Tuesday, 2 August 2022
Statements by Members
COVID-19: Higher School Certificate Students
I rise today to wish all the students sitting their HSC trials in both this and the coming weeks all the very best of luck, especially the 6,000 or more students studying across 15 secondary campuses in my electorate of North Sydney. We may still be referring to these as extraordinary times; however, the reality is that this is the third year of disrupted learning due to COVID-19 and young Australians need our support more than ever. A survey recently published in the Sydney Morning Herald showed that 82 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds reported that they had experienced mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic and that 42 per cent of their mental health issues had become worse in that time.
We can and must do more to support our kids by increasing early intervention services on the ground in communities where young people need them and then ensuring we are focusing on implementing evidence-based platforms of care in our communities. Like many of the challenges currently facing us in Australia, having spoken to a number of people across our country, I'm confident that it is not the case that we don't know what we should be doing. Rather, up until this point in time, we've lacked the political nuance to drive solutions here.
Ultimately, to all the students out there, I say to you: good luck. You've got this. Hold your heads high and know that, no matter what the results, we are proud of you, and you are part of an extraordinary generation that does have the capacity to reshape our world for the better.