2020-2021: A year in review
If last year was about survival and resilience, this year has been about patience and hope.
After 2020’s extensive lockdown in Victoria, we ended the year with our programs and services open, welcoming the community through our doors and into summer.
By the time the weather cooled down, we had experienced a handful of short, sharp lockdowns. Then came another extended lockdown as the Delta variant of COVID-19 emerged and spread across the country in 2021.
During this time, the majority of our programs and services were once again closed and many of our staff were at home, without a workplace to come to. This was a really emotionally exhausting time for us all. The novelty of baking sourdough had worn off long ago and we all just wanted to be able to start living our lives again.
But it hasn't all been bad news in 2021. We now have vaccines to help us protect ourselves and our community and the past few months have become a race to vaccinate the nation, so that we can begin to enjoy some freedoms again. Now in November of 2021, our vaccination rates across the country sit at over 80% double dosed. But we know it’s not over yet and that there are more challenges to come.
Despite the challenges of the past year, in this report you'll also find stories about how we continued to support the community in times of uncertainty.
Here are just some of our stories from the Y:
- Virtual Y (a free platform that we launched in 2020 to support the health and wellbeing of young people and the community during lockdown) has continued to grow as more and more people access our fitness, youth and family content;
- we launched a brand new podcast 'Time to ReBuild', which gives listeners a unique insight into people's journey from incarceration to positive transformation;
- together with Latrobe City Council, we welcomed Latrobe Valley residents to the new Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre.
These are just some of the incredible highlights from this past year. After such a big year, we couldn’t keep some of the stories over the last couple of months saved until next year’s report, so we have included them in this one.
Together with our incredible team of staff and volunteers, we have continued to make an impact in what was the most difficult year in the Y's 168-year history. We know that the Y will continue to persevere through the face of hardship. We will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure we can welcome the community back through our doors.
Messages from our leaders
"Through every lockdown and every challenge that comes our way, it never ceases to amaze me how our staff, volunteers, partners, governments and our communities rally together to support one another. We may have a long road to recovery ahead of us, but we will get there."
"It's so inspiring to see the relationships between the Y and local communities first-hand. We truly care about the outcomes for young people and the communities we serve – this is the what differentiates our organisation."
Casey is a Board Director at YMCA Victoria and Chair of the Youth Affairs Subcommittee and Risk Subcommittee. "It has been such a privilege to be a part of the Y’s journey this year. I hope that we can continue to work together to empower young people to amplify their voice, contribute to better community outcomes and be a positive force for change in the world."