Youth leadership

A connected community of young people building Science leadership skills and networks to take action for wildlife.

Application timelines

Applications for the 2023 program will open on Monday 9 February 2023.

Keep an eye on this page for any updates.

Program description

Year 9-10 Science students from across the state are invited to join Zoos Victoria’s Youth Leadership program. Students will develop tangible and usable Science skills while growing as a leader in a group environment. They will learn from Zoos Victoria mentors and industry leaders and be supported to undertake a Science research project that will help inform a wildlife conservation project.

The program runs for 11 days from April to June 2023.

What students will learn

Students will gain a deep understanding of their capabilities as Science leaders, tap into a sense of purpose and develop knowledge and skills that they will use beyond the program:

  • Leadership skills
  • Science knowledge and skills
  • Communication skills
  • Animal and wildlife conservation experience
  • Mentoring and positive role models
  • Project work to solve a real-world problem

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum Year 9-10

Science Understanding
  • Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries (VCSSU115)
  • Multicellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment (VCSSU117)
  • Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (VCSSU121)
Science Inquiry Skills
  • Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically, including identification of independent, dependent and controlled variables (VCSIS134)
  • Independently plan, select and use appropriate investigation types, including fieldwork and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data, assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these investigation types (VCSIS135)
  • Select and use appropriate equipment and technologies to systematically collect and record accurate and reliable data, and use repeat trials to improve accuracy, precision and reliability (VCSIS136)
  • Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys, models and formulas, to record and summarise data from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, to represent qualitative and quantitative patterns or relationships, and distinguish between discrete and continuous data (VCSIS137)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (VCSIS140)
Capabilities
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Ethical
  • Intercultural
  • Personal and Social

Who this program is for

Emerging SCIENCE Leaders

Students who have drive and leadership potential to step up and take the lead in Science.

Existing Student Leaders

Students who are already in leadership positions and want to improve their Science skills and impact.

Wildlife Conservation Champions

Students who are passionate about wildlife and want to develop Science leadership skills for conservation projects.

Teacher involvement

Students need to be endorsed by a teacher at their school, whose role is to support their student's development. A maximum of 2 students per school will be selected. Each teacher will be gifted a Teacher Membership, which allows them free access to:

Supporting teachers will need to be available to attend and participate in two days of the program. 

Wednesday 26 April 2023 (school term) afternoon

Melbourne Zoo

Friday 23 June 2023 (school term) lunch - Graduation

Melbourne Zoo

Cost and inclusions

The cost of the program is $1500 and includes:

  • All workshops
  • Leadership mentoring
  • Behind the scenes encounters
  • Access to industry experts
  • Excursions including transport from Melbourne Zoo
  • Program materials
  • Zoo membership, allowing unlimited visitation to all four Zoos Victoria zoos for one year: Healesville Sanctuary, Kyabram Fauna Park, Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo

Participants bring their own lunches and snacks.

Six scholarship positions will be provided for students from low SES schools. Applications for these positions will be assessed on the school status, teacher nomination, and the quality of the overall student application.

Refer to the Terms and Conditions for the cancellation policy.

Program sequence

This program is hosted at Melbourne Zoo and includes Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo visits. All excursions will leave from Melbourne Zoo.

Here are the 2023 dates for your calendar:

Thursday 27 April 2023 (school term)

Melbourne Zoo

Friday 28 April 2023 (school term)

Healesville Sanctuary

Monday 1 May 2023 (school term)

Melbourne Zoo

Tuesday 2 May 2023 (school term)

Werribee Open Range Zoo

Wednesday 3 May 2023 (school term)

Excursion

Wednesday 7 June 2023 (school term)

Excursion

Thursday 8 June 2023 (school term)

Melbourne Zoo

Friday 9 June 2023 (school term)

Excursion

Tuesday 13 June 2023 (school term)

Melbourne Zoo

Wednesday 14 June 2023 (school term)

Melbourne Zoo

Friday 23 June 2023 (school term) - Graduation

Melbourne Zoo

There are no makeup sessions, refunds or discounts offered in the case of student absence.​

Refer to the Terms and Conditions for the cancellation policy.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Still have some questions? The Youth Leadership FAQs document is where you will find additional information. 

Please read through this document with your parent/guardian and teacher.