Creating constructive mentoring spaces for marginalised regional youth. A conceptual model and study from south-west Queensland

Year: 2019

Author: Schultz, Carol, van, der, Laan, Luke, Ormsby, Gail

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


This study proposes a model to promote an improved socialisation process for marginalised young people in regional communities of Australia.

Research Design

The study involved evaluation and analysis of four integrated phases.

Phase 1, involved a summative evaluation of the organisation MADYACA Inc. a community operated program (2009-2010), to assess its strategies, program design, internal and external stakeholder engagement and field experiences.

Phase 2, involved a critical literature review to identify the key theories, influences/pressures that shape the socialisation processes for marginalised youth.

Phase 3, utilising the identified critical criteria from Phase 1 and 2, a two part quantitative study (using a Likert Scale) was designed and conducted among respondents from the Toowoomba Flexi-School (teachers, community members and mentors, n=17). A semi-structured questionnaire and an interview process with teachers and mentors, were used to gather data. Key themes derived from the initial stages included: 1) dealing with contradictions, 2) morality in the modern world, and 3) responsibility for socializing young people, which in-turn informed the development of the interview questions. For each question, a statement was formulated to provide the interviewee with a brief background to the question and to promote reflection. Each interview took approximately 20 minutes.

Phase 4, utilising the findings from the first three phases, a conceptual model was developed to inform the design and implementation of programs developed to address marginalised young people in regional Queensland.


A set of guiding principles, pertinent to the socialisation process for Australian youth were developed.The Human Flourishing Model provides a conceptual representation of the critical criteria necessary to address the nurturing and positive socialisation of young people in regional communities where social support may be limited.


The model and guiding principles provides an evidence-based preventative model and recommendations that support a whole of community and national response to strengthen a societal approach to decrease the marginalisation of youth within regional communities. Further implementation of this program and its assessment will provide further insights into the social benefit and cost effectiveness of such strategies.