RYLA Program



RYLA is the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards for young leaders based in the greater north, and north western areas of Sydney. RYLA is a transformational 7-day leadership program run under the auspices of Rotary all over the world. Each day consists of inspirational speakers and practical learning activities engineered to refine leadership skills. This RYLA program is exclusively for young Australians aged 18 – 27 from the Rotary district 9865.

Rylarians will meet life-changing people, hear inspiring stories and develop skills through challenges and activities designed to put you through your paces.

Each day at RYLA is based around a theme, and consists of several speakers on theory or inspiration from their life experience. The day is balanced out with large-scale activities that allow you to put your leadership into practice.


Some RYLA 2017 Speakers

Robyn Moore

Professional Speaker & Voice-Over Artist - The voice of Blinky Bill

As a "Voice-Over Artist" for 40 years, Robyn has been heard in most homes around Australia, NZ and in many countries around the world. You may not know her name, but her voice has sold millions of dollars worth of products in iconic radio and TV ads. She's also entertained millions of Australians in syndicated radio comedies and in animation series seen internationally.


If there's anyone who understands the true larrikin nature of Australia, it's Robyn Moore.


Rev Graham Long AM

Pastor & CEO, Wayside Chapel

From the social worker who became a postman, to the postman who became a pastor, Graham’s journey has led him to share in great joy and great sadness, both in his own life and through the lives of people who have fallen by the wayside. Graham captivates people with his personal stories and his deep insight about love, hate, power and the ‘self’. He challenges people to reflect on their contribution to society and he inspires people to live as if their last minute was to happen today.

D/Supt Deborah Wallace APM

Commander of the NSW Police – Gangs Squad (Western Sydney)


Detective Superintendent Deborah Wallace is a Commander of the Middle Eastern Crime Squad of the NSW Police Force. She joined the NSW Police in 1983 and became a Detective in 1988. She steadily rose through the force working on a number of prominent cases, and has had responsibility for some of NSW’s most difficult policing assignments such as addressing the crime problem in areas such as Cabramatta as Chief Inspector of the Local Area Command. Whilst her experience has seen her gain insight in the area of Middle Eastern and Asian Crime, she has had responsibility for Internal Affairs investigation into drug supply and use by current and former police in the Eastern suburbs resulting in Police Integrity Commission public hearings known as ‘Saigon’.


Shane Fitszimmons AFSM

Commissioner, NSW Rural Fire Service


Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has more than 25 years experience with the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) serving as both a volunteer and salaried officer. In 1998 he was appointed an Assistant Commissioner with the NSW RFS and has held portfolio responsibilities for Operations, Strategic Development and Regional Management.


As well as:

  • Neil & Anne Tucker
  • Les Watson
  • Corporal
  • Heath Ducker
  • Rebecca Weragoda
  • Angelo Revine
  • Dennis Green
  • Louise Kippist
  • Greg Langdon
  • Nikki Man
  • David Harris
  • Paul O'Brien
  • Spencer Jarrett
  • Katherine Eyre
  • Kristin Austin
  • Peter Skellern
  • Erin McCluskey


RYLA Dinner



On Tuesday January 10 Kathy and Peter Bray and Lesley Freeman attended the RYLA Dinner held at Pittwater RSL to support our RYLA candidate Jackson Bush. Apart from this being a valuable opportunity to talk with Rotarians from other clubs as well as a number of the RYLA candidates, we found the occasional address very inspiring.


Ken Hut, a Rotarian from Berry, spoke about his mountaineering expedition in 2014 to climb one of the world’s highest mountains, Cho Oyu. The ascent took over five weeks, as it is important to acclimatise to ever increasing altitude, but the descent took only thirteen minutes in one of the world’s highest ever paragliding flights.


The purpose of the expedition was to raise awareness of Rotary’s push to eradicate Polio worldwide. Throughout the speech Ken demonstrated that while he met many obstacles and was on several occasions ready to give up the attempt, with plaaning, persistent, effort and determination, the obstacles just seemed to disappear. In 2012 on a previous expedition to Kilimanjaro Ken and his team raised $260,000 for Amnesty International.