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UNICEF Australia and the Bupa Foundation invite Australian young people to take an active role in shaping their futures.

In July, UNICEF Australia in partnership with the Bupa Foundation presented the Better World Youth Summit, an event where young people were invited to voice their opinion on what urban and rural communities of the future should look like. In Australia, children and young people aged 0-24 years make up 30% of the population. Australian cities and communities must be designed with children in mind to create inclusive, healthy, safe, and sustainable environments that support the next generations to thrive.

Every child and young person has the right to live and grow up in a place where they can play, learn, access basic services, feel safe, have clean air and water, and a sustainable climate. But with growing urbanisation, increased frequency of climate driven emergencies and persistent inequality we need to ensure that cities and communities are more equitable and sustainable for future generations. To do this, the voices, needs, priorities and rights of children and young people must form an integral part of planning and building urban and rural environments of the future.

The Better World Youth Summit invited year 10 students from schools across Greater Sydney to Taronga Zoo, Sydney to hear their perspective on what would make a better world for Australian children, and to participate in discussions on important planning considerations on topics of wellbeing, mental health, equity, climate change, and sustainability.

The Better World Youth Summit is designed and led by young people from UNICEF Australia, the Bupa Foundation, and the Taronga Conservation Society Australia and prioritises the voices of children and young people across the nation.

The Better World Youth Summit agenda included:

  • Informative keynote addresses on topics of importance from speakers of influence.
  • Immersive skills development sessions and an interactive zoo tour that encouraged students to give their perspectives on the topics of the day.
  • An innovation workshop where young people can collaborate to design a vision for a ‘Better World,’ for themselves and future generations across Australia.

The Better World Youth Summit is proudly presented by UNICEF Australia in partnership with the Bupa Foundation and hosted by the Taronga Conservation Society Australia.

Every child and young person under 18 have the right to participate and have their opinions included in decision-making processes that relate to their lives, according to Article 12 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

The Better World Youth Summit provides an opportunity for young people to voice their opinions and discuss issues that matter to them. UNICEF Australia will share the outcomes from the Summit with key decision-makers including government, businesses, and community organisations, ensuring children and young people are heard when it comes to shaping the communities of the future.

UNICEF Australia will keep schools updated on the impact and outcomes from students' participation and future advocacy opportunities.

The Better World Youth Summit is aligned with the NSW Year 10 School Curriculum for Geography, Science and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) subjects, as well as the NSW public schools core values.

The Better World Youth Summit is a free event. Lunch will be provided, and UNICEF Australia may be able to assist with transportation to and from Taronga Zoo Sydney.

The Better World Youth Summit will comply with Taronga Zoo’s COVID-19 Safety Plan. UNICEF Australia will monitor the situation closely in the leadup to the event and will advise any restrictions or requirements that attendees need to comply with.

More information will be provided to schools but please contact the UNICEF Australia team at if you have any further questions about the Better World Youth Summit.

Better World Youth Summit, 2022