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The Youth Disability Advocacy Service or YDAS runs the Young Leaders Program.

Click here to apply now

Download an Easy English version of the information on this webpage.

Our free online leadership program is for young Victorians who identify as: 

  • having a disability 

  • having a health condition or chronic illness 

  • Neurodivergent 

  • Deaf, deaf or hard of hearing 

  • Having lived experience of mental health issues 

  • Blind or have low vision 

Is this program for me? 

You can apply if you: 

  • Are aged between 14 – 19 or 20 – 25 years old (and you will be this age during the program) 

  • Live in Victoria  

  • Identify as having a disability, health condition, chronic illness, being blind or vision impaired, being Deaf, deaf or hard of hearing, neurodivergent and/or having lived experience of mental health issues. 

We accept applications from leaders with any and all types of disability or conditions that impact your daily life. You don’t need a diagnosis. If you are not sure whether you are eligible, you can ask, but the answer is probably yes. 

A group of Young Leaders graduates together in a park. They are smiling.

Why should I join?

  • Grow your leadership and advocacy skills.
  • Gain confidence working in a team.
  • Get ongoing opportunities, including jobs and volunteer roles.
  • It's free!

Here’s what people who have done the program have said:

“I was able to meet people who wouldn't judge me and I was able to become more confident.” – Jasmine

“Fun, great people and the opportunity to understand more about myself and those who also experience challenges of disability.” – Natasha

“At the start I didn't talk much, but then I got better at answering the questions. Less shy.” – Chelsea

What will I be doing?

  • Take part in 4 workshops designed with and for disabled young people.
  • These workshops will all be online using video chat.
  • You will get to hear from well-known guest speakers. Past speakers include Chloe Hayden, Carly Findlay, Gayle Kennedy, and many more. 

If you would like to know more about what happens in our workshops, you can watch YDAS Young Leader's Program: My Experience - YouTube  

This is a vlog created by a graduate of our program, Siena!

These workshops will support you to:

    • develop your leadership, teamwork, communication and project skills
    • improve your understanding of access, inclusion and advocacy
    • learn from and work with other leaders with disability.
    • You will be with up to 15 young leaders in 4 half-day workshops.

If you are doing the Duke of Ed then time spent in these workshops will go towards the hours you need to complete your Award.

A young person who is Deaf using Auslan. She is smiling at the camera.

Applications are closed for 2023

Join the waitlist to be notified when applications open for our next leadership program.

Click here to join the waitlist.

Apply here

After you apply 

Once you have applied for the Young Leaders Program, you will receive an email to let you know if you have or have not been selected for our shortlisting process. 

If you are selected, we will send you an email that will invite you to meet one of the Young Leaders team members on Zoom. This is a chance for us to get to know you and your leadership goals better, as well as making the workshop as inclusive and as safe as possible for you. 

 If you have been selected for the program after the Zoom call, we will send you an email which will provide Zoom links and times for the workshops and what to expect. If selected, you will also receive a package in the mail full of materials to help you in the program. 

Still have questions?  Check out our FAQ

Join the waitlist 

Join the waitlist by clicking this link. Then you can be notified for other chances to apply.

Contact us

Contact Haley, Young Leaders Program Officer, if you have any other questions:


Phone: 0476 287 414

With the support of the NDIA

NDIS logo. NDIS written in white font on a purple background.

With the support of CYDA

CYDA logo, which is an abstract image of Australia with CYDA in white text

YDAS acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government

Victoria State Government logo with a black upside down triangle behind 'VIC'

CYDA’s Young Leaders Program

Are you a graduate of our Young Leaders Program or looking to take part in a national-based leadership program? CYDA’s Young Leaders Program is for you!

This program is completely online and is designed for young people with disability anywhere in Australia, aged 18-25. We are looking for young people with disability who have aspirations and goals to become future leaders. No matter what your background or experience is with leadership, this program is for you!

This 11-month long format program will give you the opportunity to build lasting connections and take tangible steps towards your leadership goals, supported by the CYDA team and our network the whole way!