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

The Y Connect Program, in partnership with Inclusion Access, is offering a limited number of ‘Workplace Culture Inclusion and Diversity’ packages (valued up to $5800) to eligible workplaces servicing the Toowoomba region.

What the package includes

Culture Inclusion and Diversity check-up:

  • Culture survey for all staff and management
  • Policy review
  • Employee onboarding procedures
  • Introduction to “Inclusion Champions” and relevant training
  • “Walk and Talk” barrier identification
  • Staff education (1 hour)

Why employers should apply

An inclusive and diverse workforce has many benefits to not only the wellbeing of all staff but also allows an extensive boost in financial benefit as well as an increase in staff productivity and morale. Research suggests that workplaces that embrace diversity and inclusivity in their workforce enjoy many positive benefits such as:

  • Retaining workers
  • Improving brand reputation
  • Lower incidence of workplace injury
  • Enhanced productivity
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Improved employee morale and positive organisational culture

Eligibility criteria

  • Your organisation must have between 10 to 100 staff with at least 50% of the workforce based in Toowoomba.
  • A manager or decision-maker who has the capacity to make change within the organisation and available to work with Inclusion Access over the package period. For example, up to 10 days’ worth of time to work with Inclusion Access during this process. Please note: the amount of time will vary depending on the size of the organisation and other details such as whether your organisation has existing plans and policies.
  • Must be able to incorporate key elements of disability inclusion and diversity into a current or future position such as a workplace inclusion champion (Approx. 2 hours per week depending on size of organisation).
  • Must be able to provide a statement or letter of support from management, the executive leadership team, or the organisational board if applicable.
  • Must be able to complete this work between April and July 2024.

How to apply

Please complete the application form by Friday 5 April 2024.

The Y Connect Program is offering professional development bursaries to support women and gender diverse people living with disability in their chosen field. The bursaries are valued at up to $1000 and will contribute up to 80% towards a professional development opportunity or event, training or education, or required resources to support individual career aspirations.

Applicants are permitted to include multiple items in an application, however, only one bursary per applicant will be awarded. Examples of items that are eligible include noise cancelling headphones, high fidelity earplugs or training that will support you with your employment goals.

If successful, you will need to provide the Y Connect Program Coordinator with a valid tax invoice. Funds will be paid directly to the supplier. The Y Connect Program is not able to pay successful applicants directly.  Applications close Friday 03 May 2024.

If you have any questions, please contact Francene Bain (Y Connect Program Coordinator) on 0482 166 154 or email Francene.bain@ywca.org.au

Peer networking event: Tips and Tricks for LinkedIn

Join Laura Scurr who will help you to discover the wonderful world of LinkedIn. This will be an interactive session where attendees will be supported to set up their own LinkedIn profile. There will also be an opportunity to get a FREE professional head shot photo taken by a professional photographer. 

Computers will be provided however, you are more than welcome to bring your own device if you prefer.

This is a FREE event. Please note, Y Connect events are only for women and gender diverse people living with disability.


When: Tuesday 16 April 2024, 12:00pm to 2:00pm.

Where: Level 3, City Library Building, 155 Herries Street, Toowoomba City.

Catering: Light refreshments will be provided.

Parking: Limited free parking is available under the venue.

Please contact Francene Bain on 0482 166 154 with any questions or requirements.

Registrations close 5:00pm Friday, 12 April 2024.

Please click HERE to register

Starting your own business – turning your interest into income workshops

Are you interested in starting your own business, but you don’t know where to start or what support is available? The Y Connect Program has developed five separate workshops for women and gender diverse people living with disability that are considering starting their entrepreneurial journey.

Workshop 1: Exploring possibilities
When: Thursday 8 February 2024, 4:30pm to 6:00pm.

Workshop 2: What is a business and what is a hobby?
When: Thursday 22 February 2024, 4:30pm to 6:00pm.

Workshop 3: Disability-specific information
When: Thursday 7 March 2024, 4:30pm to 6:00pm.

Workshops 4 and 5: Available support
When: workshop 4 Thursday 21 March 2024, 4:30pm to 6:00pm & workshop 5 Thursday 4 April 2024, 4:00pm to 6:00pm.

Where: All workshops will be held at East Creek Community Centre, 43 Kitchener Street, East Toowoomba. This is an accessible venue.

Free parking is available at the venue.

Please click HERE to register for each workshop.

Y Connect Career Development session

The Y Connect Program, in partnership with MAS National, is offering FREE individual appointments to help you on your pathway to success. Whether you are looking to upskill or ready to breakout and try something new, one of these sessions can help you. A qualified MAS National Advisor will sit down with you to help map out a pathway to your dream career and provide you with the tools and knowledge to get you started.

Topics include:

  • Information on pathways available for your area of interest
  • Resume and job-hunting tips
  • Interview and cover letter support
  • Quality career assessment tools
  • MAS Jobs – an online job matching system.


When: by appointment
Where: online or in person. Location to be determined by you
Registration: Please complete the registration form via the below link.

Please click HERE to register

Y Connect Computer Skills session

The Y Connect Program is offering a limited number of FREE individual computer skills sessions. You can select topics such as introduction to email, organising your computer and managing files/documents, introduction to Microsoft Word and Excel, or you can let us know what computer topic you would like help with, and we may be able to develop a session for you.

Each topic is an independent 1- or 2-hour session. In your registration form, please select all the topics you would like help with. Spots are limited so be QUICK!

Once you have submitted your registration form, a Y Connect facilitator will contact you to organise a time and location for your session. Sessions can also be held online.

For face-to-face sessions, a computer is supplied however you’re more than welcome to bring your own laptop.

When: by appointment
Where: online or in-person. Location to be determined by you and the facilitator.
Registration:please complete the registration form via the below link. 

Please click HERE to register.

Mental Wellness Workshops

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

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

Sign up below to receive updates about Y Connect events in Toowoomba.


* indicates required

Find More Programs in Queensland

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.

Skip to content