YWCA National Merger Project News

Stay up-to-date with news on the YWCA National Merger Project!


22 MAy 2018

YWCA Australia is delighted to announce that the legal transaction effecting the amalgamation of eight YWCAs across Australia has today been approved by the Federal Court.

Day one of our new amalgamated entity will be 1 June, 2018.

If you attended a Scheme Meeting or sent in your Proxy Form and provided your consent, you will now be a member of the amalgamated YWCA Australia.

Other members of Member Associations around the country will be encouraged to join – more on this to come shortly after 1 June

This project milestone formalises the historic occasion for the YWCA movement in Australia.  Thank you for your bold and dauntless support and contribution to achieving this vision.

19 MAY 2018

On behalf of our YWCA Member Associations around the country, YWCA Australia is thrilled to announce our eight merging YWCAs have today voted unanimously in favour of the YWCA national merger.

This member vote signifies a momentous occasion in the history of the YWCA movement in Australia, and one which countless bold and visionary Y women have been working towards for many years.

After today we are now one step closer to becoming a strong, national and feminist organisation of women, young women and girls working for gender equality in Australia.

The final step in our merger journey will be on Tuesday 22 May, when we will appear before the Federal Court in Victoria to effect the Schemes of Arrangement. 

Thank you to all our members, volunteers, leaders and partners who made this vision a reality.

26 April 2018

Scheme Meeting Notice – 19 May 2018 

As you are aware, the YWCAs in Australia have been working towards forming a single national YWCA entity for some years.  Merging YWCAs’ boards and management are unanimously in favour of the amalgamation and we are now on the legal pathway to do so via schemes of arrangement.   

The Explanatory Statement describing our amalgamation has been approved by ASIC and before the Federal Court, who has given orders for Member Associations (MAs) to convene meetings with their Members.  This is where our Members will have their say.  We shall be asking all Members to join us in transforming the YWCAs by voting YES in favour of the merger. 

These meetings will be held around the country at 10 am on Saturday 19 May 2018. If you are unable to attend your meeting, please complete your proxy form and return it to your MA by 10.30 am on Thursday 17 May.  Further information on the scheme is set out the Explanatory Statement, which you will receive if you are voting member of a merging MA.  The Explanatory Statement is also available on the YWCA Australia website by visiting www.ywca.org.au

Upon a successful vote, the YWCAs will return to Court seeking the final court order approving the schemes.  The second court date will be 22 May 2018, with implementation date planned to be 31 May.  Day one of the new entity will be 1 June 2018.

Merging MAs’ members are invited to become members of the new united YWCA Australia by signing in at their meeting or by returning their Proxy Form. All current Life Members of the MAs who choose to become members of YWCA Australia will automatically become Life Members of YWCA Australia. Further information will be provided to Life Members in due course.  

We look forward to this next chapter of the YWCA in Australia and continuing our strong tradition of supporting women, young women and girls in this country.

For further information, please see the NMP FAQs here

20 FEBRUARY 2018

As many of you will know, the YWCAs in Australia have been working towards a national amalgamation for some years, aimed at building an organisation where we can achieve our vision of a future where all women, young women and girls are safe and respected, with equal access to power, opportunity and resources.

YWCAs Adelaide, Albury-Wodonga, Broken Hill, Darwin, NSW, Perth, Queensland and Victoria have collaborated on plans to merge, and our boards are unanimously in favour of coming together.

Michelle Phillips has been appointed to the role of CEO following a competitive recruitment process and unanimous endorsement from the Member Associations and YWCA Australia Board.

With a strong background in the women’s sector and a solid grounding in feminism, Michelle joins the YWCA after six years at Marie Stopes International (MSI) in leadership roles including Country Director of Cambodia and most recently Country Director of South Africa, leading the delivery of a broad range of essential women’s health services and programs empowering women and girls across Asia and Africa. Michelle also has strong business, financial and commercial acumen.

Our legal pathway to merging is called amalgamation by schemes of arrangement and we are excited to let you know that we have taken our first step on this legal pathway.  The Scheme booklet was submitted to the corporate regulator, ASIC, for approval. Once approved by ASIC and then the Federal Court the booklet will be distributed to all members.

In the coming weeks, we will call meetings of all YWCA Members, asking you to join us in transforming the YWCAs in Australia by voting YES in favour of the merger.

If you would like to participate in exciting and transformative moment in our combined history, please make sure your membership is up-to-date.  Thank you for your support thus far in helping us work towards becoming a united national voice for women, young women and girls.

For further information, please see the NMP FAQs http://www.ywcamerger.org.au/frequently-asked-questions/


28 November 2017

On Saturday 25 November, YWCA Australia held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Melbourne where all YWCA Associations voted to adopt the constitution for the new national YWCA organisation. Celebrations were jubilant as the decision to adopt the new constitution marks an historical point in the National Merger Project. This is an exciting time for the YWCA movement in Australia as we unite our resources and expertise to become strong, unified, national feminist organisation of women, young women and girls, working to achieve gender equality.

The National Merger Project reaches an historic milestone as the new constitution is adopted at AGM 2017.

The National Merger Project reaches an historic milestone as the new constitution is adopted at AGM 2017.

The new constitution will come into effect following the decision to merge and will be subject to the implementation of the merger legal pathway. YWCAs Hunter and Canberra have decided not to merge at this time and have reached an agreement with YWCA Australia that enables them to operate independently to the new national YWCA organisation as affiliates.

Over the past few months, YWCA Associations have been recruiting a President and Board of Directors to lead the new national YWCA organisation and ensure leadership transition is as efficient and smooth as possible. On 20 November, YWCA Association Presidents unanimously endorsed Directors to serve on the incoming Board. Leadership positions will officially commence on day one of the new national organisation. 

YWCA Australia honoured the strong and proud history of YWCA Associations in a moving image tribute to the history of the YWCA movement in Australia. You can view the slideshow here. You can also read our tribute to Women's Leadership throughout Our History.


8 November 2017

Participating YWCA Associations are targeting a merger by a legal pathway known as ‘Schemes of Arrangement’.  YWCAs aim to implement the Schemes of Arrangement by the end of the first quarter of 2018. The National Merger Project is working with YWCA Boards, Executives and consultants to publish a formal booklet for Members; outlining the proposed merger.

YWCA Association Presidents and Boards are pleased to announce a constitution for the proposed new national YWCA has been approved by World YWCA. YWCA Associations will convene at YWCA Australia's AGM to adopt the new constitution in line with the Schemes of Arrangement. The YWCA Australia Annual General Meeting will be held Saturday 25 November, from 2pm at the Donkey Wheel House in Melbourne. 

The National Merger Project recently commenced recruitment of a President, Board and Managing Director/CEO to lead the new entity. The leadership selection process has reached the final stages of recruitment and selection. Leaders are expected to take up their positions, following the decision to merge and the launch of the new national organisation. Over the coming months we anticipate Directors of the Board to be finalised and a Managing Director/CEO to be selected.

YWCA Presidents are proud to announce Julie Boyd has been unanimously endorsed as the incoming President of the new entity. Julie has accepted the role and is excited to lead the future national organisation; strengthening our voice and impact for generations of women to come.

10 September 2017

Participating YWCA organisations met in Melbourne, Victoria, over the weekend of 9 - 10 September 2017 to continue discussions and preparations as we approach the final stages of the National Merger Project. 

The National Merger Project, in collaboration with representatives from each YWCA organisation and expert consultants, has finalised a target operating model and developed recommendations to harmonise our transition. YWCA Australia is also seeking feedback on the proposed constitution from World YWCA. A formal merger booklet will published for Members prior to any formal decision to merge.

YWCAs across the country continue to engage with Staff and Members. Member information is also available on the official merger website and we encourage you to subscribe to regular news updates. Please contact your local YWCA to find out more information about member engagement in your area.

The National Merger Project is exploring projects that will capture the important history of the YWCA movement in Australia. YWCA Member Associations are also exploring ways to celebrate their unique history and legacy.

As we prepare to meet our merger timelines, we will be commencing recruitment of a new President, Board and Managing Director to lead the new entity. We encourage existing Board & alumna to contact their local YWCA for more information on this process.

YWCAs participating in the merger have commenced correspondence with YWCAs Hunter and Canberra to continue discussions to establish pathways for inclusion and collaboration. We look forward to face-to-face discussions and reaching an agreement which enables us all to work together to achieve our shared purpose as a united national organisation.


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23 July 2017

Participating YWCA organisations met in Adelaide, South Australia, over the weekend of 22 -23 July 2017 to continue conversations about becoming a united, national organisation.

All YWCAs present, agreed to continue discussions with other YWCA organisations to establish pathways for inclusion and collaboration.

YWCAs involved in the the National Merger Project have now identified preferred legal pathways to complete a merger and YWCA Australia has secured pro-bono legal representation to support us on this journey.

Feedback begins with the launch of a staff survey across the ten YWCA organisations. Staff and members can also expect to be engaged with the launch of staff and member briefings over the coming months. YWCA staff continue to be engaged through their local YWCA.

15 MAy 2017

The process to move towards a national YWCA has achieved a significant milestone! All exploratory documents have now been finalised with the input from YWCAs participating in the National Merger Project.

The business case has been completed and presents a positive future for a national entity. The due diligence process has concluded and does not present any roadblocks to merging. The proposed new Constitution has been finalised and is ready to go.

All documents present a compelling proposition, providing great new opportunities for our people, our members and women in Australia.

Eleven YWCAs organisations in Australia, have re-affirmed their commitment to continue to move towards a national merger. All parties to the national merger are targeting a merger by the end of the 2017 calendar year.

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19 April 2017

YWCA organisations around Australia are progressing discussions on a national merger.  

A compelling proposal is being prepared to present to our members; outlining the structure and benefits of creating a national YWCA.

A national structure will provide greater opportunities for members to become more involved, and contribute to the direction of the YWCA in Australia.  A new structure also seeks to provide opportunities for young women through the development of a Young Women’s Council.

YWCAs around Australia have been presented with a draft business case and possible pathway for legal transition. These pathways present a compelling proposition, providing great new opportunities for our people, our members and Australian women. 

Presidents of the Member Associations from around the country will come together on 29/30 April to finalise the merger proposal and determine the best legal process to create a new national entity.

6 March 2017

Since the signing of the Statement of Intent in November 2016, merger discussions are progressing to plan.

A national constitution is in the final stages of development and recent additions include:

o   the introduction of a Young Women's Members Council to provide advice and input to the National Board,

o   better use of technology to ensure all women across Australia can engage in YWCA business, regardless of location.

The next stage will involve mapping out financial models for a new entity and each YWCA organisation continues to complete their due diligence.

21 November 2016

Representatives from all twelve YWCA organisations in Australia came together in Melbourne over the weekend 19/20 November, to sign a Statement of Intent, agreeing to explore merging into a single unified, national entity.

August 2016

  • In 2016, the National Merger Project was established as a result of outcomes and recommendations from the Sustainability Project.
  • The goal of the National Merger Project was to identify the most effective and efficient business model for a national YWCA movement, so that we can maximise our impact on the lives of women, girls and their families.
  • The shared purpose of such a national movement is to achieve gender equality.
  • The National Merger Project seeks to empower the Australian YWCA movement to better respond to trends affecting the viability of the community sector and secure our long-term viability and growth.

The National Merger Project aims to address the following key areas:

Federation and Transformation

  • Moving from a federated organisation with 10 Member Associations to a national association known as YWCA Australia

Fulfilling our Potential

  • Moving to a more flexible, collaborative and centralised model to ensure that YWCAs around the country remain sustainable, financially viable and make the biggest impact

Purpose and Impact

  • Exploring new ways for YWCA Member Associations to work collaboratively and efficiently to achieve the shared goal of gender equality, through young women’s leadership, supporting housing, safety and empowerment which is underpinned by YWCA’s expertise as research and advocacy organisation

Leadership and Expertise

  • Being led by YWCA Board Directors and Executive Directors from Member Associations around the country, in partnership with pro-bono/low-bono firms

Partnerships and Opportunities

  • Moving to a single, national organisation will expand the impact of the organisation, nationally and locally, and lead to new and innovative government and private partnership opportunities

June 2016

In 2016 a National Merger Team was established to coordinate the advancement of the National Merger Project.

Prior to the establishment of the National Merger Project, all YWCAs in Australia engaged in a movement wide review known as the Sustainability Project which assessed the structure and impact of the organisation. The Sustainability Project made a strong case for change and recommendations to proceed with a shared goal and vision for new entity.

2014 - 2015

In 2014, YWCA Australia members came together and asked the question: 'how do we create the best possible YWCA?'

In 2015, all YWCA Australia member associations participated in conversations about how to improve the YWCA movement in Australia. The conversation continued to grow and in 2016 a National Merger Team was established to coordinate the advancement of the National Merger Project.