Deakin University
healy-youthconversations-2021.pdf (11.78 MB)

Youth Conversations Research Report

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Young people living across the six local government areas of Victoria’s Great South Coast region have voiced their thoughts and expectations about their communities, education, training, and future employment through the Youth Conversations initiative. The findings of this report highlight what young people have said about being connected to their communities, their experiences of staying at school, aspirations for education and training pathways leading to future work, and changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The nine key recommendations arising from this report address opportunities to act on young people’s voices to strengthen the foundations of what connects them to their communities and significantly improve the need for more equitable participation in education and training pathways leading to their aspirations for future employment. It is timely to be listening very closely to what our young people are saying, particularly in the context of COVID- 19’s continuing impact on our communities, and new opportunities arising from state and federal government initiatives seeking to strengthen schooling completion and address current and future skill shortages and gaps in industries and communities recovering from the pandemic. Most importantly, it is essential to be advocating for a bold, place-based approach that takes seriously the need for young people to be deeply involved and invested in future actions and initiatives arising from the recommendations of this report. The foundations for a strong, youth facilitation approach have been well-established in the Youth Conversations initiative and provide a solid base to inform future youth engagement strategy across the Great South Coast region.




Open access

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Research statement

Youth Conversations Research Report was prepared for Beyond the Bell, Great South Coast, by Deakin University. It is an industry style report on a significant piece of research conducted across 2019-2020. The overarching question guiding the Youth Conversations research was: what matters to young people living in the Great South Coast region with regards to education, training, employment and community? The findings synthesise the responses of over 700 young people aged 12 to 19 living across six LGAs of Great south Coast Victoria into three strands. Strand one is 'Feeling connected to the community and desirable community attributes'. Strand two is 'Staying at school, pursuing further education and training, imagining a desirable future'. Strand three is 'Changes brought about by the pandemic and learnings from them. Youth Conversations contributes a vital place-based understanding of issues directly affecting young people living on the Great South Coast of Victoria. It was funded by: Australian Government, Building Better Regions Fund; Beyond the Bell Great South Coast; Brophy Family & Youth Services; Deakin University; Regional Partnerships – Great South Coast; Victorian State Government: Department of Families, Fairness and Housing; and Youth Affairs Council Victoria.

Publication classification

A6 Research report/technical paper


Deakin University

Place of publication

Geelong, Vic.

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