Publications A-Z

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2030 SDG Action Plan by South Australian Young People

Children and young people believe ‘if you help people contribute positively – no one loses and everyone wins’. They believe that South Australians care deeply about people who are doing it tough, but they also don’t know what to do to help. This report by the...

A Quick Guide to Instagram for Parents

We want children and young people to embrace the internet to learn, share, collaborate and participate in civic life with free expression. We also need to ensure that when they do so they are kept safe. When it comes to dealing with young people’s personal...

A Quick Guide to TikTok for Parents

We want children and young people to embrace the internet to learn, share, collaborate and participate in civic life with free expression. We also need to ensure that when they do so they are kept safe. When it comes to dealing with young people’s personal...

Aboriginal Youth Engagement Project

In October 2018, South Australia’s Commissioner for Children and YoungPeople Helen Connolly, in collaboration with Reconciliation SA and TauondiAboriginal College, initiated an Aboriginal Youth Engagement project to explore thefeasibility of establishing an...

Annual Report 2021-2022

The Commissioner works to give South Australian children and young people a voice and to ensure their views are given due weight according to their age and maturity. This Annual Report was prepared for presentation to Parliament as per the requirements of the...

Annual Report 2022-2023

The Commissioner works to give South Australian children and young people a voice and to ensure their views are given due weight according to their age and maturity. This Annual Report was prepared for presentation to Parliament as per the requirements of the...

Annual Report To Children and Young People 2021-2022

The Annual Report to Children and Young People highlights key statistics that are relevant to how the Commissioner has heard from and represented South Australian children and young people, and is intended to keep them informed about their Commissioner's work.

Annual Report To Children and Young People 2022-2023

The 2022-2023 Annual Report to Children and Young People highlights key statistics that are relevant to how the Commissioner has heard from and represented South Australian children and young people, and is intended to keep them informed about their Commissioner's...

Bail Conditions for Children

In this Position Brief, The Commissioner is calling for continued and focused effort on reducing the number of children being incarcerated in South Australia’s youth detention centres in line with the fundamental principles of child justice. For this to become a...

Barriers to Civic Participation for Children and Young People

Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) says children and young people have a right to have a say on all issues that affect them and for their views to be taken seriously. To ascertain the extent to which current state...

Becoming a Child Friendly Sports Club

Social and competitive sports are how a large portion of South Australian children and young people choose to spend their free time. It is vital that sporting clubs and organisations provide inclusive and child-friendly environments to ensure fair and equitable...

Being Child and Youth Focused in an Emergency

Planning for emergencies, disasters and recovery, must address the unique needs of children and young people across our metropolitan and regional communities. It must also include an understanding of the specific community infrastructure they require to build their...

Being Healthy Guide

More than perhaps any other generation, today’s young people are acutely aware of the diversity of their peers, both in South Australia and around the world. The first truly global generation, young people value diversity and place a huge importance on personal...

Benefits of Recreational Gaming and e-Sports for Young People

According to research, about two third of the Australian population play video or digital games. Among children and young people (5-24 years old) this percentage rises to more than 80 percent. Young people (between 15 and 24 years old) spend more than two hours per...

Best Interests

This report from 2022 explores what children and young people experience within the child protection system. The systemic safety and wellbeing of children depends on them having opportunities to be included in the processes that affect their lives. When children...

Building Period Positive Sports Clubs

It is essential that young players are treated with dignity and respect, especially when it comes to matters of reproductive health and menstruation. This is essential to ensuring that young people who are menstruating feel supported so they can continue to...

Building Youth-Friendly Local Communities

To build a strong state where young people can be confident, connected, and creative, the adults in their lives need to find ways to involve them more in their local communities. This includes engaging young people as capable citizens, facilitating their...

Child Rights Progress Reports 2020

As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Australia is obligated to achieve minimum standards across justice, education, healthcare and social services. Additionally, South Australia's Children and Young People (Oversight...

Child Rights Progress Reports 2021

As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Australia is obligated to achieve minimum standards across justice, education, healthcare and social services. Additionally, South Australia’s Children and Young People (Oversight...

Child Rights Progress Reports 2021 – Environment

As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Australia is obligated to achieve minimum standards across justice, education, healthcare and social services. Each year, the Commissioner releases a suite of reports assessing the...

Child Rights Progress Reports 2022

As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Australia is obligated to achieve minimum standards across justice, education, healthcare and social services. Additionally, South Australia’s Children and Young People (Oversight...

Child Rights Progress Reports 2022 – Environment

As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Australia is obligated to achieve minimum standards across justice, education, healthcare and social services. Each year, the Commissioner releases a suite of reports assessing the...

Child Rights Progress Reports 2023

The Commissioner's Child Rights Progress Reports assess South Australia's progress on recommendations made by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child across seven key areas of concern: child health, child justice, child protection, education,...

Child Rights Progress Reports 2023 – Child Health

As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Australia is obligated to achieve minimum standards across justice, education, healthcare and social services. Each year, the Commissioner releases a suite of reports assessing the...

Child Rights Progress Reports 2023 – Environment

As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Australia is obligated to achieve minimum standards across justice, education, healthcare and social services. Each year, the Commissioner releases a suite of reports assessing the...

Conscious Cities: Wellbeing Infrastructure

Young people have given us clear direction around what they need to relax, play and engage in leisure activities. They have told us they want wellbeing infrastructure that supports them to be connected, confident and creative. When their passions are showcased and...

COVID-19 Survey Key Findings: Survey Questions

For young people today, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be one of the most formative experiences of their lives, significantly redefining their outlook and opportunities. To understand the thoughts and experiences of young people during the pandemic, the...

COVID-19 Survey: Key Findings

This survey captures South Australian young people’s thoughts, experiences and concerns during COVID-19. The survey asked their views on COVID-19 vaccines and proposed restrictions, as well as where they currently get their information from.  The Commissioner also...

Democracy in Action: What happened when 16 & 17 year olds voted?

Democracy in Action is an innovative civics engagement project from 2019 giving young people practical skills in enrolling and completing a ballot paper. DiA was designed by the Commissioner for Children and Young People in partnership with the Centre of Democracy...

Drug Education in Schools – What Works, What Doesn’t

This Position Brief outlines why the Commissioner of Children and Young People (2019) that ‘any anti-drug program introduced into an SA school should first be able to demonstrate evidence that it is safe and effective'. Schools should be part of an approach to drug...

Facilitators of, and Barriers to, Positive eSports Behaviours

In partnership with and funded by the Commissioner for Children and Young People, South Australia, and the Department for Education, South Australia, a small pilot project was conducted to explore facilitators of, and barriers to, positive esports behaviours. The...

From Checkbox to Commitment

This report from 2022 t seeks to address some of the current knowledge gapsby reporting on what children and young people with disability have said about their lives. It has been written against the backdrop of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and...

From Checkbox to Commitment: Survey Questions

To shine a light on the experiences of children and young people living with disability and to fulfill my obligations to represent their interests, the Commissioner undertook a targeted listening project during 2020 and 2021 to hear directly from this group of...

Front & Centre – CCYP Strategic Agenda 2018-2022

This document outlines the broad focus areas of the Commissioner for Children and Young People South Australia for 2018 to 2022. It has been prepared to inform and engage the community about the work of the Commissioner. The document outlines: Platforms that will...

Growing Confident, Connected, Creative Regional Kids

As part of a global youth generation, regional young people in South Australiaknow more than prior generations about what they can achieve and about what they can expect from leaders in their community, including how they want to betreated. This summary document...

High Stakes High School: Survey Questions

Our education system must do all that it can to empower South Australia’s children and young people to develop their talents, interests and capabilities in ways that will enable them to make a meaningful contribution to their community. Central to this ambition is...

Hopes and Dreams

The Hopes and Dreams regional engagement project commenced in February 2018. Its aim was to find out what children and young people living in South Australia hope for, and what support they need to help realise their dreams. The Commissioner wanted to know what...

Impact of Periods on School Students in South Australia

An issue highlighted in the Commissioner for Children & Young People’s report Leave No One Behind was period poverty. The report on young people’s perceptions andexperiences of poverty in South Australia identified that some young people are missing school...

Keeping Our Promises

 In the language of children and young people, the commitments that governments make to them through laws, policies, strategies and plans are treated as promises. They are promises made to ensure resources of government are channelled into meaningful improvement to...

Knowing Your Rights to Education

You have the right to EDUCATION! To learn in a place that’s free from violence.To be treated in a way that’s fair.To be encouraged to attend school regularly.To get extra help if you need it to do your best.

Knowing Your Rights to Freedom of Expression

You have the right to FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION! You have the right to express your views, freely.You have the right to have your views heard.You have the right to have your views taken seriously.Your views are important!

Knowing Your Rights to Good Health

You have the right to GOOD HEALTH! To have safe water to drink and nutritious food to eat.To live in a clean and safe environment.To get medical care if you are sick or injured.To be given information about health and nutrition.

Knowing Your Rights to Play

You have the right to PLAY! To play and to rest.To participate freely in cultural life.To engage in artistic expression and creativity.To do recreational activities like sport or dance.

Knowing Your Rights to Protection at Work

You have the right to PROTECTION AT WORK! To be paid the right amount of money.To not be asked to do work that might be harmful to you in some way.For work not to get in the way of school.To make sure you are not doing too many hours.

Leading for our Future: Youth Symposium Report

This report from 2018 outlines key issues and barriers to accessing employment, and the opportunities and suggestions identified by young people. The key objective of the symposium was to engage young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to learn directly...

Leave No One Behind: Survey Questions

A State that prides itself on the national values of a fair go and justice for all, must act to ensurechildren and young people in South Australia have adequate nutritious food, their own bed, suitable shoes and clothing, opportunities to go on school trips, and to...

LGBTQIA+ Inclusive School Environments

The time spent at school and in school-based activities means it is one of the most critical environments in young people’s lives. When we make a commitment to providing child-friendly and child safe environments for children and young people we must follow through...

Manage Your Sharenting

A new baby. A toddler taking their first steps. A child’s first day at school. A teenager getting their driver’s licence or securing their first job. All amazing milestones in a young person’s life worthy of much celebration! Often, proud parents will try to...

Mandatory Drug Treatment Orders for Children and Young People

This Issue Brief by the Commissioner for Children and Young People (2019) outlines how the Commissioner believes that mandatory treatment orders for children and young people violate their fundamental rights. It also risks causing lifelong harm without actually...

Menstruation Matters

Through publication of this report, the Commissioner hopes to raise the issue of menstrual wellbeing as a significant area of gender equity policy; one that must be addressed to improve the participation, education and wellbeing outcomes of all young South...

Menstruation Matters: Survey Questions

During the Commissioner's consultations. many young people mentioned about the stigma they associate with menstruation, about the lack of knowledge they have about their bodies, about the lack of information they have about how to manage their periods, and how...

More Than a Game: Survey Questions

As in all areas of life, children and young people have many and often differing views on what they enjoy about sport, what they dislike and what they would change in order to either improve their enjoyment of sport or increase participation levels. To gauge the...

My Digital Life

The shift to a predominantly online existence in 2020, as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighted the issue of digital inequality across our communities, it also exposed the multiple impact a lack of digital access has on children and young...

My Digital Life: Survey Questions

In 2020, the Commissioner sought to better understand children and young people’s thoughts about the devices and data they use, how important this is in their lives, how they engage with the digital world, and whether they have any issues accessing the Internet or...

No Exceptions | Creating safer schools for LGBTQIA+ Students

This report from 2021 captures the views of young people about their perceptions and experiences of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ students in religious schools. Obviously the negative experiences in this report do not reflect the environments in every religious...

No Exceptions: Survey Questions

While many LGBTQIA+ young people lead happy, healthy and productive lives, research consistently shows that LGBTQIA+ people have disproportionately poorer mental health outcomes and are at higher risk of suicidal ideation and behaviours compared to the general...

Off To Work We Go

Much of our society and schooling system focuses on preparing children and young people for their futures. From a young age, children are asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ As they get older this question changes to ‘what are you going to do when you...

Off To Work We Go: Survey Questions

Much of our society and schooling system focuses on preparing children and young people for their futures. From a young age, children are asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ As they get older this question changes to ‘what are you going to do when you...

Open Letter to COP28

In the lead up to COP28, the UN's annual climate conference, the Commissioner hosted a Youth Climate Forum, where South Australian young people were asked to contribute to an open letter to the delegates attending COP28. The letter largely focussed on food...

Our Approach to Advocacy

This Position Brief sets out the Commissioner’s role including her responsibilityto promote and advocate for the rights and interests of all children and young people in SA, and to promote the participation of children and young people in the making of decisions...

Our Approach to Engaging with Community Organisations

This document outlines the Commissioner’s key objectives when collaborating with organisations and systems to include children and young people as stakeholders and to incorporate their perspectives and views in policy and system reforms The Commissioner believes...

Our Approach to Engaging with SA Business

This document outlines why the Commissioner is interested in working with the SA business community to engage children and young people as capable citizens, who are able to meaningfully contribute and shape services and influence business decision making. Young...

Our Approach to Gaming

Children and young people have been telling the Commissioner how important gaming is to them, not only as a recreation activity but as a connector to a social community. The Commissioner has had many conversations with children and young people on the meaning of...

Our Approach to Participation and Engagement

This Position Brief sets out the Commissioner’s Commissioner’s approach to participation and engagement in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) says...

Public Libraries

This Position Brief outlines how the Commissioner urges the Commonwealth, State and Local authorities to invest in public libraries. Public libraries have unique value to children and young people, both to inspire them to read and to provide them with a safe and...

Public Transport — It’s Not Fine: Survey Questions

The availability and affordability of public transport underpins children and young peoples’ capacity and ability to engage with school, employment, sport, hobbies, interests and recreation activities. When transport is lacking, unreliable, unsafe or unaffordable,...

Public Transport: It’s Not Fine

In 2019, the Commissioner for Children and Young People talked to South Australian children and young people about their experiences on public transport. This report explores the systemic issues identified by South Australian children and young people in relation...

Raising the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility

This Position Brief outlines why the Commissioner of Children and Young People (2019) believes that the minimum age of criminal responsibility should be increased. The minimum age of criminal responsibility in South Australia is currently set at 10 years. This is...

Reducing the Voting Age

There are people of all ages who openly dislike politics and political campaigns. They begrudgingly line up at the ballot box to cast their vote in what can feel like an endless cycle of federal and state elections, because they are required to do so by law. But...

Reflections on COVID-19

This report by the Commissioner in 2020 depicts South Australian young people, in their own words, reflecting on the impact of the coronavirus on their world and their futures.

Reflections on COVID-19: Survey Questions

For young people today, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be one of the most formative experiences of their lives, significantly redefining their outlook and opportunities. To gauge the impact that COVID-19 had on South Australian children and young people's...

Safe and Sound: Survey Questions

Transport is central to how young people experience their community and affects almost every aspect of their lives. Young people’s access to a full range of reliable, consistent and integrated transport options is not just a ‘nice to have’ – it is an essential...

Sanitary Product Supply to School Students in South Australia

This Position Brief explores ‘period poverty' and access to sanitary products across 48 public high schools in metro and regional SA. An issue highlighted in the Commissioner for Children and Young People’s recent report Leave No One Behind, was ‘period poverty’....

Sanitary Products in Schools

An issue highlighted in the Commissioner for Children and Young People’s recentreport Leave No One Behind, was ‘period poverty’. The report on young people’s perceptions and experiences of poverty in South Australia identified that some girls are missing school...

School Uniforms

School uniforms. Some people love them; some people hate them. Their desirability has been discussed at length, with cost; practicality; and their ability to influence academic performance traditionally at the centre of the debate. While these issues still feature...

Sex Education in South Australia

This report from 2021 examines young people’s views on the adequacy of their relationship and sexual health education based on the responses they gave to the survey questions centred around the key themes of quality, appropriateness, accessibility and timeliness....

Sex Education in South Australia: Survey Questions

The Commissioner has repeatedly heard from children and young people that healthy relationships are some of the things they value most, and that they want the opportunity to learn about the best ways to form and maintain them. To better understand the needs of...

Smacking and Physical Punishment

People often have strong opinions about whether smacking is right or wrong, helpful or harmful, or whether parents should even have the right to smack their children. It can be overwhelming for parents when outsiders – including other parents, onlookers,...

Spotlight on Parent/Carer Careers Advice

This spotlight report from 2020 aims to bring the insights of parents and carers in relation to the transition their children make from education to work to the attention of other parents and carers, as well as to those in leadership positions within South...

Spotlight on Work Experience

This spotlight report from 2020 aims to bring the voices of young South Australians to the fore, combining their ideas and insights with those of their parents, educators and business leaders across South Australia. The aim of the report is to encourage...

Spotlight: The True Cost of Going to School

Through this sample of 108 government schools from across metropolitan and regional South Australia, we have started the process to identify the significant and ongoing costs, including, but not limited to, those considered ‘essential’, whichare, in reality, the...

Stereotypes and Sexism in Schools

The purpose of this report from 2022 is to bring children and young people’s perspectives and experiences of sexism and gender stereotypes to the fore. Through face-to-face conversations and by exploring how children and young peopleperceive the differences between...

Submission on a new cultural policy for South Australia

We know that enabling children and young people to learn about, experiment in, and engage in arts, culture and creative activities can have a big impact. It boosts civic engagement, provides a platform to explore important ideas and ways to express them, can have a...

Submission on the ALRC Review, 2018

Submission on the ALRC Review of the Family Law System Discussion Paper by the Commissioner of Children and Young People South Australia, 2018.

Submission on the Review of Sexual Consent Laws in South Australia

Sexual consent laws should reflect contemporary understandings of healthy sexuality and consent. And while the Commissioner is hopeful that legislative changes will drive progress towards meeting the outcomes of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and...

Submission to eSafety re AV Roadmap, 2022

Submission to eSafety: Age Verification Roadmap to Mitigate Harms Associated with Young People's Access to Online Pornography, published by the Commissioner for Children and Young People,...

Submission to the Northern Adelaide Transport Study

The most significant challenge young people identify as a barrier to using public and active transport is safety. Transport is central to how young people experience their community and means that any barriers impact their capacity to participate fully in almost...

Supporting Students’ Voice, Agency and Wellbeing in Schools

A good education and relevant qualifications are critical to the future of every young person and are vital ingredients to success. Students are passionate about their education and what choices completing it will offer them beyond school. They’re also aware they...

Teenagers and Work

Young people’s experiences of work impact their lives in many ways – not only in terms of their present and future workforce participation, but also in relation to their health, safety, wellbeing and education outcomes. For teenagers, having a paid job during high...

The Blame Game | The causes and impacts of education exclusion

This report from 2020 focuses on children and young peoples’ lived experience of school exclusion. It examines the devastating effects exclusion can have for those children and young people still in the process of developing. It looks at the major causes and...

The Blame Game: Survey Questions

Children and young people told the Commissioner that they’re concerned about who is excluded from school and what support excluded students receive to remain engaged with their education. In an effort to capture the voices of children and young people with...

The Bullying Project: Ideas to Help Prevent Bullying

Children know that quality friendships are a key to preventing bullying at school and that forming friendships can help to build resilience and confidence, particularly among younger school children. They want schools to play more of a role in guiding them on how...

The Impact of the Religious Discrimination Bill 2019

The Commissioner for Children and Young People believes that the draft Religious Discrimination Bill 2019 goes against what children and young people have told the Commissioner they want from today’s society and institutions. They have said that what they want most...

The Things That Matter to Children

Through the Commissioner’s Student Voice Postcard initiative South Australian primary school aged children have consistently said that there are four things that matter to them more than most. Not surprisingly one of these is the environment. Another is school and...

Trust is a Must: Survey Questions

Committing to providing child friendly and child safe environments for children and young people is not merely something that is ‘nice to do’. It is a requirement under international conventions that are embedded in State Legislation. This means organisations in...

Vaping Survey Key Findings: Survey Questions

Amid growing public concern about the prevalence and impacts of vaping among teenagers in South Australia, the Commissioner asked young people to share their thoughts on vaping. The Commissioner was particularly interested in finding out from young people how...

What do SA Kids Have to Say?

In 2019, Commissioner for Children and Young People Helen Connolly polled South Australian kids about the things that are important to them. The children and young people aged 4-18 were asked about their heroes, their hopes for the future, how they spend their...

What Young People Have Told Us About…

Since 2017, SA Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly has spoken with thousands of South Australian kids to find out what they think are the most important issues of our time. The following fact sheets present their views and ideas in relation...

Youthful Adelaide

Between August and November 2018, South Australia’s Commissioner for Childrenand Young People, Helen Connolly met with 130 young people between the ages of12 and 22 to ask them what they thought would make the City of Adelaide a moreyouthful place. To explore this...