In this section
The Centre for Adolescent Health's vision is 'making a difference to young people’s health and wellbeing by advancing knowledge, policy and practice'.
As an Australian centre of excellence and a WHO collaborating centre for adolescent health, we work to bring together the professionals and organisations needed to:
Initiatives the Centre for Adolescent Health has been involved in includes:
Heerde, J. A., Sawyer, S. M., Olsson, C.A. (2023). National Housing and Homelessness Plan: Submission from the Centre for Adolescent Health October 2023.
Dam J., Aston, R.,
Williams S., Clinton S., Smith L., and Sawyer S. M. (2023). Inquiry into the
State Education System in Victoria: Submission from the Centre for Adolescent
Health and the University of Melbourne, October 2023
Sawyer, S. M., Aggarwal, S., Calais Ferreira, L., Campbell, A., Cini, K., Francis, K., Heerde, J., Margaretha., & Sabet, F. (2022). New International Development Policy: Submission from the Centre for Adolescent Health November 2022. https://www.dfat.gov.au/sites/default/files/new-international-development-policy-submission-centre-adolescent-health.pdf
Toumbourou, J. W., & Heerde, J. A. (2022). Evidence on programs to address youth homelessness: an Evidence Check rapid review brokered by the Sax Institute (www.saxinstitute.org.au) for the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.
The Centre for Adolescent Health is proud to join with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, fellow human rights organisations and doctors to call for federal, state and territory governments to #RaiseTheAge of criminal responsibility from just 10 years old to at least 14.
Children need care, love and
support. Not handcuffs and prisons. Further information can be found on the #RaiseTheAge website.
Read our COAG submission.
In September 2017, more than 35 leading community, public health, medical and academic groups united to call for urgent Federal Government action to address Australia’s serious obesity problem. In the report, Tipping the Scales, the agencies identify eight clear, practical, evidence-based actions the Australian Federal Government must take to reduce the enormous strain excess weight and poor diets are having on the nation’s physical and economic health.
In July 2019, the Melbourne Children’s Campus provided a submission on the Mental Health of Victoria’s infants, children and adolescents. The submission represents the united voices of over 6000 health professionals across the Melbourne Children’s Campus. Twenty-five internationally recognised experts have met regularly to contribute to this submission, which draws on the clinical, research and educational expertise of our institutions.
The Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS) is a unique
longitudinal study following 1,200 Victorian students from childhood through
adolescence. The focus of the study is on health and emotional development through the middle years of school. CATS is interested in the experiences of students and their families, their changing social contexts as they move into secondary school, and the biological changes of puberty. Findings from this study has (and continues) to contribute to many government and non-government reports. Further information can be found on the CATS website.
Promoting wellbeing and learning in the middle years
The Centre for
Adolescent Health has released a new
policy brief, Promoting wellbeing and learning in the middle years: an
opportune time for intervention.
The document is based on data collected as part of The Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study
(CATS). It summarises some of the issues occurring for students aged 8-14 years
and why greater investment in this period would be beneficial. It calls for the
government to introduce a health promoting framework that aims to strengthen
curriculum around social and emotional learning, improve the primary to
secondary school transition, and enable more effective links between education
and health services. It also provides more specific recommendations for
government, schools and educators to help maximise the support provided to
students aged 8-14 years.
it here: https://link.mcri.edu.au/middle-years-brief
The CAH is proud to be a technical partner to the YouthPower
project. A USAID funded global project that aims to embed youth empowerment and
a positive youth development (PYD) model into all work with and for young
people. More information available here: https://www.youthpower.org/youthpower-about-page
An output we are particularly proud of is the Positive Youth
Development Measurement Toolkit that the team at the CAH were instrumental in
writing and designing. It is available in 4 languages, English, French, Arabic
The Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS) student ambassadors
A small group of study participants, “Ambassadors” were recruited to form an
Ambassadors advise us on a range of topics including engagement and data
collection strategies and provide input about project practices, participant communication and future waves of data collection. They also contribute to media releases and participate in events such as the second Catalysing Connections event, Everyone’s business: schools, mental health and learnings. Their involvement has helped incorporate a student
“voice” into our planning.
In the Lancet Commission we took a view that
meaningful adolescent engagement was essential in the social development of all
adolescents. In that process, we included 2 young Commissioners as co-authors:
indeed they took major responsibility for the sections in the report around
engagement and empowerment. In our
planning work for the Lancet Standing Commission, we have extended those 2 young
Commissioners and a further 6 from diverse geographies and backgrounds. They
have worked with us in planning the next phase of the work with the Lancet and
have recently joined us as co-authors on significant publications.
are a central constituency for, and of, the Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) for
Driving Global Investment in Adolescent Health and are therefore central to our
broader engagement strategy. CREYATE is a group of young people with varying levels of experience in research and advocacy. CREYATE was formed to provide a youth perspective to the CRE, and to assist in ensuring the research is relevant to the lived experience of young people, and aligns with existing (or hoped) advocacy efforts.
The main objectives for CREYATE: