Our inaugural program launched with 24 brilliant participants from across Australia and New Zealand. They have demonstrated extraordinary growth and success throughout the last 12 months despite global challenges. We would love for you to meet them.
Sarah is a legal studies and history teacher. She had the opportunity to attend RYLA in 2016, which proved to be a life changing RYLA experience for her. Her experience of RYLA Oceania thus far has flipped her world upside down, she now sees the world differently. She has been able to build stronger relationships.
She has been closely linked with Rotary since completing RYPEN in 2010. She is now a strong advocate for Rotary youth programs in her local community.
Henry is a Senior Process Development Engineer at Fisher & Paykel in Auckland, New Zealand. His attendance at RYLA in Rotary District 9920 was a particularly eye-opening part of his leadership journey. He has also served on the committee for his local RYPEN program and at the time of the Christchurch Earthquake, he was involved with Comfort for Christchurch, a group set up to provide food, water and essential supplies to people in need after the Christchurch Earthquake.
Grace works on several initiatives in the disability sector and is a rifleman in the New Zealand Army Reserves. Grace is currently also studying a double degree in law and global studies. She first attended RYLA in 2018, in District 9920. She was also the New Zealand Rotary Youth Exchange Ambassador in Denmark throughout 2016/17. She is an associate member of Howick Club and is the Coordinator for District 9920 RYLA and RYPEN programs.
Emma is a Marketing and International Development Graduate from Canberra, Australia. For almost a decade, Emma has been honing her community leadership skills through Rotary. She attended RYLA in District 9710 in 2013 and has continued to serve for the new participants. She also led the creation of the University of Canberra Rotaract Club, serving as Charter President and then District Rotaract Representative.
Rohan works as a personal trainer and running coach. He attended RYLA in 2018. Whilst he is not a member, he shares a close relationship with his local Rotary Club of Romsey/Lancefield. They have assisted greatly in his RYLA journey. He is looking forward to joining a club in the coming months. He has great aspirations to be Australia’s top OCR Athlete.
Saskia’s purpose is is to empower young leaders to create change through health and fitness. Saskia graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Exercise Science and Business Admin. RYLA Oceania This year Saskia has been able to take up new challenges, push her self out of her comfort zone and put herself into programs with the encouragement of her RYLA Oceania family supporting her. She attended her first RYLA in 2015. She is a keen volunteer with St John Ambulance NSW.
Jessica has a mission to help young people reach their potential. She is an Educational Psychologist for the Department of Education and Training in Victoria, focusing on students with learning difficulties and adolescent mental health. Jessica has been a Rotarian for almost a decade with the Rotary Club of Melbourne Park. She attended RYLA in Rotary District 9800 in 2013 and has stayed involved in the program as a Facilitator and Committee Member and is now serving as the Chair of the program.
Alastair is a Civil Engineer, working in the railways. He first attended RYLA in 2017 which he considered an amazing experience. His ‘relationship’ with Rotary begun in early 2016, when he joined the Rotaract Club of South-West Brisbane. He has been president of the club from 2017-2019 and a District Rotaract Representative for 2018-2019 and 2020-2021. He is now a dual Rotaract and
Rotary member. Fun fact, he hates been late! He will turn out early to events and
have even helped with the setup.
Jen attended RYLA in Rotary District 9940 in 2016. She has since continued to serve on the program’s leadership team and considers helping to organise RYLA as one of her yearly highlights.
She is a founder and entrepreneur for International Generations She is also heavily involved in the wellbeing, social entrepreneurship and community side of Wellington – supporting a number of initiatives including RYLA, Innovative Young Minds and Camp to name a few.
Genevieve is the co-founder of the mental health charity Voices of Hope in New Zealand. She found her first RYLA experience life changing. Through this, she was able to learn about herself and how she works in a team. She continually strives to challenge herself both physically and mentally in order to be a better person. Fun Fact about Genevieve is that she adopted a giraffe!
Peter is a customer service representative at NRMA roadside. He considers that his RYLA experience has been nothing but supportive and is motivated by his fellow participants and their drive to be leaders in their fields.
Madeleine is a reporting analyst at a property company. She is a member of The Rotary Club of Beecroft. She is also a facilitator for the District 9685 RYPEN Summer Program. She is a fourth-generation Rotarian who loves a cup of tea and a good book.
Tom is the producer for the media agency Lumiere. He completed RYLA in 2014 in District 9500. He was then successfully selected to be a leader in the RYLA program for the years 2015 and 2016. He is also a big Star Wars fan!
Geraldine is a consultant in the analytical team for a health and social services consulting company. She attended her first RYLA in 2014 in D9980. She first joined Interact in 2011. She then joined Dunedin Rotaract in 2013-2015. In 2018, she joirned Mt Eden Rotary in 2018 and now enjoys as role as President.
Waqas is a business professional. He described RYLA Oceania Retreat Week as the best week, full of joy, motivation and learning. He is a RYLA Alumni and Rotoractor.
Kate is a Cadet Accountant at C.T. Harris & Company. She has a passion for creating opportunities for young people and reducing the stigma associated with mental health and suicide. Kate is the President-Elect for the Rotary Club of Rockhampton-Fitzroy in Queensland, Australia. She attended RYLA in Rotary District 9570 in 2018 and continues to return as a guest speaker.
Mehak works at Fisher and Paykel healthcare as a product development engineer. She attended RYLA in district 9920 in 2015. She has been part of Rotaract since 2014. She has served as a President, District representative and a District chair in her time dedicated to Rotaract. She has also been an honorary member of east
Auckland rotary club.
Katey is a past president and charter member of the Adelaide City Rotaract Club and recently joined the Rotary Club of Adelaide Light. She has also served as a team leader,
coordinator, and trainer for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) in District 9500. She is a project officer and training facilitator in the Diversity and Inclusion Branch of the South
Junior is high school teacher in the HSIE Department. He first attended RYLA in 2014. He also volunteers with St John Ambulance. He shares a relationship with the Rotary Club of Kogarah and the UTS Rotoract Club.
Andrew has completed a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and a Masters of Entrepreneurship. He currently works in a research role at the University of Melbourne and is the Junior Dean at Ormond College at the University of Melbourne. He has been involved in RYLA from 2011 to 2016 where he held a Senior leadership role.
Tegan is a senior Advisor with the Department of Transport and Main Roads. She attended RYLA in 2015. She then received the opportunity to return as a Junior Leader, Senior Leader and then Camp Coordinator.
Jason is a Business Administration Professional with a particular interest in finance. A passionate community volunteer, Jason has served actively in St John Ambulance Australia, his local Taekwondo Club, his university Student Representative Council and Hill Rotaract. Jason found attending RYLA in Rotary District 9685 in 2019 to be a life-changing experience. He is particularly passionate about supporting a building Rotaract and is now leading the charter of a new Rotaract Club in north west Sydney.
Jac is an Electrical Engineer with Caterpillar Inc. specialising in automation of vehicles in the mining sector. Jac’s journey in Rotary began with Rotary Youth exchange to Norway in 2012. She attended RYLA in Rotary District 9685 in 2014, following which she returned to Norway to volunteer with Handicamp Norway, a camp for physically disabled youth. While studying at the University of Sydney, Jac was President of the Electrical Engineering society. Jac is a Rotarian with the Rotary Social Impact Network as she looks to enhance her community leadership involvement.
Amelia is an Occupational Therapist for the past two and a half years. In her current role she supports individuals on the NDIS to increase their independence and reach their potential.
Amelia attended the District 9810 RYLA in 2017. She was then part of the leadership team in 2018 & 2019. Amelia joined that Rotaract Club of Whitehorse at the end of 2015 and has loved being able to give back to her local community. Amelia has held a number of roles within the club and is currently in the role of Professional and Personal Service Director for the 2020/20201 Rotary year.