Skip to main content
Stay updated

Future Healthy Countdown 2030

Every year until 2030 we'll highlight the health and wellbeing of children and young people and propose pathways to ensure an equitable future for all

28 Nov 2023
Research and Publications
A colourful illustration with a bike, books, calendar, a pear and people looking out of a building

We all want children to have the opportunity to not only live a happy and healthy life, but to live better than the previous generation. 

And yet, despite Australia’s abundant resources and wealth, in some areas the prospects for our children, young people and future generations are not only stagnating – they're moving backwards.

  Future Healthy Countdown 2030. Ven diagram showing the different areas: Healthy, Material basics, Learning and employment pathways, participating, positive sense of identity and culture, valued, loved, safe and environments and sustainable futures

The Countdown explained


If a healthy future for children is the goal, Future Healthy Countdown is the pathway to make it happen. 

It's a comprehensive national framework for measuring progress on children and young people's health and wellbeing. It brings together evidence (across seven key health and wellbeing domains) to identify policy priorities, and track progress on how we are (or aren't) supporting future generations to thrive.  


Like many countries, Australia’s strong focus on economic growth at all costs has led to complex problems such as the climate emergency, obesity, the mental health crisis, and societal inequities. There's a growing gap in health and wellbeing, with children facing food insecurity and higher rates of psychological distress than older adults.  

To turn this around, we need systems changes that put children and young people at the heart of decision making.


Every year until 2030, the Countdown will deliver the best up-to-date data and evidence to highlight key priorities using a publicly available dashboard and annual updates (watch this space). 

Crucially, the Countdown will include the voices of young people to ensure they play a part in shaping their future. 

From 2024 the Countdown will include a themed deep dive into one critical issue of collective importance for children’s and young people’s health and wellbeing. 


In their words, here's what matters to young people:


"Health and climate action considered in all policy making and reduced capacity of corporate interests to influence health policy."


"Connection is in our lineage and when we’re connected to our culture and practice it helps our overall wellbeing."


"A sustainable future with action taken to combat climate change and infrastructure to enable active transport and access to healthy foods."

  • Quick FYI about the 7 wellbeing domains

    Future Healthy Countdown 2023 is based on the Nest wellbeing framework, created by Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), which outlines six domains (valued, loved, and safe, material basics, healthy, learning, participating, positive sense of identity and culture) as a way of thinking about the whole context of a child's daily life and the elements they need to thrive. Due to the existential threat of the climate crisis and the impact this will have on future generations, we added an additional domain to Future Healthy Countdown 2030: environment and sustainable futures. The following stats highlight the importance of nurturing each of these domains. 


The good news is the solutions are within our grasp


At the core of the Countdown is the recognition that social, economic and environmental factors shape the health and wellbeing of children and young people unequally.

By building on the momentum of Australia’s past policy successes such as:

  • increased access for children to healthcare and early childhood education services
  • improved educational access
  • increased immunisation rates

We can address these inequities and improve outcomes not only for this generation of children and young people, but for generations to come.  


VicHealth are proud to collaborate with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and Medical Journal of Australia.

Logos: VicHealth, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, Medical Journal Australian

Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
VicHealth acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land. We pay our respects to all Elders past, present and future.
This website may contain images, names and voices of deceased people.

VicHealth acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.