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By UNICEF Australia
1 July 2020

Across Australia, all aspects of young people’s lives have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and national response to it. 

While some young people are equipped with the tools to cope, many others are struggling – particularly those already disadvantaged.

Australia’s young people have been cut off from social support networks, must complete major education milestones online, and are also impacted by job losses, either themselves or their parents and carers. All of this is taking a toll on their mental health and their hope for the future.

"This limbo that we’re living in it feels like it’s going to go on for the rest of the year. I don’t have any aspirations at the moment. I just get up and I do what’s asked of me."

Female student
Regional Tasmania.

In mid-April, UNICEF Australia surveyed over 1,000 young people aged 13 to 17 years across Australia to understand how the pandemic has impacted our youngest generations – a voice that has been missing from many of the pandemic and response conversations to date. Our aim was not only to listen to young people’s lived experiences, but to ensure their voices go on to inform future policy responses as Australia navigates this crisis.

This research is the first of a three-phase study into the views and experiences of young people in Australia living through the coronavirus pandemic. UNICEF Australia will conduct a similar survey in the middle of the year and again towards the end of the year.  



YouGov Galaxy was engaged to conduct a national statistically representative survey of 1007 young people aged 13 to 17 years, which ran from 7 to 16 April 2020. The data was weighted by age, gender, and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.  

In addition, UNICEF Australia staff and our Young Ambassadors conducted two regional online video consultations with young people from regional New South Wales and regional North West Tasmania – a COVID-19 hotspot in that state. We also conducted two capital city consultations with young people in year 11 and 12 from Perth and Sydney.