Tomorrow’s leaders, today since 1960

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a leadership program coordinated by Rotary Clubs around the globe.


 
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Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a leadership program coordinated by Rotary Clubs around the globe. It all started as Gundoo Week in 1959-60 in Queensland. It was created as a festival highlighting local youth organised in honour of a royal visit by Princess Victoria. Through Rotarians’ constant belief in the potential of youth, RYLA has since become an opportunity to help the next generation of leaders define themselves and expand their skills. 

After the first RYLA, a participant summed up his experience in one word: Camelot. He wrote:

"If you know the story of King Arthur, you may recall that as King Arthur was dying in a young man's arms, he turned to the youth and said, If you learn of anyone that has not heard of Camelot, tell them loudly and clearly that there really was that one wisp of glory called Camelot." 

From the outset, RYLA aims to
  • Demonstrate Rotary's respect and concern for youth;
  • Provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders;
  • Encourage leadership of youth by youth;
  • Recognise publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities.
The program expanded when it was adopted by Rotary International at the 1971 Convention hosted by Sydney; the 50th anniversary of Rotary in Australia.