The National Definition of Youth Work in Australia

Read more about the definition, including a breakdown of the terms used (revised Dec 2013) |  PDF

In 2013 AYAC began work to provide a nationally agreed definition of youth work. In doing so we hoped to address the absence of a national shared identity for youth workers and help improve public recognition of the unique contribution youth workers make to their community.

The AYAC Definition of Youth Work in Australia was formed through a range of processes and consultations. A preliminary paper was released for consultation, grounded in the available literature. The advice that came back from this first round of consultation was distributed to AYAC’s Policy Advisory Council (PAC).

After a day of much debate and discussion, a working draft definition was formed and endorsed by the PAC. This working draft was again distributed via AYAC and other networks for review. Further feedback was collated and formed the basis of a broader, and lively, face to face discussion at the AYAC 2013 National Youth Affairs Conference. Points raised and debated were put to AYAC’s PAC to form the AYAC Definition of Youth Work in Australia.

The definition draws from and elevates the range of available sources, including work that the sector in various states and territories had already undertaken. It has been designed to incorporate elements of most use to the Australian youth sector as a whole, rather than replicating a definition used in any one jurisdiction, in order to fit in with the conditions and context Australia wide.

Read the full report: The AYAC Definition of Youth Work in Australia | PDF (revised Dec 2013)

We expect facilitate a review the definition in October 2014. This will be informed by feedback based on the use of the definition in the real world for a period of 12 months, which will shine a light on its usefulness, its clarity, its strengths and its limitations.

Already have feedback on the definition? Email and let us know!