The RYLA Experience

The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) is a six-day Leadership and Personal Development seminar for young adults aged between 18 and 25 years who are nominated and sponsored by their local Rotary Club (within Rotary District 9780 – South West Victoria and South Australia) to attend.

This live-in seminar, overseen by Co-Directors and their team of past RYLA participants covers topics such as leadership, motivation, goal setting, value-based decision making, confidence, self-esteem, community contribution, public speaking and resilience.  The program has run for many years and variations of it occur annually in Rotary Districts all over the world. This District has developed what we believe is a unique approach. The program is frequently described by past participants as “life-changing” and “way beyond expectations.” Experience has also shown the development of strong, life-long friendships and professional and personal networks among RYLA participants.

For 2023 the Seminar will be held between April 16th and April 21st at “Kangaroobie”, near Princetown in the Otway Ranges. If you would like to attend, contact a Rotary Club in District 9780 and ask if they will support you. If you are in employment, we encourage you to approach your employer first and see if they will make the approach to the local Rotary Club. The nominating Rotary Club pays for your attendance at the Camp, including meals and assistance (as required) with transport. There is an expectation that you will be a keen participant, and that, after attendance, you may be willing to attend a Rotary meeting to discuss the experience.

Don’t know how to contact your local Rotary Club? No problem! You are welcome to email [email protected] to register your interest in attending the 2023 seminar and we will support you to find a potential sponsoring Rotary Club.

To attend RYLA, you must be aged between 18-25 (inclusive) within the period of the seminar; there are no exceptions to this. You may be in employment or a student. There are no other formal qualification requirements but you must be prepared to participate in group discussions, socialisation, and some physical activities.

As a prospective attendee, the process is as follows:

  1. Potential candidates may be interviewed by a sponsoring Rotary Club to determine your suitability for the Camp.
  2. You will fill in the RYLA application form and pass this back to the Rotary Club. They will then fill in a Club information and send the form and payment to the RYLA registration officer. The sponsoring Club is responsible for communication with the RYLA Committee via the registration officer and also for maintaining the liaison between RYLA and the applicant.
  3. From time to time we may require additional information – particularly on current management plans for health-related concerns.
  4. You will be notified of your acceptance for a place in the seminar within 14 days of submitting your application. You are expected to acknowledge this (and your acceptance of the place) to the registrations officer upon receipt of your official invitation.
  5. You will be contacted about a week before the seminar to ensure that all is well with your attendance at the Camp. You are also expected to maintain communications with your Sponsoring Club – particularly if there is a change in circumstances in your life or availability to attend RYLA 2023.

Your sponsoring Rotary Club will ensure that you have transport to and from the seminar, and should help you with any difficulties which may arise in the lead-up. Commonly these might include discussions with employers or Course Coordinators to approve leave. You are also welcome to contact the RYLA registrations officer who will also endeavour to resolve issues (usually in conjunction with the sponsoring Club) on your behalf.

If you require more information, email [email protected]. Please note that your application to attend can only be made through a District 9780 Rotary Club.



RYLA Application 2023 (2023, Download)


Registration Officer

Rtn Sherrril McKay

RYLA District 9780 Registrations Officer

PO Box 578

Mount Gambier, SA 5290

Phone: 0407 038 332

Email: [email protected]

So you really want to know what the “Ryla Experience” is like?

Here are a few quotable quotes from RYLA participants…

“I’ve learnt so much about myself that I know I can achieve anything! Thankyou RYLA” – Ange

“This experience has touched my heart and soul in a way I know will stay with me forever” – Belinda

“I can’t believe the amount of power, encouragement, love and honesty that happens at RYLA. If anyone gets the opportunity TAKE IT!” -Terasa

“Wow, simply, well, just ummm… WOW! Lost for words” – Jimmy

“This camp was exactly the thing that I needed in this part of my life. Thankyou for allowing me to grow” – Deb

“An awesome journey to realise what I’ve always known and wanted. The action starts now!” – Aliesha

“The most rewarding, confronting and fulfilling thing I have ever done.” – Jase

“What a fantastic experience! Thankyou to all whom participated to make it what it was” – Benjamin

“Thanks for helping me realise I am beautiful just the way I am” – Nicole

“RYLA is learning to make the most of every moment. I met 62 beautiful people and finally met myself” – John

“We came as strangers with nothing and left as friends with knowledge to last a lifetime” – Kate

“Thankyou for giving me the tools and courage to become all I dream and want to be” – Kimberly