviews from our NACCHO Youth Conference Darwin 2019
Amanda Sibosado from SAHMRI talks with NACCHO about her experience at the NACCHO Members’ Conference 2019 and tells us a little bit about the Young Deadly Free Project and her role as co-ordinator.
Amanda ran a workshop with our young proffesionals at the NACCHO Youth Conference held on the first day of our Members’ conference. The groups came up with some new ideas and input on how health services can assist young people in the approach to STI testing with shame gremlins and how services can work with young people to over come these.
Have our young people experienced bullying?
For the first time in 2019, young people were asked whether they had experienced bullying over the past twelve months. Three in ten (29.9%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people reported that they had experienced bullying in the past twelve months (compared with 20.3% of non-Indigenous respondents).
A much higher proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females reported that they had experienced bullying over the past year (33.4% compared with 22.0% of males).
Young people who reported that they had experienced bullying over the past year were then asked to identify from a list of suggested locations where the bullying took place. Table 2.6 shows that, of the 29.9% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents who had experienced bullying in the past year, nearly three quarters (72.5%) reported that the bullying took place at school/TAFE/university.
Four in ten (40.9%) indicated they had experienced bullying online/on social media, while three in ten (30.1%) stated they had experienced bullying at home. Around one in six reported that they experienced this in my neighbourhood (16.8%) or at work (15.8%).
The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents who reported they had experienced bullying across the majority of locations was much higher than the proportion of non-Indigenous respondents