In Australia, the YWCA is established in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and the ACT, and delivers services to more than a quarter of a million women, men and children through over 100 sites across rural, regional and metropolitan areas.
Internationally, the YWCA is one of the world’s largest women’s organisations with representation in 125 countries and a global outreach of 25 million women and girls.
There are 11 YWCAs throughout Australia committed to improving the lives of women and their families. Local YWCAs are affiliated to YWCA Australia, and the World YWCA unites and coordinates 95 affiliated national associations.
As part of the international movement, YWCA Canberra seeks to play its part in working for a world where reconciliation, justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom and care for the environment are promoted and sustained through women’s leadership.
The National Merger Project (NMP) is exploring the possibility of developing a new, merged, national structure for YWCAs in Australia. As of 11 April 2017, YWCA Canberra is no longer participating in the NMP. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or enquiries.
What are the latest updates on the NMP?
On 10 October 2017, the YWCA Canberra and YWCA Hunter Region Boards met with representatives of YWCA Member Associations who are merging. The purpose of the meeting was to ensure that YWCA Canberra and YWCA Hunter Region can continue to operate as YWCAs despite not merging at this time, and continue to be affiliated with the national and world YWCA movements.
This meeting was very positive and resulted in an amended constitution for the new merged entity, and the development of an Affiliate Agreement outlining a framework for all YWCAs in Australia to work together in the future.
How will YWCA Canberra and the new merged entity work together?
Upon completion of the merger, YWCA Canberra and YWCA Hunter Region will be Affiliates of the new merged entity. As Affiliates, we can participate at both the national and international level as a YWCA.
The Affiliate Agreement provides for continued collaboration on existing programs and a partnership agreement for future programs within the ACT & Hunter Valley regions. We will continue to contribute to a national advocacy platform through YWCA Australia and continue to be linked to YWCA World.
What’s different about the new merged entity?
Currently there are 11 YWCA Member Associations around Australia. Nine Member Associations plan to merge into the new entity.
Only individuals can be members of the new entity. This is a change from the current membership arrangement where Member Associations like YWCA Canberra are members of YWCA Australia.
How will this affect my membership?
You’ll continue to have access to all the benefits you currently have as a YWCA Canberra member, including the opportunity to vote and stand for our Board of Directors, apply to represent YWCA Australia at YWCA World events and delegations, and other member benefits.
Once the merger is complete, you’ll also be able to join the new entity as an individual member.
Why did YWCA Canberra decide not to merge?
As with any merger or acquisition, there are a range of factors that require careful consideration, and have varying implications for the parties involved. YWCA Canberra’s Board assessment of the strategic, legal, financial and operational factors was that the proposed merger was not currently the right way forward for YWCA Canberra.
What happens now?
Business as usual will continue for YWCA Canberra. We’ll continue to provide quality services in the areas of children’s services, community development, housing, youth services, personal and professional training, women’s leadership and advocacy throughout the ACT and the surrounding regions.
For updates on the National Merger Project, take a look at the FAQs on the YWCA Australia merger website.
What happens to Life Members?
Life Members will be invited to become Life Members of the new merged entity, as well as continuing to be Life Members of YWCA Canberra.
Does YWCA Canberra plan to merge in the future?
YWCA Canberra is still committed to the vision of a strong national movement and is open to revisiting the potential of merging in the future. In the meantime, YWCA Canberra is committed to supporting the new merged entity to succeed for the benefit of women and girls around Australia.
What’s next for YWCA Canberra?
Business as usual will continue for YWCA Canberra and we’ll continue to work towards achieving our strategic directions and goals. We’re also eager to continue listening and engaging members on the future of the organisation. If you’re keen to become involved and share your perspectives with Board members, we welcome you to join the Membership Committee.