The opportunity

Are you aged 16-25 and live, work or study in an area impacted by the 2019/20 bush fires across rural and regional Victoria? 

Are you passionate about your local community and nature?

Do you want to develop an idea to create local change and gain skills in project management, advocacy and communication?

Applications have been extended until 11.59pm Friday 24 July.

The program

We are proud to announce that the 2020 YACVic Rural Activators Program will be sponsored by RSPCA Victoria. Activators will work to develop and deliver a project on an issue designed to help their local community. You don't have to have a specific idea already in mind; but you do have to care about the community and animal welfare.

Each Activator will receive dedicated support including:

  • Eight half-day training sessions from July to October to develop skills in research, advocacy, policy analysis, project management and communication;
  • Professional networks, leadership experience and development opportunities to enhance your professional knowledge and employability;
  • Access to specialist knowledge related to animal welfare, care and support
  • Undertake reflective and critical thinking;
  • Connect with a suitable external mentor who will support your project;
  • A small stipend (up to $500) to support their activities (Travel, phone, internet, external professional development)

  • $1,000 in seed funding after completing 60% of the program

  •  Internet data and/or dongle to support your participation (if necessary)

You will create a project plan from your participation to pitch for development in your local community. The Activators will come together on a minimum of eight separate occasions to develop and work on their advocacy projects, receive professional development, and have access to participate in a range of  YACVic Rural programs.

YACVic will tailor the support we offer depending on your experience and the topic you choose.

Example ideas that we could support

Here are some examples of ideas and projects that we could support:

  • Restoration of the natural habitat and environment for animals
  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Promoting awareness of animal rights
  • Connecting young people with animals
  • Education programs by and for young people with animals
  • Supporting your local venues to use local produce


Participation in the YACVic Rural Activators program is free.

We would be happy to discuss covering any other expenses to enable your participation, including travel, internet, childcare etc. 

What is expected of me? 

You are expected to attend all of the training and development sessions running from late-July to October.

Throughout the program, you will be supported to create a project plan to pitch for development in your local community. 

What skills do I need?

This opportunity would suit most young people, there are no specific expectations around your skills, knowledge or experience.

As long as you've lived in a 2019-20 bushfire-affected community, and are passionate about animal welfare, anyone aged 16 - 25 can apply to take part.

What skills/knowledge will I develop through this opportunity?

You’ll develop your skills in research, advocacy, policy analysis, project management and communication. You'll also have expand professional networks, and gain leadership experience and development opportunities to enhance your professional knowledge and employability. RSPCA will provide access to specialist knowledge related to animal welfare, care and support.

Apply now

When you’re ready to apply you can you can do one of the following: 

  • complete our online form here  

  • email your responses to

  • If you would rather apply via video or audio recording please respond to the questions below and send the file/link to Derm Ryan at with ‘YACVic Rural Activators’ in the subject. 

The closing deadline is 11.59pm on Wednesday 15 July 2020.

You won’t be able to save and return to the online form, so we encourage you to prepare your answers to the questions below before starting your registration.  

All applicants will be contacted notifying them of the outcome of their application. 

Application questions 





Phone number 






Which 2019/20 bushfire-affected community do/did you live in at the time of the fires?


Tell us a bit about yourself, like where you live, what you like doing etc. (300 words max.)


How have the 2019/20 bush fires impacted on you personally and the community you live in (250 words max.)


What animal welfare topic or issue are you interested in advocating on and what impact would you like to have? (350 words max.)


How do you think the YACVic Activators program will support your advocacy project? 


This year we are collaborating with RSPCA Victoria to support Activators delivering projects that help animals living in bushfire affected areas recover and build resilience for the future.

Tell us about your project and how it relates to animal welfare and future bushfire resilience in your local community? (250 words)


What impact are you hoping to achieve with your project?


How could RSPCA Victoria’s expertise, resources or support assist you in delivering your project?


Why do you think you would be a good YACVic Activator?


There are eight, half day training sessions as part of the Activators program. You need to be available online to participate on weekends happening across late-July to October. 

Are you available to participate?


This is a list of common barriers and accessibility needs. Let us know if any of these apply to you or if you have an access need that isn't listed.

I use a mobility device like a wheelchair or walker and require accessible spaces.

I have low vision and require assistive devices.

I am impacted by different types of lighting.

I am Deaf, deaf, or hard of hearing and require an interpreter.

I will be bringing a service animal.

I will be attending this event with my carer.

I have limited use of hands or arms.

I have difficulties with speech and communication.

I have difficulties with reading comprehension.

I experience airborne reactions (allergies, chemicals, fragrances, etc.).

I will need to take breaks during this event.

My barriers or accessibility needs aren't listed (please let us know!)



Are you a YACVic Member? 


Is there anything else you’d like us to know in relation to this opportunity? 


Privacy & confidentiality 

Your information will be used to help us select a diverse and representative group. Your information will be stored in a password protected location that will only be accessible to those staff working on this project. 

Application support

If you’re not sure if this opportunity is for you or you would rather speak to a YACVic staff member and have them fill out the form, or if you need any help completing the form, please contact Derm Ryan on 0408 674 738.

Application process

Applications will be reviewed by Derm Ryan, YACVic Rural Manager, and RSPCA staff. 

We are committed to diversity aand we encourage applications from young people with disabilities, people from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and from Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander young people.   

About Youth Affairs Council Victoria Rural (YACVic Rural) 

Funded by the Victorian Government since 2015, YACVic Rural increases YACVic’s presence across the Great South Coast and Southern Mallee regions and expands our state-wide advocacy and support for young people and the youth sector in rural communities. The YACVic Rural team brings together our rural work, our Marram Nganyin Aboriginal Youth Mentoring Project and the Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) partnerships and annual grants.  YACVic Rural operates from offices in Melbourne, Warrnambool and Swan Hill.

YACVic Rural recognises that young people and sector professionals in rural and regional areas have different opportunities and challenges from their metropolitan counterparts. YACVic Rural has developed successful partnerships and innovative programs across rural Victoria, working closely and collaboratively with young people and the sector to establish trust and engagement, as evidenced by a recent external evaluation.

About RSPCA 

RSPCA Victoria is a not-for-profit charity established in 1871. Their vision is to end cruelty to all animals. Across the state they provide community services including animal sheltersclinicseducation programs, and an Inspectorate that is authorised to investigate and prosecute cases of animal cruelty. They operate six animal welfare shelters that provide refuge and strive to give more than 20,000 animals each year a second chance.

As part of their vision RSPCA Victoria advocate for change on issues that impact animal welfare in Victoria. They do this by using an evidence-based, ethical approach and building direct relationships with policy decision-makers, industry and those who influence animal welfare policy and management. Read more about RSPCA Victoria’s advocacy goals and strategic plan.