The coronavirus pandemic has caused the most significant social and economic disruptions in Australia in nearly a century. Following the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020, commonwealth and state/territory governments quickly moved to impose mandatory lockdowns and restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, public health emergency responses caused unprecedented disruptions to business and social activities, and adversely affected the wellbeing of ordinary citizens. Although young people were thought to be the least affected by COVID-19, they bore the brunt of its adverse knock-on effects. Due mainly to historical disadvantages, these detrimental impacts are assumed to be worse for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths, but little is known empirically. Using pre-post analysis, this study provides a glimpse into the consequences of COVID-19 on employment and life satisfaction among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Dr Yonatan Dinku is an economist, and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University. Since 2018, Yonatan has worked on several projects that investigate key determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing.