Frequently asked questions

What is the YWCA Australia?


ywca encore is a program of YWCA Australia

YWCA Australia is the national association for YWCAs in Australia.

YWCA Australia is the national association of YWCAs in Australia and is part of the World YWCA movement. We are a women-led organisation which achieves positive change by providing advocacy, services and programs for women, families and communities.  

YWCAs provide programs and services to more than a quarter of a million people across Australia each year and the ywca encore program is an important part of our work.

To find out more about YWCA Australia visit the YWCA Australia website.

Who can attend ywca encore?

ywca encore welcomes anyone who has experienced breast cancer or related surgery.

Whether your breast cancer surgery and/or treatment is recent or was many years ago, you can still benefit from our ywca encore exercise program. Women of all ages and fitness levels take part.

You will need to wait at least eight weeks after surgery before starting the ywca encore program. If you are between 6 and 8 weeks post surgery you may be able to participate with approval from your breast surgeon.

All participants require medical approval from either your treating specialist or GP if treatment is completed

What does it cost?


The YWCA is committed to ensuring that all women have equal access to the program, regardless of income. It is provided free of charge to participants.

Is there a program near me?

To find your nearest ywcaencore program please contact 1800 305 150 (a free call within Australia) or email us at 

How is ywca encore funded?

ywca encore is supported by a number of partners. 

Nationally, ywca encore in Australia is supported by Avon Australia 

In NSW, ywca encore is funded through South East Sydney Local Health District.

In WA, ywca encore is funded by the Department of Health.

Many ywca encore programs also do their own local fundraising.

Where is my local ywca encore class?

To find if there is local ywca encore class near you, please refer to the Find a Program tab at the top of this page. For more detailed location enquiries call 1800 305 150 (a free call from most fixed lines in Australia), email or text 0449 904 011

How many participants in a ywca encore session?

There will be between 6 and 14 participants in your ywca encore  session.

What do I need to take to a ywca encore session?

Wear comfortable clothing and bring your bathers/swimmers and a towel for the pool-based exercises. It is important to stay hydrated so please bring a water bottle as well.

Can I attend ywca encore if I have lymphoedema?

Yes (with your medical practitioner's consent). 

In fact it is encouraged. The pool exercises are beneficial for the management of lymphoedema as well as for preventing it.

Do I have to be able to swim? 

No. All exercises are conducted with feet on the bottom of the pool and head above water. There are two qualified instructors at each session with one in the pool at all times.

Yoga For Women After Breast Cancer DVD

An integrated yoga practice hs been shown to be beneficial to women who have had treatment for Breast Cancer. This DVD produced by Annete Louden consists of two 1 hour lessons incorporating breathing techniques, postures and relaxation and concludes with a candle meditation. Variations of postures are incldued to cater for women with alltypes of health issues including lymphoedema. 

Cost: $25

To purchase please email your request to 


In the past 30 years approximately 10,000 women around Australia have completed the ywca encore program.

History of YWCA Encore


ywca encore was originally developed in the USA in the 1970s by a ballet teacher who had experienced breast cancer and saw the need to help other women with similar experiences to rebuild their physical and emotional strength. The program was set up and expanded through YWCA USA.

ywca encore came to Australia in 1983 and 2013 sees ywca encore celebrate 30 years in Australia. The ywca encore program also operates in New Zealand, Canada and Japan.






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