The role of the Commissioner for Children and Young People is to advocate for all children and young people across Tasmania, including promoting, monitoring and reviewing the wellbeing of Tasmania’s children and young people. Tasmania is on a wellbeing journey and the Commissioner has been working to help ensure that the needs of Tasmania’s children and young people, now and into the future, are met.


Back in 2016, former Commissioner Morrissey initiated the publication of a report on the health and wellbeing of Tasmania’s children, young people and their families. This report brought together, for the first time, a range of publicly available data on Tasmania’s children and young people’s health and wellbeing. Former Commissioner Morrissey released a consolidated version of this report in September 2017.


Download the September 2017 report here.

In August 2018, Interim Commissioner Clements released an updated version of this report – The Health and Wellbeing of Tasmania’s Children and Young People Report 2018. This provides updated data, where more recently released data are available, and also includes some additional data.

The 2018 Report includes demographic data, data pertaining to early childhood and the transition to school, and middle childhood and adolescence, and data relating to targeted support for children and young people.

It is designed to provide individuals, community members, professionals, members of government and non-government organisations, and children and young people, with a picture of the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Tasmania.

The publication of the 2018 Report represents a contribution to the collective work necessary to improve the health and wellbeing of Tasmania’s children and young people.

Interim Commissioner Clements has also published a companion document, developed particularly for readers who are children and young people, called Tasmania’s Children and Young People in 2018. The purpose of this child-friendly version is to assist children and young people to engage with the story that the data tell.

Download the child-friendly version here.

In February 2020, current Commissioner McLean released her report Investing in the Wellbeing of Tasmania’s Children and Young People which proposes improving the wellbeing of children and young people by bringing it to the centre of government policy and decision-making. The report includes recommendations aimed at overcoming some of the factors that have hampered our efforts to improve the wellbeing of children and young people to date. The report recommends that Tasmania develops a long-term, cross-partisan strategy to improve the wellbeing of Tasmanian children and young people, led by the Cabinet of the day. It also recommends that increased investments need to be made in the first 1,000 days of children’s lives, including during pregnancy, and reducing fragmentation of effort in service delivery.


The full report can be downloaded here.

In late 2020, the Tasmanian Government asked Commissioner McLean to talk with Tasmanian children and young people aged up to 17 years to find out what wellbeing means to them. The Government asked her to do this to help them develop Tasmania’s first Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy.


Commissioner McLean also spoke with parents and others who care for Tasmanian children aged 4 and under.


One of the results of these consultations is a children’s picture book When I wake up I smile, which captures the views on wellbeing of children aged 4-8 years from selected schools who took part in creative workshops with artists. Commissioner McLean asked these artists to help her with the consultations with younger children because she believes it is important that children no matter what their age have a say and let adults know what they think in fun and creative ways.


On 24 May 2021 Commissioner McLean launched the book “When I wake up I smile” together with an education resource that can be used by educators, parents and carers to discuss wellbeing with children. “When I wake up I smile” is not just a picture book – it’s also an incredibly insightful and honest look by Tasmanian children at what they want and need to be happy, healthy and secure and to have the very brightest futures Tasmania can offer them.


On 1 June 2021 Commissioner McLean also released a report to Government, We call it happy, which describes what she heard during consultations with more than 400 young Tasmanians and 100 parents and carers of children from around Tasmania.

When I wake up I smile. A children’s book on wellbeing.

Education resource for teachers and carers to accompany the book, ‘When I wake up I smile’.