The Australian Chapter of the Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work (PALYCW Australia) is an incorporated association and was first conceived as a network of senior academics from Australian Universities delivering degree programs in youth and community work. This group met from time to time to support one another and share resources regarding research, teaching and good practice in youth and community work. PALYCW Australia’s establishment has been supported by the national professional association for youth workers and was officially launched by Youth Workers Australia (YWA) Deputy Chair, Professor Tim Corney, at a meeting of the Course Chairs of university youth work programs at the Victorian State Library on the 10th of February 2021.

UK TAG – PALYCW Affiliation

The Australian Chapter of PALYCW is formally affiliated with the United Kingdom’s TAG-PALYCW (commonly referred to as the Training Agencies Group or TAG). The process of seeking affiliation with the UK TAG began at an international youth work conference held at Plymouth University in September 2018. International associate UK TAG members Professor Tim Corney (Victoria University) and Associate Professor Trudi Cooper (Edith Cowan University) approached the then UK TAG PALYCW committee about the possibility of formally affiliating the Australian network to the UK body as an international chapter. Affiliation was seen by the Australian network as a useful collaboration, enabling resource sharing, and providing Australian youth work academics with access to the latest European research and writing on youth work through the UK TAG. With the intervention of the world wide pandemic in 2020 progress on affiliation was slow, however, after further correspondence and following a meeting with Professor Mike Seal (Executive Officer of UK TAG) at the Commonwealth youth work conference held at Reading University in July 2023, the Australian network of PALYCW was officially informed that it was now an affiliated Chapter of the UK TAG-PALYCW. Link

Commonwealth PALYCW Affiliation

PALYCW Australia is also pursuing affiliation with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth’s endeavours to establish an international Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work for academics and lecturers in universities in Commonwealth countries teaching programs in youth work. PALYCW Australia applauds the recent decision of the Commonwealth Youth Minsters Meeting held in London (CYMM 2023) and the outcomes contained in the ‘Marlborough House Commitment’ to support ‘the creation of a [Commonwealth] Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work to achieve the goal of having more qualified youth workers’. Link

YWA & PALYCW Affiliation

The establishment of PALYCW Australia was greatly assisted by the national professional association for youth workers, Youth Workers Australia (YWA). YWA is the sister organisation to PALYCW and has been very supportive of the association providing valuable assistance, resources and knowledge to enable PALYCW Australia to grow and, in particular, to support the professional development of lecturers in YWA accredited youth work courses. The purposes of PALYCW Australia are set down in its constitution and are reflective of both UK TAG and the YWA’s purposes and are seen as complementary, affirming and contributing to each of these organisations’ unique charters and work. Link

PALYCW Purposes

PALYCW Australia is a not-for-profit Incorporated Association established as the professional body for academics in Australian higher education and TAFE institutions (including educators, teachers, trainers and researchers) lecturing in the discipline areas of youth and community work. The stated purposes of PALYCW Australia are to:

  • Promote research, education and training in youth and community work in tertiary and higher education for the public benefit;
  • Advocate for professional recognition of the unique discipline, practice, knowledge, and skills of lecturers in youth and community work;
  • Increase professional and ethical standards for lecturers in youth and community work;
  • Enable and promote the ongoing professional development of academics (including educators, teachers, trainers and researchers) lecturing in youth and community work;
  • Draw on and extend current thinking and practice in relation to the development of knowledge and understanding, skills and abilities, and personal values and commitment in youth and community work;
  • Improve the quality of professional youth and community work education and training;
  • Support the development of youth and community workers to enable them to provide quality youth and community work to young people and communities; and
  • Facilitate and support the education, development and flourishing of young people and communities in the area of benefit.

PALYCW Australia has a particular function in supporting the professional development of those academics teaching the YWA accredited youth work degrees. However, PALYCW Australia welcomes membership from all those lecturing, teaching, training and researching in any youth and community work course (certificate, diploma, degree or postgraduate) in universities, TAFE Colleges and RTOs across Australia. To join PALYCW and go on the mailing list for the latest news on events and gatherings please email your details to (please include your title, name, mobile number, role and employing institution).

PALYCW Committee

Prof Tim Corney, Chair

Dr Jane Hickey, Secretary

Brett Woods, Treasurer

Dr Kat Daley

Sam Kettlewell

Paul Cabrera