Just World

Our Four Pillars of Impact

At the Y, we are committed to creating a better world, with and for young people. Our mission is to defy discrimination, inequity, injustice, and systemic racism – and to amplify the voices of young people as agents of change, for an equal and safe world.

Enabling First Nations young people

The Y runs a number of programs to support and enable First Nations young people through
a community-led approach.

The Y’s Remote Pools Program in the NT
The Remote Pools Program provides Indigenous children and young people living in remote communities with access to swimming pools, water safety education and health promotion
programs – delivering physical and social health outcomes hand-in-hand with local
communities. See here.

Promoting reconciliation
With our new Federal Government’s strong commitment to the Uluru Statement from the
Heart, there has never been a more important time for our nation, and our Ys, to consider
the role we currently play, and should play moving forward, in advancing the recognition of,
and reconciliation with, our First Nations Australians.

Ys across Australia are taking steps to understand and engage with Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander history, living cultures and traditions; and to identify our role at an organisational
and individual level in pursuing reconciliation, through the development of reconciliation action
plans. See Y Brisbane’s RAP here.

Diversity and inclusion

The Y is committed to taking active steps to build a culture of inclusion, diversity, and equality
within our Ys and our communities.

We provide services and opportunities for those who need it most, including those who are
marginalised, vulnerable or at risk because of factors such as socio-economic background,
culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, location, background and age
(noting the intersectionality of factors of this nature).

Supporting LGBTIQ+ youth mental health (WA)

Now in its fourth year, our award-winning Inside our Minds campaign, supports young
people to share personal experiences with mental health, to support other young people.

In late 2022, the campaign provided the moving reflections of six LGBTIQ+ young people,
to shine a light on the very real mental health challenges disproportionately impacting
them. LGBTIQ+ young people experience poorer mental health outcomes than their peers,
due to experiences of stigma, prejudice and discrimination (LGBTIQ+ Health Australia,
2021). See more here.

Supporting refugees, displaced and newly arrived people

Together We Care Appeal for Ukraine refugees

Supporting refugees and displaced persons is key to our global Y commitment to support
young people and their families. In response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, our Y
movement across Australia collectively contributed $138,500 AUD to the Together We
Care Appeal, a global YMCA appeal for Ukraine refugees.

The appeal raised over $2 million AUD, providing displaced persons and local Ys in Ukraine
with medical and baby supplies, hygiene products and accommodation. Key to the global
YMCA effort, has been the support of Ukranian refugees, with Y people meeting refugees at
the Ukranian border (and in surrounding countries) and assisting refugee children and their
families across Europe to connect with local services, temporary accommodation, and
psychosocial supports. See more here.

Swim program for refugees and new arrivals to Australia (Canberra)
The Y Canberra Refugee and Migrant Swim Program was borne out of tragedy. 24-year-old
Najeebullah (Najeeb) Rafee, was enjoying time at a popular swimming spot in Canberra,
when he fell into trouble and drowned. To honour Najeeb’s legacy, his close friend Annie
Gao, started a swim school in his honour. Now every week, a team of instructors teach
swimming skills to refugees and young people who have migrated from South-East Asia,
Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – at no cost to participants. The program’s
goal is simple: to teach water safety to those who have never seen the water before.

All abilities (disability) inclusion

At the Y, we are committed to creating opportunities so that people, of all abilities, can
participate. We want our participants to have meaningful access to sport and recreation,
to improved quality of life and connection with their community.

Over the past year, we had over 58,000 participations across our all-abilities programs.

Our inclusive sport and recreation programs

The Y offers a wide range of inclusive sport and recreation programs, from providing
exercise interventions and supporting mobility, to supporting our next generation of

Our programs include:
RAID Basketball program (Canberra) – our Recreational Activities for People
with Intellectual Disability (RAID) basketball program provides participants with the
opportunity to be part of a sporting team. Operating since 1984, some of our participants
have been involved for more than 20 years. See more here.

Our many inclusion programs at Y Whittlesea include (see more here):

1:1 Home based support service – helps people with a disability learn or maintain
the skills needed in their home to enable independence, choice and control.

1:1 Community Support
– aims to increase confidence and self-esteem of a person with
a disability in the community with tailored, individual support.

All Abilities Camps – offers the chance for everyone to experience active recreation.

Early Years Engagement (EYES) Support – draws from our expertise in both the
disability and early learning sectors, to identify where early intervention is required, and to
work in partnership with families and agencies to support children to reach their full potential.

Pillar 4


Our four pillars of impact, also check out what we do in the others below:

Also, see more in our 2022 Community Impact Report here.

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