Castlemaine Rotary supports a range of programs directed toward younger members of our community.

For further information, contact Rotary Youth Director: Lyndal McClure 0438 391 160.

At a glance (see below for details)

  • Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN), 15–17, Years 9–11, 3-day weekend residential camp
  • Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA), Years 9–10, weekend program
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA), 18–25, one-week program
  • Science Experience, year 9–10, 1–3-day program
  • National Youth Science Forum (NYSF), commencing year 12, 12-day program

Rypen participant quoteRotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN)

RYPEN is a 3-day weekend residential camp designed for students who need a boost in confidence to start achieving their full potential. Participants are encouraged to learn to understand themselves and others, and manage their relationships, lives, work and learning more effectively through a mixture of lecture-style sessions and adventure-based learning.

Eligibility: Age 15–17, Years 9–11
Dates: RYPEN runs twice a year, generally in March and September. Upcoming camps are:
     22/23/24 April
     25/26/27 October.
Location: Doxa, Malmsbury
Application: Current applications close Friday 5 March
Support: Cost $297 paid by Castlemaine Rotary

Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA)

This international youth program simulates the workings of the United Nations General Assembly. Participants debate on matters of world political and social concern. The assembly aims to build goodwill, world peace and understanding through the experience of tackling issues from the viewpoint of the team’s ‘adopted’ country, even where this may be completely contrary to their own views.

Eligibility: Year 10 and 11
Dates: 18–19 May, 2024
Location: Melbourne University
Application: TBA
Support: Castlemaine Rotary sponsorship

Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA)

RYLA provides opportunities to share leadership experiences within a diverse group to understand the unique qualities, abilities and skills of others and how this diversity can empower and encourage participants to facilitate teamwork and greater understanding.

Eligibility: 18–25 years
Dates: One week residential camp, 1–7 December 2024
Location: Metro/Regional camp TBC
Application: October TBC
Support: Castlemaine Rotary sponsorship

Science Experience

Each program is designed to provide students who have an interest in science with an opportunity to engage in a wide range of fascinating science activities under the guidance of scientists who love their work.

Eligibility: 18–25 years
Dates and locations: 
    Location    Program dates    Best apply before
    RMIT University     2–4 July 2024    20 June 2024
    KIOSC Swinburne University    19 Sept 2024    20 Aug 2024
    University of Melbourne, Dookie    27–29 Nov 2024    31 Oct 2024
    University of Melbourne    20–22 Jan 2025    2 Dec 2024
Application: Students wishing to be sponsored should download an application form and send it to Castlemaine Rotary.

National Youth Science Forum (NYSF)

NYSF is a 10-day program designed to give students a broader understanding of the diverse study and career options in STEM. This is a highly competitive residential program with limited places for each Rotary District. Applicants will be interviewed. Further information about the program is available:

Eligibility: Students commencing Year 12 and considering a science, engineering or technology-based career.
Dates: 12 days in January, plus April State hubs
Location: Canberra or Brisbane
Applications close: July (for August interviews)
Support: Castlemaine Rotary sponsorship of 50% of $2,850 fee.

Page Stories

Castlemaine Secondary College student Pip Kelly-Buttfield attended the nine-day January 2024 NYSF at ANU in Canberra.

At a recent Rotary meeting, Pip explained the stringent selection process and was clearly enthused at his experiences with participating organisations. An experience Pip will long remember was seeing fertiliser created from waste food using maggots, but a presentation by CERN was memorable for all the right reasons!

Ultimately, attending the NYSF program influenced Pip to change his preferred direction from palaeontology to aerospace engineering.

He had amazing experiences, made friends and connections, and fabulous memories to look back on. He is grateful for this life-changing experience and the contributions of Rotarians both as sponsors, providers and volunteers who made it all happen.