On Sunday 1 November, South Australia’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly, released her latest report The Things That Matter – Views of 8-12 year olds on life, school and community, which summarises the responses received from 8,429 South Australian children in this age group, to her inaugural ‘Tell Helen’ Postcard Survey.

“South Australia’s 8-12 year olds value kindness, fairness and equality in leaders and ‘doing the right thing’. They also want to ensure that ‘everyone’ regardless of age or background can afford healthcare, education, housing and transport. Children want to learn, play, do well, and be happy, healthy, active and creative. They want this for other people as well as for themselves.

They also want to have a voice and a promise of a job in the future and to be connected online and offline – to places, information and opportunities. While some children are focused on global issues, almost all children focused on the importance of their connections at the local level.

Being asked what matters to children at this age sends them a clear message that their point of view is valued and sought after. Children told me that when they’re asked for their opinion they feel respected, and it is clear they have a greater sense of their own agency and capacity for making change.

I plan to undertake my state-wide ‘Tell Helen’ survey on an annual basis, to build our understanding of the lives of South Australia’s 8 – 12 year olds over time. The goal for 2020 is to double the response rate from last year.

Every South Australian school with children in this age group was sent the ‘2020 Tell Helen Postcard Pack’ at the start of Term 4. If you have a child at school who is between 8-12 years please ask their school to ensure they are given the opportunity to participate.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read The Things That Matter I look forward to receiving your comments and feedback.”


Helen Connolly
Commissioner for Children and Young People
South Australia

Start typing and press Enter to search