The Values and Ethics of Youth Work in Australia – A national discussion

There has been a longstanding debate in the Youth Work sector across Australia about the role of values and ethics in the Youth Work relationship with young people. AYAC believes it is appropriate and timely to revisit those discussions and make more significant progress towards a unified national understanding of the role of values and ethics in Youth Work.

Therefore, we have developed a discussion paper that aims to focus attention on the broad agreements that have been achieved in relation to the commonalities of Youth Work practice across Australia, as well as feeding the views of young Australians into these discussions with analysis from our recent survey on young people’s views on what makes good youth work practice.

This is an important discussion to be had at the national level and could contribute to our goal of a youth sector that is unified, well-resourced and professional.

You can download the discussion paper in full by clicking here (PDF – 1.9MB)

Alternatively, you can download the discussion paper in three sections useing the links below:

1. Discussion paper – The values and ethics of Youth Work in Australia (PDF – 1.6MB)
2. Appendix 1 – A comparison of Code of Ethics principles currently in operation
(PDF – 0.6MB)
3. Appendix 2 – Survey report – Young people’s views on the Codes of Ethics (PDF – 0.7MB)

How you can contribute to the discussion

Once you’ve read the discussion paper, head over to our Facebook page dedicated to bringing this discussion to life!

AYAC has partnered with the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies to lead this important national discussion. We’ll be adding questions and related posts that we hope will ensure some lively and constructive conversations.

Please note: You’ll need a Facebook account if you want to add your thoughts, so keep that in mind when you’re making your comments and posts.

Go to and contribute to the conversation!

If however, you’d like to contribute to the discussion but value your privacy, or just wish to have your say in another way, please feel free to email and we’ll post your thoughts up anonymously or see what else we can do.

We can’t wait to see what you say – and we hope that each of you in the Youth Work sector continue this important discussion over the coming years, and take ownership for driving good practice in a unified Youth Work sector.