Australia – National Council of YMCAs
Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1851
Membership Status: Full Member
Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1855
Brief YMCA History
In Australia, early settlers founded branches of the London YMCA.
The Adelaide branch of the London YMCA opened on the 15th March 1851. In 1853 Melbourne and Sydney YMCAs appeared, followed by Hobart in 1854.
In 1877 the ‘Inter-Colonial Convention of the Australian and New Zealand YMCA’ was formed. The ‘National Committee of YMCAs comprising of New Zealand and Australia was drawn up in 1906. However 1920 saw the formation of separate National Associations for Australia and New Zealand. The National Committee of the YMCAs of Australia’ came into being, with its offices in Melbourne. A name change occurred in 1958 to, ‘The National Council of the YMCAs of Australia’, and in 2004 to ‘YMCA Australia’.
Mission, Vision and Values
The YMCAs of Australia work together from a base of Christian values to provide opportunities for all people to grow in body, mind and spirit.
We are making a positive difference by providing opportunity to each and every person to be healthy, happy and connected.
The YMCAs of Australia are guided to achieve their Mission by the following Christian values. We value:
- The whole person, consisting of a body, a mind and a spirit each of which is of equal importance.
- The dignity and intrinsic worth of all people regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, belief or other difference.
- Diversity of people, communities and nations.
- Equality of opportunity and justice for all people.
- Healthy communities based on relationships between people which are characterised by love, understanding and mutual respect.
- Acceptance of personal responsibility.
• The whole person, consisting of a body, a mind and a spirit each of which is of equal importance.
• The dignity and intrinsic worth of all people regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, belief or other difference.
• Diversity of people, communities and nations.
• Equality of opportunity and justice for all people.
• Healthy communities based on relationships between people which are characterised by love, understanding and mutual respect.
• Acceptance of personal responsibility.
The Swimathon is YMCA Australia’s annual national mass fundraising event that engages people of any age and any ability to swim laps and raise funds to provide opportunity for people with disabilities access to water and swimming lessons. Has raised over $800,000 in four years.
YMCA Youth Parliament is a political program run in every state and territory across Australia. The program is designed to give young people between the ages of 16 – 25 a chance to be heard at the highest levels of State Government on a wide range of issues relevant to young people’s lives. Participants receive training in public speaking and leadership at residential camps, as they research issues that they’re passionate about. From this research they develop a Bill, which they debate in state Parliament. YMCA Youth Parliament provides a great personal and professional development opportunity, and the Bills, which are handed to the relevant Ministers, provide the government with insight into what issues are important to young Australians.
YMCA Australia is an active participant and contributor to the World YMCA Movement.
Active in the international YMCA structure; Alan Morton, National Board Member and Member of World Alliance Executive, Peter Malone, President of the Asia Pacific YMCAs (APAY), Andrew McKenzie, Executive Secretary Communications World Alliance (on secondment from YMCA Victoria, Australia.
The YMCA in Australia has 11 change agents participating in the 2015 YMCA Global Change Agent Program, and Alicia Crawford from Australia was one of the very first YMCA Global Change agents in 2012.
YMCA Australia is involved in YMCA international forums and initiatives, through which YMCA Australia has developed strong bi-lateral relationships with other National Movements. YMCA Australia supports a number of international projects across Asia and the Pacific.
Our Programs in Brief:
YMCA Australia programs and services may be summarised into our core service areas, being:
About YMCA in Australia Today
YMCA Australia is a not-for-profit organisation made up of member associations that support over 700 communities in Australia, from the Top End (Darwin and Katherine) to the furthest southern tip (Tasmania).
The YMCA stands up for the health, wellbeing and safety of children and young people, through creating health and wellness opportunities and empowering young people.
YMCA strives to make a positive social impact by providing each and every person with the opportunity to be healthy, happy and connected.
Address – National Office
NGS, Melinda Crole
National Council of YMCAs
Level 1, 88 Market Street
South Melbourne VIC 3205
For hotel information, please contact YMCA National Offices directly.