8,000 young Queenslanders speak out on hopes, dreams, and future

media release

‘Optimistic, resilient, proud and respectful’ are some of the words used by young people in the Voices of Hope: Growing Up in Queensland 2020 report which will be released at the State Library of Queensland on 28 April 2021.

Cheryl Vardon, Principal Commissioner of the Queensland Family and Child Commission said the report captured the views of 8,000 children and young people from right across Queensland.

“I am humbled by the number of children and young people who shared their views and experiences with us. The contributions from young Queenslanders paint a picture of resilience and optimism through what was a tough year for many of them,” Ms Vardon said.

“Our young people are passionate and thoughtful contributors to our society and policy and decision-makers should seek out young people’s voices and listen to their views.”

Led by the Queensland Family and Child Commission, the project heard from 8,000 young Queenslanders on what they thought about their communities, hopes and dreams and the issues that are important to them. 

The report gathered insights via:

  • 5,924 youth surveys and 893 junior surveys
  • 1,223 postcards
  • 54 art artworks

Of the young people who responded:

  • 1 per cent were aged 4 to 7
  • 17 per cent were aged 8 to 12
  • 81 per cent were aged 13 to 18

64 per cent of respondents were female, 32 per cent were male and 2 per cent were gender diverse; 3% did not provide this information.

The report revealed the importance young people place on mental health, inclusivity and the environment.

“Children and young people told us they appreciate the generosity and friendliness of people in their community and the places that allow them to socialise with community members,” Ms Vardon said.

“Many young people said they want to complete secondary schooling or pursue further education and 56 per cent said they felt positive or very positive about their future.”

Growing Up in Queensland importantly captures a temperature check of our young people, guiding organisations, decision-makers, and governments on what needs to be done to support young people as they grow up.

“Although many young people are optimistic, participants who identified as experiencing emotional or mental health issues were particularly likely to have negative perceptions regarding the connectedness and safety of their communities,” Ms Vardon said.

“What we learn from young people, we must use to inform our work. From the public to police, community organisations, and government agencies, I encourage everyone to join us in listening to young Queenslanders.”

Unlike the inaugural Growing Up in Queensland project, which was undertaken in 2018, the 2020 project moved online due to the restrictions put in place because of COVID-19.  

To view a copy of the Voices of Hope: Growing Up in Queensland 2020 report, go here: https://www.qfcc.qld.gov.au/growingup

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For media information contact:

Kirby Orr, Director - Advocacy and Media

Queensland Family and Child Commission

Phone: 0434 683 265

Email: kirby.orr@qfcc.qld.gov.au