Australia's Youth Policy Framework

Australia has more than 3.2 million young people (aged 15–24), this represents one in every eight Australians, and one in five of our working age (aged 15–64) population.

Young Australians are resilient. While every young person has their own unique goals, a successful transition to adulthood is critical for all young people. 

The Australian Government is committed to supporting young people and the issues they face with practical measures that reflect their priorities. Supporting them to develop the knowledge, skills and capabilities to be successful in education, work and life.

As part of this commitment, the government has launched Australia’s Youth Policy Framework, following consultations with young Australians.

The Australian Government acknowledges those who were involved and contributed feedback as part of consultations on the Framework. This feedback formed the foundations of the Framework.

The Australian Government understands that young people have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To capture this, the Framework has been updated to ensure it accurately reflects the realities of the world in which young people live in 2021, including the impact of the pandemic and recent critical research.

Read the joint media release from the Hon Alan Tudge MP, Former Minister for Education and Youth, and the Hon Luke Howarth MP, Former Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services, on the launch of the Framework.

About the framework

Australia’s Youth Policy Framework has a strong focus on what young people need to successfully transition into adulthood while maintaining their mental health and wellbeing.

The Framework has five objectives:

Objective 1: Acknowledges the impact of COVID-19 on young Australians

Objective 2: Capturing the voice of young people on policies that affect them;

Objective 3: Listening and responding to young people on the issues that matter to them;

Objective 4: Outlining the services and programs available to young people; and

Objective 5: Continues the journey to work together 

The Framework has also been informed by recent critical research including Monash University’s report, Young adults’ experience with Australian Public Services, Mission Australia’s Young Voices of the Pandemic- Youth Survey COVID-19 Report 2020 and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2021 Report “Australia’s Youth”.

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Its importance

The Framework sets out a blueprint for how the Government is supporting young people to navigate life’s challenges and be engaged and active citizens who contribute productively to society.

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The Framework outlines the Government’s commitment to keep listening to young people and explore new channels of engagement.

Prior to the transfer of youth policy, the Youth Taskforce in the Department of Health wrote an interim report to support and guide the development of the National Youth Policy Framework.

The Youth Taskforce consulted with young people for this interim report to identify:

  • priorities
  • challenges
  • concerns
  • gaps
  • opportunities.

In 2021, the Australian Government held two Youth Roundtables to hear directly from young people about their priorities and the recent impacts of COVID-19 on the lives of young people.

These roundtables were run with the support of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC), Australia’s youth peak body.

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