Young regional Australians – tell your story and change your world

The ABC is calling on people aged 16-22 to share their experiences of life in regional Australia for the opportunity to be featured on the ABC and win a lifechanging trip to Canberra for the Heywire Regional Youth Summit in February 2020.

Anyone with a story to tell about life outside of the big cities is encouraged to enter, with entries of any medium accepted, including text, video, audio and photo. The competition officially opens on 24 July 2019.

Forty winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Heywire Regional Youth Summit and will take part in workshops. The Summit gives winners an opportunity to inspire each other, develop ideas and share stories to help make life in regional Australia even better.

Past winners have used Heywire as a springboard to make positive change in their communities by exploring issues around agriculture, mental health, youth employment, disability and strengthening culture, just to name a few. 

ABC Director of Regional & Local, Judith Whelan said “the Heywire competition is an important platform for young people living outside of the big cities to have their voices heard.”

“We’re proud to celebrate the stories of a new generation of Australian storytellers.”  Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie encourages young people to get involved and share their stories.

“I am always inspired by the depth of capacity of young people from rural and regional Australia,” Minister McKenzie said.

“Heywire helps to showcase the next generation of young leaders.

“There is a positive future for the regions with young leaders so passionate and proud of where they come from.”

Former Heywire winner, Bethany Evans, says “It’s an enormous privilege to be a Heywire alumni and to see how the program has continued to grow and give young rural Australians a platform for discussion and change.”

“For me, my experience as a Heywire winner reaffirmed how lucky I am to call rural Australia home despite the unique challenges we face. The opportunity to meet and form lasting friendships with other rural youth from across Australia has been priceless.”

“The sense of empowerment and conviction that rural voices matter and deserve to be heard at all levels of Australian society is something that has stayed with me always.”

Get your entries in via the Heywire website by 16th of September.

Heywire acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources; the Department of Education and Training; the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development; the Department of Social Services; the Department of Health; and AgriFutures Australia.

For more information and to interview a Heywire Ambassador from your region, please contact:

Alex Neill, Heywire Producer

Phone: 03 8646 1861/ 0431 815 664 


Webinar: Cultural diversity and disability in education and employment

Register now for this webinar

Wednesday 21st August 1 – 2pm AEST

People with disability from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds are significantly under-represented within the disability service system and continue to have high needs which are not being met. 

In NSW, 15.3% of people born in non-English speaking countries report a disability but are three times less likely to use a Government funded disability service than those born in an English-speaking country

Graduates from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds (NESB) are even less likely to be employed post study than graduates with disability Only 74.2% of people from NESB have any type of employment at all (full-time, part-time or casual), so for graduates with disability who are also from a NESB background the challenges to successfully transitioning to qualification related employment are significant

Only 53.4% of working age people with disability living in Australia are actively participating in the workforce, compared to 83.2% of all working age Australians

Over 4 million Australians (1 in 5 people) have disability and may need assistance to access and participate in tertiary education and subsequent employment

In 2017, people with disability represented only 8.2% of all students participating in vocational education and training, and only 6.55% of all students participating in higher education

Graduates with disability are less likely to be employed post study than other graduates, with only 61.5% of higher education graduates with disability employed full-time and only 53.5% of vocational education and training graduates with disability employed post study

Additionally, for people with disability from a CALD background looking to transition from education to employment, the following factors often contribute to the challenges they face:

  • Negative employer attitudes
  • Different cultural understandings of disability
  • Lack of appropriately skilled employment services for graduates with disability
  • Different cultural values and beliefs underpinning help-seeking behaviour
  • Inaccessible and non-inclusive recruitment practices
  • Lack of cultural competence amongst service providers

The NDCO Program has partnered with Settlement Services International (SSI) to present this webinar which will explore the intersectionality between culture and disability. The seminar will discuss current challenges in service delivery and provide insights to address the gaps experienced by people from a CALD background with disability who are looking for employment post education and training. The seminar will also promote cultural awareness and competency in supporting people with disability from CALD backgrounds to successfully transition from tertiary education to subsequent employment.

Concluding with time for audience questions and answers, this webinar will bring ideas and best practice suggestions to career and equity practitioners, employers and employment services, and disability service providers in Australia.

The webinar is:

  • Free
  • Auslan interpreted and live captioned
  • Recorded

About the presenters:

Karen Bevan | General Manager – Service Delivery (Community) @Settlement Services International

Karen combines her deep experience in the NGO sector with qualifications in human rights law and communications to play a key role in strategy, advocacy and policy. Karen oversees SSI’s employment, disability and child and family services across NSW.

Kylie van Luyn | Employment Services & Social Enterprise Director @Settlement Services International

Kylie has an extensive history in executive leadership, working with a wide range of not for profit and NGOs in the employment, disability and social enterprise sectors. She has deep experience across employment and disability programs and a strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and social impact. Kylie’s early career experience has given her a strong grounding in working in cross cultural environments and supporting people through their settlement journey, as well as supporting people with disability and the most disadvantaged in society.

Link to register: Register now for this webinar

Investing in open space and recreation

We would like to hear from you about Shellharbour City open, recreation and aquatic spaces. 

Help us to develop a strategy that will guide the future management of open spaces in the City, it will guide the future provision and management of open spaces.

Your feedback is key to ensuring that the strategy responds to community needs.   It’s easy to share your feedback visit Let’s Chat until 3 September 2019.

We are also working with an independent company to conduct randomised phone surveys during this period.  We would like to reach as many people as possible, please share with your networks.

Let’s Talk: Young Wom*n’s Views on Sex Education

YWAG’s current focus is on strengthening sex education in Australia through their project: Let’s Talk: Young Wom*n’s Views on Sex Education.  Let’s Talk captures and amplifies the voices and experiences of young women in relation to sex education in order to improve comprehensive sexuality and respectful relationships education in the national curriculum. 

You can find YWAG’s reports from the 2015 survey here and here.

Let’s Talk 2019: Young Wom*n’s Views on Sex Education

In July 2019, YWAG has launched a new wave of the Let’s Talk survey for young women, including those who identify as women, cis women, trans women, non-binary and trans-femme identifying young people aged 16-21.

You can take the Let’s Talk 2019: Young Wom*n’s Views on Sex Education survey here.

You can also download a hard copy of the survey, to email or post back to us here: YWAG Let’s Talk 2019 – Hardcopy survey

As part of the Let’s Talk 2019 project, there is an opportunity for young women and non-binary young people aged 18-21, and the organisations that work with them, to run focus groups on views on sex education. Focus Group Toolkits are available here: YWAG Let’s Talk 2019 – Focus Group Toolkit

YWAG has regular input into ERA’s advocacy and policy positions, participates in our policy work groups and develops papers for ERA’s projects. YWAG is an excellent opportunity for young women to access training and experience in women’s policy and advocacy.

YWAG’s previous work includes the curation of the feminist blogging site Settle Petal and a campaign to promote positivity around body image for young women.

Looking for more information on Let’s Talk 2019, or interested in getting involved with YWAG? Contact Romy Listo at

Embracing the high art of listening

The Illawarra Centre for Enablement (ICfE) invites you to its inaugural Enabling SEED Circle. SEED describes the approach of this Program: to Share, Explore, Experience and Decide.


When: Saturday 24 August, 10.00am – 1.30pm; registration is from 9.30am.

Where: Dining room, Shellharbour Civic Centre

Fee: full $49; concession: $44 (includes morning tea)

In this half day workshop you will learn what the high art of listening is, its usefulness and application in different contexts; the skills that enable the high art of listening and you will practice applying these skills in different contexts. You will gain a deeper understanding of listening to enable you to effectively apply it in a meaningful way in your personal and professional life.

Workshop Facilitator: Dr Diann Rodgers-Healey (Bio details are at

Invited Guest: Dr Michael Barbato, a Palliative Care Specialist who has been in medical practice for more than 50 years and has been a palliative care physician for 30 years. During this time, he has held the positions of Medical Director at the Sacred Heart Hospice, Darlinghurst, NSW and the Palliative Care Unit at St Joseph’s Hospital, Auburn, NSW and was Director of Palliative Care for the ACT.

Invited Guest: Karen Burdett is the Chief Executive Officer of The Cram Foundation, a leading Disability Service that employs over 150 staff and provides specialist accommodation and community support services to people living with complex disabilities across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven Region. Karen’s career spans over 20 years with over 13 years working in Senior Leadership and Executive roles across Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Organisor: Illawarra Centre for Enablement (ICfE) Email:

Training | Your Quick Guide To Our Trainer & Assessor Qualifications Courses Starting In September

Our Trainer & Assessor Qualifications Courses start in September, and we thought it may be helpful to have quick access to the most supportive, local course options that will provide your clients with skills to:

  • Design and deliver accredited training and assess competency.
  • Become a workplace based trainer-assessor or operate in a classroom or online environment. 
  • Allow existing Trainers to maintain their Training and Assessment currency and add valuable skills to their portfolio.

*Places in many courses are subsidised by the NSW Government


Venue: Kiama Campus

Tue 10 September, 2019 until 31 March, 2020
Time: 9am-4.30pm¤
Cost: $0-$1,850* (Normally $4,800)
¤ Please call to express your interest in an evening class.

15th of October 2019 until 22nd September 2020
Time: 5:20pm – 9:15pm
Cost: $0-$1,850* (Normally $4,800)
*This training is subsidised by the NSW Government




Venue: Kiama Campus
Commences: Sat 7 Sep, 9am-5pm
Sessions: 1 day
Cost: $360



Venue: Kiama Campus
Commences: Sat 14 & 21 Sep 9am-4pm
Sessions: 2 days
Cost: $460