Rotary Youth Leadership Award Program wraps up for 2024

Mr Stephanous Olsen, a Backtrack employee from Armidale, talks about how the Rotary Youth Leadership Award program helped him with personal and professional development.

LAST week the Nambucca Valley/Stuarts Point district was the venue for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program, now in its 54th year.

Hosted by the Nambucca Valley Rotary Club, the seven day program for this year was conducted at the Yarra Adventure Park at Stuarts Point and featured a dinner at the Macksville Ex-Services Club attended by 119 guests.

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RYLA is a Rotary International personal and professional development program held all over the world for 19-27 year old leaders of the future.

The program is run each year on a rotational basis throughout Rotary District 9660, whose conduct of the RYLA program is recognised as one of the top three in the world.

This year 35 participants were nominated from 24 Rotary Clubs from Narrabri in the west to Toronto in the south and Coffs Harbour to the north.

At the dinner the young RYLArians entertained the crowd with their presentation skills, public speaking and fundraising for their chosen charity, the Danii Foundation.

The Danii Foundation supports individuals with Type 1 Diabetes, raising funds for people like RYLA alumni Jack Welsh, enabling access to advanced technologies such as insulin pumps.

Jack’s passionate presentation about his journey since childhood resulted in almost $1500 raised for the cause.

An unforgettable moment of the dinner for all those in attendance were two performances given by RYLA graduate Nada Hussein Ali.

Nada shared some of her experiences in her short life as an Ezidi refugee from Northern Iraq.

She is an accomplished poet and performer and was invited to attend the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival to perform in the poetry competition last Friday evening, winning both the competition and the People’s Choice award.

“The beauty of this program is that it builds confidence and leadership skills in some people who did not always believe they had it in them,” Nambucca Valley Rotary President Kerry Dedman told News Of The Area.

“For the Nambucca Valley Rotary Club the highlight of this year’s RYLA program was to bring so many Rotary Clubs together with participants and their families and hear about their amazing life journeys at the RYLA dinner in Macksville.”


Rotary Youth Leadership Award team leader Taylah Eyre-Hughes from Gloucester at the Yarra Adventure Park at Stuarts Point last week.

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