YWCA Hunter is a women-led organisation that achieves positive change by providing advocacy, programs and services to support, empower and connect women and families for a stronger community. YWCA Hunter Region Inc. is part of the YWCA World and an affiliate of YWCA Australia.

We offer a range of programs that endeavor to bring improved well-being, inclusion and a sense of belonging.

Self Defence for Teens: Classes have a holistic approach and include personal development skills and physical self defence skills. Participants develop awareness and personal empowerment. These classes have a lasting positive impact on participants.

Sit. Get Fit:   Chair Yoga. This class is suitable for everyone, including 50+, less agile as well as active yogis. Our participants notice benefits such as improved flexibility, improved circulation and less aches & pains.

Tai Chi: Tai Chi is gentle enough to be practised by everyone, including people with limited movement. Our participants notice improvements in their posture, balance and stability.

YWCA’s Encore is a free 8 week program designed specifically for women who have experienced breast cancer surgery. Encore sessions currently run in February/March and October/November in Waratah and Valentine.

YWCA Hunter offers affordable Hall Hire with competitive hourly rates to hire our full-size indoor basketball court. Also on offer is budget accommodation for mature females.

Visit our Programs and Services pages for more information.

As members of the YWCA Hunter Region Inc we are committed to our strategic values:


Respect is the foundation of all interactions and behaviours toward people, animals and property at the YWCA Hunter. It is demonstrated in the acknowledgment of the traditional owners of the land and our commitment to Indigenous recognition and reconciliation.


Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that are consistent throughout the organisation. It is an adherence to an ethical standard built on a strong moral code of behaviour.

It is in practice being honest, open and direct, of being transparent in our communications and behaviour.

This ensures that all members of our organisation treat staff and clients alike in a consistent ethical manner.


We envisage a world where women have the power to act on their own authority in a self-determined manner; to exercise their rights and to be full and equal members of society.

This begins at a very young age and it forms a practical approach to resource-oriented intervention to enabling and equipping.


We aim to contribute to the building of a strong community that is inclusive, accepting and appreciative of diversity.

We aim to achieve this by developing positive, effective and cooperative liaisons with other organisations within the community; by actively complimenting and enhancing services offered within our community in a noncompetitive manner.

On the home front we strive for diversity and show value and appreciation for each staff member, board member and volunteer’s unique contribution and knowledge.


We endeavour to ensure that personal or social circumstances such as gender, ethnic origin or family background, or disability are not obstacles to participating in our programs (definition of fairness) and that all are given the assistance they require to find enjoyment and success in their participation.

People are born into different economic circumstances, have different personalities, talents, interests and abilities as well as different races, cultures and backgrounds. All of these things play a role in outcomes for individuals. Because we believe that everyone should have the chance to be successful and live a fulfilling life, we endeavour to provide varying levels of support depending upon need to achieve greater fairness of outcomes for all and not allow circumstances to create situations of inequity.

YWCA Hunter exists to support, empower and connect women, children and their families for a stronger community.

Strengthened by Christian heritage and enriched by our worldwide membership of women and girls the YWCA Hunter Region is a women’s membership movement based on feminist principles of equality. Today we aspire to sustainability through the richness of diversity from many beliefs and values. YWCA Hunter exists to support, empower and connect women and families for a stronger community. The YWCA in the Hunter has been delivering services to women of the Newcastle region in later years to the wider Hunter community for 100 years.

In the Hunter, the YWCA has been supporting and working with women and their families since 1880. The YWCA Newcastle commenced operations at 113 King Street Newcastle in 1921 with club rooms, cafeteria, classes and a variety of clubs open to all people. The YWCA Hunter is part of a global membership based movement of women and girls, which promotes women’s leadership and gender equality.

The World YWCA is a global network of women and young women leading social and economic change in over 125 countries. The World YWCA is one of the world’s largest and oldest women’s organisations with a global reach of 25 million women and girls. It advocates for peace, justice, human rights and care of the environment, and has been at the forefront of raising the status of women for over 150 years. The World YWCA develops women’s leadership to find local solutions to the global inequalities women face. Annually the network supports 25 million women and girls.

Natalie Smith


Yela Wilson


Nicole Cockburn


Lorraine Norton


Alexandra Potter


Alexandra is a passionate gender equity and social justice advocate with extensive experience in project planning, policy development and training. She is currently the Program Lead for suicide prevention projects providing operational and strategic leadership to four teams across the Hunter and New England Local Health District. A proud Novocastrian Alexandra has recently returned to Newcastle after six years working in Canberra leading federally funded suicide prevention and mental health projects. As a Board Member of YWCA Hunter Region Inc Alexandra is passionate about supporting gender equity across the Hunter and empowering people to connect further with YWCA Hunter activities and advocacy work. 

Andrea Fernandes


Andrea is a values-driven, qualified senior manager with 15 years’ experience in the for-purpose sector. She is currently the Business Process Manager at the Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS), one of Australia’s largest youth specific community organisations that works with young people and families across Victoria. She has previously worked in employment services, fundraising, and education roles. Andrea holds an MBA, specialising in Social Impact, from UNSW. She also has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University, with First Class Honours for research on diversity and social inclusion. Recently, Andrea completed a placement with the Board of Infoxchange via The Observership Program, where she further developed skills in organisational strategy and governance.

Audrey Brown


Audrey is an educational leader with over 20 years’ experience in Public Education. She has led in schools and statewide educational services and is dedicated to ensuring that children and families are supported and achieve equitable outcomes. Having worked in rural and remote locations, she brings a lived experience of supporting women in what can be a challenging and complex space. Currently studying Leadership Coaching, facilitating at conferences, and having completed a plethora of educational leadership courses, support and mentoring are at the forefront of her drive, as she empowers woman to achieve outstanding results in their careers. She is a mother, a daughter and a sister who thrives in social settings where woman support each other to achieve greatness.

Shannon Whyte


Shannon is a proud Aboriginal woman of Gamilaroi descent. Shannon has a broad range of experience in project management and business administration across the land management, disability and healthcare sectors. Prior to her current role, Shannon was the Business Support Officer with a Local Aboriginal Land Council where she managed a three-year, multi-stakeholder NSW state government funded project focused on land revegetation & vertebrate pest control. Shannon holds diplomas in Project Management, Business Administration and Leadership and Management and recently completed an Advanced Diploma in Leadership & Management.

Sally Bingham


Sally is a mother of three young boys and a social equity advocate. Through non-mainstream adversities, having become a single mother at 18, and now part of a blended family, Sally has firsthand passion and purpose for helping others and being a voice for change. With a background in business administration, executive assistance and health projects Sally currently works in the Suicide Prevention space within Hunter New England Local Health District. As someone who believes we never stop learning, Sally has undertaken professional developments in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Management. Sally continues her studies in Science, Criminology and Psychological Science with Western Sydney University, where she has made the Dean’s Merit list two years in a row and looks forward to further learning. Through the wearing of many hats, like every woman today, Sally is eager to champion pathways, opportunities, and social equity for all.

The YWCA in the Hunter has been delivering services to women of the Newcastle region in later years to the wider Hunter community for 100 years. In the Hunter, the YWCA has been supporting and working with women and their families since 1880. The YWCA Newcastle commenced operations at 113 King Street Newcastle in 1921 with club rooms, cafeteria, classes and a variety of clubs open to all people. There were 800 members in 1963. The YWCA Hunter moved into the Dawson Street, Cooks Hill property in 1963 with the new gymnasium being added and opened by Betty Cuthbert in 1965. The YWCA Hostel in Parkway Avenue, Bar Beach War Memorial Hostel, was built in 1953 offering accommodation at reasonable rates plus ‘wholesome lifestyle’ for ‘business girls and students’. It transitioned to mixed accommodation and then was sold in 2007. The YWCA Hunter has a chequered history of program delivery and we aim to move with recognised needs/trends and available research in the community.

The YWCA Hunter is looking for an experienced self defence instructor to run our Self Defence for Teen Girls program.
If this interests you, please send your CV to info@ywcahunterregion.org.au. For more information please contact us on 02 4929 2954 info@ywcahunterregion.org.au

All YWCA Hunter memberships expire in December and we would like to call on our existing members to renew their membership for 2024 if you have not already done so, as we value and need your contribution as members of the YWCA Hunter. If you know other women who would be interested in membership please feel free to direct them to this webpage where membership can be easily completed online. Voting membership entitles you to:

  • Become part of an international movement which promotes women’s leadership and gender equality.
  • Ability to vote on resolutions at our Annual General Meeting.
  • Support our programs and strengthen our voice.
  • Receive emails and updates from YWCA Hunter Region Inc relating to the YWCA organisation and issues affecting women and girls locally, nationally and internationally.

Membership is annual based on a calendar year. Membership is renewable on 1st January each year. Membership payments received between 1st October and 31st December cover the period to the end of the following calendar year. The YWCA Constitution states that each member has a three month grace period to renew their membership after its expiration date before they cease to remain a member.


Renew or apply for your YWCA Hunter 2-Year Full Voting membership here. After submitting this form, please CLICK HERE TO PAY.


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