Previous initiative
Nexus Australian Youth Summit


What is it?

The National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy (NIYLA) connects Indigenous young people from communities across Australia to develop the next generation of changemakers.

NIYLA is passionate about engaging and inspiring Indigenous young people to lead positive change through developing strong networks of likeminded and passionate young people, gaining skills to lead change through social action initiatives and empowering community voices.

NIYLA's Activities

Annual National Gathering:

Each year NIYLA brings together 50 Indigenous young people aged 15 – 18 years from communities across Australia for the annual National Gathering. The National Gathering is a weeklong experience where young people connect with likeminded and aspiring young leaders and together develop social action campaigns to address issues they are passionate about.

Leadership Forums:

Communities and Schools have the opportunity to host a local NIYLA forum to engage Indigenous young people from surrounding areas and schools to further develop their leadership skills. The NIYLA team facilitates a 1 to 2 day leadership forum that focuses on identifying personal values, putting these values into action and exploring future aspirations.

NIYLA’s Professional Network:

The NIYLA Professional Network exists to develop and support cross-sector, cross-industry networks of Indigenous young people aged 18 – 30 years, who are passionate about building their capacity and network to lead positive change through their chosen career journey.

NIYLA's Objectives

NIYLA exists to develop a generation of changemakers in communities across Australia. Our key objectives are:

  • Empower Indigenous young people to gain a deeper understanding of their personal and communities values and the role values play in identifying personal passions.
  • Develop national youth-led social action initiatives on issues young people are passionate about.
  • Connect emerging young leaders to a national network of passionate likeminded leaders
  • Provide a national platform for Indigenous young people to further develop their leadership journeys, whether through education, employment, enterprise or by pursuing their passions.

NIYLA's values in action

NIYLA’s leadership philosophy – Values in Action – informs the development of our programs, guides our facilitators and supports our students to continue their leadership journey. The philosophy is built on Indigenous cultural values that connect communities across Australia; values that are timeless, universal and very relevant for our communities and young people today.

We firmly believe that leadership isn’t about a title, status or position. We believe that true leadership is about acting on your values throughout your life and in the decisions you make on your journey. Check out NIYLA’s Values in Action approach to building a generation of Changemakers.

NIYLA National Gathering

The National Gathering is an intensive component of an eight-week program with NIYLA. The program kicks off with a week-long experience from Monday, 21 September to Sunday, 27 September 2015. The program will then continue for an additional seven weeks, concluding on Friday, 16 November 2015. The program provides participants with ongoing support through NIYLA and NIYLA alumni. As a key part of the National Gathering, participants will be given the opportunity to attend Unleashed, Australia’s only social change festival for young people hosted by FYA.

The National Gathering will provide 50 young Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people with development opportunities in three key areas for social action:

  • Having a clear social action vision and purpose;
  • Establishing networks that provide resources and support; and
  • Opportunities for personal and skills development.

The program uses a holistic approach to education and learning to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ delivery method. The program takes the individual into consideration and tailors learning to support different learning styles. Celebration of culture, discussion, sharing, hearing from experts and putting skills into action to gain meaningful experience underpin our workshops and session delivery.

The National Gathering is from 21–24 September in Wesburn, Victoria, and participants will attend Unleashed from 25–26 September in Melbourne, Victoria. FYA will pay for each participants’ travel, accommodation and meals and both events are fully supervised by trained FYA and NIYLA staff.

The application for the 2015 National Gathering are now closed.