National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth report: youth survey 2017 (Mission Australlia)

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth report: youth survey 2017 (Mission Australlia)

Key findings:

  • 42% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people planned to go to university compared to 72% non-Indigenous young people.
  • Over 50% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people indicated that getting a job was highly important to them and they were more likely to be looking for employment compared to non-Indigenous young people.
  • 27% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people reported that they had spent time away from home because they felt they couldn't go back. 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were more likely than non-Indigenous young people to be extremely/very concerned about drugs, bullying/emotional abuse, personal safety, discrimination and alcohol.
  • The majority of young people indicated feeling positive overall about their lives, however, just under 1 in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people indicated their happiness with life as a whole was a '0' out of 10 (compared to 1 in 50 non-Indigenous young people).
  • The vast majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (75%) rated family relationships as extremely or very important to them. Almost twice the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people rated their family's ability to get along as poor (13% compared with 7% of non-Indigenous young people).

Key policy recommendations:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people should be at the centre of policy and practice with solutions designed, developed and led by the young people and their representative community organisations. In order that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are supported to thrive and reach their full potential there needs to be a focus on:
  • Supporting educational engagement and addressing challenges to further study in culturally appropriate ways.
  • Providing employment and training programs that are Indigenous-led, flexible and responsive.
  • Identifying the deeper, structural causes of mental health difficulties and building on a strong sense of social, cultural and emotional wellbeing.
  • Reducing the high rates of homelessness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people as a national priority.
  • Designing services that take into consideration the cultural connections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and communities.
  • Taking a holistic approach to service design that works across the domains of education, employment, health, housing and social inclusion and combats intergenerational disadvantage

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth report: youth survey 2017 (Mission Australlia)

Media release: Better services and more homes needed to support aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people

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