The 2022 Federal Election has been called for May 21! In the lead up to the election we’ll be amplifying the Unfiltered Thoughts of young Australians on a range of topics, issues and policies that matter to them.
What are your initial thoughts on the Federal Election?
This following unfiltered thoughts may contain themes that might be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services or visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services.
A Non-futuristic future
This election is one that doesn’t really matter for Australians. While it may seem important to change the leadership from the liberal party, the individuals from other parties are not that much better themselves. Therefore when thinking about this election, it doesn’t matter who is elected because it will have the same outcome because the leaders are all too similar. For real change we need younger parliament members who look towards the future, not people over the age of 50 who are in it for the money and publicity.
Josie, 18 NSW
The election has been called and it is time that I can head to the polls for my first Fed. election. In recent weeks politics has become somewhat disenfranchising as much of the discourse has moved away from the people to who is going to offer the most. Very little attention has been placed on floods, refugees, and mental health. If this election is actually for the people it should be based on the issues that they face at the moment.
Michael, 18 NSW
We need policy not personality
Why, after seeing the disaster this kind of politics has wrought overseas, are we letting our politicians run this federal election on personality and not policy? It is not acceptable that the media and, through our complacency, the public have let the government get away with lying to our faces and eroding public trust in the law and the parliament.
It is not acceptable that we are more focused on Albanese and Morrison as men than we are on their policies. It is not acceptable that the media hounds Albanese for forgetting unemployment figures but does push questions about Labor dropping their policy to review the JobSeeker rate. And why has no one called Morrison up on his transphobia from the same day as Albanese’s slip-up? Where are all the questions about climate policy and young people? We deserve better, from our politicians and the media that holds them to account. We deserve debate on policy that will affect us all.
Why are we even letting personality become the debate when we know – and the media knows and the LNP knows and even Emmanuel Macron knows – that Morrison is a liar and a bully and only interested in protecting his power. Why are we letting him campaign on the stance that he’s the bigger man?
Lydia, 20 NSW
Excitement overshadowed by fear
I am in the small minority that loves politics and keeping up to date with it, so I am actually very excited for the upcoming election. That being said, as a fairly progressive young women, this excitement is being overshadowed by another three years of a Conservative party in power, who will do nothing to help with climate change, rising living costs and inequality of women in politics
Keely, 24 NSW
It’s time to do more
For me, this election is about the future of young Australians and pressuring the government to do more.
I believe that strong economic policies are integral in this election in order to provide a sense of security and stability to young Aussies. However, I also believe that as a nation we should be making sound contributions to tackle climate change and doing what we can to satisfy international conventions and lower our carbon emissions.
Voting provides young people with the chance to have a say in their futures and in this federal election, I anticipate fellow young Aussies will consider the various issues young people are likely to face in the future – not just the climate! With the rising costs of living and various job opportunities that are probable to dissolve as a result of technological change likely leading to a generation with a high unemployment rate due to unemployability, I urge fellow Australians to consider the future of Australian livelihoods by understanding the Australian economy and its importance in sustaining the Australian way of living in the 2022 federal election.
I hope that this election will urge the government to do more. More about the climate…more about employment opportunities for young Aussies and more about Australians by promoting local business and showing a sense of mateship during times of adversity.
Michael, 18 NSW
Farmers, Climate Change and Housing
An independent commission into the price gouging of fresh produce by supermarkets, which will then lead into ensuring farmers get a fair price that allows them to pay their employees a proper rate and bolster the agriculture sector.
A proper plan to address climate change with current technologies, not relying on technology that doesn’t even exist. A plan for a sustainable transition to renewable energy, that begins the transition of workers in the fossil fuel industry to the renewable sector now rather than waiting for other countries to shut the industry down leaving them high and dry.
A solution to the housing crisis that will bring prices down, not make the market more ‘accessible’ with reduced deposits and interest rates that will cause massive financial hardships in the long run.
Sonisha, 19 NSW
Working Young Australians- What is really ahead?
Young Aspirational Workers in Australia currently have experienced years of stagnant wages or very low increases at best. In 2018 as part of budget repair measures the Australian Gov implemented a new repayments percentage on income earners. At the time this was seen as required to share the burden of budget repair.
In 2022 these settings are no longer working due to intense cost-of-living increases, especially housing costs such as rent or maybe a mortgage. By resetting the repayment rates back to 2017 levels will give Young Aspirational Working Aussies the chance to have a little more in their take home pay to survive, to pay their rent, and maybe spend in our economy to support recovery from the pandemic.
The HECS Loans will be repaid! They simply will be repaid a bit slower to ease what is now intolerable pressure on our Youngest Workers.
join me in asking for a RESET of the HECS repayments policy to give Aussies a fair-go.
Sjon, 29 WA
Bless the NDIS
Recent comments made by the current Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, about whether parents of those children who have disabilities have or have not been blessed was quite disrespectful. Especially due to the health crisis in the country right now. If he feels so lucky to be ‘blessed’ why doesn’t he make it a higher concern to ensure families of those with disabilities and the individuals themselves have an easier time navigating health care and especially the NDIS?
Hannah, 19 WA
Diversity and Inclusion in Parliament
I would like to see the Parliament implementing policies that will contribute to vast social change and valuing lived experiences and representation in decision making. Better support systems must be in place for mirgants, refugees and first nations people. Anti-racism policies and laws should also be enacted. Stricter policies and laws for sexual misconduct should be implemented in line with the Jenkins Report Recommendations. I believe all young people are entitled to work in a role for themselves in our democracy and political parties should set realistic targets to ensure our Parliament is reflective of the diversity of the country we live in.
Kayshini, 24 NSW
What are they actually campaigning for?
Thinking about the election is something that I do every morning as I pass the signs that are on front lawns, posted on billboards and are hanging on broken fences. For me the most important issues this election are around mental health and dental health and the fight for mental and dental health to be covered under Medicare. Another important issue for myself is the current immigration and refugee support Australia is offering. Another important issue is the current cost of living and the rise in inflation rates.
It was just last night that my roommate and I were discussing how disappointed we are in the fact, that it seems that all the current political leaders care about is bagging each other out and not actually informing us about what policies and issues they are going to fight for this election.
Madieson, 23 WA
I really don’t care about the election and I feel like a lot of teens like me don’t either. I don’t even know what the different parties are and what they provide and will contribute. I feel like at school, I wasn’t really taught about it and like that’s why it’s not really a big issue in my life, although it probably is really important to me. I’m just too busy doing and worrying about other stuff. I will vote though and hopefully I vote the right party.
Jarry, 20 WA
The In-Between Kids
Over 10% of the population is aged 15-24. So why aren’t the competing parties, let alone the government itself, talking about us this election?
Our voices, our lives, and ultimately our votes, matter just as much because we are the future.
More and more young people are struggling with eating disorders. However, inpatient services across the country only cater to two age groups – under 16 and over 18. When my anorexia was at my worst, I was 17 and risked dying because there wasn’t a place suitable for my age.
16-17-year-olds are left in the in-between and that is a dangerous thing.
It is life and death.
My unfiltered thoughts? Whoever wins needs to step up and lend a hand in saving our youth, especially those in the middle, because it’s only going to get worse as more and more people fall victim to eating disorders.
Samantha, 18 WA
I am Lucky
The federal election means a lot to me, not only because it is my first-time taking part in an election, but because I am genuinely interested in the wellbeing of Australians. I feel grateful living in a country where I have the privilege to vote and chose the party that I think will ultimately make Australia a better place, through the direction and methods of their policy. The federal election also gives me an opportunity to figure out what issues really matter to me, which in this election are accessible healthcare and education, and how I believe they should be addressed.
Helena, 18 ACT
It’s the same dude
Every few years we are smashed with pamphlets and ads, in a search for a new Prime Minister because they are so very bad at running a country we must replace them every three years, like your best pair of boots.
Sure they are for some good and yes, the past few years have been….. unique. But our current leader is detached from reality and sense.
Either way more people come forward to make promises.
Promises of change.
Promises with an expiry date.
Promises they will rush to do in another few years, like a uni assignment.
Does it matter who it is? Probably not.
It will always be a white middle-aged man. Not coloured or ethnic, not young and not ANOTHER woman (we’ve already had our token gal).
This man will have plush lounges, aeroplane tickets and glossy cars.
He will also be detached and will be thriving while we barely survive.
Gabriell, 23 NSW
Voting on my future
This federal election the issues that mattered to me were climate policy, and financial support for education and housing. I’m not optimistic about the changes that will take place as a result of the election, though I am hoping there will be more of a focus on supporting low-income individuals and families than there has been. I care about what happens because it directly impacts whether I will be able to afford a house or apartment in the future, and decisions around having a family. I do not agree with first home buyers’ schemes, as they allow the prices on the market to climb higher despite the drastic contrast with income. Voting isn’t a chance for my voice to be heard, the parties I voted for are unlikely to get voted in. The two-party preferred doesn’t feel like a genuine system of democracy, we are just hoping for whichever we believe is the lesser of two evils.
Elise, 19 NSW
Same suit with a different face.
Why bother with elections? It’s just the same story every single time. Whoever speaks behind the podium will just be the same suit with a different face. Whether its Scomo or Albo, fatty chicken palmy or the racist ranga, they’ll just repeat the same endless cycle of their predecessors. The earth will still burn, refugees will spend another night starving, the first nations will be forgotten, all while parliament house becomes front page news with its brand-new neon lights. The PM will talk of war in the east, the new red menace, or China on our borders, yet the Sydney Harbor bridge will still light up with fireworks in time for news years. Voting was an opportunity to give voice to the voiceless, now that voice is about as valuable as a scream in a nightclub. Only the rich can enter, and the music all sings of false praise.
Connor, 21 QLD
These past few years, as a young person who’s in their third year at university has been really difficult.
Under the Morrison government, it was honestly terrifying to know that his extremely conservative views and lack of care for the general people’s well-being felt that my bodily autonomy could be taken away at any moment, and if his party continued the climate action would get worse.
Having to survive off Centrelink (for many reasons) is a nightmare. I can barely afford to survive, and it was so terrifying to think it could get worse.
Hoping for more greens in parliament so the suffering Australian’s could get some help is all I’ve been doing.
Kaiarya, 19 QLD
I’m too sexy for the Libs
I honestly wasn’t too worried. I knew Labor would win and I knew Scomo would be kicked out. might just be because I’m from Melbourne and we’re a pretty progressive city but there was no way that Scomo or the liberals were going to serve another four years. Aussies were so unhappy with the liberals’ performance as a government in the last two years alone; forget covid; house prices, cost of living, (literally screw the ‘there’s a hole in your budget’ it’s a bloody ear worm), first-nations/women/lgbtqai+ treatment, climate (lack of) action and just, god, some things we’re honestly out of their control but it doesn’t make up for the fact they flunked everything else up. Lots of great memes surfaced from this though. The greens’ multimedia manager deserves a raise. I was really glad that Albo started off his acceptance with the Uluru statement.
Overall; I’m queer, ethnic, Muslim, a student, disabled and I’m too attractive to be living on a planet that will burst into flames if governments aren’t doing their job to protect it; I’m glad to see the libs out, I’m glad to see Hanson, Palmer and Frydenburg out. I genuinely hope that this change will be good for my fellow Australians.
Aleyna, 18 VIC
A hope for safety
Given the tumultuous past two years we have experienced, a lot of issues regarding sexual abuse and discrimination have been overlooked or addressed poorly. As seen by the allegations made against members of our parliament last year, it is worrying that more action has not been taken to ensure that the workplace is a safe space for everyone. As a young citizen of Australia, I want to live in a country where all Australians, regardless of gender and cultural identities, are treated as equals, and where unity amongst all of us is encouraged. Due to these reasons, the issues that mean most to me in this federal election are those associated with the social welfare of all Australians, regardless of their personal identity. I just want to live in a country where I feel safe to go to work.
Aisha, 19 ACT
Talk is cheap
The past couple of years have been chaotic to say the least. It seems as though a black cloud is hovering over the Australian people and a deep sense of pessimism and apprehension has pervaded the population. No matter who we have numbered on the ballot papers recently, I am certain of one thing: the Australian people will no longer accept promises – they will only accept results. We need to witness a bright future unfold before our eyes, otherwise, we will lose any remnants of hope we have left. Talk is cheap and results are invaluable; I hope our politicians will come to realise this soon.
Michael, 22 VIC
I really just want to see politicians actually deliver on their promises. As a young person, I found it so frustrating to wait until voting age, only to realise it almost didn’t seem to matter who I voted for because the majority of people in power didn’t deliver on half of their promises. I also find it really frustrating that mainstream media only seems to report on either Liberal or Labour. I want to know about all of my options in an unbiased format.
Crystal, 25 NSW
Politics is a joke
The best thing for this country is either a recession or some nation-wide market crash. No matter who ends up in power, they all delegate tasks and responsibilities even though it’s their sole job and the cost of living is getting so incredibly out of touch that many citizens will have to leave the country due to richer foreigners.
Isaac, 21 QLD
Post COVID Recovery
We are smashed with pamphlets and ads, in a search for a new Prime Minister. Candidates from all parties generally making unrealistic promises, all having good and bad points with them. This year’s election feels more important than any other as it will now be a time of post COVID recovery for the economy in labour and finances. Here’s to hoping that the PM lives up to his promises.
Garion, 27 QLD
The hope of change
On Saturday, I took myself out to vote for the first time! Gone was my defeatist attitude that the world was turning to despair, and in came the excitement of being handed my ballot papers. Afterwards, what I felt was hope. Hopeful for a change in our political climate, which would then translate into societal change. The election results displayed a strong drive for women’s empowerment, diversity representation, and decisive action on climate change. Importantly, it also demonstrated a rejection of cheap ‘society-war’ tactics that harm the most vulnerable groups in our society. On the political scene, these changes will need time to come to fruition. However, Australians, through their vote, choose to denounce the recent divisive, harmful rhetoric and instead embrace progress and inclusiveness. To me, that is reason enough for hope.
Eliza, 20 ACT
Green vote matters
Changing Australia to sustain itself without ruining the environment. Being able to go to university without worrying about debt. Being able to afford rent, especially so that young people living in abusive and toxic homes physically and mentally can feel a bit of hope towards being able to have their own place instead of feeling trapped due to the insane prices of living on your own. It angers me how so many delusional people don’t give a damn about this world and live in their head, all that matters to them is their own money and expenses and they don’t care to experience the world outside of that or think about the way it might progress.
Naami, 18 NSW
Will our new PM make Mental Health a Priority?
So, the federal election is over… and for left leaning Australians like myself, there was a whole lot to celebrate! I know I was not alone in fearing the worst outcome this election – and personally I was both relieved and elated by the results.
But unfortunately, the recent shift in political power hasn’t alleviated the almost constant feeling of anxiety I felt in the election lead up. For people diagnosed with anxiety disorders, a sense of panic or impending doom can be attributed to just about any situation – and for me the election was the most recent fixation of my easily distressed brain.
Now the election is finished – I’ve instead started to fret about the state of mental health care in our country. After a series of tumultuous years, I am seeing so many young people in my life struggling to afford or access mental health services that they need. I feel helpless, but all I can do is hope that our new government can make some positive changes in this area and provide the mental health support that so many Australians have been crying out for.
Kirra, 21 VIC
Either way, we lose
I am unfortunately very disillusioned by the current major parties of Australia. Either way it seems that we are not choosing the best party, but that we are just trying to keep out the worst one. Either way certain interests of Australians will be overlooked as the two major parties have evolved very little, regardless of the drastic evolution Australia has known in the past decades. Because of this I feel as though my vote is meaningless which makes me care very little about the federal election, which is a shame given the rights Australians have in regard to voting, over those who live in disadvantaged countries, where the rights of people are either limited or don’t exist at all.
Piper-Jade, 21 ACT
Illustration by Aileen, You can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenetc