2022 - Publications
Out-of-Home-Care (OOHC) Digital Lives
The ability to capture and keep personal records and keepsakes like photographs is critical for young people in Out-Of-Home Care (OOHC). These materials represent anchors in a young person’s ‘story of the self’ and are a key part of their ongoing life story. To date, most life stories have been captured on hard copy systems that are reliant on carers to keep and maintain. This research explores the role a digital platform can play in supporting the collection and maintenance of a young person in care’s personal archive. Building on foundational studies that demonstrate the critical role of life story work in supporting a person in care’s self-knowing, while acknowledging the challenges within the sector that can impede effective record keeping, it argues for the benefits of using digital formats in conjunction with more traditional methods for personal memory keeping work.
Reimagining online safety education through the eyes of young people
While existing online safety education has been somewhat successful in raising young people’s awareness about online harms, young people are reporting gaps in their online safety skills and knowledge. We partnered with PROJECT ROCKIT to examine young people’s experiences with online safety and how online education can be improved. This report shares an innovative framework of online safety education co-designed with young people, for young people.
Being There: Young people supporting their friends through tough times
Who do young people contact first when they face mental health challenges and how do they support each other? We partnered with mental health charity batyr, and clinical researcher Dr Erin Dolan to examine the ways young people seek help when going through difficult times. While previous research has focused on the importance of formal mental health support, this report documents and showcases the critical role of young people in providing mental health care and offers recommendations to ensure they have access to the resources they need for their care practices.
Online safety perceptions, needs, and expectations of young people in Southeast Asia
How do young people in Southeast Asia perceive and experience key elements of their lives online, and what are their ideas and aspirations about how to ensure young people remain safe online? We partnered with organisations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, and asked young people to share their views in workshop-based consultations. This report explores young people’s experiences and perceptions and presents their views on how to ensure they can maximise the benefits of online engagement while being protected against its risks and harms. It also contributes to an evidence base to contextualise and uplift online safety measures, across cultures and international contexts.
New Mothers and Apps During Covid-19
How did COVID-19 impact women’s pregnancy and early parenthood experiences? In this report Young & Resilient’s Dr Sukhmani Khorana and Bhavya Chitranshi, together with Dr Ruth De Souza (RMIT), explore the experiences of six cisgender South Asian-Australian women who gave birth during the COVID-19 pandemic, and were using digital apps and online platforms in the perinatal period. They investigate the tensions between information from the apps, parenting philosophies and practices from culture of origin, other support networks and posts on social media.
Evaluating Online Safety Initiatives: How to build the evidence base on what works to keep children safe online
Cyberbullying and online grooming are major problems impacting the safety of children online. Many risk reduction programmes have been designed and implemented in response, seeking to empower victims and change perpetrator behaviour. As they move from design to content development and delivery, these programmes involve large investments of time and money. Yet, are they effective? Do they lead to significant and lasting behaviour change? Few programmes have been evaluated. We're working to address that gap.
Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children: Digital technology, play and child wellbeing
We're working with 318 children across 12 countries to understand what digital play and wellbeing means to them. The report aims to inform the design of digital products and services used by children, as well as the laws that govern them. It includes a wellbeing framework for children, made up of eight child-centric wellbeing outcomes.
2021 - Publications
Governance, Children's Rights and Digital Health
Worldwide, one in three users of the internet is a child, and this number is growing daily; particularly in low-income and middle-income countries. This background paper on children’s rights and digital health informed the recommendations of The Lancet and Financial Times Commission on how the governance of digital health technologies and health data should take into account the rights, health, and wellbeing of children and youth aged 25 and below.
Drawing on an extensive review of the literature, we outline how children’s rights might be conceptualised in relation to digital health. We assesses the efficacy of existing digital health governance mechanisms in relation to protecting, respecting and remedying children’s rights, and identify a range of issues where further deliberation and action are required.
Benefits of Recreational Gaming and E-sports for Young People
Gaming plays an important role in the leisure time of Australians, young and old. Considerable recent scholarship has sought to understand the benefits of recreational gaming in terms of health and wellbeing, academic outcomes, and social benefits. However, the growing popularity of certain types of digital games has also raised concerns. The aim of this review is to look at how gaming can support young people in the domains of community building, career pathways and the development of soft skills.
Consultations with young people to inform the eSafety Commissioner’s Engagement Strategy for Young People
A series of youth consultations have been conducted to develop the eSafety Commissioner’s Youth Engagement Strategy. The Strategy ensures young people have a right to be part of the decision-making process for policies and programs that impact their lives.
The project used a Living Lab process with 64 young people from across Australia, aged 13 to 18, participating in online workshops. The sessions explore young people’s insights, experiences, and needs related to online safety. They are contributing to the design process for the Youth Cabinet and the Aspirational Statement.
Mount Druitt Working for Children Living Lab
Located within Blacktown City Council, Mount Druitt is a vibrant community with many strengths including community-led initiatives. But for a significant number of households, life can be tough: unemployment is nearly twice the national average and weekly earnings are significantly less. We are working with Blacktown City Council to change this, by supporting their commitment to better engage and collaborate with children and their communities, to understand the issues affecting children, and for creating solutions together.
By connecting with children and parents who may not typically engage with Council or other consultation or participatory processes, this project is creating immediate change in the area. Our creative collaboration resulted in six recommendations that will support progress towards a Child-Friendly City.
FIX MY FOOD: Children's views on transforming food systems
Every child has the right to nutrition. This report captures the voices of more than 700 children and young people, from 18 countries, as they share their views on food systems and key challenges to eating nutritious, safe, desirable, and sustainable food, and the improvements they feel are necessary for the 21st century.
Young people are calling on political leaders and public and private-sector stakeholders to work across all levels of society to strengthen food systems. As an outcome of this project, their voices and the findings of this report will contribute to the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) in 2021, presented as part of UNICEF’s global Food Systems Dialogues with children.
2021 Youth health, research and policy priorities and concerns
Young people around Australia are calling for action on top health issues, research and policy priorities. Unlike most reports, this is written by young people in genuine partnership with our leading researchers and staff. It captures principles and strategies to address youth health concerns, and gives a voice to young people who want the double-disadvantage in health they can face, based on their age and other aspects of their identities, to be addressed.
Navigating uncertainty: Australian young adult investors and digital finance cultures
As investing becomes more accessible for younger investors through emerging digital products and services, industry groups and regulation bodies are concerned about increasing numbers of inexperienced young adults starting to invest. Responses to these concerns have focused on media regulation and better financial education to address financial literacy gaps and reduce harm from financial losses. However, these interventions may be misdirected or inadequate without understanding the experiences and needs of young adult investors.
In April and May 2021, researchers, Natalie Hendry (RMIT), Benjamin Hanckel (WSU), and Angel Zhong (RMIT) undertook five focus group discussions with 21 young adults, aged 19 to 30 years to examine:
- How and why do young adults in Australia invest in the stock market?
- How do young adults understand risk in the context of investing and finance?
- How do young adult investors learn about finance and investing, and how do social media, digital trading platforms and other technologies influence learning about investing?
Our Rights in a Digital World
Children’s perspectives and experiences are at the heart of the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child General Comment 25 (GC25). This landmark report informed GC25, and details the urgent issues facing young people in the digital age. It is a vital tool set to activate states, NGOs and private enterprise to enable children to realise their rights in the digital world.
This international consultation captures insights from 709 children and young people, aged 9-19 years old in 27 countries. The voices of the children are unique, thoughtful, powerful, and occasionally humorous. Overwhelmingly, they demand access to the digital world, but are frustrated by its faults and feel it should serve them better.
Social Media Insights from Sexuality and Gender Diverse Young People During Covid-19
During COVID-19 lockdowns, there was major concerns for LGBTQIA+ young people. Health professionals and academics feared young people trapped in transphobic, biphobic or homophobic households would deteriorate mentally.
This ground-breaking research set off to explore what lockdowns were really like for LGBTQIA+ young people and the role social media plays in their health and wellbeing. As one of the largest qualitative studies in Australia on the topic, 65 LGBTQIA+ people aged 16–30, from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds, were interviewed. The report details young LGBTQIA+ people’s experiences using social media and provides recommendations on how we can support their mental health and general wellbeing.
Australian Migrants and Environmental Values: How and Why do Certain Migrants Practice Care?
There is little research on the environmental values and practices of recent non-European migrants in the Australian context, yet it is becoming increasingly important to understand how Australian migrants care for the environment, particularly in the face of environmental catastrophes.
This report explores how and why Australian migrants care for the environment every day, how we can better understand and support their contribution to sustainability, and why their efforts are not ‘visible’ in Australian and global environmental movements. It is essential that the environmental ‘influencers’ in these communities be identified, so that their voices and stories can be amplified, and help shape practices in their cultural and residential communities.
2020 - Publications
What Matters to Young Australians? Exploring Young People’s Perspectives from 2010 – 2018
At a time where Australian democracy is under significant pressure, it is more important than ever to understand young people’s views on social and political issues – and consider what they mean for governance and public policy.
The Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney University annually runs a writing competition for Australian students posing the question ‘What Matters?’ This report presents findings from the first ever analysis of 27,814 ‘What Matters?’ essays using a combination of text mining and manual thematic and discourse analysis. The report details what young people are concerned with, how they conceptualise different issues, if and how those issues and concerns are changing over time, and what they reveal about the contemporary politics of young people.
UNICEF State of the World’s Children Companion Reports Launch: Children’s and mothers’ experiences of diet and nutrition
UNICEF’s flagship 2019 report examined the issue of children, food and nutrition, providing a fresh perspective on a rapidly evolving challenge. As part of this vital research, UNICEF and the Young and Resilient Research Centre, Western Sydney University, consulted with 573 mothers and 656 adolescents in 18 countries, including Australia, about their experiences of diet and nutrition.
Their views are detailed in two companion reports, providing unique insights into adolescents’ and mothers’ nutrition experiences and the rapidly evolving challenges facing families. The reports document two critical time points in children’s growth: their first 1000 days of life, which sees mothers transition their children from breastmilk to solid foods, and adolescence, which is a period of rapid growth and development.
Online Safety in the Pacific: A report on a Living Lab in Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (2020)
With cable internet systems rolling out across the Pacific, access to affordable and fast digital connectivity in the region is set to rapidly expand, opening up unprecedented opportunities for children but also potentially exposing them to new risks of harm. Child online safety in the Pacific region thus stands at a critical juncture. However, there is very little rigorous and reliable evidence to guide policy and decision making in relation to children’s digital practices and online safety. To address this gap, from December 2019 to March 2020, the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University, ChildFund Australia and Plan International Australia conducted research to map the challenges and opportunities that technology presents for children in the Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Papua New Guinea.
The project deployed a qualitative, participatory research methodology developed by the Young and Resilient Research Centre and previously deployed in over 70 countries. This report presents the findings of half-day creative workshops conducted separately with: 96 children aged 10-18; 58 parents and carers; and 50 representatives of government departments, local and international NGOs, schools, police, telecommunications companies, religious organisations and community leaders.
Child-centred indicators for violence prevention: Summary report on a Living Lab in the City of Valenzuela, Philippines (2020)
This report describes the Living Lab process used in the City of Valenzuela, summarises the key findings of the workshops with children, presents the critical issues and a preliminary list of indicators co-developed with child and adult stakeholders and reflects on the strengths and limitations of the Living Lab process in promoting better, more inclusive violence prevention and response. The resulting primarily qualitative indicators are designed to complement existing high-level quantitative indicators for violence reduction and prevention. They will be refined further with child and adult stakeholders in the Philippines and other End Violence Pathfinding Countries over time.
Protest for a Future II (2020)
Academics of Young and Resilient Research Centre have joined with an international team of researchers to study the rolling Global Climate Strikes held, by collecting data at the protests held in September 2019. The results have been published in a report released early this year. The researchers examined survey data from 19 cities in 16 countries. Our team contributed analysing the protesters at the Domain in Sydney.
Snapshot 2020: NSW Youth Sector (2020)
In partnership with Youth Action, Young and Resilient academics conducted the largest survey of the NSW Youth Sector in a decade. Snapshot 2020 provides a current picture of the youth sector in NSW, outlining the services, workforce, and the young people they serve, how services are adapting to the digital age as well as future opportunities for the sector. All of this is in the face of considerable challenges and uncertainty that young people face in the state of NSW.
2019 - Publications
Manifesto: Innovation in Public Space (2019)
Working with the Marina de Valencia in Spain, the Intergener8 team are designing and delivering a Living Lab process, bringing diverse stakeholders together in the co-research and co-design of initiatives that drive the urban, economic and cultural transformation of Valencia.
Wellbeing, Health and Youth Engagement Framework (2019)
This Wellbeing Health & Youth (WH&Y) Engagement Framework has been co-produced with young people and other experts in a growing community of practice. Rather than provide principles that direct how researchers, projects, organisations or governments should achieve engagement with young people, the WH&Y Engagement Framework presents a set of values and practical questions that to prompt responses and decision making that promote ethical practices of engagement with young people.
Young and Online (2017)
In June 2017, 490 children aged 10–18, from 26 different countries1 and speaking 24 official languages, participated in workshops held by UNICEF Country Offices and National Committees to share their views on how and why they use digital technologies in their everyday lives, as well as their aspirations for the future of our digitally mediated world. The evidence collated in this report demonstrates that adolescents around the world are thinking in nuanced and sophisticated ways about the complex, positive and negative potentialities of digital technology, not just for their own immediate experiences but also for those of their communities and the world at large. They offer critical insights for ongoing research, policy and practice efforts in this field.
Creating Benefit for All (2016)
Young people’s participation contributes to healthier, happier individuals and communities, and a stronger, more resilient democracy capable of responding effectively to complex challenges such as mental health, environmental and economic change. The findings of this study have informed a framework for Youth Engaged Policy (YEP). The framework is comprised of four Strategic Focus Areas and three Components for Actualising Engagement. The YEP Framework is designed to guide thinking, research, investment, activities and advocacy.
Children’s Rights in the Digital Age (2014)
A partnership between the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and Digitally Connected Network, how can we give children and young people voice in the debate that explores the impact of digital access and use and their rights. The multi-media package, of which this report is one component, brings together the perspectives of more than 140 young people, aged six to 18, from 16 countries around the globe. Report contains rich voices of children and young people that can inform governments, UN agencies, civil society, academic, industry and others on new and innovative ways to bring the rights of children in the digital age to the fore.