More than 12% of Fraser Coast young people have been homeless at some point in their life, while 34% have accessed mental health services.

These are just some of the findings from the latest Fraser Coast Youth Survey, conducted by the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre’s youth services teams.

The 2022 survey builds on annual data gathered since 2019. This year, 872 young people were surveyed, representing about 7% of the Fraser Coast’s total youth population (based on ABS data of 12,448 people aged 10-19 in 2020).

The survey gathered responses about young people’s living situation, mental health and use of alcohol and other drugs. Marginal decreases from the 2021 survey data were recorded, when more than 1000 young people were surveyed.

Download the full survey

HBNC CEO, Tanya Stevenson, said while some of the data could be confronting, the survey helped provide a clearer picture of what young people in our community are facing.

“It’s important to remember that without data, it is harder to provide appropriate solutions and support networks,” Tanya said.

“Previous Fraser Coast Youth Surveys have helped shaped our approach to youth support services and we now have a number of programs in place that directly respond to the issues raised by the data we have gathered.”

These programs include Virtual Youth First Aid, which uses virtual reality technology to teach young people how to respond to challenges like drug overdoses.

HBNC also continues to deliver Youth Mentoring for Hervey Bay School students in need of support and guidance.

Other support services available include:

  • Reconnect Fraser Coast, supporting young people aged 12-18 years old who are at risk of homelessness.
  • Our Voice, a 10-- week Industry Ready Training Program for high school-aged young people who are at high risk.
  • Youth Assistance Program, part of the Local Industry Futures Training (LIFT) service. YAP aims to support young people 16-18 years old to engage in employment or further education.
  • Skilling Queenslanders for Work Hospitality Program, which provides a holistic Certificate II in Hospitality training program for people looking to gain new skills to land a job.

If you would like to know more about any of these programs, visit our Services page or call 4194 3000.

Key survey findings

Living situation

  • 99% of young people live in a home, while 1% are homeless. This is a 1% decrease in homelessness since last year’s survey.
  • 12.5% of youth reported having experienced homelessness at some point in their life – a 2.5% decrease from last year.
  • 20% have felt unsafe at home (4% decrease from last year) and 14% have run away from home (5% decrease from last year).
  • 34% have accessed mental health services (1% decrease from last year).
  • 20% of youth drink alcohol (20% decrease from last year)
  • 7% use drugs (3% decrease from last year)


The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre Inc., in partnership with local Fraser Coast High Schools and Youth Service Providers surveyed young people in years 7-12 to gather information on homelessness, safety, mental health and alcohol & other drugs. The purpose of the survey is to continue on the work from the last 4 years to gather data to address the lack of evidence available within the local Fraser Coast Youth Sector around homelessness and the social issues coinciding with homelessness. Thank you to Urangan State High School, Hervey Bay State High School, Maryborough State High School, Aldridge State High School, Fraser Coast Anglican College, Glendyne Carinity College, and Riverside Christian Academy for participating in the 2022 FC Youth Survey. The survey is now in its 4th year and a good multi-year snapshot is now being developed.


872 young people were surveyed which is approximately 7% of the total youth population of the Fraser Coast (based on ABS data of 12,448 youth aged 10-19 in 2020). This is lower than the previous year of 1000+ students participating, which potentially impacts on data analysis outcomes when comparisons over the years are reviewed and additionally from the impacts of Covid as we are recovering from the pandemic.


For more information, interviews and photos, contact HBNC Operations Manager, Christian Berechree on 0484 383 055 or email [email protected].