Frequently Asked Questions

What is a longitudinal cohort study?

A longitudinal cohort study is research that follows the same group of people over time. These people share a common event. In the case of the Our Lives cohort this event was entering Year 8 at a Queensland secondary school in 2006.

This is a very special kind of study and there are very few like it in Australia. It is also important to stress that participants in this type of study are irreplaceable. That is why we are so appreciative of your continued support and involvement.   

Why are my answers important?

Your answers are important because you are providing valuable information about what life is like for a young Australian of your age. It tells us the opportunities that have been made available to you and the challenges you have faced.

We are also able to see differences in responses among the Our Lives cohort and explain them. For instance, variations among the cohort might be related to gender, education, or political views.     

Why do you ask me the same survey questions?

There is a set of research questions, which we ask in every survey. By asking you the same questions we are able to see if your situation or views change over time. However, we also include other items that are relevant to your current age or to what might be happening in Australia around the time of the survey.

When is the next Our Lives survey?

The Wave 8 survey is being conducted in 2021.

How long will the study go for?

Ideally we would like the study to continue for as long as possible. That, of course, is dependent on funding. From 2006-2020 the study was funded by the Australian Research Council. Since 2021, the study has been funded by the Australian Catholic University, with funding for future waves to be sought from competitive research grant schemes.

What is the information used for?

The data we collect is often reported in academic publications or at academic conferences. It has also been used by Honours, Masters, and PhD students in their research.  Remember that the information you provide is confidential and that it is de-identified before it is used.

List of Support Services


24 hours crisis support and suicide prevention services.

1300 22 4636

Information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.

1800 737 732


24 hour support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.

1800 18 7263

Information about mental illness, treatments, where to go for support and help carers.

1800 184 527

National telephone and web counselling service for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people, families and friends.

1300 364 277

Relationship support services for individuals, families and communities.