Journal of Applied Youth Studies v.2 n.1 June 2017

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The feature article in the v.2, n.1, June 2017 issue of the Journal of Applied Youth Studies was written by Jen Couch, senior lecturer in youth work at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia.

Dr Couch presented a public lecture and workshop for the Centre for Applied Youth Studies and the Asia Institute Tasmania in June 2017 on the subject of higher education in refugee settings. Her paper in this issue expands on higher education pedagogy in protracted refugee situations.


by Rob White


Obituary – Andy Furlong

by Johanna Wyn

Professor Andy Furlong, who died on Monday 30 January 2017, will be especially missed by youth researchers in Australia, which Andy considered to be his ‘second home’. He leaves a lasting legacy through his engagement with Australian youth studies academics at many levels.

We are what we teach: Teaching youth work on the Thai-Burma border

by Jen Couch

Young people who live in protracted refugee settings such as those on the Thai-Burma border face circumstances that substantially alter their lives and prospects. The prolonged conflict in Burma has had a particularly devastating effect on young people who have been victims of forced labour, and recruited into both fighting and trafficking. Many more are displaced in refugee camps, sometimes separated from their families, or orphaned, and must undertake a long, painstaking process to rebuild their lives. This makes education in these contexts both challenging and vital. Since 2008, the Australian Catholic University has attempted to meet this need by providing a Diploma of Liberal Arts on the Thai-Burma border. This paper explores the experience of teaching in the diploma and, in particular, teaching a youth work subject in adolescent development.

“Choking on the smoke”: Young Indonesian environmentalists

by Pam Nilan and Gregorius Ragil Wilbawanto

This research sought the views of university student environmentalists in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. Due to the illegal expansion of palm oil plantations nearby, fires in peatland fill the air for months with smoke so thick it is hard to breathe. Yet despite this choking reminder of environmental destruction close to home, the young activists did not often prioritise the smoke when asked in interviews about key environmental problems. When they did try and explain the smoke, they used particular discourses to talk about it, discourses that reflect the graduate labour market choices they will make later in life.

“It’s a proper site so you can trust it”: Students’ perceptions and use of online sources of information regarding recreational drugs

by Claire Meehan

This paper reports on a study that investigated teenagers’ use of online sources of information about recreational drug use (including legal highs). It explores their reasons for seeking drug information online, the sources they use, how they are using them, and the potential risks in doing so. Three drug forums and the social media platform Facebook were thematically analysed and 11 focus groups were conducted with 66 young people aged 14 to 16 in Northern Ireland in 2011. Focus groups discussed participants’ knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about drugs, their online behaviours and awareness of risk. The majority of participants went online to find out information about drugs, purchase legal highs, engage in discussions and/or to disseminate information. Young people often try to mitigate the risks of their drug use by seeking information from reliable online sources. However, unsupervised online information-seeking may actually increase risky behaviour as, in general, young people are unable to judge the accuracy and reliability of online sources. Harm reduction advocates should consider ways to mitigate the risks of teenagers’ unsupervised seeking of drug information online. As studies to date have tended to focus on adults, this paper fills a gap in the empirical qualitative research on young people’s views and behaviour regarding online sources of information about drugs.

Youth work education: A look at international youth work education programs from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the USA

by Jennifer Brooker

Youth work graduates, upon the completion of their studies, should have acquired a sound knowledge and understanding of the cultural, economic and political factors which impact upon the daily lives of the young people in their care. An investigation of 14 higher education youth work qualifications in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the USA highlighted a number of similarities and differences between the programs. Reflecting local practice and professional and educational expectations, similarities are noted in the courses offered in each program, with research being the only subject all students will take. The main difference observed is the emphasis placed upon the practical component of programs, with a range of 5% to 50% of scheduled time dedicated to this important aspect of a student’s learning.


Youth Action Network of Glenorchy (YANG)

by Elisa Ryan

‘Working to ensure effective response to identified needs and issues impacting on young people and service providers in the City of Glenorchy’.


Malaysia case offers a model for innovation in news media engagement of young people

by Aralynn Abare McMane

The Star of Malaysia’s R.AGE youth initiative was the top winner in WAN-IFRA’s 2016 World Young Reader Prize competition and offers an example of a structure that creates an ongoing view toward the future, whatever that may bring.


A re-conceptualisation of change, continuity and inequality in young people’s lives

A review by Kitty te Riele of Youth and generation: Rethinking change and inequality in the lives of young people by Dan Woodman and Johanna Wyn.

What happened to the activists?

A review by Kharisma Nugroho of Activist archives: Youth culture and the political past in Indonesia by Doreen Lee.