December Advocacy Wrap Up

Tasmanian Government releases Youth Justice Blueprint 2024-2034

CREATE Foundation was pleased to see that the Tasmanian Government’s Youth Justice Blueprint 2024-2034 includes a commitment to both raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14 years without exceptions, and raising the age of criminal detention to 16 years. Importantly the Government has also committed to significant investment in therapeutic and diversionary supports. This change is the result of strong and ongoing advocacy work across the sector.  

CREATE added our voice to the chorus of organisations (including the Tasmanian Commissioner for Children and Young people and TasCOSS), who have all been calling for this important change. We hope to see Governments across Australia make similar commitments for the children and young people in their jurisdictions.

South Australian Direct Experience Group holds first meeting

A new Direct Experience Group, consisting of care leavers, parents and family members of children in out-of-home care and others engaged in the child protection and family support system, has been established to enable members to utilise and share about their experiences as a collective to contribute towards the process of practice reform. 

CREATE welcomes the government’s initiative in acknowledging the importance of capturing and listening to the voices of those that have experiences with the system.  

PeakCare releases Beyond a Checklist: Guiding the Road Forward for Queensland’s Residential Care System 

In light of the Queensland Government’s review into residential care, PeakCare‘s Beyond a Checklist report consolidates the voices and expertise of the sector including those with a lived experience to shape and inform the development of Queensland’s plans for residential care. 

Vital sibling connection promoted through partnership between South Australia and CREATE

Marking a major milestone for South Australia, the state government will partner with CREATE and commit efforts towards advocacy work and strengthening the rights of children and young people in care to ensure regular and meaningful opportunities to connect with their siblings. 

The state government will consider CREATE’s recommendations from our Sibling Connection consultation and enshrine rights to sibling contact in the review of the Child and Young People Safety Act (2017). 

Click to read the Media Release: Vital sibling connections promoted through partnership

Tasmanian Government responds to the Commission of Inquiry final report

The Tasmanian Government released its formal response to the Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings titled ‘Keeping Children Safe and Rebuilding Trust’The recommendations will be rolled out in three phases, with the first 48 Commission recommendations to be delivered by July 2024 under Phase One, 110 to be delivered under Phase Two by July 2026, and 33 to be delivered under Phase Three by July 2029. 

CREATE welcomes the response, particularly the establishment of an out-of-home care permanent advisory group to strengthen youth participation (to be completed by July 2026) and the commitment to appoint a Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People by July 2026. CREATE sees the establishment of this role as a critical step towards addressing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in care. We also welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s commitment to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14 without exceptions. However, we strongly urge the Government to hasten efforts to implement recommendations. The proposed timeline of July 2029 is too long to wait for such critical system changes to keep children safe. 

Tasmanian Commissioner for Children and Young People releases report on being stable and safe in out-of-home care

CREATE welcomes the release of the report Somebody in Your Corner by the Tasmanian Commissioner for Children and Young People. The report explores the critical theme of ‘being loved and safe’ in care. CREATE was thrilled to be involved in supporting children and young people to engage in this consultation. We hope that the Tasmanian Government will look to the five key insights in this report to inform ongoing reform of the Tasmanian out-of-home care system following the recent Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations.   

The Advocate for Children and Young People NSW release cost of living report

The Advocate for Children and Young People’s new report, ‘It should be easier to just exist: How children and young people are impacted by and responding the rising cost of living in NSW’, has revealed that 80% of young people in NSW have reported that their cost of living had increased in the past 12 months. 

Cost of living pressures have a significant impact on young people transitioning from care. CREATE hopes to see the NSW Government carefully consider the recommendations made in the report and implement changes to ease the cost of living burden for young people.   

Inquiry into the rental and housing affordability crisis in Victoria final report released

The Inquiry into the rental and housing affordability crisis in Victoria final report calls for 60,000 new social housing dwellings and better protection of renters. The Report recognises there’s “a natural power imbalance between rental providers and renters”, and recommends a number of measures to ensure rental properties meet minimum standards. The Report also recommends the Victorian Government enshrine the right to housing as a human right. 

Safe, secure and affordable housing is crucial for a successful transition out of care and into independent living. CREATE’s research has shown that, of the young people with a care experience surveyed, 30% reported they had been homeless at some stage within their first year after leaving care (37% of these for 6 months or more) (McDowall, 2020). CREATE hopes to see the Victorian Government implement the recommendations of the Inquiry’s final report. 

Source: McDowall, J. J. (2020). Transitioning to Adulthood from Out-of-Home Care: Independence or Interdependence. CREATE Foundation.

30% of the young people with a care experience surveyed reported they had been homeless at some stage within their first year after leaving care (McDowall, 2020).

New report from the Australian Institute of Family Studies on ‘What is family?’ 

The Australian Institute of Family Studies have released a new report, ‘What is family?’ The report highlights that participants were more likely to rate love as very important in defining what makes a family than any other characteristic, with 4 in 5 (79%) rating it as very important. Chosen family or close friends were nominated as part of the family by 41% of participants, with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people much more likely to do this compared to non-Indigenous Australians (62% vs 42%). Pets were part of the family for 52% of participants. CREATE welcomes the release of the report and the role it plays in helping to re-shape ideas of what makes a family.  

Mission Australia 2023 Youth Survey Report 

CREATE welcomes the release of Mission Australia’s 2023 Youth Survey ReportEach year, Mission Australia asks young people aged 15 to 19 in Australia to share their challenges, concerns and experiences in one of Australia’s largest annual surveys of young people. Concerningly, 31% of young people who participated in the survey identified the economy and financial matters as one of the most important issues in Australia compared with 22% in 2022 and 11% in 2021. 15% of young people were personally extremely or very concerned about financial security.  

Young people transitioning from out-of-home care are particularly vulnerable to cost of living pressures with the level of financial support provided in most jurisdictions too low to meet their basic needs. CREATE calls on all Australian Governments to engage in a cross-jurisdictional review of services and financial supports for young people leaving care to determine the extent to which they deliver adequate transition supports.  

Powerful TEDx Talk by the ACT’s newly appointed and first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People Commissioner   

Content warning – The video discusses personal experiences of the child protection system. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this video contains images and names of deceased persons. 

In this powerful TEDx talk, Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts shares her personal journey as a survivor of the ‘family policing system’ and how it led her to become a human rights lawyer and advocate for change. Ms Turnbull-Roberts sheds light on the inherent limitations of the state’s role as a parent, and why it is crucial for us to work collaboratively to support families in need.  


Submission to the South Australia State Disability Inclusion Plan 

CREATE recently provided a submission to the SA Department of Human Services on the State Disability Inclusion Plan. Our submission raised some concerns that highlight the need to focus on children and young people with disabilities from out-of-home care as a priority cohort. CREATE strongly recommends that it is crucial to always meaningfully engage and involve children and young people as experts because of their experiences. This should include more opportunities for research to understand the needs and experiences of children and young people with disabilities in out-of-home care. Our proposed recommendation emphasise the importance of placement stability for children and young people with disabilities in out-of-home care settings so they can live and thrive in environments that can best accommodate their needs. We also advocate for increased funding allocation to the Office of the Guardian for Children and Young People (OOGCYP) to expand on their current roles and functions in ensuring that all children and young people in out-of-home care have all opportunities to have their voices heard. 

Read our full submission to the South Australia State Disability Inclusion Plan.

Update on CREATE’s consultations

CREATE’s annual consultations are underway in the following states: 

  • Victoria (Health and Wellbeing for ages 14-17) 
  • Australian Capital Territory (Health and Wellbeing for ages 13-22) 

If you are a young person with a care experience in one of these states and would like to participate in one of our consultations, please get in touch with your state team: 

If you would like to find out more about CREATE’s consultations, visit our consultations page on our website: 

Consultation opportunities


Applications are now open for young people living in Tasmania to join the Premier’s Youth Advisory Council. The Council is made up of young people from diverse backgrounds, ages and communities. This includes young people with a care experience. You can apply if you are a young person living in Tasmania, aged between 12-24.

Calling all lived experience advocates! Starting in January 2024, TasCOSS will facilitate an online Community of Practice (CoP) for lived experience advocates across Tasmania. This includes people with lived experience of the care system.


Want to help shape the Advocate for Children and Young People in NSW’s (ACYP) advocacy advice in 2024? ACYP’s job is to listen to children and young people in NSW and promote their views to decision-makers. If you are a young person aged 14-24 and living in NSW, register your interest to participate in ACYP’s work.


The Commissioner for Residential Tenancies wants to hear first-hand from renters about their personal experiences renting a home in Victoria.

As part of the truth telling process in Victoria, the Yoorrook Justice Commission wants to hear from First Peoples in Victoria about their experiences of education, health and housing injustice


It’s your chance to have your say about the environment! The Commissioner for Children and Young People is calling all children and young people in Western Australia to share your views about caring for the environment in WA. 


ACOSS is running a survey in partnership with the First Nations Clean Energy network capturing the impacts of heat on people experiencing financial stress, to form the basis of a national report and state and territory snapshots, to be shared with the media and politicians.

December Advocacy Wrap Up