YACVic Rural is a core agency of the Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic), the peak body and leading policy advocate on young people’s issues in Victoria. YACVic’s vision is that young Victorians have their rights upheld and are valued as active participants in their communities.

We know that young people and youth professionals in rural and regional Victoria often have unique insights and face different challenges to those in metropolitan Melbourne. In response, YACVic Rural expands our state-wide advocacy for young people in regional communities and the rural youth sector. We focus our presence across the Great South Coast and Southern Mallee regions.

YACVic Rural works in partnership with young people, youth practitioners and our partner agencies to:

  • advocate on issues that affect young people and the sector that supports them
  • strengthen young people’s community participation and self-advocacy
  • support and resource youth workers and other people who work and volunteer with young people.

Get involved

Find out about events we’re running in rural and regional Victoria.


You can see our advocacy relating to rural and regional young people, the youth sector and communities here.

Rural Youth Awards

The Rural Youth Awards are designed and hosted by our YACVic Activators and Rural team to recognise the innovation and achievements of young people and the rural youth sector across the state.

We celebrate the young people and those working in the sector to celebrate our amazing youth workers and innovative youth projects from across country Victoria. 

Find out more about the Rural Youth Awards.


Sign up for our newsletter, Signposts, here. You'll get fresh resources, events, training, surveys and examples of good practice from rural communities, delivered straight to your inbox.

Our team

Andy Bell, Rural Manager

Andy joined the YACVic team as Rural Manager in July 2016 with a wealth of experience in youth engagement, youth program management and youth advocacy. Born and bred in Warrnambool, Andy spent most of his twenties living and traveling overseas but now lives with his wife in an off-the-grid tiny house in the Macedon Ranges.

Andy has a strong understanding of rural and regional youth and youth service issues in Victoria and has previously worked in youth engagement and development roles for the Royal Children’s Hospital, Australian Red Cross, City of Port Phillip and the YMCA.

Get in touch with Andy at:
Level 4, 520 Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Tel: 0427 464 335 or email [email protected]

Karen Walsh, Rural Development Coordinator – Great South Coast

Karen joined the YACVic Rural team as the Rural Development Coordinator for the Great South Coast area in August 2016. Based in Warrnambool, Karen works with young people and service providers all across the region. Karen grew up in this area and has loved coming back to the wild coastal climate and ancient landscapes.

Karen has always worked in the community sector, mostly in regional training and development roles for organisations including the Association of Child Welfare Agencies NSW, Grampians HACC training, Grampians HACC Access and Equity, Warmun Community East Kimberley and most recently for headspace Warrnambool as the Community Awareness and Engagement Coordinator.

Get in touch with Karen at:
Level 2, 210 Timor Street, Warrnambool VIC 3280
Tel: (03) 5561 8819 or 0472 514 870 or email [email protected]

Rhiannon Jennings, Rural Development Coordinator – Southern Mallee

Rhiannon has recently joined YACVic Rural as Rural Development Coordinator for the Southern Mallee region and is based in Swan Hill. Rhiannon is local to the region and has worked in the community services sector for over 10 years, engaging with employment, education and training, youth and mental health support services.

Rhiannon is passionate about her community and creating opportunities for young people to remain or return to the region. Rhiannon is raising her own young family in the Mallee and enjoys spending time on the river.

Get in touch with Rhiannon at:
50-52 Campbell Street, Swan Hill VIC 3585
Tel: 0474 506 000 or email [email protected]

Becc Brooker, YACVic Rural Policy and Advocacy Officer

Becc joined the YACVic Rural team as the Policy and Advocacy Officer in early 2018, with a background in youth engagement and empowerment. Growing up in the western suburbs of Melbourne, Becc has spent a lot of her post-high school life travelling and working, overseas and all around Victoria.

Becc has a passion for empowering young people to live lives they value, and has done this through facilitating camps and programs in the US, Japan and here in Victoria. After studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in politics, communication, media and international development, Becc worked in the Victorian public service graduate program, and is now excited to use her skills to amplify the voices of young Victorians.

Get in touch with Becc at:
Tel: 0437 092 633 or email [email protected].


Find the full YACVic contact details here.