“To provide opportunity for all, but especially young people, for education by personal development, fostering friendship and bringing about a better understanding of others and the world around them.”
Not for profit
YHA Australia is a not-for-profit, membership-based organisation. That doesn’t mean we don’t make money – it just means we re-invest surpluses back into our network of hostels around Australia to provide an even better experience for you, our guests.
So if profit’s not the point, what drives YHA? We want to give you the chance to meet people who march to the beat of a different drum, to eavesdrop on languages you’ve never heard before, and to share a meal with people you never would have met from countries with names you can’t pronounce. It’s about bringing together a totally random group of people who share only one thing in common: a thirst to see the world.
What makes hostels unique?
YHA hostels are made for travellers, so our hostels include all the things that make you feel more at home, including friendly and local staff, fully equipped kitchens, clean rooms, comfortable beds, and spotless and spacious bathroom facilities. All of our hostels have fun social areas, comfy lounge rooms, televisions, board games and more – everything you need to find new friends on the road! Many of our hostels also include extra treats like swimming pools, social events, in-house cafes and movie rooms. Some are particularly quirky, where you can sleep in a railway carriage, a tepee tent, or in a prison cell.
A German schoolteacher named Richard Schirrmann came up with the idea of youth hostels in 1909 when he was leading his class on a hike through the countryside, taking shelter each night in barns and local schools. In 1912, Schirrmann opened the first Jugendherberge, or youth hostel, in the Altena Castle and in 1932, established the International Youth Hostel Federation – what’s now known as Hostelling International (HI).
Hostelling arrived in Australia in 1939 when the first youth hostel was established at Warrandyte in Victoria, and it wasn’t long before budget accommodation was being provided across the country to bring young people together in the great outdoors. Over the decades hostels began springing up in the city as well as the bush, but YHA never lost sight of Schirrmann’s philosophy of education and friendship.
YHA Ltd (trading as YHA Australia) has a Board of Directors and holds an Annual General Meeting. The Board is the governing body of the organisation and is made up or ordinary members who act in a voluntary capacity, usually serving for three year terms. The primary focus of the Board is the long-term sustainability of YHA, including:
Setting strategic direction
Overseeing development of the network
Ensuring that appropriate risk management and people management systems are in place, and
Enshrining YHA’s mission and core values in all aspects of the organisation’s activities.