YWCA’s Y Connect program, aims to empower women and gender diverse people living with a disability to progress their professional networks and employment aspirations.
The core goal of Y Connect is to work with participants to build their individual capacity and assist them to establish and grow their professional networks. The aim is that this support leads to employment and/or career progression.
So far, over 90 women and gender diverse people have participated in Y Connect programs, events and activities.
In 2023, we delivered:
- 2 Computer Skills programs
- 2 Money wYse programs
- Professional Development Bursaries valued up to $1000 to support career goals
- Mentoring Program
- Career planning
- Workplace communication skills
- Job search skills
- Building resilience
- Understanding anxiety
- Leadership skills
Peer Networking Events
- 2 Dressing for the World of Work workshops
- Communicating with Confidence
- Careers in the Arts Sector
- Christmas in July
- Navigating your identity in the workplace – neurodivergent, gender diverse and queer
- Guest speaker from Sarina Russo talking about their Self Employment Program
Disability and employment
In partnership with Toowoomba Chambers of Commerce, we hosted an event targeting local employers about disability and employment. The event featured a guest speaker from JobAccess, two local employers who are leaders in employing people living with disability, and one person who has recently experienced an injury which has resulted in disability and who is returning to work in a managerial role. 65 people from 21 different organisations attended this event.
Y Connect also worked with Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce to create a page for their website regarding disability and employment.
In the Community
Alyce and Shaz were guest speakers at a seminar organised by Clifford Gardens Shopping Centre. These seminars are aiming to improve inclusion and accessibility for people living with disability at Clifford Gardens Shopping Centre.
We attended the 2023 Toowoomba Business disAbility Awards. Alyce won the award for Education and Training. Congratulations Alyce!
We attended the Toowoomba Disability Expo. It was the busiest year yet with lots of new registrations.
Quotes from participants
“The well-rounded services and workshops offered this year by the YWCA have given my day-to-day life structure, in what has been a difficult year. There are many other gifts the YWCA year has brought with it. Thank you for them all. Special kudos goes to Francene for all her initiative and hard work. What a fabulous year.” – Nicolette
“I was successful in receiving a Y Connect Professional Development Bursary which enabled me to attend an Easy Read and Plain English course. This newfound knowledge has opened doors and helped with my confidence. Y Connect is a space where everyone, regardless of their background or abilities, feels valued and included.” – Nadia