Move over Gen X - Generation Compassion is looking to shape the future but with a heart

Posted by ACYP on May 1, 2016 11:00:00 PM

While there are many negative stereotypes about children and young people today, results from extensive and wide ranging consultations and polling will bust many current myths about those under the age of 25, asserts NSW Advocate for Children and Young People, Andrew Johnson.

In one of the largest and most comprehensive consultations ever conducted in Australia – four thousand children and young people across NSW have talked about their life experiences and what is important to them. The Advocate also commissioned independent polling of a further one thousand participants.

Both the consultations and polling were commissioned by the Office of the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People and they show the same thing: young people are compassionate and they are clear about what makes a good society.

The results show that this generation of young people are motivated to bring a positive change to the world they live in. When asked what their hopes for the future are, the top response for both children and young people was to receive a good education. The equal top response for children and young people was to make the world a better place.

Three in five NSW children and young people have undertaken volunteer work; their motivations for doing so were overwhelmingly to give back to the community highlighting the level of social consciousness in this generation of children and young people.

“The top five qualities of a good society, as described by children and young people are: respect, equality, safety, a supportive environment, and having a voice,” said Andrew Johnson, NSW Advocate for Children and Young People.

Polling also revealed a difference of opinion between adults and children and young people on a range of topics.

  • One third (33%) of children and young people cite their parents or guardians as their heroes. Whereas adults believed that children and young people would name sports stars (18%), musicians/singers (13%) or celebrities (12%) as their heroes.
  • 40% of 14-24 year olds believe the world is now generally a better place for children and young people, in comparison only one quarter (24%) of adults over the age of 25 believe that to be the case.
  • When it came to their fears, at the top of the list for children was crime and violence (17%) followed closely by the fear of too much technology (16%). The biggest fears adults said they had for children and young people today were the dangers posed by drugs and alcohol (23%) and lack of jobs (15%).
  • Less than half (47%) of children and young people believe they have enough spare time while the majority of adults (67%) believe that children and young people have enough spare time.
  • Only 52% of 14-24 year olds surveyed said NSW is tolerant and embraces multiculturalism. Sydneysiders (58%) are significantly more likely to think that NSW is tolerant of diversity than those living elsewhere in NSW (41%).

 To find out more about the Strategic Plan for Children and Young People please refer to our website at