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

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

  • having a disability
  • having a health condition or chronic illness
  • neurodiverse or autistic
  • Deaf, deaf or hard of hearing
  • blind or vision impaired
  • having lived experience of mental health issues.

Is this program for me?

You can apply if you:

  • are aged between 14 – 19 or 20 – 25 years old and
  • live in Victoria and
  • identify as having a disability, health condition, chronic illness, being blind or vision impaired, being Deaf, neurodiverse and/or having lived experience of mental health issues.

We accept any and all types of disability. 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.

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.

Apply now: 14 to 19 years old

Applications for our final workshop series in 2021 for young people, aged 14 to 19 years old, are now closed.

We will be running the Young Leaders Program again in 2022. Click the link below to join the waitlist and be the first to find out when applications open for 2022.

Join the waitlist

Apply now: 20 to 25 years old

The next workshop series for young people, aged 20 to 25 years old, is running in November.

Workshops will be held on 3, 10, 17 and 24 November 2021.

Applications close at 5 pm on Tuesday 5 October 2021.

Apply now

Contact us

Got questions? Click here to learn more about the Young Leaders Program and find the answers to your most frequently asked questions.

Contact Simon Green, Programs Coordinator, if you have any other questions:


Phone: 0447 678 653

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!