Q+A: Young and Essential

Image of six young people on a poster for a panel event.

Q+A: Young and Essential

COVID-19 is on everyone’s minds right now. The pandemic is throwing our lives into chaos and our futures. Young people, in particular, have been hard hit by job losses, disruption to education, lack of sufficient government support, increased mental health challenges and more. 

In the midst of this, Monday night’s Q+A: Young and Free? on young people was explored by a panel which, apart from Sophie Johnston, was not representative of young people.

Although we think Youth Commissioner Sophie Johnston (the only young person on the panel) did an incredible job representing her knowledge and experience with young people, to say we are disappointed with the episode is an understatement. We were disappointed by the lack of youth representation on the panel, particularly young First Nations people, refugees and migrants, young people with disability, and LGBTQIA+. Because of this lack of representation, throughout the episode, many questions asked by young people were inadequately addressed. Overall, we believe that this episode of Q&A completely missed the point. 

As Commissioner Johnston pointed out, “the people in power, the people who are making decisions, aren’t listening to young people.”

This is not good enough.

We’ve decided to give everyone the episode they wanted to see: A Q&A with actual young people with different areas of expertise and experience, looking at issues impacting their lives and futures.

So how will young people fair after COVID-19? What do we need to do now to prepare for this future? And how can we create a better world for them to thrive in work and life? 

Join us in this discussion. Put your question to the panel here

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