Almost 1 in 5 Queenslanders is a young person aged 12—25 years and their opinions and views are critical not only to our future, but also to our present.

The Department of Environment and Science is working across government to ensure the voices, ideas and experiences of young Queenslanders are reflected in the polices, programs and services that impact them. In doing so, we ensure our future leaders receive the support they need to contribute to the social, economic, cultural, and environmental development of our state.

We continue to prioritise young people’s safety by leading the coordinated Safer Schoolies Response—enhancing safe and responsible behaviour by Year 12 school leavers and supporting Queensland communities over the schoolies holiday period.

Queensland Government Youth Investment

Total funding $1.05b

The Queensland Government is committed to supporting young people by investing long-term funding across the following action areas:

  • enhancing education and employment opportunities
  • improving access to safe and affordable housing
  • delivering youth justice and reducing youth crime
  • supporting young women and girls
  • keeping young people safe.

The Queensland Government youth investment includes 2022—23 financial year, multi-year and ongoing committed funding.

Enhancing education and employment opportunities

  • Total funding $73.4m
    • $45.5m over 4 years to continue the Youth Engagement Strategy, which includes a range of initiatives aimed at re-engaging children and young people who have disconnected from study or work.
    • $1.8m over 4 years and $594,000 per annum ongoing to continue the School Breakfast Program, including in rural and remote communities.
    • Up to $6m over 3 years to expand the GPs in Schools pilot program from 20 to 50 schools.
    • $13.3m in 2022–23 to expand the Share the Dignity in Queensland Schools initiative, supporting Queensland school students with access to sanitary products.
    • $3.5m over 3 years for the continuation of the Great Barrier Reef Education Experience, supporting opportunities for primary and secondary school students to undertake place-based learning activities in the Reef.
    • Up to $590 in school textbook and resources allowance, a $175 Cost-of-Living rebate and an average rental benefit of around $9,900 to help low-income families in social housing with two senior high school students.
    • $3.3m over 4 years to support the Queensland Future Skills for All program and to develop pathways into higher education courses for those interested in pursuing a career in automation.
    • 50% payroll tax rebate extension on the exempt wages of apprentices and trainees until 30 June 2023.

Case study: Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program

The Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program (QIYLP) provides an exciting opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders, between 18 and 25 years of age, to come together to strengthen their leadership skills and build their capacity to drive change in their communities.

Chloe Hookey is a proud Waanyi, Ngadjon, Bwgcolman and Mer Island descendant who was born and raised in Townsville. She works as a Learning and Development Support Officer at Townsville City Council and is passionate about seeing her mob succeed through improving career opportunities.

Chloe graduated from the 2022 QIYLP program with more confidence in herself, developed through networking and building relationships with fellow participants and mentors. Chloe is motivated to use her learnings to influence and make changes in her community through designing professional development workshops that help young indigenous people in Townsville successfully transition into the workforce.

A photo of a group of people involved with the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program

Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program participants

Improving access to safe and affordable housing

  • Total funding $29.8m
    • $29.8m over 4 years and $10 million per annum ongoing to support initiatives to address youth homelessness.

Delivering youth justice and reducing youth crime

Supporting young women and girls

  • Total funding $7.3m
    • $2.8m in 2022—23 to encourage young First Nations women to remain actively engaged in education.
    • $540,000 per annum for the Investing in Queensland Women grant program to support events and projects that inspire the Queensland community to respect women, embrace gender equality and promote and protect the rights, interests and wellbeing of women and girls.
    • $4m for the Queensland Disability Advocacy Program, providing advocacy services to women and girls.

Keeping young people safe

  • Total funding $850.8m
    • $470.4m over 4 years and $104.7 million per annum ongoing to continue the family support and child protection reforms through the Supporting Families Changing Futures program.
    • $11.3m over 4 years to continue priority actions to respond to young people who have experienced sexual violence or child sexual abuse.
    • $400,000 over 4 years to support implementation and evaluation activities to extend support to young people leaving care.
    • $3.7m over 4 years and $958,000 per annum ongoing to continue the Family Pathways Model—a 2-stage, early intervention program to address adolescent to parent violence, increase attachment between mothers and sons and reduce the risk of young people perpetrating domestic violence as adults.
    • $363m over 5 years for a package of reforms in response to the Queensland Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce. The reform package seeks to ensure victims are kept safe and perpetrators are held to account and includes increased respectful relationships education to all Queensland children and young people.
      • $450,000 over 3 years to expand the availability of respectful relationships programs for young people not engaged in formal education.
      • $15.5m over 3 years to support Queensland state schools to embed respectful relationships education.
    • $2m to deliver the 2022 Safer Schoolies Initiative. The funding includes the official Safer Schoolies Gold Coast Response, support to regional community responses and statewide volunteer support services.

Case study: Safer Schoolies Gold Coast Response

The Safer Schoolies Gold Coast Response is part of the state-wide Safer Schoolies Initiative to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our young people during the Schoolies holiday period. The whole of government response is delivered in partnership with nine Queensland Government agencies, seven community partners and the City of Gold Coast.

The 2021 Gold Coast Safer Schoolies response was a huge success with approximately 16,000 Year 12 school leavers accessing the Schoolies Hub in Surfers Paradise—providing graduates with a safe and welcoming space to celebrate.

While there were no major incidents reported, assistance care and support were provided to more than 700 schoolies on the Gold Coast. Almost 70,000 hours worked to support schoolies locations.

Up to 21,000 Year 12 school-leavers are expected to gather on the Gold Coast in November 2022, supported by more than 1,400 response personnel.

Queensland Youth Strategy

The Queensland Youth Strategy sets the vision for young people to actively contribute to Queensland's economic, civic and cultural life. We are supporting young people to:

  • have a voice and participate in government decision-making
  • actively participate and contribute to Queensland’s future, irrespective of their circumstances, gender, ethnicity, age or religion
  • secure safe, stable and affordable housing options
  • build healthy, active, strong and resilient futures
  • gain the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for a future job market.

The Queensland Government is developing a new Youth Strategy to ensure we continue to reflect the needs of today’s young Queenslanders and help them reach their full potential in a COVID world. Informed by young people, for young people—the Strategy identifies youth challenges and opportunities and enables young people to inform government decisions that affect them.