“Few, if any YMCAs worldwide, have been integrally involved in building the social and leadership fabric of a planned and purpose built national capital city. YMCA Canberra has that unique honour.”

The Y Canberra had the good fortune to be born in 1941, during an era of gradually changing social attitudes and when Canberra was a young city in the early stages of developing its own particular style and personality. At the time, Canberra’s population was barely over 10,000 and our capital more closely resembled a semi-rural town than the vibrant city we know it as today. So quite literally, Canberra and the Y have grown side-by-side since then.

The Y’s initial programs in Canberra were designed to introduce much-needed recreation and physical activities into the lives of the predominantly young male workforce who had relocated here to construct the new city. As the city became more diverse the Y adopted its programs while maintaining its commitment to ‘building strong people, strong families and strong communities’.

The Y Canberra Region’s History