Wellbeing of Adelaide Youth (WAY)

Co-creating a city where all 18 to 24 year-old residents have great wellbeing

The Wellbeing of Adelaide Youth (WAY) initiative is a collaboration between a range of stakeholders including the City of Adelaide, State Government, social, health and education sectors, as well as local businesses and members of the community which strives to create a city where residents aged 18 to 24 have great wellbeing.


In 2016 a PERMA+ survey of residents was undertaken by the City of Adelaide and South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). PERMA+ rates factors including positive emotion, relationship engagement, physical activity, nutrition, sleep, general health and resilience.

It was found that the 18 to 24 year-olds who participated reported lower levels of wellbeing than other age groups. Other studies have shown that stress levels in young Australians and international students are on the rise, while their health and wellbeing is declining.

Our vision: That all 18 to 24 year-olds who live in the City of Adelaide experience great wellbeing.

WAY Community Plan and priority areas

In 2017, the City of Adelaide engaged independent not-for-profit organisation Together SA to work with partners and the community to develop a WAY Community Plan 2018 - 2022. The Plan is the result of a co-design process and based on data, evidence, expert advice and the outcomes of a youth consultation process to capture the views of 18-24 year olds who live in the city. This plan brings together the outcomes and priorities that will guide the initiative’s work.

The outcomes the initiative hopes to achieve are that 18 to 24 year-old residents are:

  • Connected - All 18 to 24 year-olds have positive connections with others
  • Healthy - All 18 to 24 year-olds are physically and mentally healthy
  • Safe - All 18 to 24 year-olds are safe from harm
  • Growth - All 18 to 24 year-olds have skills for life
  • Valued - All 18 to 24 year-olds feel they have a voice and influence
  • Sustainability - All 18 to 24 year-olds live in a sustainable environment
  • Purpose - All 18 to 24 year-olds have meaning and purpose

Step by step

Clearly, establishing an environment where all residents of the City of Adelaide area aged 18 to 24 have great wellbeing will take time.

For the next couple of years WAY will focus on three main areas, determined after consultation with WAY stakeholders. Three working parties were established in December 2018 that collaborate and co-create opportunities in the priority areas of:

  • ensuring 18 to 24 year-olds build positive connections with others via participation in local activities
  • building the health literacy of 18 to 24 year-olds and encouraging healthy choices
  • ensuring that the mental health needs of 18 to 24 year-olds are met.

In May 2019 the WAY Executive Committee was convened with representatives from key sectors including; international education, student accommodation, universities, health, mental health, business, two young people and the City of Adelaide. The Executive Committee will provide the strategic direction for the initiative and ensure systemic, sustainable outcomes.

Read the full WAY Community Plan 2018-2022.

Need more information?

If you would like to be added to the WAY mailing list or become involved please contact Esme Barratt: