YWCA Canberra works in four main areas, which we call portfolios:
Under Children’s Services, we run Early Childhood Education and Care, School Age Care and Family Day Care. We are also a strong advocate for affordable, accessible child care to enable women to achieve financial independence. Read YWCA Australia’s submission to the 2014 Productivity Commission Public Inquiry into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning, in which we had significant input.
Under Community Services, we run numerous programs around housing support, youth engagement, access to services, and food relief. In the inner north we provide a range of housing and related services. In Tuggeranong, we operate the Mura Lanyon Youth and Community Centre, a hub for community activities and outreach as well as a very active youth centre. It is also the location of our Food Hub food relief service. In 2014, we launched the YWCA Canberra Clubhouse, an innovative and exciting program to provide access to cutting edge technology for young people from under-served neighbourhoods. We facilitate an array of therapeutic and educational programs, such as Circles of Support, the Tuggeranong Literacy Project, Y-Aspire, Every Girl, and ‘Respect, Communicate, Choose’. Our Y-Aspire program recently received a Mental Health Week Award in the Prevention category; and our Relationship Things educational resource won the Community category in the Partners In Prevention Awards, in December 2014.
Advocacy on issues relevant to women, girls and families is a core part of YWCA Canberra’s work. Our 2014-15 ACT Budget submission focused on homelessness services, early intervention therapeutic counselling services, and the need for preventative programs, such as Respect, Communicate, Choose, to help eliminate violence against women. Our educational resource, Relationship Things, is leading the way on educating young people about respectful, healthy relationships. We are on the organising committee for ACT Anti-Poverty Week, participate in the annual YWCA Australia She Speaks Survey, and campaign for gender equality in the workplace (YWCA Canberra is a WGEA Employer of Choice). We are strongly committed to Reconciliation, and launched our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan in 2014. Our submission on Constitutional Recognition represents one aspect of this commitment. Through our twice-yearly fundraising appeals, we aim to raise awareness in the ACT of those Canberrans amongst us who are doing it tough.
We are a Registered Training Organisation and offer nationally accredited courses in the areas of Early Childhood Education and Care, Training and Assessment, Business Administration and Frontline Management, and Women’s Leadership. We are continually reviewing and expanding the range of courses we are able to offer. Our leading and innovative She Leads Diploma of Management is currently taking enrolments.