Queensland’s children and young people hold strong opinions on a diverse range of community issues and want their opinions considered and heard in the community. More than a quarter highlighted the need for leaders and decision-makers to listen to their views.
The findings highlight the practical ideas children and young people have about current community issues. They value the support they receive and the time they spend with their families. They have a lot to contribute to discussions and solutions. Listening to their voices gives governments, community service providers and business leaders the opportunity to understand what children and young people need, to make better decisions and impact on their lives in positive ways. It also gives leaders a valuable insight into the future.
Much more can be done to help children and young people forge stronger connections with the people in their lives. Their generation is often characterised and portrayed by adults as being focused only on ‘social media and selfies’. The Growing up in Queensland project has shown they are much more than what they do online.
Children and young people crave direct human connections. The vast majority of what they have told us can be summarised as wanting adults to pay attention, have respectful conversations and listen to what they have to say about the things that matter to them.
The Growing up in Queensland project explored three lines of inquiry. These were community, hopes and dreams, and the big picture.