A report has just been released examining youth and citizenship. Shockingly…’less than 55 per cent of the young Australians sampled believed Australia was a democracy’! …and … ‘nearly 90 per cent of those surveyed wanted to participate in decisions which affected their lives’. See the article in the SMH today – Young feel remote from decision-makers.
One of the major reasons for writing Imagining Australia is to engage ALL Australians in thinking about our future, and in particular, Australia’s young people. It doesnt need to be said that we bear a responsibility to the next generation for the decisions we make today.
In Chapter 2, we suggest some ways to increase the participation of Australians in their democracy and in Chapter 4 we highlight young Australians as role models in the fields of science and entrepreneurship. We propose the development of a service-based AustraliaCorp, and we talk about ways to support innovative non-profits addressing youth issues, like the Inspire Foundation working to reduce Australia’s disturbingly high rates of youth suicide.
Given the results of this new survey, what else can we do to increase youth participation in their democracy?