The YMCA has been working in local communities across Australia since 1851 however was originally founded in 1844 during the Industrial Revolution in England, a time of great despair and poverty. George Williams, a drapery merchant, decided that something had to be done. He gathered together a few friends to form a society that met regularly to support each other and gain renewed strength in body, mind and spirit. The group called itself the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). From its inception, through to the early 1900s, the focus was on the welfare of young men, and related social concerns.
Together with the other founding members, George Williams wasted no time in organising YMCA branches throughout England, Scotland and Ireland. Over the next ten years, YMCA Movements also began to develop across Western Europe, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and India.
From the mid 1930s to the early 1960s, the YMCA was forced by depression and world war to revert to the original foundations of social and community concern. The emphasis was on youth work, youth clubs, physical development, leadership training, education and welfare. YMCA associations and branches can now be found all over the world.
Y Whittlesea exists to strengthen the communities we work in. We strive to make a positive difference by providing each and every person opportunities to be healthy, happy and connected and to deliver on our commitment to young people through our benevolent work.
Y Whittlesea was originally established to support the health and wellbeing of our community through facility management of recreation centres and youth programming. However since 2014, it has grown its footprint to include a commitment to young people and diversity and inclusion through quality Early Learning and Disability Services. All profits are used to grow these areas and support children and young people to be heard and give them a trusted place to turn to.
We have over 400 staff across 10 locations programs in areas such Aquatics, Health and fitness, Sport & Recreation, Childrens Services, Disability Services and Youth Services. We are a vibrant, active community organisation, seeking to make a positive difference by providing opportunities to over 2 million participants each year to be healthy, happy and connected.