WAY – Wellbeing of Adelaide Youth

May 9, 2018

What is WAY?

Wellbeing of Adelaide Youth (WAY) is a Collective Impact initiative in the City of Adelaide that seeks to improve the wellbeing and resilience of residents aged 18-24 years old.

The initiative’s members are working together to co-create a city where all 18-24 year olds have good physical and mental health, are safe and secure, have opportunities to grow, live in a sustainable environment, are included and respected and have positive relationships with others.

We are a cross-sector stakeholder collaboration with members from a wide range of organisations and sectors including local and state government, the social, education and health sectors, local business and community, including young people.



Why does WAY exist?

In 2016 the City of Adelaide, in collaboration with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI); undertook a PERMA+ survey on its resident population. PERMA is a renowned wellbeing framework developed by ‘Adelaide Thinker in Residence’ Professor Martin Seligman and is based on five elements: positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment. The Plus Elements were devised by SAHMRI’s Wellbeing and Resilience Centre and include physical activity, nutrition, sleep, optimism, general health and resilience. 

Whilst the city’s total population returned a higher score than the global average, it’s 18-24 year olds, who make up a quarter of the City’s resident population, self-reported lower levels of wellbeing than other age groups as demonstrated in the City’s ‘Baseline Wellbeing Measurement Report’.

This result is consistent with other studies showing that stress levels in young Australians are on the rise and that their health and wellbeing are declining. In ‘Never better, or getting worse? The health and wellbeing of young Australians, Eckersley argues that this is the result of social, cultural, economic and environmental changes. Effects include that young people find it harder to feel accepted, loved and secure, know who they are, where they belong, what they want from life, and what is expected of them. A snapshot of TAFE and university student participants’ in the National Union of Students Tertiary Wellbeing Survey 2016 paints a similar picture. Seven out of ten students surveyed rated their mental health as only “poor or fair”.  Most students say they experience financial stress and two-thirds found academic experiences in general to be very stressful.

Our stakeholders believe that it is possible to create a city environment where young people are thriving, connected, safe and valued, where they have opportunities for growth and the environment is sustainable.

To help create this enabling environment, stakeholders have joined forces with young people and established WAY.

WAY Youth Engagement Team Member, Claire Zhang promoting WAY at the Collective Impact Symposium 2018.

Current Projects/Events

Click here for more information on the upcoming WAY projects and events.


Join WAY 

Want to be added to the WAY mailing list? Please share your contact details with:



Follow WAY

WAY now has a Facebook page. Click here to like the page and follow what we’re up to!


Thank You!

WAY couldn’t progress its work without the ongoing support of its’ community.  A big shout out to all the organisations, businesses, government departments and young people who have delivered a contribution to WAY since its start in March 2017!

Adelaide Central Market, Adelaide University Chinese Students Association, Amnesty International, Anglicare, APP Church, Australian Red Cross, Australian Red Cross Blood Service, batyr, Bikes for Refugees, Body Shop, Cancer Council, Carclew, City of Adelaide, Clinic 275, Common Ground, Department of Human Services, Eynesbury Senior College, Flinders University, headspace, Humble Lion Boxing Club, HYPA, Julia Farr – Purple Orange, Krispy Kreme, Lush, Metropolitan Youth Health, Migrant Resource Centre, Mission Australia, MOSH, Multicultural Communities Council of SA, MYSA, Natural Resource Centre, Office of the Training Advocate, Office Works, Pilgrim Church, phn, Re-engage Youth Services, Rundle Mall Management Authority, SA Health, SAPOL, SA Water, SAHMRI, Salvation Army, Shine SA, St John’s Youth Services, St Mark’s College, Study Adelaide, TAFE, Tennis Australia, The Joinery, Together SA, Torrens University, UniLodge, Uniting SA, University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Urbanest, Volunteering SA&NT, Workskil, Youth Advisory Council of SA, YWCA, 65 King William and young people!