The Young Australian Space Leader Award

The Young Australian Space Leader (YASL) Award is a scholarship for the Youth of Australia to attend the Space Generation Congress and the International Astronautical Congress, wherever it might be in the world; from South Africa to Mexico to Adelaide. 

The 2022 Space Generation Congress and International Astronautical Congress will be in Paris, France in September. After two years of COVID restrictions, we now have the opportunity to send multiple Young Australian Space Leaders to Europe to represent Australia to the greater global Space Industry, selected from a variety of backgrounds.

Young Australian Space Leaders are selected based on their impact on the Australian Space industry – from community outreach to interdisciplinary initiatives and industry engagement, each recipient has demonstrated that they are the future leaders of our Space Industry. Each category will be assessed by an independent panel, with representatives from relevant industry and/or experience in their private ventures, ranging from former Astronauts to space executives, the Victorian Space Science Education Centre and former YASL recipients. 

This scholarship would not be possible without the generous donations of individuals and the ongoing support of our industry partners.

Interested in supporting the next generation of space leaders?

YASL Award Categories 2022

Young Australian Space Leader – Excellence Award

The YASL Excellence Award is awarded to two individuals who have demonstrated consistent commitment, drive and passion towards furthering the capability of the Australian space industry in their careers as well as extracurricular capacity. Their involvement in the greater space ecosystem has created opportunities, driven excellence and built resilience across their ventures and initiatives. They are selected based on their excellent achievements to date, in and outside of the AYAA. 

Applications have now closed. The selected Young Australian Space Leaders of 2022 for the Excellence Award will be announced on the 3rd of June.

Young Australian Space Leader – Impact Award

The YASL Impact Award is awarded to two individuals from the AURC teams of 2019 and 2020. Teams have the opportunity to nominate three outstanding individuals who have had the largest impact on their team, their community and their university over the course of their tenure. Teams are encouraged to consider broad impacts, such as diversity and outreach, as well as technical excellence, initiative and resilience.

Applications have now closed. The selected Young Australian Space Leaders of 2022 for the Impact Award will be announced on the 3rd of June.

Young Australian Space Leader – Industry Award

The YASL Industry Award is awarded to individuals who have participated in the ASTRA Program of 2021 and/or 2022. Showcasing the industry of the future, from legal to engineering to sustainability, this award is dedicated to the demonstration of interdisciplinary capability.

Applications have now closed. The selected Young Australian Space Leaders of 2022 for the Industry Award will be announced on the 3rd of June.

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility for a YASL Award varies per category. Regardless, for all three currently presented categories (Excellence, Impact and Industry), all recipients must be:

  • a current full-time Bachelor’s or (integrated) Master’s student at an accredited University in Australia during IAC, and
  • be between the age of 18 and 30 (inclusive) during IAC in September 2022.

PhD and MPhil candidates are not eligible, nor are students graduating mid this year. 

For the Impact award specifically nominated team members must have been in an AURC team during the competition timeline, ie. they must have joined in September of 2020 the very latest. All other eligibility criteria still apply. 

This scholarship will include flights to and from Paris, accommodation in Paris, and entry to the SGC and IAC.

Unfortunately we are unable to accept students under the age of 18. 

This is not just due to the complexities of international travel, this is also an activity requirement. 

There are other scholarships you might be eligible for! Keep up to date with our scholarships by clicking the button  higher up the page. 

The YASL Scholarship will pay for an approved flight from any Australian Capital city to Paris (and back). 

Should you be successful in your application, you will be contacted and a meeting will be scheduled to arrange this with you.

Applications close in stages, details can be found in the descriptions above or in the “YASL Information Booklet”.

We know the closing date is close (in previous years, YASL applications were only open for 48 hours!). If you think you’re going to have a difficult time getting your application done on time, contact us at  and we can evaluate your situation.

All applicants will be contacted in May. With a formal announcement in the week following. 

As a national organisation managed by student volunteers and young professionals, there are bound to be potential or perceived conflicts of interest. The AYAA prides itself on its integrity and professionalism, as such we have worked to ensure these scholarships provide an equal opportunity to eligible groups, including current and former volunteers.

More specifically the following mitigations are in place: 

  • All Scholarships are awarded by a panel of diverse industry representatives. 
  • Any interaction with the assessing panel renders an individual applicant ineligible, this applies to AYAA volunteers at all levels, as well as non-AYAA  applicants. 
  • AURC nominees must be endorsed by a faculty staff member (not a team executive).
  • The entire AYAA Senior Leadership team is not eligible for Impact or Industry Awards, as they may have had exposure to the assessing panel for these categories. 

By staying outside of the selection and awarding process our volunteers don’t have to worry about perceived conflicts, and can continue to create opportunities for those around them whilst building their own career.

Should you still have questions that remain unanswered, we strongly encourage you to contact so that we can adress your concerns accordingly. We have gone to great lengths to ensure that we can ensure as fair and equal access as reasonably possible to the opportunities we provide. 

Please contact us at and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as we can!

Past Young Australian Space Leaders

The AYAA first introduced the YASL program in 2011 (then called the Australian Futures Award). Past recipients have gone on to do great things across our space ecosystem; have a look at their names below.

YASL 2019 – Washington DC, United States

Meaghan Munro
Bal Dhital
Daniel Williams

YASL 2018 – Bremen, Germany

Luke Heffernan
Bao-Thien Nguyen
Rhiannon Hames
Ying Luo

YASL 2017 – Adelaide, Australia

Brittany Chambers
Oliver Paxton
Philip Dahm
Steven Apirana
Evelina Onopriyenko (Laird)
Caitlyn Georgeson
Filip Drazovic
Meika Liveris

YASL 2016 – Guadalajara, Mexico

Brock Little
Kate Dent
Katherine Cox
Simon Clifford

YASL 2015 – Jerusalem, Israel

Conor MacDonald
Blake Edwards

YASL 2014 – Toronto, Canada

Tasman Powis
Nikita Sardesai
Jessica Todd
Jessica Orr

YASL 2013 – Beijing, China

Imogen Rea
John Furness
Jacob Hacker
Eren Gorur
Mandeep Singh
Alexander Bowen-Rotsaert

Australian Futures Award 2012 – Naples, Italy

Abhijeet Kumar
Somalwar Utpreksha
Jack Yeh

Australian Futures Award 2011 – Cape Town, South Africa

Cynthia Chen
Kristian Grayson
Michael Kretzenbacher