Last updated: 18 Sep, 2018

These are the findings from conversations with young people living in rural and regional areas in Victoria to understand their views on the five megatrends that are predicted to impact the health and wellbeing of young Victorians over the next 20 years.

Megatrends affecting youth 

Young people living in rural and regional communities have different experiences and challenges from those who live in cities especially in relation to their education, employment and social opportunities, and access to mental health services. VicHealth partnered with the National Centre for Farmer Health, Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) and CSIRO’s Data61 to explore what the megatrends mean for young people living in rural and regional Victoria. We held workshops with them to find out firsthand about the issues that are important to them.


View the key points from the report

The rising bar View more

The range of education and employment options available to rural and regional Victorians is narrower than their city counterparts, which means young people seeking employment or higher education are under pressure to move away from home.

Let’s consider
What actions can we take to improve access to quality education and employment opportunities for young people in rural and regional areas?

People are more likely to stay in the rural and regional areas if they studied there

Global reach View more

Young people in rural and regional Victoria have embraced some benefits of the internet, such as online shopping, but not others, such as freelance work. This is driven by lack of access to the internet and the prevalence of traditional views on work in rural and regional communities.

Let’s consider
How can we close the digital gap between rural/regional and urban areas in Victoria, and provide equitable participation for young people in the online world, regardless of where they live?

Rural and regional people have less internet access

Life's richer tapestry View more

While rural and regional communities are not as diverse as metropolitan communities, there are many community activities – such as sporting clubs – that offer avenues for social and professional development. 

Let’s consider
How can rural and regional communities in Victoria provide a range of opportunities to support social connection and opportunities to engage with young people and help them express themselves?

Most rural and regional people are born in Australia

Overexposure online View more

Social media enables young people living in rural and regional areas to stay connected. However, the online world is only one aspect of life in rural and regional areas. Young people in these areas are also involved in community and outdoor activities.

Let’s consider
What can we learn from young people in rural and regional communities to help address unhelpful social media use and encourage greater physical activity across the population?

Regional and rural youth are less likely to use the internet to socialise

Out of the shadows View more

Limited access to mental health services, plus social, financial and logistical barriers to accessing help, means that youth mental health outcomes in rural and regional areas are generally poorer than metropolitan areas.

Let’s consider
How can we reduce barriers to accessing informal support networks and online or face-to-face mental health services for young people in rural and regional areas, and improve their mental health outcomes?

Most mental health professionals work in urban areas