In October 2019, UNICEF Australia, with the support of the NSW Government, hosted the first Youth Summit for young people living with drought.

At the Summit, children and young people came together with decision-makers and one another to discuss the challenges they face living with drought in NSW and how responses can be improved. The Summit explored the ways decision-makers could best support children and young people to build resilience and become better prepared to reduce the negative impacts of ongoing and future drought.

The Summit also presented an opportunity for young people living with drought to have a break from the land, work with their peers who are going through similar struggles, and to connect, engage and reflect.

What did the Summit achieve?


The Summit provided an opportunity for children and young people living with drought to identify actions that are needed to more effectively support children and young people, their families and communities. The summit: 

  • Connected young people from across NSW with their peers to create a support network based on shared experiences of the challenges of living with drought.
  • Developed a shared understanding of the impact of drought on young people, the support available (what works, what hasn’t worked), and the key gaps that need to be addressed.
  • Provided a forum for meaningful, action-oriented discussion between young people, policy-makers and service providers about how to more effectively support young people and children experiencing drought.
  • Strengthen confidenced in advocacy, analysis, collaboration and leadership among young people attending the Summit.
  • Resulted in a concluding, public report from UNICEF Australia, who will work with the NSW Government to implement policy recommendations.


Find out more 

For more information, please see the NSW Youth Drought Summit Call to Action (pdf). 

You can also read the UNICEF Australia report on the drought in NSW ‘In their own words: the hidden impact of prolonged drought on children and young people’, compiled after speaking to children and young people in Gunnedah, Narrabri, Walgett and Tamworth.
Cover of the Drought Report

The Drought Report

PDF (3.76 MB)

For summit enquires, please contact: Sue-Ellen Simic, Project Support Officer, on: or 02 8917 3261. Alternatively, email Sue-Ellen and she will call you on a contact number that you provide.
UNICEF Australia is committed to protecting the safety of every child we work with. You can find our Child Protection policy here.