Release type: Joint Media Release


Government supports future young leaders with a new program delivered by Children and Young People with Disability


The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP
Minister for Social Services
The Hon Dr Anne Aly MP
Minister for Early Childhood Education
Minister for Youth
The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Minister for Government Services
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme

The Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth, today awarded funding of
$797,587 to Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) to deliver a new disability youth leadership program.

This investment delivers on a key Government commitment in Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031.

Minister Rishworth said the funds will provide opportunities for professional growth, development and employment for young people with disability aged 15 to 24.

“We have heard that people with disability often face barriers to entering leadership positions, which means we are missing out on the important insights and contributions leaders with disability can provide,” Minister Rishworth said.

“This investment will establish a leadership network, link young people with disability to employers, and support them to develop their leadership skills and achieve their career aspirations.”

The network will be a national service featuring a website, resources, webinars, and networking events for young people with disability to develop their skills, gain access to job opportunities and build their relationships with employers.

Young people with disability will be the chief advisors on content development of the program to ensure it reflects their needs.

“This network will help open doors into leadership roles for skilled and talented young people with disability who want to become leaders and change-makers,” Minister Rishworth said.

The funding will be announced at the National Youth Disability Summit this afternoon by the Minister for Early Childhood Education and Minister for Youth, Dr Anne Aly. 

“This leadership program is an investment in our future,” Dr Aly said.

“It will empower young people with disability and connect them with employers, giving them an opportunity to be recognised and valued.”

Minister for the NDIS Bill Shorten said CYDA was a standout disability organisation and was ahead of the curve in promoting leadership for young people.

“I have worked closely with CYDA since I was elected to parliament in 2007 and have seen first hand the lives they have changed with their programs and policies,” Minister Shorten said.

“Each and every young person at today’s summit is showing leadership in their own right, but we need to give young people more opportunities to lead and have a seat at the table so we are not making decisions about them without them.

“I hope in the future a person with disability is the Minister for the NDIS and that possibly some of the young here will be elected to parliament.”

CYDA is a peak body that represents children and young people (aged 0-25) with disability. Their vision is that children and young people with disability are valued and living empowered lives with equality of opportunity.

This grant delivers on the Australian Government’s commitment under Action 3.1 of the Community Attitudes Targeted Action Plan and supports the Community Attitudes priorities under Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031 to develop the leadership of young people with disability.

This new dedicated youth program complements the Government’s existing Disability Leadership Program, also funded under Australia’s Disability Strategy, which is designed to improve the opportunities for people with disability to move to executive roles.

Australia’s Disability Strategy provides the nation’s overarching policy framework to improve outcomes for all people with disability. All levels of government have committed to driving action under the Strategy, which aims to uphold the rights, inclusion and participation of people with disability in all areas of Australian life.