The Young people, education and communities working together project is concerned with how education institutions work with community stakeholders and young people to contribute to the development of a more inclusive and cohesive society.

There are well-articulated concerns about the health of Australian society in relation to disparities in wealth and life chances, in wellbeing and inclusiveness, and in relation to civic engagement. The project recognises that schools, and other education institutions, can both reproduce and disrupt the current sets of disparities. However, it also recognises that in order for education institutions (including but not limited to schools - early childhood, primary and secondary, universities, alternative learning sites, community colleges and TAFEs) to make a positive difference to the communities in which they operate, they must work and collaborate with these communities – and the young people in them. 

This requires a rethinking of how education is structured and delivered, by examining what education institutions are doing well, what not, and what needs changing. It will also entail not just creating education environments that engage and stimulate young people from all backgrounds, but engage with communities that are concerned with the welfare of all young people and with engaging young people themselves in the major decisions that impact upon their lives. In order to be effective in leveraging this shift, academics with interests in education, social work, community development, psychology, youth substance abuse, sociology, cyber safety and social media, have come together from across The University of Queensland, with support from the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty, to work on this project.