16 October 2018
The YMCA in South Australia is proud of our history, proud of the work with do with South Australia communities and proud of the people who have come before us. The YMCA Alumni was launched to celebrate and honor our heritage while at the same time showcasing the work we do with communities today.
“The idea came about after a conversation I had with former YMCA South Australia President, Bruce Brookes, who mentioned that once past employees and volunteers left the YMCA, they no longer felt part of our community,” Haydn Robins, CEO of YMCA South Australia, says.
“I wanted to plan an event that gave the chance to reconnect and reminisce with some old friends, but also to discuss how YMCA South Australia has evolved and how we can continue to meet the needs of communities we work with.”
The inaugural YMCA Alumni, which aims to become an annual event, was held at Electra House on October 5, where over 30 past and present YMCA South Australia staff, volunteers, and board members attended.
Mr. Robins presented a snapshot of the YMCA today including the opening of our newest YMCA partnership at St Clair Recreation Centre next month.
Our active commitment to South Australia’s youth was of focus, with insight into programs such as our successful Youth Parliament program, now in its 25th year. The work done out of our Holdfast Bay Community Centre, our growth in Out of School Hour Care (OSHC), and the rebuilding and investment in YMCA Camping was highlighted.
Recognition of our YMCA heritage in camping was a popular discussion point, with the majority of attendees having run the camps and even attended them as children.
“Many stories were shared, particularly those from the Kangaroo Island camping program, along with the traditional YMCA fun run from the City to Port,” Mr. Robins said.
The shift of focus from once owning centres across the State, to now partnering with local councils in managing recreation centres and facilitating programs, was a vital topic in showcasing how the organisation has evolved.
A once largely volunteer-based organisation to a now employer of over 600 full and part-time employees across the State was a further topic to highlight the Associations progression.
“I shared our investment in developing the skill sets of our team along with our strong emphasis on wellbeing to deliver high levels of employee engagement and performance,” Mr. Robins said.
A final point that was discussed was how we strive to make programs more accessible for people with a disability, as we strengthen the YMCA’s profile as a solid provider of recreation services for people living with a disability.
Going forward, we aim to grow our Alumni community with events similar to the luncheon, but we need your help. If you are a former member of the Y or know of someone who was, we’d love for you to get in touch and help us build our database of former employees, volunteers and board members to be invited to the next event.