Why Year 13? 


Even better than a gap year is a structured Christian gap year, and that’s what Year 13 is. It is our prayer that through your time at Year 13 you might be challenged to be a Christian above everything else - that as you then go on to university, to work, or whatever the future may hold, you will remain a resilient Christian for the long haul. Year 13 is a carefully and deliberately structured one-year program designed to mature your faith, connect you with trusted mentors and other like minded young people, building on foundations that will set you up for the rest of life. We intentionally connect you in four different ways, each aiming to foster resiliency:  


While there are different options you can choose for the study component of Year 13, each aim to grow you in your love and knowledge of God. All students are treated equally in the program enjoying the same access to expert Year 13 teachers and mentors.

As a part of, and in addition to the classroom units of study, you will participate in a number of ‘life skills’ courses and seminars, ensuring you will grow spiritually and will also be better prepared for life after Year 13. These include: evangelism, ministry skills, financial planning, careers exploration, understanding different cultures, along with opportunities to learn how to serve on Christian camps, learn how to lead and/or work in a team, learn how to deliver a talk and/or Bible study, and serve alongside Anglicare in care of the marginalised.

Vision, Mission
& Values


Year 13 is part of the ministry of Anglican Youthworks, and shares their vision, mission and values: 


To see an effective youth and children's ministry in every church.


To support the work of the gospel in churches and schools to present children, youth and families mature in Christ.


Word Ministry – we know that as the Bible is taught the Holy Spirit gathers and raises disciples of Jesus Christ

Authenticity – we are being transformed to be like Christ who is trustworthy, prayerful and gracious

Effectiveness – we strive for excellence in what we do to make a significant impact in our Diocese and beyond

Service – we bless others as we are innovative, flexible and responsive to our customers' needs

Sustainability – we build and grow ministries which are conducted in an efficient and financially viable manner

Collaboration – we work well together with colleagues and stakeholders to achieve our shared vision

Meet Our Staff


Cohort Staff


Rev Michael Williamson

Year 13 Director
BD, DipMin, MA (Th)


Kiara Meres

Programme Coordinator/Lecturer
Adv. DipTh


Esther Croft



Jo Booker



Theny Johnston

Accounts Administrator


Matt Steele-Smith, Steph Steele-Smith, Jess Moran, Aaron Smith, James Delanty


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Year 13 is one of the largest Christian gap year programs available to school leavers in Australia. But it didn’t start out that way!

It was established in 2006 by the then-Principal of Youthworks College, Graham Stanton, and Youthworks’ Training Advisor, Jodie McNeil. They had observed a growing trend for school leavers to apply direct to Youthworks College, not so much to prepare for ministry to  youth and children , as to take some time out post-school to grow in their knowledge and faith, and do some hands-on ministry.


Just the beginning

While the concept of a gap year wasn’t hugely popular at the time, Graham and Jodie saw a need to assist young adults through a structured one-year program that would strengthen their faith and equip them for life-long service of the Kingdom. In its inaugural year, there were 16 students and two part-time staff.

Following a successful first two years, Year 13 expanded by developing the Block mode: a way for regional and country students to participate in the program while continuing to serve in their local church. 

Year 13 was able to establish and build upon existing ministry relationships in Fiji, and now returns each year to the same churches and organisations, working alongside them in seeking fresh ministry opportunities. Each year Year 13 students both strengthen and contribute in new and unique ways to the larger relationship between Year 13 and the Fijian church.


Year 13 thriving

Year 13 is unique in its focus on student discipleship. Our supervisory system, residential community and focus on service, provide ample opportunity for students to not only live out their faith and grow in maturity, but to reflect and learn from their experiences.

And with interest in gap years continuing to rise, we believe Youthworks’ Year 13 program offers young Christians the best combination of experiences to build spiritual foundations that will last a lifetime.

Book Our Site

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Youthworks' Wanawong site is the perfect place for your group to grow in community.

So many amazing things have happened in the lives of Year 13 students and staff at Wanawong, and we want to share this very special place with you. Located in Sydney's south, just a 5-minute drive from Sutherland train station, this secluded bush retreat will make you forget that you are still in Sydney. 

Perfect for weekend camps, day conferences, planning retreats, bush chapel weddings and more, Wanawong is ready and adaptable to suit all kinds of needs. To make a booking or enquiry please contact us by email or by phone on (02) 8093 3420.

You can find our most recent rates here.

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