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Voice of youth heard


Members of the Young Christian Workers (YCW) and Young Christian Students (YCS) reflected on the realities of young people today when they gathered at The Monastery for their annual action conference.

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Held from July 6-9, the conference brought together members, workers and mentors in the YCW from the Perth, Adelaide, Port Pirie, Melbourne and Parramatta dioceses, along with their YCS counterparts from Parramatta and Adelaide.

They spent time discussing the issues facing young people, discerned in the light of Gospel values and those of the different faiths represented, and committed to new actions in the spirit of the founder Father Joseph Cardijn’s ‘See, Judge, Act’ method.

National president of YCW and conference organiser, Sean Gehrig, said YCW and YCS were reaching out to a new generation of young people, the so-called Gen Z, “who are making positive changes to the world around them in new ways, both online and in person”.

“Young people in the YCW and YCS today come from different faith, cultural, gender and social backgrounds but together share a deep spirituality and a common vision that all young people should be loved and respected as sons and daughters of God,” he said.

Meiwe Nguyen (Parramatta), Anh Bui (Melbourne) and Josh Lourensz (Melbourne mentor) at the conference.

Mr Gehrig said during the conference YCS students spoke about actions in their schools on climate justice, cultural inclusion and body positivity. YCW leaders likewise shared about local actions to address the cost-of-living crisis and overcoming loneliness. A digital campaign to raise awareness about workplace safety was launched in response to the recent deaths of young workers in the workplace.

“The conference was the culmination of a national listening campaign to better understand the culture of Gen Z (13-25 year olds) who are the first generation of true digital natives,” he added.

For more information on the YCW or YCS please contact Ashish Chaulagain on 0449 913 292 or

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