It's often stated that younger Australians are disengaged from politics.
I'm not sure this is the case. I suspect they are in fact more disengaged from politicians.
Quite simply, as leaders, our politicians have failed to connect.
In contrast to older generations of Australians, younger people seem more inclined to come together around a specific cause or campaign (often beyond politics) and then disband until the next cause that speaks to them.
Younger people have been highly politically active in recent times around issues such as the women's rights movement (including #MeToo) and the marriage equality debate.
Young people are engaged in what is going on in our country.
They care and when it feels right to, they will become involved.
But not the way our political leaders currently approach things.
Australians under the age of 30 have never voted for a prime minister who has served their full term (the last being John Howard, 2004 to 2007).
Could you blame anyone in that cohort for thinking 'why bother'? Why vote when it seems to have such little impact on who ends up leading our nation?
However, this isn't necessarily the primary cause of young people's disengagement with politicians.
Just over 1 per cent of our upper and lower house federal politicians are under 34 years of age. In part, this reflects the lack of people in this age group who would consider putting themselves out there for this type of role.
But more so, it reflects the difficulties of such a person being endorsed by a major party.
There are people you need to know, and factions you need to appease. And for a young person, this simply isn't doable.
This lack of actual representation from peers means that those in parliament who would assert to reflect the views of younger people are actually approaching the issues somewhat hypothetically.
They cannot truly understand the perspective of a younger person, nor resolve issues the way a younger person might be more naturally inclined to do.
Many young people reflect this lack of perceived representation with comments such as politicians being 'old-school', 'out of touch' or as having 'different values'.
In a previous article, I lamented the lack of long-term vision espoused by our political leaders.
This particularly matters to the younger generation, who experience this lack of long-term perspective as a disregard of their best interests.
This plays out, for example, in the climate change debate, where the full effect of inaction will be felt long after Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten leave politics.
Another example of this perceived failure to act on behalf of younger Australians is apparent in simply listening to the topics focused on by the political leaders during the election campaign.
Rightly or wrongly, most young people are less interested in franking credits, retirement incomes and taxes on higher-income earners. These are not the things that matter most to that generation.
This week both political leaders pledged to make it easier for first-home buyers - a bid to attract the younger voter.
But in the absence of attempts at genuine engagement beyond this topic, it seems that this sort of policy is more likely to be considered tokenistic than meaningful.
The behaviour of our political leaders also has a big impact on the level of engagement younger people have in the political realm - the negativity, name-calling, bouncing from crisis to crisis, playing political games, and one-up-man-ship doesn't resonate with younger voters.
It discredits our political leaders in their eyes. And it doesn't reflect the type of leader they can connect with, admire, aspire to be and get behind.
Social media has the potential to whittle away at this divide, and some of our political leaders are successfully utilising this communication tool.
But what we need moving forward are political leaders who will engage with young people, reflect their views in policies and legislation, and start acting like grownups.
We need political leaders who are prepared to challenge the status quo and encourage more young people to share their views in an appropriate forum and stand for Parliament.
We need a new focused way of perceiving and understanding the world, a fresh approach to thinking and planning, and a longer-term view that will set our nation up for success for future generations.
As we head into the final week of this election campaign, polls would suggest that Labor has better captured the attention of younger people - particularly through its climate change policies.
Can Mr Morrison pull a rabbit out of the hat in these last few days?
- Tony Chapman is a Launceston-based Director of SRA Corporate Change. SRA Corporate Change focuses on unlocking the potential of organisations and their leaders to cultivate high performance through strategy, leadership and culture.