YLab Wollotuka

Wollotuka Institute, The University of Newcastle


First Nations voices are rarely heard or acted upon within systems across Australia. Armed with the power of young people, we’re changing that.

Drawing on our proven model of co-design and young person engagement, we were invited by the Wollotuka Institute at the University of Newcastle to create an embedded YLab practice centred on young people leading, designing, and facilitating projects to change systems and make an impact on the world.

How we did it

We’ve built the capability of First Nations associates to deliver co-design projects and have the confidence to lead work at both a local and national level. Projects of note from Wollotuka include designing a land and culture festival, a student retention project, and the development of resources to support First Nations women in the justice system.

We are co-designing and delivering projects with Wollotuka Associates aligned with the University of Newcastle's strategic framework. These projects provide opportunities for meaningful contribution by training and supporting Wollotuka Associates to build confidence in using their voices and play an active role in key decision making both internally and externally.

Concluding in February 2020, the full impact of YLab Wollotuka is yet to be realised. Thousands of people in Newcastle and rural NSW will reap the positive outcomes of these projects. We expect the success of which will set a precedent for the establishment of further First Nations practices across Australia and the world.

The Impact

In partnership with the Wollotuka Institute, we trained six First Nations associates with the skills needed to lead co-design projects at the University of Newcastle and within their communities. By embedding our model within Wollotuka, we could more effectively equip local associates with the skills, tools, and support to co-design and deliver projects and strategies.

The team.

We brought together a team of Associates and a Director, who came together to design with a background of diverse lived experience and expertise.

Work with us

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