Mission Australia wants to hear from the young people of Coffs Harbour.
Mission Australia wants to hear from the young people of Coffs Harbour.

OI YOUTH! What are you thinking during these wild times?

LESS pocket money? No job? Disrupted school or home life?

These are just some of the ways the pandemic could be playing havoc with our young folks usual way of life and Mission Australia want those aged between 15-19 to speak up.

The annual Youth Survey is the largest of its kind in Australia, providing a snapshot into the lives of young people and acting as an important platform for their voices to be heard.

It's an opportunity for young people to speak up about their personal aspirations and concerns, and express the issues they think are important in Australia today.

Mission Australia state director Nada Nasser revealed some of what was coming through already in the submissions, but encouraged more young people to participate.

"An unprecedented bushfire season, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy for many of us, let alone our young people," she said.

"As you would expect, early responses to the Youth Survey 2020 so far show that COVID-19 is coming up as a major national issue affecting young people.

The Financial Basics Foundation asked parents of teenagers ‘What conversations have you had with your children about the financial challenges from COVID-19.
The Financial Basics Foundation asked parents of teenagers ‘What conversations have you had with your children about the financial challenges from COVID-19.

"We are also seeing how experiences of the pandemic are impacting individually on young people's concerns, particularly their mental health."

Ms Nasser said young people would adapt quickly to the "changing landscape" of the pandemic and it was more important than ever to gather as many voices as possible.

The results of the survey would help provide up to date evidence to ensure young people were adequately supported through services and policy changes.

"We must pay attention to the issues affecting young people in Coffs Harbour," Ms Nasser said.

"We must also look to young people for the ways in which they seek help, for their aspirations and their goals, to ensure they are adequately supported to thrive amid whatever life throws at them."

To take part in the Mission Australia Youth Survey, visit www.missionaustralia.com.au/youthsurvey.

 

Pocket money on the decline

Meanwhile, a new survey has found tens of thousands of teens have lost their jobs, pocket money and even mobile phones as businesses and families respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey of 1000 parents of teens conducted by the Financial Basics Foundation showed 12 per cent had lost their jobs and almost 18 per cent had hours cut back.

Foundation chair Brigid Leishman said the economic shock was having mixed effects.

When the Financial Basics Foundation asked ‘How has the COVID-19 crisis affected your teenager/s finances’ they found 14 per cent were no longer receiving pocket money.
When the Financial Basics Foundation asked ‘How has the COVID-19 crisis affected your teenager/s finances’ they found 14 per cent were no longer receiving pocket money.

"While nationally 13 per cent of parents admitted struggling to make ends meet since the crisis began it was higher in New South Wales where 15.6 per cent were struggling during lockdown," Ms Leishman said.

"Almost a third of New South Wales respondents had completely overhauled their budget during COVID-19 and, for some, their teenagers have to miss out on pocket money or their mobile phone."

The survey also showed half the parents had accessed financial support during COVID-19, such as government payments, rent relief, superannuation and even fast cash loans.

"Some had to arrange school fee payment plans, suspended car leases and even received food from a charity," she said.

The survey has been released at the launch of the 2020 Suncorp ESSI Money Challenge, a free online financial literacy competition for high school students, from 17-28 August.