Advocacy agenda

yourtown's advocacy work is focused on improving the lives of disadvantaged young people and their families.

Our work with young people brings with it the responsibility of leveraging our knowledge of their experiences to bring about systemic change.

We continue to blend data, the voice of young people and a diverse range of expertise to create new, innovative and effective supports to empower children and young people to deal with relevant issues and concerns.

There are more than 50,000 young people in long-term unemployment across Australia and this is growing. We're trying to find the best ways to help. 

“Pornography consumption makes up approximately 30% of all internet traffic, and whether intentional or accidental, children's exposure to pornography has dramatically increased as a result of the internet.” 

Promoting respectful relationships

We shared our analysis of contacts to Kids Helpline from children and young people exposed to pornography with the Senate Inquiry into the harm to children caused by exposure to pornography on the internet.

Our research showed exposing children and young people to pornography had a damaging effect on the quality of their peer relationships and in some cases encouraged sexual abuse by young people on other children and youth. We made a number of recommendations about how these concerns can be effectively managed within our community. This included community and educational awareness programs encouraging respectful relationships and providing children and young people with the skills they need to critically analyse sexualised media and empower them to challenge gender stereotypes.

Preventing youth suicide 

This year, we surveyed 472 young people with lived experience of thinking about, planning and/or attempting suicide.

This is the first time in Australia such a comprehensive survey has been conducted with young people who have had a lived experience of suicide.

Young people gave us detailed responses as to how to listen more effectively to their concerns and how they wanted to be cared for. We presented this information at a National Policy Roundtable hosted by Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health. Orygen used what we told them to help inform the redevelopment of the Commonwealth Government’s youth suicide prevention policy.

“Suicide is the leading cause of death amongst 12-25 year old young people in Australia. Many organisations and individuals are working hard to develop strategies that will make a difference, but the voices of young people are often missing from the conversation.”

Tackling youth long-term unemployment 

There are more than 50,000 young people in long-term unemployment across Australia and this is growing. We're trying to find the best ways to help.

yourtown's Strategy and Research Team released the Tackling Long-term Youth Unemployment Discussion Paper to share analysis and lead discussion around the issues associated with long-term youth unemployment. We are consulting with and inviting lead organisations to work together to find new strategies to address this critical issue.

We are also talking with young people experiencing long-term unemployment about what support they need to break the cycle of unemployment.

Partnering to protect

Our research with Sydney University and the Black Dog Institute in relation to a new peer to peer support platform continues. This world first innovation will provide young people with support by peers and qualified counsellors on a purpose built social media platform. The aim of this platform is to reduce common mental and emotional health symptoms such as depression, anxiety and stress.

Research is also continuing with the Queensland University of Technology on the creative design of the Kids Helpline website to increase the reach and impact of existing text based self-help resources. This research is partly funded by the Australian Research Council.

Strategy and Research Team members include Brian Collyer, Dr Samantha Batchelor and Dr Claire Ryan
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