About Us

A local, national and global movement

YWCA Australia is a women's not for profit community-based organisation

About us

YWCA Australia is the national association of YWCAs in Australia and is part of the world YWCA movement. We are a women-led organisation that achieves positive change by providing advocacy, programs and services for women, families and communities.

YWCAs undertake advocacy and deliver programs and services that develop the leadership and collective power of women and girls; support individuals, their families and communities at critical times; and promote gender equality and community strengthening.

An advocate

YWCA Australia’s advocacy is grounded in the knowledge arising from our work in the local community, our practice of consultation with people in our programs and individual members, and a collaborative research ethic.

We ensure that that issues affecting the lives of women and girls, families and communities in Australia are brought to the attention of decision makers.

» Read about the principles that inform our policy advocacy

A community services provider

In Australia, YWCAs deliver a diverse range of vital community programs and services to more than a quarter of a million people each year in over 270 sites in rural, regional and urban Australia.

Our programs include services for children; family and youth; mentoring; health and wellbeing services, disability services; programs for young women; women’s leadership programs; social and low-cost housing; employment and training services; and social enterprises.

A global network

We are part of the World YWCA, a global membership movement of women and young women who have been leading social and economic change in 125 countries, for over 150 years. World YWCA advocates for peace, justice, human rights and care of the environment, and has been at the forefront of raising the status of women for over 150 years.

A federated structure locally and globally

Our Members are Australian YWCA Associations (membership based organisations that operate as independent entities), and individual life members.

YWCA Australia participates in the work of the World YWCA and links the World YWCA with Members in Australia. The YWCA Australia also unites all Members in Australia, working to ensure that the YWCA in Australia is greater than the sum of its parts.

Every three years we bring our members across Australia together for a National Convention, a tradition that has been going on since our first Convention in Adelaide in 1928.

»See a list of past National Conventions

An organisation with accountable governance

YWCA Australia has a volunteer governance board, comprised of an elected President and Treasurer and representatives from Member Associations. The board delegates day-today management of YWCA Australia to the Executive Director.

We have a small staff team who currently operate in two locations: Canberra and Melbourne.

We comply with the World YWCA Standards of Good Management and Accountability.

Our history and foundations

The first YWCA was established in London in 1855 and in Australia in 1872. The YWCA Australia has a history and foundation in the Christian faith. We are sustained by the richness of many beliefs and values. We are open to people of all faiths, backgrounds and genders.

YWCA Australia proudly recognises the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including the right to own and control their cultures, and pays respect around these rights. YWCA Australia commits to respecting and actively supporting the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and worldviews.