YCW National Update

Young_christian_workersWith the year coming to a close, the Australian Young Christian Workers and the AYCW Action Blog would like to thank all of the support from those who have contributed, followed, liked, or volunteered their time to continue to strengthen our movement and continue to empower others to be the change they want to see in this world.

2014 has been a very busy and fruitful year for the YCW. We have seen our movement grow with the introduction of Armidale and Townsville diocese, as well as welcoming a number of new members.

2014 also saw the successful development of a new National Campaign:

Work Culture

“Our Space in the Workplace”

As the Christmas and holiday season draws upon us, we would like this chance to wish everybody a very happy Christmas and a blessed new year. The Action Blog will be offline from the 22nd of December to the 5th of January – but please continue to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and our website for all events and updates.

As we wrap up 2014, here’s a look at what the YCW have been up to in each diocese:

Adelaide YCW-

With Christmas fast approaching us, Adelaide YCW decided to have a discussion about Christmas and what it means to them; particularly when it comes to the wastage (through foods and material goods) which comes with the ‘giving season’.

Some of Adelaide’s Actions were about giving ‘experiences’ such as having a meal at a nice restaurant or getting tickets to a show, or the ‘opportunities’ such as spending time with people and loved ones or giving vouchers that entitle that person to have dinner on you instead of material things – especially when it’s unsure of whether the recipient will find it entirely useful or even want it at all.

Adelaide was also blessed to have had someone attend a review night who had recently migrated from Zimbabwe! He was a part of the YCS over there and when he arrived in Australia he decided to ‘Google’ “YCW/YCS” and found himself at Salisbury Parish!

For more information about Adelaide YCW, please email jennifer.robinson@ycw.org.au

Armidale YCW-

Armidale recently held a “Fact or Fiction” information night about Asylum Seekers and Refugees which went very well, with many attendees having the opportunity to talk about and discuss the realities of new Australians and the facts about Asylum Seekers and Refugees. There are plans to continue hosting such discussion nights into the new year!

For more information about Armidale YCW, please email armidale@ycw.org.au

Melbourne YCW-

It’s been a month of BBQs and ROLWA nights for Melbourne YCW! Discussions included the trials of work/life balance, the effects of social media on young people, the Victorian election, and Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Melbourne also hosted a successful MYCW Friendship BBQ where friends and strangers of the YCW and YCS were able to find out more about the YCW and discuss important social justice inquiries.

Melbourne’s last review and discussion night for 2014, aptly named “Just Christmas”, talked about what Christmas means to them and what it means to have a ‘just’ Christmas.

This Friday Melbourne will be celebrating the end of the working year at their work Christmas break up, hosting an office Kris Kringle!

For more information about the Melbourne YCW, please email info@ycw.org.au

Parramatta YCW-

It has been a fruitful past couple of months for Parramatta, with new developments arising into the New Year. PYCW coordinator Elizabeth McFarlane met with the Community Organiser from Unions NSW and was blessed to have been given a grant for the Parramatta YCW in creating a resource for senior students. This was an Action formulated at the AYCW National Council – so it’s great to see Parramatta achieve this!

Parramatta decided to create a program where young people can learn about their rights as workers, as well as the theology of work. They will continue to work towards building relationships with Careers Advisors and holding stalls at University Open Days.

Parramatta YCW also joined the Parramatta YCS at their Christmas Party and National Campaign Day, fulfilling their Action to assist young students in the smooth transition from YCS to YCW.

This week Parramatta have been preparing for the New Year, hosting a staff Christmas party with a “Secret Santa” and their final ROLWA for the year tonight. Parramatta will also be presenting at the Young Leaders Formation Course (YLFC) on Thursday.

For more information about the Parramatta YCW, please email elizabeth.mcfarlane@ycw.org.au

Perth YCW-

Perth YCW have held a series of successful discussion nights which revolved around the ‘review of life’ on social issues such as Refugees and Asylum Seekers, The Environment, and Advocating to the Government.

Perth were lucky to have been joined by the chairman of the Saint Vincent De Paul Society’s Refugee and Migrant Support Program of WA to guest speak at their Refugee and Asylum Seeker discussion night!

As an Action from this review night, Perth YCW began communications with Pelusey to assist with the ‘Vinnies’ annual Christmas hamper appeal. With thanks to the assistance of volunteers and donors, Perth was able to put together 6 hampers which will be personally delivered to refugee families and young migrants who do not have a family to share Christmas with. Well done, Perth!

For more information about Perth YCW, please email dominique@ycw.org.au

Townsville YCW-

Townsville YCW have been hosting a series of ROLWA’s about the rights of Indigenous Australians and the awareness and the need for constitutional recognition of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.

Recently Townsville held a discussion night to expand on and discuss their learnt knowledge of Indigenous culture, past history and its effects on current issues.

Following are the Actions which arose from this night:

-There are misunderstandings between both Western and Indigenous culture, for reconciliation to occur we need to learn more about traditional Indigenous culture.  ​
– To begin the healing process we need to develop a friendship / partnership that prevents victimising vulnerable populations. Indigenous persons should share with us information about their cultural structure and beliefs to help us build more of an understanding and tolerance of one another. Learning from one another builds empowerment, helps Indigenous population to become more self-sufficient and minimises tokenism.  ​​​​​​

– Indigenous persons should be given the opportunity to share their story from their perspective.  Aspects of Indigenous culture can be learnt through talks with Indigenous, people should be encouraged to bring friends to information session.  The evening should be a social event eg. Tavern Theology.  Information should target young adults, possibly university students eg. University Catholic College, Christian Union.  Advertise for a discussion panel during Oweek in February.  ​​​​​​​​​​

– Our group must find a way to market discussion panel to wider Indigenous population.

– Discussed advertising the event in the Catholic Bulletin as one way of targeting the wider population.  ​​​​​​​​​​

– The event should provide a friendly atmosphere for young people to openly discuss Indigenous culture, this includes, providing food and drinks, a panel of 3 – 4 people to discuss Indigenous culture, each person could talk for 10 -15 minutes – then provide question time.  Panel could consist of elder and young persons – both in-touch and not in-touch with culture.

For more information about Townsville YCW, please email info@ycw.org.au

* * * * *

The AYCW are now looking forward to and preparing for 2015, which will see our Annual Action Party be held in January at Phillip Island, Victoria.

On behalf of all the AYCW, we wish you a very blessed and abundant Christmas and New Year!

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