Young Women’s Council

Applications for the Young Women’s Council are now closed.

What is the Young Women’s Council?

The Young Women’s Council is an advisory body to YWCA Australia – they provide their input and expertise when it comes to YWCA Australia’s advocacy. The purpose of the Young Women’s Council is to have young women and non-binary people’s experience and ideas inform YWCA’s work.

YWCA Australia is a national not-for-profit organisation working towards a future where young women, women and gender diverse people experience greater safety, security and wellbeing in their homes and communities.

This means that we need to ensure that our advocacy is informed by the voices of those who are both most impacted by and passionate about our work. This is the role of the Young Women’s Council, to work with us while we seek to make positive change in the lives of women and gender diverse people experiencing housing instability and homelessness.

What would I have to do with the Young Women’s Council?

The Young Women’s Council makes recommendations on YWCA strategy, advocacy campaigns and policy platforms. A Young Women’s Council term is two years and during this time, working with the advocacy team will be a pretty big part of the role. You’ll be working with YWCA team members to develop and implement advocacy campaigns, including developing an annual advocacy calendar and helping to mobilise our digital activist community.

A lot of this activity is new – for the Young Women’s Council and for us! Throughout your term, you’ll be helping to lay down the foundations for future Young Women’s Councils and providing feedback on your experiences as you go.

You’ll also have the opportunity to produce content and share insights on issues relating to homelessness or housing insecurity, which might include representing YWCA on different platforms or at events.

Who should apply for the Young Women’s Council?

This is an opportunity for young women and non-binary people, which at YWCA means that you need to be aged between 18 and 30 when you kick off your term on 1 July 2023.

You should apply for this if:

  • You’re based anywhere in Australia – urban, regional, rural or remote.
  • You’re passionate about homelessness and housing insecurity, the impacts it has on women and young people and want to advocate for change in this area.
  • You are a member of YWCA Australia. (Not a member yet? No problem, you can join for free here)

We actively welcome and encourage those with lived experience of housing insecurity or homelessness to apply. Advocacy on these issues should be guided and driven by lived experience expertise. However, there is no obligation or expectation to disclose details of your lived experience if you do not wish to.

Diversity of voices is a priority for us, and we highly encourage you to apply if you identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, living with a disability, coming from a linguistically or culturally diverse (CALD) background, or as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Why should I apply?                                       

There are a few benefits to being a part of the Young Women’s Council:

  • Build your skills in advocacy, social issues and developing and communicating a point of view to diverse audiences.
  • Learn about how a large not-for-profit organisation works, and how to use your experiences and knowledge to advise its advocacy priorities.
  • Make connections with other young people who have similar interests and passions, and work together in a safe, supportive environment.

What is the time commitment?

This is a volunteer opportunity, but the cost of professional development and travel will be covered by YWCA.

The Young Women’s Council will largely meet online – so you’ll need regular access to the internet and a device capable of connecting to virtual meetings. In terms of travel, there is one in-person meeting that is expected to take place in Sydney in August 2023. YWCA will cover the costs of travel and accommodation for this meeting.

The Young Women’s Council is expected to meet quarterly and meetings will be scheduled for outside of typical working hours. We also do whatever we can to make it work for other time zones – this way it shouldn’t interfere with prior commitments, like work or school. The proposed face-to-face meeting in August will take place over a weekend.

How do I apply and what happens next?

Fill out the webform below, where you’ll be asked a few questions about yourself and your interests. From there, your application will be reviewed by a small panel. Applications will be shortlisted and then YWCA members will vote to determine who will make up the Young Women’s Council for 2023 to 2025!

Applications for 2023 Young Women’s Council have closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have (insert graduate qualification/work experience/age here), can I still apply?

Of course. The Young Women’s Council isn’t an academic opportunity and applicants won’t be judged on their formal qualifications or work experience. We want to know about you – why you’re passionate about helping young women, women and gender diverse people experience greater safety, security and wellbeing in their homes and communities. You might have a strong passion on this topic, or maybe lived experience with this, either directly or indirectly, and have a lot to offer beyond work experience, formal qualifications or school education.

Research shows that men will apply for positions when they meet about 60% of the position requirements, but women will only apply if they meet 100% of them. If you think you have something to offer this role, we encourage you to apply.  

Where has the Young Women’s Council been? Why is it relaunching?

We set up the Young Women’s Council in 2018 and since then, we’ve recognised that we can and need to do much better to engage them in meaningful ways. We put the Young Women’s Council on hold for a year in order to work through how Young Women’s Council members can have the most impact in their advisory role to the organisation. We listened to what the Young Women’s Council told us and put the focus on their ability to inform and drive our advocacy initiatives. Relaunching the Young Women’s Council was a needed step after putting it on hold and we can’t wait to engage with a new cohort with a clearer focus.

I’m non-binary, can I apply?

We know that it’s not only young women that are impacted by the issues that lead to housing instability and homelessness. The intersection of disadvantage means that non-binary people experience disadvantage in different, but no less important, ways. Non-binary people are welcome on the Young Women’s Council.