Youth value family, friends – unsure of future path


Young South Australians value friends and family more than jobs, study or even their own health, a survey has revealed.Young South Australians value friends and family more than jobs, study or even their own health, a survey has revealed.

The 2014 Mission Australia youth survey gathered responses from almost 14,000 teenagers around Australia, including 1500 in South Australia.

Three quarters rated friends and family as very or extremely important, while about 16 per cent rated getting a job and financial security as not at all important.

At the same time, achieving career success and being financially independent were the most important long-term goals in their lives, though only about 60 per cent thought they were very likely to reach those goals.

Frauke Hobbs, manager of youth counselling service Headspace in Murray Bridge, said such disconnect was common before young people reached their early 20s.

“At 15 years of age, young people still aren’t clear about how they’d go about having a career and a good income,” she said.

“It takes a young person until they’re 21 to know what career path they want to undergo.

“They’re interested in other stuff, not working, earning and studying.”

Even at the ages of 15 to 19, the survey found, politics and the economy were the two most important issues for respondents, along with drugs, alcohol and mental health.

Stress and study were the biggest problems they highlighted, followed by body image for girls and depression for boys.

Most said they would go to friends and family for help or search the internet; only about one in eight said they would contact a community agency such as Headspace.

Mission Australia chief executive officer Catherine Yeomans said it was important to listen to young voices and tailor youth services accordingly.

“When young people dream big and believe they can achieve those dreams, the possibilities for our country are endless,” she said.

“But when our youth feel their dreams are out of reach and limit their goals for adulthood, Australia’s future prosperity is at risk.”

– Details: If you are aged 12 to 25years and struggling with life’s problems, visit Murraylands Headspace on Railway Terrace, Murray Bridge or go to

For help with depression and anxiety, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Child/Adolescent Mental Health Service on 8531 3901 or the Murray Mallee Community Health Service on 8535 6800.

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