Attend the RYLA Conference

Information for awardees

Need that next little push to do better at work, in the community and life, or to get that next job or start that next project? RYLA gives participants the invaluable space to reflect on themselves. The program brings together a selection of experts in their fields to deliver topics and interactive sessions including:


Planning and organising

Empathy and resilience




Problem solving

Goal setting

Conflict resolution

Global leadership


Reflective learning

Formal qualifications and technical skills are only part of the requirements for modern employees. RYLA works to develop ‘soft skills’ and personal attributes that are shown to be just as important to success. The value of these soft skills are outlined in a recent report by Deloitte Access Economics and Deakin Co, see: Soft skills for business success.

Our commitment to Diversity, Equiry and Inclusion

We are committed to meeting the needs of all participants at RYLA, we value diversity and celebrate the contributions of people of all backgrounds, regardless of their aboriginality, age, ethnicity, race, colour, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Typical day at RYLA

Day 1

  • Board the bus
  • Welcome to Doxa and RYLA
  • Lunch
  • Meet the team and participants
  • Dinner
  • Guest speakers
  • Individual reflection time and yarning circle

Day 2

  • Wake-up, breakfast and warm-ups
  • Guest speaker
  • Lunch
  • Guest speaker
  • Team project introduction
  • Dinner
  • Individual reflection time and yarning circle
  • Project preperation time

Day 3

  • Wake-up, breakfast and warm-ups
  • Guest speaker
  • Lunch
  • Guest speaker
  • Prepare and deliver team project
  • Yarning circle

Day 4

  • Wake-up, breakfast and warm-ups
  • Guest speaker
  • Lunch
  • Team challenge
  • Hunger banquet
  • Individual reflection time and yarning circle
  • Community night

Day 5

  • Wake-up, breakfast and warm-ups
  • Team challenges
  • Lunch
  • Team challenges
  • Dinner
  • Individual reflection time and yarning circle
  • Mind, body, spirit night

Day 6

  • Wake-up, breakfast and warm-ups
  • Individual challenges
  • Lunch
  • Guest speaker
  • Dinner
  • Individual reflection time and yarning circles
  • Yarning group challenge night

Day 7

  • Wake-up, pack-up, breakfast and warm-ups
  • Yarning circle
  • Individual reflection time and lunch
  • Big yarning circle
  • Presentation cerremony
  • Goodbye

*Note: this is an indication of a typical RYLA week and is subject to change.


Key elements of the program

Yarning Circles

The yarning circle concept is used by many First Nations peoples across the world. It’s a space for active listening and reflection. In Aboriginal culture, and at RYLA, yarning and storytelling are very important. Yarning is an informal conversation that is culturally friendly and recognised by Aboriginal people as meaning to talk about something, someone or provide and receive information. Yarning Circles are designed to allow everyone to have their say in a safe space without judgement. Each person is encouraged to speak, one at a time, without interruption. This is a process that helps to develop deep listening skills, sharing knowledge and establishing rules around respectful behaviour.

Individual reflection time

At RYLA, you are challenged each day, throughout the day. We have a session called “Reflection time” towards the end of the day. It is a session designed to give you the opportunity to think of the day and have the ability to unravel thoughts and apply them to your own life in your own time. Consider how to apply your learning to you, your community or your performance (profession, study or interest).

Guest speakers

Vocational Service is the essence of Rotary and the foundation from which Rotary began – the application of one’s vocational skills to serve others. We have bought together community leaders and industry professionals to deliver and share content which will help you and your own leadership and professional journey.

Team challenges

A chance to put the content into practice! You will work with other RYLA participants to put the content you have learnt into practice through a range of activities which will challenge you and the team to achieve a common goal.


I had the most amazing week on the RYLA conference. It has changed my life.

Shanelle, 2013

Attending RYLA taught me to trust others and, more importantly, myself. Not only did I gain leadership skills and confidence, but I also gained close friends and mentors.

Vanessa, 2008

Since RYLA I have had the confidence to completely change my life. I now have a direction and goals and cant wait to really live to my potential!

Grant, 2008

RYLA was very scary at first yet I knew I had to do it, to better myself. Since attending RYLA I have started to achieve some exciting goals. I’m a new man!!

Brad, 2013

I may have started at this conference as a leader, but I came out of it as a well-rounded person actually capable of reaching my full potential.

Shelly, 2015

I learnt to accept a lot of my personality and slowly began to become comfortable being myself. Honestly, if I hadn’t attended RYLA I don’t know where I’d be today.

Kat, 2009

The week I spent at RYLA helped me to regain my confidence and learn to love and trust myself again. I found some great friends and I found myself. RYLA has literally changed my life.

Jessica, 2015

I went into RYLA with the idea that I was going to further my skills for my community work. I came out of RYLA with so much more than that, I now have skills that I can use in my family life and also my work life.

Emma, 2013

For the last week I have had no mobile reception, no car, no computer, in country Vic having probably the best week of my life. I have spent heaps of time & money on educating myself in life, business & leadership, & NOTHING comes close to this experience.

Steven, 2013

Expression of Interest Process

If you wish to attend RYLA, follow the following steps:

  1. Complete the expression of interest form and make an $80 payment for attendance (this will be refunded if we cannot connect you to a club).
  2. If you haven’t provided details of your sponsoring Rotary Club, you will be linked to a local club who will arrange a time for you to meet with them to discuss your application.
  3. You complete a medical form and will be advised of the details for transport to the conference. Your sponsoring Rotary Club will take you to a bus stop.
  4. Attend RYLA.

Following RYLA you will be asked to present at your sponsoring Rotary Club about your experiences at the conference and be involved in at least two of their community projects.


RYLA is a fantastic professional and personal development opportunity for your young adults and is heavily subsidised by Rotary Clubs; funding from this program is from community donations and grants. You will be asked to make an $80 contribution for your attendance. This will be refunded to you if we cannot find a Rotary Club to sponsor your attendance.