Mission Australia’s Youth Survey 2020 – the largest national online survey of its kind – will be open for all young Australians aged 15-19 to have their say. In this rapidly changing world with the impacts of COVID-19, young Tasmanian voices matter. Now more than ever, we need to hear from young people about the issues that are affecting them. During this period of unprecedented changes, it’s important that young people still have meaningful opportunities like the Youth Survey to share their thoughts, concerns and aspirations to shape policy and service changes that are important to them.

Mission Australia’s Tasmanian State Director Mychelle Curran has explained to Dave that in this quickly changing world, young voices matter. Now more than ever, we want to hear from young people in Tasmania about the issues that affect them in 2020. During this period of unprecedented changes, it’s important that young people still have meaningful opportunities like the Youth Survey to share their thoughts, concerns and aspirations to shape policy and service changes that are important to them.

“In times of increasing uncertainty it is important we take the time to listen to what young people have to say on issues that affect them, their networks and our nation.

“We hope that during a time when so many young people will be self-isolating, that they could spare 15 minutes of their time to participate in the Youth Survey.

“Last year, we heard that many young people felt they did not have the avenues to speak up on the issues that matter to them. The Youth Survey 2020 provides a forum for young people to highlight their personal aspirations and concerns, and express the issues they think are important in Australia today.”

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The 2019 Youth Survey was completed by more than 25,000 young people aged between 15 and 19 years, including 1,517 young people in Tasmania. Last year, young people from Tasmania nominated the environment, mental health and equity and discrimination as the most important issues facing Australia today. The survey also found that less than one in 10 (7.8%) young Tasmanians feel they have a voice all of the time in public affairs.

“At a time where we know that young people are actively seeking out opportunities to share their views, the Youth Survey 2020 offers a safe and reliable platform to speak up. Their valuable insights provide up-to-date evidence to inform advocacy and policy change on the issues that affect their lives,” said Ms Curran.

This year, the survey will continue to have a focus on mental health and wellbeing, with a further look into how young people seek help. The Youth Survey will also ask new questions around discrimination and transition to employment, along with financial concerns and exclusion.

“The Youth Survey 2020 is the biggest survey of its kind and is an important source of information for organisations, governments, families and individuals to get a picture of what our young people are thinking and experiencing, and how to best support young Tasmanians as they transition into adulthood.

“Young people can record their responses online, either through arrangements with participating schools or groups, or individually through our website. We are mindful that at this time, schools are having to adapt to continuously changing conditions. We are so thankful for all that our education sector is doing for our young people, and acknowledge that this may affect the participation in our survey.

“At a time of increased physical distancing and self-isolation, we’re also encouraging sports teams, community youth groups, religious groups and community service organisations to communicate to their young people to get involved in the Youth Survey,” said Ms Curran.

Mission Australia’s Youth Survey 2020 is open to all young people aged 15-19 years-old who are living in Australia. To take part in the survey, visit www.missionaustralia.com.au/youthsurvey. Share the word using #YouthSurvey2020

This year, the survey will be open for an extended period of time so as many young people as possible can participate.