Articles on Youth

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An Australian 17-year-old must be utterly alienated from the community to feel at home with Islamic State. Youtube

No future: why we need a youth policy to counter radicalisation

The upcoming first ever Global Forum on Youth Policies has put the spotlight on the position of young people who, the United Nations says, are our “greatest resource”. Australia is among a minority of…
Familiar methods. Banana and condom via bajinda/Shutterstock

How far are the British willing to go in sex education?

Britain is not unique when it comes to debating how it should educate children and young people about sex. But the country approaches the subject with a particularly British sense of embarrassment and…
Heeding four key messages can make learning to drive a safe and happy experience. Bridie Scott-Parker

What parents need to know about learner drivers: four key lessons

Learner drivers and parents are often thrown in the deep end when it comes to learning to drive and recording hours in the logbook. As part of a unique approach to improving young driver road safety, I…
Whether you grow up in public housing flats or the leafy suburbs makes a difference, but it need not set children’s destiny in stone. AAP/Dean Lewins

Life chances: policy must respond to the real lives of young people

Life is unpredictable. Individual lives are complicated and this seems to be a problem for policy makers. It is important our understanding of the life course is reflected effectively in policy so that…
Australian youth is at risk of being locked out of the housing market, and a significant number are falling through the gaps of the rental market. AAP/David Crosling

Crowded housing market gives youth little chance for independence

It’s Saturday morning in West Brunswick, a suburb in Melbourne’s inner north. From my bedroom window I can see a crowd gathering across the road for a house inspection. The crowd swells to 60 or so people…
A fashion program is one of the many effective alternative pathways to education and work offered by The Social Studio. flickr/Alpha

Ensuring young people in all walks of life ‘earn or learn’ costs money

Why do young people drop out of school? Many factors influence this critical decision. These include the cost of education (think rising fees, cost of transportation, materials, textbooks and uniforms…
Young Australians are significantly less willing than the rest of the population to register and turn out to vote. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Our democracy is the loser when voices of youth are marginalised

In the current political environment, young people are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Typically stereotyped as having an inflated sense of entitlement, uninterested in civic participation…
More than one-third of unemployed people are aged 15 to 24, a critical period in their lives. luxorphoto/Shutterstock

Unemployment is hitting youth hard: this is what we should do

Australia came out of the global financial crisis better than most industrialised countries, but did not escape altogether. With a weaker economy, the unemployment rate rose from about 4% to 6% between…
Can the concept of a generation cover all the diverse people of a certain age cohort in an intellectually useful way? Artens/Shutterstock

Talkin’ ‘bout a generation: understanding youth and change

Making sense of what is happening in our own time requires sharp thinking. Today, however, catch-phrases and clichés abound. More specifically we rely on cliches about generations. Journalists, bestselling…
Media depictions like Young, Lazy and Driving Us Crazy pander to negative perceptions of young Australians. Channel Seven

Images of Australian youth: from symbols of hope to disposable lives

The idea of a generation gap is an old one, but the discrepancies between young people’s lived experience and other people’s perceptions present a very contemporary challenge. Today The Conversation begins…
Students who are marginalised from formal politics use what is left to them, their bodies, to protest against decisions that have direct impacts on their lives. AAP/Julian Smith

Slackers or delinquents? No, just politically engaged youth

Political participation is about more than voting. But when young people engage in politics their actions are deemed illegitimate. This is the supposedly apathetic generation that never gets off the couch…
Young Iranians, like these supporters of President Rouhani, must take care when expressing themselves not to push conservative clerical leaders too far. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

‘Happy’ in Iran: the trials of the young and disenfranchised

In Iran everything is possible, and everything is impossible. – Football Undercover, 2008 Iranian filmmaker Ayat Najafi’s words sum up the conflicting nature of government policy on artistic expression…
The policy idea seems to be that poverty will force young people to work, but what if there are too few jobs? AR Images/Shutterstock

Budget wields big sticks and offers few carrots to young people

In the lead-up to the 2014-15 budget, Australians heard the federal government’s mantra that the “adults are back in charge”. However, the government’s approach to young people has been vague since its…
Treasurer Joe Hockey warned Australians that ‘the age of entitlement is over’ – a promise that certainly came true for young Australians in the federal budget. AAP/Lukas Coch

Young people are now on the edge of our reconfigured welfare state

The 2014-15 federal budget continues the deconstruction of Australia’s post-war welfare state. In fact, the budget takes it a step further, particularly for the young. People under the age of 30 will now…
The prospect of harsh budget cuts ensured Prime Minister Tony Abbott featured heavily in May Day marches. AAP/Newzulu/Hugh Peterswald

Using youth as ‘whipping boys’ sets scene for Generation Grim

In the English court during the 15th and 16th centuries boys were engaged to cop the punishments of young princes. These young people were referred to as “whipping boys”. When the young crown prince misbehaved…
The number of young unemployed people has grown by more than 60% in less than six years, so why are they largely ignored? AAP/Alan Porritt

Why rising youth unemployment demands our urgent attention

I believe there is a special case for taking an interest in youth unemployment. It is concerning that more than one-third of the unemployed people in Australia are aged 15 to 24. In the 14 years leading…

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