Leading by example

Setting the standard and celebrating diversity at the Y

We’re united by one purpose: to make a better world, with and for young people. Join our team, and you’ll get to do that every single day. There’s simply no greater feeling! We asked three of our people about the impact they get to make with the Y. Here’s what they want you to know.
Promoting equality

At the Y, we all want the same thing: a better world with and for young people. However, we also understand that each person’s background and experiences are entirely unique. Diversity isn’t just something we embrace; it’s something we wholeheartedly celebrate!

Leading by example is the heart of what we do. When young people see us working in a diverse and inclusive environment, they learn to be kinder and more understanding. Our goal is to create a workplace where everyone thrives, regardless of their background or identity.

“There’s a massive diversity of experiences across our early years field, which helps in so many different situations and scenarios,” says Ben Leersen, Area Manager at the Y. “It really puts things into perspective. One of the things I enjoy most is having access to those experiences from other people.”

For Alex Ham, Teacher at our North Bendigo Preschool, collaboration is key to success.

“People are going to work at their best, and be their best selves, if they feel respected and comfortable to contribute. There’s no prejudice. Everyone’s treated as part of the team and valued for their individuality and what they bring to the workplace.”
Pursuing growth

At the Y, you’ll work with a group of super supportive and passionate people who make every day brighter. Renata Wozniak’s journey is a shining example of the inclusivity and diversity we cherish.

Coming from a small town in south Poland, Renata joined the Y as Room Leader in 2017, bringing with her an immense pride in her Polish heritage.

“I think the Y has always been very inclusive. I was very anxious about my language because English is my second language. I didn’t have a teacher and had to learn it on my own. I was always worried it wasn’t good enough, but the children made me feel so good, they made me feel like I was doing a great job.”

Today, Renata is the Centre Director of the Y Whittlesea’s Galada Community Centre. She’s responsible for a team of 20 staff who provide education, care and support for more than 230 three to four year olds. And, if that wasn’t enough, she’s also completing a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education under a scholarship.
She emphasises the Y’s unwavering commitment to caring for its people and offering continuous support along the way.

“They look after their staff and really support them. They make sure you understand your responsibilities and feel confident in your role. There’s always support. No one is looking down on you. Even if you do something not quite right, there’s no judgement.”
Building community

Working at the Y is more than just a job – it’s about being part of a vibrant community that makes a meaningful impact in the lives of others. Rosa Condello’s Y journey started over two decades ago as an Educator at the Y Whittlesea.

Over that time, she’s seen many changes in both her personal and professional life. As a lifelong learner, Rosa has embraced every new position she’s been offered and always puts her hand up to further her knowledge and education.

“Whether dealing with colleagues or the children, inclusion is a big part of what we do. We make sure everyone has a right to participate. Everyone has such diverse interests, experiences and strengths. So, it’s just about getting to know them to see where their strengths are and how we can find ways to challenge them while still providing that level of support.”

Now, as a Kinder Coordinator at Orchard Road Community and Early Learning Centre, Rosa still prioritises growth and development for herself and her team.

“Last week, we had a discussion with the team about personal and professional growth and where we want to go next. One of the highlights for me is embedding First Nations perspectives into our programs. That’s something I’d like to look into further and know more about. I’ve done professional development in that area but know that I still have a long way to go.”

Our commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment extends to supporting all of our team as they guide the way for the next generation. We value your growth and celebrate your unique contributions so that you feel empowered to make a lasting impact.

Finding Balance
The Y’s commitment to a flexible and adaptive workplace.

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Leaving the city behind
Find connection and freedom working regionally.

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Playing a vital role in little lives
What it feels like to make a lasting impact at the Y.

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The Y acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and future.

View our full Commitment Statements here .

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