Anecdotal evidence has suggested substantial benefits for youth orchestra participants. While literature exists to support these claims in the USA context, this research was completed to ascertain whether similar advantages exist for youth orchestra members in Australia, aiming to identify these and investigate ways in which they aid the development of young musicians. Not only does the work of the Australian youth orchestra sector provide orchestral and ensemble training, which is vital to the future of Australia''s music scene, but personal attributes and skills are nurtured and developed. With such a small percentage of music students gaining employment as professional performing musicians, it was important to establish non-musical rewards associated with youth musical ensembles participation as well. This study is comprised of three sections; a description of the current Australian music situation and outline of methodologies, literature survey and examination of youth orchestras in an Australian context, closing with a case study of the Queensland Youth Orchestra incorporating perspectives of performing members, alumni, conductors and administration.