Western YLab

Melbourne’s West coming together to re-imagine systems

Western YLab is a place-based learning and employment social enterprise located in Melbourne’s West. Our vision is to equip young people with the power, networks and skills to shape systems across Melbourne's West.

Melbourne’s west is a hub of innovation, inclusion, regeneration and prosperity.

Our Services

and Networks

Facilitating connections and conversations between young people, community groups and organisations to define and solve challenges, and to improve the way they engage with young people.

and Facilitation

Western YLab’s model for co-design brings together those with lived and technical expertise to design solutions to complex problems. Facilitators are equipped to deliver engaging workshops for groups of any size.

and Development

Giving young people a leg up by providing immersive, relevant and practical learning and training experiences

Systems Navigation

Supporting young people to access the services that help them unearth and pursue their self-determined aspirations.

and insights

Our work is backed by the Foundation for Young Australians New Work Order research series which looks at the major forces affecting the future of work, young people and our systems. We harness research and data insights to find out what young people want and need to navigate an uncertain future. 

How We Do It

We flip power dynamics by putting young people in the driver’s seat of this work. Associates across Melbourne's West bring their multidisciplinary skills, future-focused ideas and different lived experiences ready to train and engage other young people

Illustrated icon of person with a light bulb for a head, indicating that they've had an idea.


Partner with clients and local young people to drive this work with their lived-experiences

Illustration of four people taking part in a workshop, gathering around a board with several sticky notes stuck to it.


Using systems thinking and co-design

Illustrated icon with several dots joined by lines, creating a network in the shape of a brain.


A range of services tailored to different organisational needs and context

past projects

Project BrIMPACT

Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Project BrIMPACT is funded through a $200,000 grant from the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business and in-kind support from Brimbank City Council as part of the Regional Employment Trials program.

Virtual Learning Bootcamp

Brimbank City Council

The Brimbank Virtual Learning Bootcamp was a 5-week program intended to create a new learning and development model for local young people in Brimbank as a response to COVID-19.

Brimbank Youth Job Strategy

Brimbank City Council

Brimbank City Council engaged YLab to design and develop the Brimbank Youth Job Strategy. The purpose of the Brimbank Youth Jobs Strategy was to create a new way for effectively considering and responding to high youth unemployment rates in Brimbank.

Victoria Police (Wyndham PSA)

Victoria Police

The Reimagining Youth Engagement in Wyndham Strategy is designed to strengthen the partnership between young people and Victoria Police so that young people can safely share their priorities for police in Wyndham.

Youth Voice & Action:
COVID-19 YPAR Research

Victoria University

In collaboration with Victoria University (VU), the Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project brings together 15 young people as ‘co-researchers’ from across Victoria to form a creative research collective, using art as a medium for social change and innovation.

Above image by workshop participant, DocG.

Western YLab team

Reana Cazar


Salih Ishaq Ojibara

Senior Associate

Lien To


Tin Nguyen


Fetle Wondimu Nega


Nyanjuma Akoul


Our clients & Partners

Western YLab is funded by Helen Macpherson Smith Trust (HMST) for 2020 - 2022

Like what you see?

We'd love to chat with you about how we can collaborate. If you'd like assistance from Western YLab on your next project, get in touch with us via our contact form.