Australian Youths Prefer To Live Near Families


By Shahfizal Musa
Pix Ikhwan Hashim

BANGI, 22 Oct 2013- Youths in Australia who prefer to live in rural areas close to their families are on the rise. This goes against popular assumptions that they want to be free from their families and live in the city where there are more opportunities.

A social scientist from the University of Melbourne, Professor Dr Johanna Wyn said a research found 80 percent of the youth they interviewed over the span of 25 years, only live one postcode away from where they used to live with their parents.

Prof Wyn who presented the findings in her lecture at The National University of Malaysia (UKM) here today said the fact that they live only one postcode away from their parents indicated that they wanted to remain connected with the family giving them a sense of belonging. The lecture was organised by Youth Empowerment Centre of , The National University of Malaysia (UKM).

She said many of the youths also used the tertiary education that they received to achieve their goals. That is to stay connected to their families and live near them.

The studies reveal the powerful influence of both family and place on the decisions they have made since leaving secondary school.

The work is documented in a book entitled, Young People Making it Work which examines a generation’s lives in rural Australia over the last two and half decades.

Against a backdrop of dramatic social, economic and environmental change, the book tells the story of how a generation of young people have strived to remain connected to people and places that matter to them.

It transcends the assumption that rural places are one of deficit and disadvantage.

As the youths grow older they realised that what really matter most to them is family and a sense of belonging.

Many of the youths went to the city for job opportunities and to build their careers. But they soon realised that climbing the corporate ladder is not what they want.

They then chart plans of exit to live a less stressful life in the rural areas, a place where where they can raise their families and develop strong bonds with the community.

Present at the lecture was Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Prof Dato Dr Rahmah Mohamed, students and lecturers.