Three Cornerstones of Empowerment

YWCA Queensland believes the best way to empower women of the future is by focusing on three cornerstones of empowerment; Safety and Wellbeing, Economic Participation and Women’s Leadership.  

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Safety & Wellbeing 

While the activities of YWCAs everywhere vary according to local needs, the YWCA has always been – and will continue to be – in the business of women’s safety: physical safety, sexual safety, choice, online safety, the safety to express opinions, needs and aspirations. 

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Economic Participation

We know that financial independence is central to women’s empowerment and wellbeing and that, conversely, financial insecurity is a key contributor to poverty, homelessness, risk of abuse and violence against women.

So this part of our work centres on ensuring women have the skills and knowledge they need to gain employment and participate in the economic, social and civic life of their communities.

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Women’s Leadership

The world is a better place where women are involved in the decision-making. At YWCA Queensland, developing and promoting women as leaders in all spheres of activity is in our DNA.

All around the world, influential women have learnt valuable leadership lessons through their involvement with the YWCA.


YWCA Queensland is committed to continual development of programs that meet the needs of women and young girls.

We work with organisations including TAFE and universities to create innovative programs that will support women throughout their careers and lives.

Why YWCA Provides Programs and Essential Services 


Y Hand Up

Supporting women leaving violent homes

Y Hand Up provides practical measures to support women to rebuild their lives after escaping from domestic and family violence (DFV) or who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness. With a focus on building safer communities and reducing pressure on high-cost crisis services, Y Hand Up creates a mechanism to connect women and children in need with safe housing, appropriate support services and practical support to re-establish a sustainable life. By ultimately interrupting the cycle of victims returning to the perpetrator due to a lack of practical and social supports, the project is working to reduce long-term reliance on government support.


Y Ability 

Changing the lives of women with disability  

YWCA Queensland specialises in services for women with disability. YWCA Queensland has developed a service delivery model that allows us to maintain the intimacy of a small service, while drawing on the robust management and support systems of a larger organisation.

We work hard to develop a culture of professionalism and a passion for excellence among all Y Ability support team members. All of this is reflected in our independent HDAA accreditation as a Disability Support Provider.


Employment Programs

Tackling women’s barriers to economic participation

Evidence shows that increasing the share of household income controlled by women changes spending in ways that benefit children. When more women work, economies grow. YWCA Queensland is committed to providing skilling programs to break through the barriers for women wanting to work.  

For example, thanks to the support of the Queensland Government, our current Skilling Queenslanders for Work Program has seen 48 women with significant barriers to employment each undertake a traineeship with YWCA Queensland. 


Every Girl

Giving each girl a voice, creating the leaders of tomorrow

Every Girl is designed to assist girls aged 10 to 13 years in building their leadership skills, confidence and self-awareness through fun and empowering activities.

Over a period of 4-8 weeks the girls take part in small group sessions in the classroom, outside or within the community. The girls choose a project to work on that will enrich the lives of people in need and will also help bolster their awareness of human rights, their sense of community and leadership abilities.


Y Bloom

Guiding girls to become empowered women

A unique mentoring program for teenage girls who show potential as leaders. The program is designed for girls in Year 9 (approximately 14 years old) to build resilience and confidence through mentors who participate as positive role models and facilitators.

Developed specifically for 14-year-old girls, the program is unique, incorporating team building, leadership and empowerment exercises within the classroom, but also offers unique work place experience with strong female mentors from various industries.


Love mY Way

Educating young people about respectful, loving relationships

YWCA Queensland believes that one of the most effective ways to end domestic and family violence is through prevention. Though our Love mY Way healthy relationships program, Year 10 boys and girls are given the opportunity to explore and understand the need for respectful relationships.


Y Housing 

Providing safe and affordable homes

The YWCA has been in the business of providing Queenslanders with affordable, secure and appropriate housing solutions for more than 125 years.

We own or manage a large number of community housing properties for low-income households who are on the One Social Housing System wait-list maintained by the Queensland Department of Communities (Housing Services). Our individualised tenancy support assists people to maintain their tenancies and from that stable foundation develop their own plan to “find their possible".


Food Rescue

Helping feed local communities

YWCA Queensland and Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest, launched their partnership in August 2016 and the Toowoomba chapter of REAP (Rescue Excess food with A Passion) was born. The program sees volunteers collect excess food from donors like local supermarkets and bakeries and deliver it to recipients that are in need of food relief. More than 14,000 Toowoomba residents will require food relief at some point during the year, and YWCA Queensland’s Food Rescue program helps to deliver food to these residents in need.


Healthy Relationships

Be the change

In 2015, the Domestic and Family Violence Task-force report, Not Now, Not Ever, detailed domestic violence in Queensland in a way never seen before. The report challenges the reader with a blunt question, “what are you going to do about this?”

The Healthy Relationships program is a joint response to this question by YWCA Queensland and TAFE Queensland. The online program is structured to be highly engaging and provoke learners to think about their attitudes and be accountable for their own behaviour.

This program equips women and men, girls and boys to foster healthy relationships with their partners, family and the wider community. This program has been made available to TAFE Queensland students and we are now seeking to expand its availability to school groups, sporting clubs and corporate organisations.


YWCA Encore

Supporting women who have experienced breast cancer

YWCA Encore is an exercise program designed specifically for women who have experienced mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast reconstruction surgery at any time in their lives. Based around floor and pool exercises, it is safe, fun and therapeutic. Encore helps participants to strengthen and tone their arms, shoulders and chest, regain mobility, and improve general fitness. We know that after surgery, many women experience numbness, pins and needles, loss of mobility, and discomfort in their upper bodies. Encore can help relieve these problems through specifically tailored after breast cancer surgery exercises.


Want to learn more about our programs? Check out our video below.