Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Young Territorians wanted for national survey

To coincide with National Youth Week, Mission Australia is calling on young Territorians to help highlight important issues in their lives by having their say in the charity’s 2011 National Survey of Young Australians – the nation’s largest annual report on the views, concerns and values of young people between the ages of 11-24.

In launching the 2011 survey, Mission Australia’s NT Director, Phillip Leslie, said it gave young people a voice across a range of issues with the information being used to help community groups and governments plan and develop youth services.

“Mission Australia’s annual youth survey is a ‘temperature check’ on what young people are feeling, what issues concern them, what they think are the main challenges facing the nation and how optimistic they are about the future,” Mr Leslie said.

“Responses to the survey help governments, youth agencies and ourselves improve and develop programs and strategies that are shaped by the voices of young people themselves.”

Last year’s survey tested the views of close to 1,500 young Territorians (50,000 young people nationally – its biggest group since the survey began in 2002) between the ages of 11-24 (87.9 per cent aged 11-19).

When asked to rank their personal concerns from 15 issues body image was ranked most frequently in the top three by 30.5 per cent of NT respondents, followed by alcohol at 27.6 per cent and family conflict at 26.5 per cent.

For the first time the survey asked young people for their unprompted views on the most important issues facing Australia.

Heading NT responses was environment with 49.9 per cent ranking it as a ‘top three’ issue followed by alcohol and drugs (39.2 per cent). Environment was the major issue for all age groups and for both males and females in the NT.

“Young people’s concerns can be quite volatile – moving around from year to year – and they differ between age groups so it’s important we conduct this survey annually, with as many participants as possible, to obtain an accurate picture.

“The range of concerns - from stress to depression, suicide and body image – also suggest young people are facing increased challenges as they make the transition from adolescence to adulthood,” Mr Leslie said.

Mission Australia’s 2011 National Survey of Young Australians can be completed online at www.mayouthsurvey.com.au. It is also available at all Mission Australia services, secondary schools, TAFE facilities and libraries nationwide.

The survey closes on Friday, 29 July with the results to be published later in the year.

Debut performer wins Urban Quest

It may have been his first ever live performance on the big stage, but that didn’t stop Tevita Moala from singing his way to Urban Quest success over the weekend.

The 16 year old Darwin High School student outperformed 10 other finalists to win the Mission Australia talent competition at the Darwin Entertainment Centre on Saturday night.

The singing pianist brought many in the sold-out crowd to tears with his rendition of John Legend’s I won’t complain.

The young Kiwi national introduced the gospel song as a dedication to a friend in New Zealand who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy. 

Guest judge Deni Hines described Moala’s touching performance as better than that of John Legend’s.

“I want it on CD, cause I’d buy it now,” the soul songstress said.

An overwhelmed Moala was lost for words at the win, scoring for himself 12 months mentoring from Music NT, cash and studio recording time.

“My friend Jeanie entered me in the competition, so if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be here now,” Moala said.

“I was really nervous - this is the first time I’ve done something like this - but I just felt the music and am so happy.”

The Michael Buble and Temptations fan will now put his winnings to work as he pursues his musical dreams.

Jack and Sam Weaver and Peter Rautoka were equal runners-up in the competition, which raised funds for youth homeless across the Top End.

Australian pop idol Mark Holden awarded all three acts a “touchdown”, as well as 13 year old Shiane Hawke with her collaboration of Amazing Grace and Duffy’s Mercy.

Beatboxer Kane Bishop was awarded Best Composition of the night.

Mission Australia Operations Manager Brad McIver said the night was a huge success and lifted the profile of youth homelessness.

“We exceeded our expectations for Urban Quest and the money raised will support us to develop new accommodation for homeless youth in the NT and expand our current services and programs,” Mr McIver said.

“Every little bit helps and if we can make a difference in one of the 5000 homeless Territory kids lives, then that’s what this event was all about.”  

Urban Quest will become an annual fundraiser on the Mission Australia NT calendar.