Major Challenges Young People Are Facing


One in four young people have experienced at least one form of discrimination or unjust treatment in the past 12 months among all the socio-economic status groups.

Economic Disadvantage

49.6% of children and young people from the lowest socio-economic areas in Australia are not linked in with any co-curricular activities, compared to just 13.3% of those from the highest socio-economic areas. This is largely due to the prohibitive costs of activities for low-income families.

Gender Inequality

Only 10% of young females aged between 15-19 years old reported to feel being treated equally to young males; 69% agreed that gender inequality is a constant issue in Australia; and only 14% of young females thought they had the equal opportunities as young males to get success in life.


1 in 10 young people are completely disengaged from education, employment and training.

Mental Illness

75 percent of psychological problems in adults start under the age of 25.In 2016, the top three problems of individual concern for young people meeting the criteria for a likely serious mental disorder were coping with stress (74.9%), school/study issues (59.6%), and depression (58.4%).


Suicide is the leading cause of death for young Australians aged 15-24.


1 in 3 young people are without adequate work (unemployed or underemployed).

Mission Australia Study

A 2016 survey conducted by Mission Australia found that young people facing social and emotional wellbeing challenges are more likely to seek support from their immediate networks, with 82% and 75% seeking support from their friends or family, respectively. However, for many vulnerable young people, these natural sources of support are absent, leaving them without adequate guidance to help them overcome such challenges.

There is strong evidence proving the value and impact of youth mentoring programs in counteracting negative external challenges and filling this gap for vulnerable young people, helping them achieve their goals.

Mission Australia, 2016, Mission Australia’s 2016 Youth Survey Report.
Plan International Australia and Out Watch (2016) Everyday sexism: Girl’s and young womens views on gender inequality in Australia
Plan International Australia and Our Watch, Melbourne