Our Commitment to Youth
The YMCA values the uniqueness and diversity of young people. The YMCA exists to empower and support young people to reach their potential. The YMCA advocates for young people, and provides platforms to their voices to be heard. We provide safe spaces for young people, and ensure that all of our services are accessible to young people. The YMCA works to connect young people to their communities.
The YMCA seeks to be known in Australia for its expertise in youth engagement, youth leadership and youth empowerment.
Our commitment to Australia's youth will be achieved by our Member Associations through:
Fostering Youth Empowerment
We proactively seek to encourage and provide opportunities that maximise decisions made by young people, benefit young people with tangible outcomes, providing for access, equity, inclusiveness and diversity. We seek to provide opportunities that involve real challenges and development.
We recognise that young people are not just "the leaders of tomorrow" - they are also the leaders of today. We provide opportunities for young people to learn about themselves and develop leadership skills for life.
Involving and engaging young people in decision making at all levels
We are committed to youth participation. We provide opportunities for young people to be involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs and services. We are creative in finding ways young people can meaningfully engage in decision making processes. We believe that the best youth programs are run by young people for young people with a sense of project ownership.
Advocating for and with young people
We develop relationships and partnerships that advance the needs of young people. We use our position of strength as a major national provider of youth services to advocate nationally, regionally and locally.
Recognising and celebrating the achievements of young people
We believe that youth work is about celebrating and building on the existing assets of the young person, in a manner based on positivity, hope and encouragement
Follow this link to the full National Youth Commitment
Our Commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
The YMCA recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples of this continent and the islands of the Torres Strait. In doing so, we acknowledge our shared history; recognise the right to self-determination and the importance of connection to and access to country. We acknowledge and respect distinct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural differences, beliefs, values and languages.
Through walking together and working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the YMCA will seek to address systemic issues of political and social exclusion, economic disadvantage, and health inequality. We also support and recognise the strengths, skills and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the YMCA and to the Australian community.
Our commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be achieved by our Member Associations through:
Achieving greater understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture
Building knowledge, understanding and respect across the YMCA is fundamental to our commitment.
Advocating for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
In particular, we are committed to upholding the rights of YMCA staff, volunteers and program participants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.
Enhancing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve social inclusion, economic participation and health equality
The YMCA is well positioned to promote and facilitate these opportunities through our suite of programs, services, training and employment pathways.
Developing respectful and meaningful partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations
Partnership development that is respectful and sustainable with long-term vision will be critical in meeting our commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Follow this link to the full Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commitment
Our Commitment to Volunteers
Our commitment to volunteers will be achieved by our Member Associations through:
Recognising volunteer contributions
We recognise the work of our volunteers both locally and nationally. The YMCA equally values short-term project based volunteering, and long-term volunteer commitment.
Adopting a consistent approach
We are committed to embracing the Volunteering Australia "National Standards for Involving Volunteers in Not for Profit Organisations", including the "Principles of Volunteering".
Ensuring adherence to social inclusion principles
We seek to remove barriers to volunteering by adopting best practice in volunteering policies, procedures, systems and inclusive practices.
The sharing of resources
We actively encourage Associations to share with, and benefit from, others showing leadership in volunteering.
Follow this link to the full Volunteer Statement of Commitment
Our Commitment to Social Inclusion
The YMCA values the individual worth, uniqueness and diversity of all people. We seek to remove barriers to participation in programs and activities that will enable all people to meet their full potential, and experience meaningful involvement in the YMCA Movement, according to the Mission statement and values of YMCA Australia.
Our social inclusion commitment will be achieved through our Member Associations:
Striving to remove any barriers to full participation in community life, for people living in a community served by the YMCA
These barriers may be social, economic, attitudinal, cultural or political.
Supporting and fostering active citizenship
In particular we are committed to fostering a spirit of volunteering and local governance
Enhancing people's rights, access and opportunities
The principles of Access and Inclusion are an important element of Social Inclusion.
Advocating for the rights of all people in our communities.
The YMCA is uniquely placed to use its relationships to influence decision makers on behalf of those less able to express their views and needs.
Follow this link to the full Social Inclusion Statement of Commitment
Our Commitment to the Environment
The YMCA Movement in Australia is committed to being a leading environmentally-responsible organisation, acting in a sustainable way, and minimising our environmental impact. We recognise the critical importance of caring for the environment for the future of humanity. In providing programs and services that build strong people, strong families and strong communities, we will also protect, sustain and restore our natural environment.
Our environmental commitment will be achieved by our Member Associations through:
Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
We accept the science of climate change and our responsibility to reduce our environmental 'footprint'.
Sustainable Use of Water
We adopt and promote water-efficient strategies.
Sustainable Use of Land & Resources
We preserve the earth's ecological diversity and the natural ecosystems in our communities via materials efficiency, facility design and waste minimisation.
Community Leadership and Advocacy
We actively encourage public education & awareness – for our staff, customers and partners.
Follow this link to the full Environmental Statement of Commitment