What's the issue?

Young people often feel their issues and voices aren't heard in society.

In today's complex world, young people face a range of personal and social challenges that are not usually just technical problems to be solved, but rather adaptive issues that require nurturing, learning, and innovation.

Mental health is a top concern for young people in Australia - one in four Australians aged 16 to 24 experience a mental health disorder. Youth unemployment rates are rising across Victoria. Youth detention rates have risen on average. As of June 2019, there were over 850 young adults in prison in Victoria on an average night.

The risk of young people becoming disengaged from society is increasing. The need to be a part of a community is the most fundamental need of all young people globally, while those living in rural areas are among the most vulnerable members of their communities.

How we're helping

We believe that everyone should be able to grow and thrive as individuals and in the community, and we want to create a better tomorrow where all people can belong.

YMCA Youth Services inspires and empowers young people to feel in control of their lives, overcome challenges and realise their potential. Find out more about us and our impact.

Youth Services and YMCA Victoria are fortunate enough to work within a global movement of YMCAs to help provide opportunities for more young people. Young people like Olivia.

Olivia's story

In 2018, Olivia was selected as the Youth Governor for YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament. She said it was the proudest moment of her life, but it was also a historical moment for the program as it was the first time the position was filled by a person from the deaf and hard of hearing community.

As the new Youth Governor, Olivia thrived in her role attending meetings with ministers, going to workshops and delivering speeches to represent the voice of young people. These experiences continuously inspired her to create her own waves of change. Over the year, Parliament House staff learned how to collaborate with Olivia and communicate without interpreters. This went on to inspire an Auslan workshop at Parliament.

Olivia encourages everyone to speak up and be heard about issues important to them, but acknowledges that it requires some courage and hard work.

If you don’t speak up, no action will be made. No voice is worthless.Olivia, former Youth Governor YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament

Learn more about our programs