The Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry has announced that applications are now open for the Australian Catholic Young Women’s Fellowship for 2024–2025.

The fellowship is a key initiative reflecting the Australian bishops’ ongoing commitment to formation of women for missionary leadership.

Over the past two decades, seven leadership programs have been successfully delivered, enabling many Australian Catholic women to be intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and personally formed for effective leadership roles in the communities in which they engage.

Offering a reflection, one year on from completing the leadership program, alumna Lisa Bright said, ‘It has strengthened my resolve to share my faith, and this experience has given me the courage and language to do that better. It has opened a new world of wonderful people to connect with and to share some of this journey.’

In announcing the 2024–2025 fellowship, the Bishop Delegate for Women, Michael Morrissey, expressed his hope that women from across Australia would consider this opportunity.

‘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,’ Bishop Morrissey said. ‘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.’

Administered by the National Centre for Evangelisation (NCE), eight fellowships, valued at over $7,000 each, will be offered. Each fellowship includes:

  • $4,000 towards the Australian Catholic University’s Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies (Women’s Leadership for Mission program)
  • annual in-person formation experience with other fellowship recipients and guests (flights and accommodation) aligned with ACU’s in-person components
  • introduction and accompaniment into a community of women who will journey together over the two years and beyond
  • online gatherings offering prayer and reflection, introductory sessions on spiritual direction and the gifts of the Holy Spirit (charisms), and mentoring from Catholic women who are living out a variety of leadership roles.

The fellowship is seeking applications from Catholic women between the ages of 25 and 35 years who:

  • have successfully completed undergraduate study (in any field of study)
  • have an understanding of and a commitment to promoting 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.

In 2024–2025, the Bishops Commission is encouraging interest from:

  • women living in rural and remote Australia
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander women
  • migrant and refugee women (with Australian citizenship)
  • women working in a secular setting.

Further details and information on how to apply can be found on the NCE website. Should you have further questions, please contact Sharon Brewer at If dioceses, parishes or Catholic agencies are interested in sponsoring a young woman to participate in the fellowship, they are also encouraged to contact Sharon Brewer (at the link above).

The closing date for applications is 16 November 2023, 5pm AEDT.

Banner image: Graduates from the 2021–2022 leadership program. (Photo supplied.)