Y Connect

Y Connect: Working with women living with disabilities through building confidence, connections and professional development.

‘The glass ceiling is double glazed when it comes to being a woman with a disability.’

Y Connect was developed after recognising that career planning, networking and skill-building come with extra barriers for women living with disabilities (WWD). The Y Connect program aims to create a community; offering workshops, events, social and mentoring opportunities for women, no matter what their professional experience.

Every member is able to tailor their involvement and commit to what suits them, with the choice of opting into whichever events are interesting and relevant to them in their journey.

The Y Connect program is an opportunity for members to gain knowledge, confidence and contribute to their community through sharing advice and skills with peers. All Y Connect events exist in a friendly, safe and empowering environment, where WWD connect with peers and allies from the YWCA movement and the wider community, with a common goal of changing the culture around opportunities for women with disabilities.

For more information on joining the Y Connect program either as a member or an ally, please contact Francene on 0482 166 154 (call or text) or email at Francene.Bain@ywca.org.au.

Current Y Connect Opportunities

Workplace Communications Skills

The Y Connect Program, in partnership with Impact Career Counselling & Professional Development, is offering FREE individual appointments to develop your workplace communication skills. Topics include:

  • Telephone answering skills
  • Workplace documents and forms
  • Following instructions, Problem Solving & Decision Making
  • Asking questions – open and closed
  • Workplace signage & awareness of safe workplace practices
  • Can-Do Attitude

Each topic is an individual session. You can apply for multiple sessions and choose what you would like help with. 

Register for a Workplace Communication Skills session

Career Planning Assessment

The Y Connect Program is offering FREE individual Career Planning and Assessment sessions with Impact Career Counselling & Personal Development. These individual sessions are held over two one-hour appointments either online or in-person. You will complete a Self Directed Search Assessment which will help you identify your personal goals, skills, activities and interests. The results will help you identify careers that suit your interests and personality.

Apply Now for a Career Assessment

Job Search Training Skills

The Y Connect Program in partnership with Impact Career Counselling & Professional Development is offering FREE individual appointments to develop your job search skills. You can apply for multiple individual appointments and choose what you need help with.

Register for a Job Search Training Skills session

Individual Sessions to strengthen you

The Y Connect Program is offering a limited number of individual one-on-one sessions with Nicole Carter from The Amayni Centre. These sessions are designed to help you with either your motivation, resilience or understanding of anxiety. The three topics in this series are independent sessions that you can book separately. You can book one or multiple sessions however each session will focus on a different topic.

Register for an individual session

Job Coaching with Shaz

Are you wanting a job or to start a business but don’t know what type of work you are suited to? Shaz Thorndike is offering free individual sessions to mentor people who are trying to figure out which kind of work they are best suited for.

Sessions will be held at a mutually agreeable location for you and Shaz, taking into account your disability and sensory needs. You are welcome to bring a support worker as well.

Shaz Thorndike has lived with physical, neurological, cognitive and sensory disabilities for 12 years. Before that, she was an Occupational Therapist. She is a late-diagnosed loud and proud Autistic woman.

Click here to register.

Could you be a mentor?

  • Are you interested in assisting a woman living with disability realise their goals for employment and broaden their connections for potential employment?
  • Do you have a minimum of 2 hours free each month to work with a woman living with a disability as a mentor?

The Y Connect Program is seeking volunteers to mentor women living with a disability in the Darling Downs region in Queensland to work with participants to develop their strengths and work towards their employment and career aspirations for a period of 9 to 12 months.

Apply to be a mentor

Do you want a mentor?

The Y Connect Mentoring Program is designed to empower women and gender diverse people living with disability. Our program pairs mentors with mentees to provide individual support, guidance and resources to help them achieve their career and employment aspirations. Whether you’re looking to develop new skills, build a professional network, or simply gain more confidence in your abilities, our mentorship program offers a unique opportunity for growth and advancement. Join us on this exciting journey to reach your full potential!

To ensure a successful mentoring relationship, the Y Connect Program will consider your abilities, employment goals, skills, previous work experience, personal attributes and preferences when choosing the best mentor for you.

To apply, you must:

  • Identify as a woman or gender diverse person living with a disability
  • Commit to a mentoring relationship for at least 2 hours per month for up to 12 months

Limited places are available.  


All applicants will be contacted for an informal interview to determine suitability for the mentoring program.

If you have any questions or would like assistance completing the application form, please call or email the Y Connect Program Coordinator, Francene Bain, on 0482 166 154 or francene.bain@ywca.org.au.

Come join us for a fun evening filled with hair, makeup, and fashion tips to help you get that job you want.

Participants will receive a complimentary gift pack.

Limited tickets available.

When: Wednesday, 29 March 2023, 5:00pm to 7:30pm
Where: Community Room at YWCA Australia, 112 Mary Street. Please enter via the ramp at the back entrance through the rear carpark off Arthur Street. 
Catering: Nibbles and drinks will be provided.

Register here by 5:00pm Friday 24 March 2023.

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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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