Help us celebrate 140 years of the YWCA movement in Australia

On 2 June 1880, Mary Jane Barker called a meeting of 10 women at St James Church on Phillip Street in Sydney. Together, the women agreed to form a Young Women’s Christian Association of Sydney. Our founders were resolute in their aim:

“The aim of our Association will be to provide, under one roof, a Home for women and girls who need it, and rooms where classes and meetings can be held and a library set up.”

With a £50 contribution from the church, the founders of the YWCA movement in Australia were on their way – dauntless, enthusiastic and ever-optimistic.

In 2020, we’re calling on all our YWCA members and supporters to help us celebrate 140 years of supporting young women, women and girls in Australia through our community programs, services, and housing!

In the leadup to the anniversary on 2 June, will you help us replicate key moments through YWCA history?

You may have seen the Getty Museum Challenge, where people recreated iconic pieces of art at home during COVID-19 lockdown. We’re looking for people to take on the #YWCAHistoryChallenge and recreate iconic moments of YWCA history just using what you have around the house!

Need a demonstration?

See what some of our YWCA team have done:

Send your photo to and post to social media with the tag #YWCAHistoryChallenge and tag us!

Submit your photo by 9am Tuesday 2 June, to be in the running for a $100 feminist gift hamper prize for the best response to the challenge.

A winner will be determined by a YWCA supporter vote on social media and awarded on Tuesday 9 June.

To get you started on this #YWCAHistoryChallenge, here’s a photo gallery of vintage YWCA photos for inspiration. You can also Google Image Search “YWCA vintage” for more inspiration!

YWCA Australia wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, live and play and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We recognise First Nations people as the custodians of the lands, seas and skies, with more than 60,000 years of wisdom, connection and relationship in caring for Country.

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