The Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly has launched a new online platform to serve as a one-stop resource for all things Civics and Citizenship in South Australia. One of the things children and young people have repeatedly told her is that they care deeply about many current issues but cant find a way to express their concerns or have their views and opinions taken seriously by adults. They wanted to participate in decision making but couldn’t see how this could be achieved.

The new site has been developed in consultation with like-minded organsiations who over the past few years have collaborated with Commissioner Connolly on a range of initiatives designed to foster Civics and Citizenship engagement amongst young people. These initiatives include Democracy in Action, Policy Advocates, Citizen Researchers, yChange for Schools, SA SRC, Civics and Citizenship Professional Seminars for SA Teachers, and Civics in the City Grants Program.

“Children and young people have repeatedly told me that they want to understand the systems that govern them and how to engage in the decisions that affect them, that is why civics education is so important.”    

                                                                                                                                                                    Commissioner Helen Connolly

The new website provides curated listings of civics opportunities, awards, historical sites and tours, civics education resources and youth voice resources. For those seeking a deeper dive into the civics offerings available in South Australia, the website’s Civics Directory allows site visitors including students, educators and interested others, to browse over 230 entries relating to Civics and Citizenship across a range of locations, themes and target audiences, with links direct to the organisations behind each resource or listing. The directory will continue to be updated as time goes by, with visitors to the site encouraged to make contact with the Commissioner’s office and make staff aware of any entries they believe could or should be included.

The Civics and Citizenship website aims to support, encourage and enable young people’s engagement and participation in society, by providing resources that foster a greater understanding of the systems and processes that impact children and young people in Australia’s democracy.

The website is also home to the Commissioner’s Youth Engagement Toolbox – a series of resources for schools and community groups to follow when engaging with and consulting children and young people.

In her recent issues brief ‘Barriers to Civic Participation’, the Commissioner identifies narrow advertising in calls for young people’s involvement in decision-making as a major issue, which this new platforms hopes to also help address.

Visit today.

Supporters and collaborators include:

Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia, Parliamentary Education Office (Cth), Parliament of South Australia, History Trust of South Australia, The Centre of Democracy, Adelaide Holocaust Museum, Legal Services Commission SA, YMCA Youth Parliament SA, Green Adelaide, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Children’s University Australasia, Association of Independent Schools South Australia, Humanities and Socials Sciences SA, and Generation Citizen.