Our History

Youth Work NSW had a long road to get to professionalisation and it still has a long way to go. Step by step we make small advancements.

Youth Work NSW establishment history

Youth Work NSW, the professional association for youth workers in NSW, was officially brought into being at the inaugural General Meeting on December 9, 2021.

The successful launch was a result of hard work by an Interim Steering Group, brought together and assisted by Freya Conomos, from Youth Action, and Howard Sercombe, who was contracted by Youth Action to develop key foundation instruments such as a draft Constitution for the emergent Association. The Inaugural General Meeting approved the draft Constitution, and elected office bearers and an Executive Committee.

Youth Work NSW Timeline

Come and read about the steps along the journey from small ideas and concepts to establishing a professional association

Beginning of the concept

NSW signed onto the Code of Ethics first written by Youth Work WA.2004

A snapshot of the industry

Youth Action produced the Snapshot report as a mapping exercise of what youth services in NSW looked like. 2011

Strategic planning

Youth Action added endorsing and establishing a professional association to their Strategic Plan.2017

Partnering with universities

University of Victoria – Bachelor of Youth work (industry-based course) upcoming graduates working fulltime in the NSW Youth Sector commenced the conversation with key NSW stakeholders including Youth Action to allocate on the upcoming NSW youth Conference agenda discussions and feedback as to the sectors position regarding an association. 2019

Workshops to establish a need

The NSW Youth Work Conference, workshops were held on what did the youth sector in NSW already have to professionalise, what was needed, and next steps. It was clear from these consultations that a committee of youth workers was required to ensure the inclusivity of the association.


Updated snapshot

Youth Action produced the Snapshot 2020: State of the NSW Youth Sector report. This report was a mapping exercise of the youth sector in NSW, to be compared with the previous one in 2011. In this report, 88% of respondents reported the need for a professional association.


Interim Committee

The Interim Steering Committee was established with 30 dedicated youth workers in NSW. The group determined 4 key aspects of the association to build upon: membership, training & education, Code of Ethics, and promotion of the association. 2020

Youth Work NSW was founded

Youth Work NSW held the inaugural AGM. 2021

This is only the start

Youth Work NSW has only just begun it’s journey as a professional association. Come and join us in continuing in the story and shaping the future of this amazing profession.