Why now?

The Why Not campaign was created
by the YMCA to help young voices
be heard by those in power
on the issues that matter to them.
These are our first three issues.
The Why Not campaign
was created
by the YMCA to help
young voices be heard
on the issues that matter.
These are our
first three issues.

Marriage Equality

It’s 2017 and some Australians still can’t marry the person they love…Why Not?

THE ISSUE

Young people have told us that they simply can’t understand why in 2017, Australia doesn’t have equal rights for all people.  We don’t see marriage equality as a gay issue, we see it as an equal rights issue.

YOUNG PEOPLE’S VOICE

  • Back in 2012 all of the YMCA Youth Parliament’s across Australia passed a bill in support of marriage equality. The issue has remained high on the agenda in subsequent years.
  • 86% of young people aged 13-22 surveyed by the YMCA in May 2017 did not feel their voice on marriage equality was being heard by decision-makers.
  • An ABC survey in 2016 found young people are among the strongest supporters of marriage equality in Australia with 68% of people aged 18 – 34 in support.
  • Galaxy Research polling (2009 – 2012) found 81% of young people support marriage equality.
  • A recent US study showed states that had marriage equality reported a reduced rate of suicide attempts by young people aged 15 – 24, suggesting a link between marriage equality legislation and improved mental health outcomes.

ACTION

  • The Why Not campaign was created to help young voices be heard on the issue of marriage equality by those in power
  • Our WhyNot.org.au website allows young people – and anyone- to send a letter about this issue to the Australian Government
  • The YMCA has always been a champion of equality, diversity and inclusion, welcoming people of all ages, genders, races, religions, and backgrounds into our diverse range of programs and services across Australia.
  • For more information and support please visit www.australianmarriageequality.org

Youth Unemployment

When there are no jobs for a career you’ve spent years studying for…Why Not?

THE ISSUE

How can we expect our young people to feel engaged in society when we’re not allowing them to participate? How can they build their own secure future without the building blocks of stable employment and entry-level jobs?

YOUNG PEOPLE’S VOICE

  • 87% of young Australians aged 12-22 surveyed in May told the YMCA that they do not feel they are being heard by decision makers about the issue of youth unemployment.
  • More young people are unemployed or under-employed in Australia than ever before with 18% aged 15 – 24 in this position. This is higher than during the GFC or Australia’s last recession in the early 1990’s (Source: Brotherhood of St Lawrence)
  • Young people are far more likely to be in casual or part-time jobs. Since the GFC, the rates of casual/part-time work has increased from 46% in 2008 up to 61% in 2014 (Source: Brotherhood of St Lawrence)

THE ACTION

  • The Why Not campaign was created to help young voices be heard on the issue of youth unemployment by those in power
  • Our WhyNot.org.au website allows young people and anyone concerned about the issue to send a letter about this issue to the Australian Government.
  • YMCA in Australia is a significant employer of young people, with 45% of our staff under 25. Our leadership programs for our young staff and volunteers provide training and opportunities for career pathways within and beyond the Y. In addition, our many social enterprise education programs aim to inspire future entrepreneurs.
“The #whynot? campaign is part of a national
conversation between young people and
those able to make change.”
“The #whynot?
campaign is part of a
national conversation
between young
people and those
able to make
change.”
– Melinda Crole, YMCA CEO

Youth Mental Health

No one is screaming that one in four young Australians has a mental health condition…Why Not?

THE ISSUE

How is this not a national crisis? Is there still a stigma around mental health or are we as a society putting it into the too hard basket?

 

Given Beyond Blue has identified that three in four adult mental health conditions emerge by age 24 and half by age 14 shouldn’t we be intervening now?

YOUNG PEOPLE’S VOICE

  • 80% of young people aged 13-22 did not feel their voices were being heard about mental health, in the YMCA’s recent Voices of Young People in Australia Survey (May 2017).
  • The recent federal budget allocated $115 million in new funding over four years, one of the smallest investments in recent years.
  • In 2014-15 mental health received 5.25% of the overall health budget while representing 12% of the total burden of disease.
  • Suicide is one of the biggest killers of young Australians, comparable only to car accidents.

ACTION

  • The Why Not campaign was created to help young voices be heard on the issue of youth mental health by those in power
  • Our WhyNot.org.au website allows young people and anyone concerned about the issue to send a letter about this issue to the Australian Government
  • Managing hundreds of gyms, pools, sports stadiums and camps across Australia the YMCA also provides spaces for young people to be physically active and connected to their community – two known ways to enhance mental wellbeing and resilience.
  • YMCA has a number of programs across the country that support young people at risk. Many of these provide safe spaces where each person is recognised as being a unique individual with potential.
  • If you have any concern or questions about a mental health issue, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit headspace or Beyond Blue

About YMCA

The Why Not campaign was created by the YMCA to help young voices be heard by those in power on the issues that matter to them. Learn more

YMCA in Australia

The YMCA in Australia serves in over 700 communities, offering a wide range of activities from gyms and swimming centres to early learning, school holiday programs, camping, sports, disability, youth services and leadership programs, all united by a shared belief in the power of inspired young people. www.ymca.org.au

YMCA Worldwide

Globally, The YMCA works to bring social justice and peace to young people and their communities, regardless of religion, race, gender or culture. Operating in 119 countries, 60,000,000 people identify themselves as Y members.

YMCA ‘Why Not’ Merchandise

Check out the Why Not merchandise at our E-store.

Contact us

If you want to get involved with the YMCA either as volunteer, staff or partner organisation please contact us directly.

Get Involved

Is there an issue facing young people that you think needs to be addressed? Do you have a solution to one of these problems? The more young people we make heard, the better our world and its future will be. Get in touch today.

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