The Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne McLean joins Dave after the launch of “We call it happy”, a report on the wellbeing of young Tasmanians.
Ms McLean said the report, the culmination of her consultations with more than 400 young Tasmanians and 100 parents and carers from around Tasmania, provides a sense of what life is like for Tasmanian children and young people.
“‘We call it happy’ identifies key issues that would make life better for young Tasmanians in their communities and in Tasmania more generally,” Ms McLean said.
She said the Tasmanian Government asked her to conduct a series of targeted consultations in late 2020.
“They wanted me to find out the views of Tasmanian children and young people aged less than 18 years of age on what they need for good or improved wellbeing, aligning with the six domains of the Tasmanian Government’s Child and Youth Wellbeing Framework.
“These consultations were part of a larger consultation process announced in January 2021 to inform the development of a Tasmanian Government child and youth wellbeing strategy for 0-25-year-olds.”
Ms McLean has outlined the outcomes of her wellbeing consultations in “We call it happy”, identifying seven key issues if young Tasmanians’ lives were to be improved.
“The messages I received loud and clear were that Tasmanian children and young people wanted:
- more things to do and places to do them
- a more responsive education system
- better access to health care
- more support for families
- greater sense of acceptance, belonging and feeling safe
- better access to material basics, including affordable housing
- better protection of the environment and efforts to tackle climate change.”
Ms McLean said she learned a great deal travelling the State speaking to children and young people.
“In particular, I learned many Tasmanian children and young people are clearly very proud to call Tasmania home.
“They expressed a strong appreciation of all the benefits that Tasmania’s natural environment has to offer and a very strong desire to protect it for future generations.
“The children and young people we consulted also valued having good mental and physical health.
“They understood the importance of getting an education and of treating everyone in the community with respect and kindness.”
Ms McLean said the consultations are one example of how children and young people have been supported to have a say on a topic which directly affects them.
“In providing feedback, it is very interesting to note the participants also took the opportunity to state very strongly how difficult and frustrating they often find it in day-to-day life to have a say in decisions that affect them, for their views to be respected and for feedback to be provided on how their views have been acted – or not acted – upon and why.
“An important part of my role as Commissioner is to promote the importance of decision-makers listening to and taking into account the views and opinions of children and young people on matters that affect them.”
Ms McLean said she was therefore grateful children and young people’s input has been sought as part of the broader consultations to inform the development of a child and youth wellbeing strategy.
“Most of all, I am grateful to the fabulous children, young people and adults who have helped to bring this report to life.”
Electronic versions of the report will be available on the Commissioner for Children and Young People’s website at: www.childcomm.tas.gov.au