Australian Young Catholic Women’s Fellowship 2024/2025

Formation for missionary leadership


The Australian Young Catholic Women’s Fellowship (hereafter called “the Fellowship”) focuses on the formation, accompaniment, voice and contribution of women in the Catholic Church in Australia.

This long term and deep formative experience enables women to be intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and personally formed for effective leadership roles in the communities in which they live and work.

“The Fifth Plenary Council of Australia highlighted again our need to support Catholic women in their endeavours to be leaders in the communities in which they live and work. The bishops of Australia are delighted to offer these Fellowships, enabling eight young women to proclaim the faith confidently and competently in all the places they are called to lead.”
Bishop Michael Morrissey
Australian Bishops Delegate for Women

The Australian Bishops have offered a specialised formation experience for young women since 2006. The Fellowship is funded and managed by the Australian Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry (BCELM) and is not in formal partnership with any academic institutions.


The Fellowship is offered over a two-year period, supporting participants academic and faith formation.

Academic formation enables women to develop as successful leaders with highly valued formal qualifications. Learning to think and write “theologically” assists emerging leaders to express themselves articulately and authentically in a variety of faith and life settings.

Faith formation enhances opportunities for young women to feel confident and competent to share the Good News in the world. Experiencing a diversity of prayer and faith experiences, accompaniment and pastoral care, spiritual direction, discerning of charisms, mentoring by experienced Catholic women, and exploring the work and needs of the Church in Australia, provides participants with opportunities to discern the Holy Spirit at work in their lives.

The 2024/2025 Fellowship offered a course fee subsidy of $1,000 per unit. The chosen academic course was the Australian Catholic University’s Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies (Women’s Leadership for Mission). Participants will gather in-person twice during this period, with travel, accommodation and meals covered by the Fellowship. The Fellowship also offers opportunities for building community between the participants, mentoring and accompaniment from Catholic female leaders and introductory sessions on spiritual guidance and charism/gift discernment.


The Fellowship is for young women committed to their Catholic faith and who feel called to explore leadership opportunities in their chosen fields and within the Church.

The Fellowship welcomes those volunteering or working in Catholic ministries or roles, and those working in secular settings fulfilling their mission in the world.

Fellowship participants should be open and willing to explore the diversity of the universal church and desire to identify and step into new mission fields.

The BCELM invites applications from young Catholic women based on the following selection criteria:

  • Aged between 25 and 35 years;
  • Successfully completed undergraduate study (in any field of study);
  • An understanding of and a commitment to promote the principles of Catholic Social Teaching and Gospel values;
  • Demonstrate how they live their baptismal mission in the world and contribute to Catholic life;
  • Demonstrate a desire to enhance their leadership potential in the forums they are engaged in, upholding and promoting Catholic principles.

For the 2024/25 Fellowship, the BCELM encourages applications from women of:

  • Rural and remote areas of Australia;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders background
  • Migrant or Refugee background
  • Working in secular settings (not employed by church organisations)


Fellowship LogoIn 2024 the National Centre for Evangelisation launched a new logo for the Australian Young Catholic Women’s Fellowship.  

The rationale for the design elements is summarised below:

  1. The golden wattle is the national floral emblem of Australia and has been an important plant for Aboriginal people for far longer.
  2. The arrangement of the flowers is in the design of the Southern Cross – a constellation of the southern sky and known as the “Crux” (Latin for cross), a symbol of our Catholic Christian faith. It is understood that the Southern Cross has been part of Australia’s First Nation cosmology for millennia.
  3. The dominant colours of green and purple are those used for International Women’s Day – purple symbolises justice and dignity and being loyal to the cause, while green symbolises hope.
  4. The cluster of flowers symbolises a community – a key aim of the Fellowship is to create a community of young women who will support each other in the journey of faith.


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