Australian Federal, State and Territory Policy on the Health and Wellbeing of Young People: A Scoping Review

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Health Policy, 2021, 125, (8), pp. 1065-1076
Issue Date:
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The health and wellbeing of young people are critical for the future of society but the extent to which they are addressed by overarching Australian Federal, State and Territory health policy is difficult to determine. Analysing high-level youth health policy will help establish how Australian governments are articulating and prioritising issues and may guide local and international health agendas.


This scoping review aimed to determine the extent, range and nature of Australian high-level government policy focused on the general health and wellbeing of the general population of young people. Policies published by Australian Federal, State, or Territory government departments between 2008 and 2019 were thematically analysed employing Braun and Clark's six-step recursive framework.


Twelve policy documents met inclusion criteria. Three meta-themes emerged, comprising policy development, youth health challenges, and policy goals. Policy goals fell into three ubiquitous and overarching categories focused on supporting public health, promoting equity, and improving the health system for young people.


A number of youth-specific health policies have been developed by Australian governments in recent years. Whilst goals and strategies are clearly articulated, more can be done to ensure a youth voice in policy development. The policy goals of supporting public health, promoting equity and improving the health system deserve consideration from other countries developing youth health policies.
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