Y Women Stories

Find your voice, share your story!

For April 24th, World YWCA Day, we asked our staff, clients and supporters to find thier voice and share their story with us.
Each story (and the woman behind it) is unique and powerful in their own right.
We're incredibly proud to be able to share with you, the stories of the Y Women.

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Ronza

Ronza tell us what it was like to move across the world, from War torn Syria to Australia, for a better life...

Read Ronza's story

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Czarina

Czarina shares her challenges in finding employment without 'local experience' and how YWCA helped her to provide for her family...

Read Czarina's story

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Maureen

Maureen shares how working for a feminist organisation has changed her career path for the better

Read Maureen's story

Donate and help us continue support the women of YWCA

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Esperance

Esperance shares how working for YWCA changed her life

Listen to Esperance's story

Lina

Lina shares how hard it was to find employment after volunteering in South Korea for 18 months...

Read Lina's story

Given

Given shares her experiences with three of the programs YWCA runs and how  YWCA isn't just an organisation she works for, it is her home.

Listen to Given share her story

Help us to find our voice by sharing our stories

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Oscar

Oscar shares with us how the Y has helped her transform her life and become a more positive person

Listen to Oscar share her story

Amita

Previously a stay at home mum, Amita shares how YWCA has played a big part in helping her to gain the skills and experience she needs to find future employment and equally contribute financially to her household

Read Amita's story

 

Brydie

Brydie first started losing her long blonde hair, part of her identity at aged 11. She kindly shares with us exactly what this is like

Hear Brydie's Story

Tell us your story. We'd love to hear from you!

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YWCA has been my biggest support in Australia!

Ronza

My name is Ronza, I am from Syria. Moving to Australia was an enormous life event for me. I remember feeling two main emotions on the plane ride over, excitement and sadness. On one hand I was excited to start a new beginning with new opportunities but on the other hand, sadness because my family weren’t able to come with me. I remember imagining how my life would change from living in a dangerous country where I am unable to achieve my ambitions, to living in a safe country that has so many opportunities. In Syria, women do not have rights and are second to men, meaning that my opportunities were limited, and my life had already been mapped out for me. I was never happy with this. I wanted to move to Australia, a place where women can do anything because they had equal rights to men. I knew this would be one of the hardest decisions in my life, but I needed to try and make a better life for myself and bring my family over. 

Once I had arrived in Australia, I instantly felt how different it was to Syria and I felt overwhelmed with all of the things I realised that I needed to learn. I was in a place that I had no family or friends, and I had no idea where I could get the support I needed to do basic activities, such as cook a Syrian meal to help ease the culture shock. It had been three months before I came across the employment program at YWCA, which appealed to me because of the opportunity to gain a qualification to begin my new life in this new country. 

My journey in Australia truly began once I started the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program. It has been much more than textbook learning and the qualifications that have come from it. For me, I believe you can’t put a value on the support, encouragement, friends and advice that has come out of this. This traineeship gave me the tools I needed to discover what pathway I needed to pave for my future. 

I feel so proud to have had the opportunity to improve myself at YWCA by practicing my English, getting many experiences in various domains, and developing myself professional and personally. By receiving care and support from our Supervisor and Mentors there, I've now moved on to studying a Diploma in Human Resources, while volunteering at a local hospital and hope one day to be a HR Manager in Australia.

Please donate and help us continue to support, encourage and empower women like Ronza.

Esperance

It feels good to be supported as a woman

Esperance was desperately looking for work when she was referred to YWCA's traineeship program. She showed incredible drive and commitment to all aspects of the traineeship and now due to this she has secure employment, valuable skills she can use both professionally and personally and most importantly, the ability to now help family and friends in Africa to buy food, clothes and basic necessities.

Please donate and help us continue to provide much needed support, stability and skills development to women like Esperance.

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Czarina

Thank you YWCA!

I can’t express how grateful I am for my time with YWCA for providing me the opportunity to start work in Australia. 

I recently migrated from overseas and the biggest challenge for me is to find employment.  I’ve applied to numerous companies and organisations but all of them were looking for “local experience”.  I came across YWCA’s Business Administration Traineeship and immediately applied for it.  YWCA is the only organisation who gave me the chance so I can break the employment barrier that I’m facing.  Because of my job, I was able to support my family financially while we’re slowly transitioning to our new life in Australia.

I’ve gained valuable experiences and memories that made me more confident when I move on to my next job.  I highly recommend this traineeship to women who are facing different employment barriers whether it be your age, skills, cultural background or disabilities.  Whoever you are, they will help you to find your possible.  

Thank you YWCA for believing in my experiences and skills, for believing that even though I lack local experience I still can excel, for believing that I am worthy to be hired.  Thank you for helping me find my own possible.

Please donate and help us to continue to support women struggling to find employment in our local community

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Maureen

I love working for YWCA!

My name is Maureen. I've worked for YWCA for just over a year, initially to manage our employment programs in Brisbane and now on a variety of projects including Queensland Women's Week, various events and engagement initiatives.

I would say my path to feminism wasn't quite as direct as I would've liked, until recently I'd understood it to be a negative word used only by the most extreme. It was my transition to not for profit work with a homelessness charity that transformed my thinking around equality, how we perceive and treat others and how transformative empowerment can be. I realised how strongly I believed in equal rights for all, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, religion, ability or sexual orientation and I wanted to contribute to an organisation that proactively campaigned for this social change.

I remember applying for my role and thinking this is EXACTLY where I want to be, and not for one day have I ever looked back. Every day I have the chance to impact women and girls across Queensland, whether it be through training, supportive conversations, or the much needed behind the scenes work that enables the many programs and services we run each day. More importantly, I am surrounded by incredibly fierce, resiliant and hard working women who empower me everyday to push harder and strive further.

Not many can truly say that they work with a team and for an organisaiton that wholeheartedly supports you both personally and professionally, and I believe I can. Personally, my family has struggled through many challenges in the last 12 months and where other organisations may have turned thier backs, YWCA's leadership team was there offering support every step of the way. 

I'm proud to be a part of a local, national and global community and highly recommend everyone to get involved and support our cause in any way you can, whether it be donating, coming to our events or volunteering. I promise that you will get so much more from the experience than you will ever be able to give.

Donate now and help us to facilitate more programs and services that support and empower women

Amita

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I have gained confidence and now I believe in myself

Before she was employed with YWCA in the traineeship program, Amita struggled to find work and found this incredibly frustrating. While Amita had not been working for an extended period this was for good reason, prioritising the raising of her daughter! Now working with YWCA, Amita's increased her administrative skill set, which only adds to the many skills she's gained in raising her child (like multi-tasking! Show us a mum who doesn't know how to handle 2-3-4 things at once!). Amita tells us that is isn't just her skills that have increased but her self-confidence too. Being able to financially contribute to her household has been transformative and Amita hopes to continue working and being an amazing role model for her daughter.

Amita tell's us "I am happy and thankful to YWCA for giving me an opportunity to work with such a wonderful organization who empower women and girls by focusing on their Safety & Wellbeing, Economic Participation and Leadership to ‘find their possible’. During my traineeship, I have gained confidence and now I believe in myself. It has helped me to communicate more effectively and to futher develop my skills in time management, organising, multi-tasking, operating Microsoft Office programs and I now better understand how to use my interpersonal skills to work within a team. In a few months I will complete this traineeship with a Cert 1 in Business and so i'm actively looking for entry level administration and office support roles. With all of the skills I have learnt here and combining this with my strong work ethic and compassionate nature, I believe I will be valuable addition in my next opportunity."

Can you or someone you know help Amita by providing her with a job opportunity? Let us know!

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Lina

I have found my possible!

I remember when I arrived from volunteering service overseas, no one would process my application through to getting a job. Slowly the confidence I once had, slipped between my fingers and I started looking at the world as if there was no promised light at the end of the tunnel. That is where an opportunity came from YWCA to train under them to ‘Find my possible’.

It has been a pleasure working at YWCA Queensland where I definitely foresaw the vision of empowering women and ‘Finding my possible’ come from words into reality. I am a living testament that this program really does help people like me who did not feel equipped enough to make the ‘world my oyster’. If it weren’t for this organisation, I would’ve never secured my future employment in the government, nor have gained the skills necessary to be employable.

The program had offered workshops that improved the quality of my professional and personal life management, and also helped me to build my network with people I never thought I would ever connect with. Through this I gained confidence in pushing through with applying for employment despite the hardships that came my way during it.

Thank you YWCA for letting me in and moulding me into a confident woman when no one else opened the door to give me a chance to show them what I’ve got. I will always treasure the memories spent and skills gained through the constant encouragement and support you did not fail to think twice about. This is what it means to ‘find my possible’. I recommend women of all backgrounds to take this opportunity to learn and grow with an organisation such as YWCA to become whoever they want to be. It can turn from dream into reality. 

My name is Lina, starting my new employment with the Queensland Government undertaking another traineeship in the Training Executive Correspondence Unit – Office of the Deputy Director General, Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, and I have found my possible.

 

Please donate and help us to fund programs that help women just like Lina, to find her possible

Given

To me, YWCA is not just the organisation that I work for, It is my home.

Given left an abusive relationship, coming to the Y with her two children and only a small portion of her belongings. While Given was initially supported through our housing programs, it was clear she would be a perfect addition to our cohort of women completing administration traineeships. Given worked hard to complete her qualification and was such a valued and supportive team member that when it came time to finish her traineeship, Given was offered an opportunity to work as a Support Worker, helping our Y Ability clients. In her video, Given tells us how important it has been for her to now be giving back to the community that accommodated her at her lowest.

Please donate and help us fund more programs that provide long term support that transforms women just like Given

Oscar

It’s the first time in my life that I’ve really had my own long term stable accomodation.

Oscar found herself facing homelessness and with no where to go, when she was referred to Y Housing at YWCA. 
After years of struggle, Oscar now has a place that she can call ‘my home’ which has been a huge thing for her to be able to say. In the video, Oscar explains how this hasn’t just helped her to have the security of a home, but has also helped her to make positive changes in her life.

 

Donate to support YWCA's Housing programs and women just like Oscar, who without our help.

Right now, we're trying to raise $15,000 to refurbish housing in time for winter. Every dollar counts and acheiving this goal will help us to house and support three more women who are facing similar circumstances to Oscar.

Brydie

It’s nice to blend in sometimes but it’s actually so exhilarating to stand out as well

Brydie, a supporter of YWCA Queensland, first started losing her long blonde hair, part of her identity at aged 11. A traumatic event, as Brydie says: 'so much of a young women's identity and femininity at that age is associated with her hair.' As she accepted that she was wasn't going to look like your average young woman, she began challenging traditional concepts of femininity and what it meant to be a woman. In this video she shows incredible courage and strength and talks about accepting who she is: a beautiful and vibrant young woman. 

Contact us to get involved with YWCA. Become a member, volunteer to help out in our programs or donate to keep our essential services running.