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I don’t have a disability. Can I apply?

We define disability broadly. If you feel you are disabled or have a disability, you can apply for the Young Leaders Program.

You can also apply if you identify as:

  • neurodiverse or autistic
  • Deaf, deaf or hard of hearing
  • having experienced issues related to their mental health
  • blind or you have low vision
  • having a chronic illness 

We trust you and how you identify.

We will ask you about your access needs. This helps us to remove any barriers so that you can participate fully in the Young Leaders Program.

I am under 14 or over 25 years old. Can I join?

No. Currently, the Young Leaders Program is only for young peopled aged 14 to 25 years old.

I cannot attend every day of the workshop series. Can I join?

If you can only come for 1 day, we suggest you wait for the next series of workshops. You will get more out of the Young Leaders Program if you attend 2 or more of the workshops.

What dates are the workshops held?

Click this link to check out the main page for our workshops.

Where are the workshops held?

All workshops are held online using Zoom.

How does YDAS make sure the workshops are accessible?

We designed the Young Leaders Program with young people who had a range of different needs. The activities and communications are as diverse as we can make them.

We also ask you about your access needs in the application form, which helps us make the workshops accessible for you.

We remove barriers wherever we can find them, so you can get the most out of the leadership program.

Here are some examples of accessibility during the workshops:

  • Your workbooks are both digital and printed. They are sent to you in advance so you can take your time and prepare, or do the tasks in a way that works best for you.
  • Activities during the workshop do not rely on the workbook being completed, so you can still fully participate during workshops even if you never touch the workbook.
  • During in-person workshops (not currently running) we have a quiet room. It has low light and comfy seats and bean bags. You can use it if you to take a break at anytime.

Do I have to do the Duke of Edinburgh Award?

No. But if you are doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award, the workshops go towards your hours.

What will I get out of the Young Leaders Program?

During the workshops, you will:

  • Get skills, knowledge and confidence in leadership.
  • Find out more about your own leadership styles.
  • Develop your team work, communication, and goal setting skills.
  • Find out more about disability, access and inclusion.
  • Learn about human rights and standing up for yourself and issues you believe it.
  • Make new friends and connections with other disabled leaders.

After the workshops, you will:

  • Get a reference from the YDAS team that can help you get a job or into a course.
  • Get ongoing leadership opportunities.

Everyone has a different leadership style and journey. The most important thing is to show up and contribute. That is the best way to learn and get something out of the Young Leaders Program.

I cannot attend the upcoming workshops. Will there be more in the future?

Yes. Please add yourself to our waitlist, which you can find via this link.

I want to run this program at my school or organisation. How can I find out more?

We would love to run the program with you.

Contact Simon Green at sgreen@ydas.org.au or 0447 678 653.

We will work with you to find the best way to bring the workshops to your school or organisation.

I don’t feel comfortable publicly sharing that I have a disability. Can I join?

Yes. Please consider, though, that the room may be full of people who do share that they have a disability. They may assume you have a disability, because that’s how we talk about the program.

We will also want to know, privately, about your access needs so we can remove any barriers so you can participate fully.

Can I bring a support worker or service animal or parent to the workshops?

Yes. Please let us know in your application.

When will I find out if I got into the Young Leaders Program?

We will try to tell you within 2 weeks of the application closing date. This may change based on the numbers of people who apply.

How will I find out if I got into the Young Leaders Program?

We will email you, or send you notification via your preferred communication method.

How many people get into the program?

We usually limit the number of people in each workshop series to 15 people. That gives you enough time to work with other young leaders. It also gives the YDAS team enough time to spend with each young leader.

Will there be Auslan interpreters at the workshops?

Yes, if required. You will need to let us know on your application form or by contacting us if you need an Auslan interpreter. This gives us enough time to book them in advance.

What should I include in my application?

Answer the questions in the application form as honestly and deeply as you can. This helps us understand who you are and why you want to join the Young Leaders Program.

Focus on what you have done or what you want to do as a leader.

Make sure you share your leadership goals. Even if you do not have any yet, you can talk about that.

I live in rural Victoria. Can I apply?

Yes. Our workshops are help online using Zoom. You can join from anywhere in Victoria.

I live outside of Victoria. Can I apply?

No. The Young Leaders Program is only open to young people who live in Victoria.

Who will the speakers be for the workshops?

Information on who the speakers are for your workshop series will be sent out to successful applicants in their welcome emails.

Past speakers have included:

  • Carly Findlay
  • Chloe Hayden
  • Martin Stewart
  • Amy Marks
  • Brendan Stroud
  • Brigid Canny

How are the workshops a safe space for people with mental health conditions?

We want you to feel safe and comfortable during the Young Leaders Program.

We ask you about your access needs in the application form, which helps us make the workshops accessible for you.

We also follow-up with shortlisted applicants to make sure the workshops are as accessible as possible for you.

We remove barriers wherever we can find them, so you can get the most out of the leadership program.

Our speakers have intersectional experience, including disability advocates who are also LGBTIQA+ advocates. We also share our pronouns and explain why in each workshop.

Here are some examples of how we try to make the workshops safe for people with mental health conditions:

  • Facilitators have mental health first aid training.
  • We aim to have a trained support worker attend, who can support you.
  • We give you workshop materials in advance to help identify what may be a trigger.

What opportunities will I get after graduating?

We try to find paid and volunteer opportunities for young leaders who graduate from our program. We find opportunities in a wide range of areas including:

  • sport
  • arts
  • business
  • community groups
  • disability advocacy
  • social opportunities

Do you provide support workers?

We do not provide support workers for personal needs, but we do have a trained support worker on site or in Zoom calls. They can support you with a range of needs, including mental health and physical support.

Can I attend online?

Yes! All of our workshops in 2021 are being held online using Zoom.

What is the purpose of the Young Leaders Program?

To make Australia a better place for disabled young people!

We do this by supporting disabled young leaders to get leadership roles, and grow their power and influence in society.

We want graduating disabled young people to take up leadership and decision-making roles throughout Australia.

I have attended the Young Leaders Program in the past. Can I attend again?

If you think there is an important reason for you to attend again, you can apply, but you will need to be very clear about why you think you should attend again.

Can I apply on behalf of my students?

Yes, but we really want your students to play an active part of the application process. At the very least, they must know that you are applying on their behalf to the program.

It is also mandatory that we have their direct contact information, including their phone number and email address. Please do not use your contact information as your student’s main contact.

Can I apply on behalf of my child?

Yes, but we really want your child to play an active part of the application process. At the very least, they must know that you are applying on their behalf to the program.

It is also mandatory that we have their direct contact information, including their phone number and email address. You can put your own information in the parent/guardian section.

Can I apply for more than one workshop series at a time?

Yes, but you can only attend 1 workshop series.

Do I have to get my parent or guardian's permission to attend?

Yes, if you are under 18 years old. We send successful applicants a consent form, but it is a good idea to check with your parents or guardians before you apply.

What happens if I don’t get accepted? Can I apply again?

Yes! You can apply again if you still meet the application criteria.

How do I know if I am a leader?

There are lots of different ways to be a leader, including:

  • Organising a group of people.
  • Speaking up about something that is important to you.
  • Writing about something that is important to you and sharing it with others.

Other people may tell you or see you as a leader.

If you want to be a leader, you are on the right path. Apply to the Young Leaders Program!

Do I have to apply via the application form?

No. Apply in a way that works best for you.

The most important thing is that you apply!

To apply, you can:

  • Fill out the application form
  • Call us
  • Text us
  • Record a video
  • Record a video using Auslan
  • Record an audio message

Just make sure you answer the questions that are listed the application form when you apply.

I am from a cultural group or other group. How will I be included?

Before the workshops start, we speak to all participants.

In this conversation, we ask about any cultural groups you may be part of, and how we can make the workshops safe and comfortable.

You can also share any issues or feedback with us. We are very open to changing the workshops, and want to make them as safe and comfortable as possible for all cultural groups.

Here are some examples of what we already do:

  • Use and encourage the use of pronouns.
  • Acknowledge country at the start of each workshop.
  • Include an advocacy activity focused on gender issues.

Here are some other leadership programs that focus on cultural areas:

I’m feeling nervous/anxious/worried about joining the workshops

That is okay! It is normal to feel that way before starting something new. Others in the workshops will probably be feeling the same way.

Try not to let that stop you from joining. Great things can happen when you push yourself outside your comfort zone.

Most people who join feeling nervous, end up leaving feeling accomplished and proud. Remember this is a safe space and staff are well-trained to support you. 

Some things that can help, include:

  • Let us know in your application form what we can do to help make the space comfortable for you. We already do lots of things to help everyone feel included. Some of these include: Communicating in lots of different ways, sending you workshop material in advance, developing a group agreement and more!

  • We have regular breaks during the workshops. You can also take a break whenever you need to.

  • Ask us lots of questions. We might be able to ease some of your concerns before you even begin.

  • Think about some tools that help you manage your nerves. This might be mindfulness exercises, breathing exercises or sensory tools. If you are joining an online workshop, it might be having your pet cat/dog/lizard with you!

Click here to go back to the main Young Leaders Program webpage.