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?

Any woman who has had breast cancer treatment at any stage of their lives.

Whether your breast cancer treatment is recent or was many years ago, you can still join and benefit from ywcaencore. Women of all ages participate in our program.

You will need to wait at least eight weeks after surgery before starting the YWCA Encore program.

You will also need to have approval from your medical practitioner (GP, oncologist or surgeon).

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 and the Prostate and Breast Cancer Foundation. 

In NSW, ywca encore is funded through the support of NSW Health and Dragons Abreast NSW.

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

In Victoria, ywca encore is funded by A Pink Affair and local fundraising.

In the Northern Territory, ywca encore is funded through the support of by Dragons Abreast NT.

Many ywca encore programs also do their own local fundraising.

Where is my local ywca encore class?

To find your local ywca encore class, please call 1800 305 150 (a free call from most fixed lines in Australia) or email

How many participants in a ywca encore session?

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

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

Wear comfortable clothing (there are some floor-based exercises) and bring your bathers/swimmers and a towel for the pool-based exercises.

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 there are two qualified instructors assisting.

Donate Now

Help us with this important work. Your support can help make a difference to the lives of women who have experienced breast cancer.

» Find out more


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.