Home and school - Young people
Everyone has rights. Young people have different rights to adults when it comes to home and school.
This information will help you to understand your rights as a young person at school or at home. Find out:
- what you can do if you are being bullied
- when you can leave home
- when you can leave school
- when you can get your own passport
- when you can vote
- when you can make your own will.
What if I am being bullied?
If you are being bullied at school or online, you should tell your parents and your teacher, a school counsellor or the school principal. If the bullying is in a form that is against the law (for example, being hit) you should report it to the police.
When can I leave home?
If you want to leave home without your parents' agreement, you should talk it over with a school counsellor, a youth worker or an adult you trust.
Generally a young person will not be forced to go home if they have a safe place to go, enough money to live on, are mentally healthy, not in danger, and not committing (or at risk of committing) any crimes (such as drug related offences or prostitution).
If your parent or guardian does not know where you are, they may make a 'missing persons' report to the police or let the Department of Communities know that they are concerned about your wellbeing.
When can I leave school?
All 16, 17 and 18 year olds in Western Australia need to be in school, training or employment or a combination of these.
If you do not want to stay in full-time school, you might be able to do:
- full-time home based schooling
- full-time enrolment in a registered training organisation
- an apprenticeship or traineeship
- an approved course with a community organisation
- part-time school/training and part-time work, or
- full-time employment. (The Minister for Education’s delegate must approve you leaving school and getting a full-time job).
If you need help with deciding which option is best for you, talk to your school or education regional office.
When can I get my own passport?
You can apply for a passport at any age. The application form you need to complete is available from any post office.
Usually a young person under 18 needs their parents or guardian to consent and sign the application for a passport.
You can apply for a passport before you turn 18 if your parents or guardian agree.
If your parents or guardian can’t or won’t agree, there are steps you can take to get a passport. You don't need your parents' or guardian's consent to get a passport if you are under 18 but married.
When can I vote?
Before you can vote, you must place your name on the electoral roll. If you are an Australian citizen, you can register to vote when you are 17, but you can't vote until you turn 18.
Once you are 18, it is compulsory for all Australian citizens to enrol and vote in state and federal (national) government elections. If you are enrolled and don’t vote, you will be fined unless you have a good reason for not voting.
In Western Australia, it is not compulsory to vote in local government elections.
When can I make a will?
When you are 18 you can make your own will.
Internet safety and cyber bullying
- Department of Education WA– Alternatives to full time schooling
- Services Australia- Leaving secondary school
Getting a passport
Reviewed: 3 November 2022