In 2017, I wanted to try and answer the question ‘what would society look like if we saw our young people as a product of their values, experiences, knowledge, creativity, and not just of their age?’ For too long we have dehumanised young people by imagining them as merely young.
This year I asked young Australians to tell me what they wish their representatives knew, and considered, about them when making policy. I travelled over 100,000 kilometres, meeting tens of thousands of young Australians. My team and I went to hundreds of schools and community groups. We went to universities, festivals, markets, and conferences. We ran thousands of consultations, and took the results to the United Nations General Assembly. But it didn’t end there.
We collected data from every Australian Federal Electorate, and I wanted to share it with you. I want you to share the joy of reading the nuanced, complicated, and thoughtful opinions of the young people who live in Australia. Young people all over Australia spoke to me about a diverse range of issues. If I’ve learnt anything this year, it’s that our voices get stronger the more we listen. And I hope that listening closer to young Australians brings you as much joy as it has brought me. If you’re a young person who generously shared your story, and/or time with me this year, thank you. You’ve made a bigger difference than you’ll ever know.
Australia’s 2017 Youth Representative to the United Nations
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Click below to view the reports for that state or territory.