Unlimited Potential

A data and information resource on young Australians.


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For the past twenty years, the debate about Australia’s future and the role of public policy has been shaped by the fact our population is getting older.

The critical question has been: how will this changing population support the costs of an ageing nation?  How will fewer working age people support a growing number of people in retirement?

There has also been much talk about the need to ensure that this ageing population does not burden those who come after it with debts generated by unsustainable budgets. These challenges have dominated all areas of public policy from general questions about responsible budgets, to the design of health and education policies.

In all the discussion about our ageing nation, there has been relatively little focus on the people who will be responsible for leading and supporting the country through this challenge: the young people of Australia. Are they prepared for a world that is getting more complex and changing at a far faster rate?

Unlimited Potential: a data and information resource on young Australians sets out to fill in the gaps. Unlimited Potential details a very different world to the one known by the baby boomers whose ageing has preoccupied policy makers for so long.

At the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) we believe in an Australia in which all our citizens: can sustain our standard of living; enhance our quality of life; protect and nurture our fragile environment; are active and generous contributors to the global family.

For this vision to be realised we must prepare our young people for constant and evolving economic, social, cultural and environmental change in Australia and the region. Young Australians will need to be more confident, connected, enterprising, innovative, optimistic and generous than any generation before them.


This online resource was written by Jeanette Pope, Director of Research, FYA.

Research assistance was provided by Merle Zierke, Rachel Mutch and Vivian Tee from FYA.

The Renewing Australia’s Promise report has been made possible by the generosity of the National Australia Bank, a long term partner of the Foundation for Young Australians.

The section How young people are faring in the transition from school to work is based on data in the attached report written by John Stanwick, Peta Skujins and Patrick Lim of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Material in the section How young people are contributing and leading change on political engagement was prepared by Associate Professor Ariadne Vromen and Adele Webb of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney.


Unlimited Potential was made possible with the generous support of Samsung.

Samsung Electronics Australia is proud to support Unlimited Potential and has partnered with FYA to co-create initiatives that educate and inspire the community.

Samsung’s work with FYA harnesses the company’s knowledge, resources and technology and marries them with the Foundation’s commitment to unleash the brilliance of young Australians. Together, Samsung and FYA believe in working with young people to help enhance and transform their learning experience. Our initiatives are designed to drive innovation and inspire ideas and imagination among young people, giving them the skills and courage to be successful now and into the future.



Adappt is a first-of-its-kind social purpose mobile app development program, specifically for young Australians. The program aims to inspire young people to develop and pitch their ideas for mobile apps for social and environmental good. With the help of Samsung and FYA, participants broaden their skill set while building a network of new contacts for future career opportunities. Learn more about Adappt.


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Through Propeller, Samsung and FYA celebrate inspiring young Australians who are leading projects to bring about positive change in their communities. Samsung helps supercharge youth-led innovation by facilitating peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and by granting funds and technology to help propel social change ideas within individual communities around the country. Learn more about Propeller.


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Worlds of Work (WOW) is a FYA initiative that builds the skills and beliefs that young people need to make the successful transition into life beyond school. Samsung has collaborated with FYA to create an app to enhance the Worlds of Work experience. Students who participate in the intensive week-long WOW program utilise the app on Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablets to record and reflect on their journey as they learn about career opportunities in Australia.  Learn more about Worlds of Work.