The National Executive arrived in Melbourne on Friday afternoon ready to spend the weekend discussing the happenings of the movement since our last meeting in February, planning upcoming events (stay tuned!), delving further into the National Campaign and the National Plan of Action first created at National Council last October, and making decisions about matters that make the movement run effectively.
After a wonderful reflection on mercy inspired by Pope Francis’ call to mercy, run by our Parramatta representative, the meeting started (in true YCW style) with Personal Review. The See Judge Act method was used to review our own lives in light of our faith and we each walked away with actions to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. Feeling lighter as a result of our ROLWA, we finished off the night with some friendly competition in the form of the Articulate word game!
Our representatives from Adelaide led us in reflection on Saturday morning, inspiring us through reflection on the Gospel (read from an app, moving with the times!) on our mission within the YCW movement. We then spent time updating each other on the current realities of groups and actions from across all active YCW dioceses. It was great to hear what other young workers around the country have been up to in the last few months. The opportunity to share gave other dioceses ideas of events or services they could adapt to use in their group in the future. The National Office Bearers also reported on their travels to YCW groups, including our extension dioceses Armidale and Townsville, as well as communications with International YCW, the Asia Pacific Region (ASPAC) and Cardijn Communities Australia.
Possibly the most exciting part of the weekend was doing more work to nut out the National Campaign on work culture, ‘Our Space in the Workplace’, that many young people contributed to at the National Council last year. The next step in the Campaign is to collect stories of work culture from young people all over Australia, we’ll be needing your help so keep check on the blog later this week to see what you can do! We also planned the National ROLWA Gathering is coming up in Parramatta in July, where leaders from each YCW diocese meet to do the Judge section of the Campaign, based on See section and the stories we collect and collate. We were later joined by Melissa Walsh from the YCW Archive and Research Centre, who spoke to us about the progress of their archive collection, the upcoming launch of some really interesting campaign videos (we’ll share them on the AYCW page when they’re ready, so you won’t miss out!), and an opportunity for the AYCW and the Archive Project to collaborate in the coming months.
Together, the National Executive attended the Vigil Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral before heading back the Melbourne YCW House for a delicious dinner with some special guests: recent ex-members of the YCW and some representatives of Cardijn Communities Australia.
Our Sunday started with a thought provoking reflection by our National Chaplain, Sr Judith Foster, based on the alternate 2nd reading for the Feast of the Ascension. The reflection ended with each of us blessing each other one by one to ‘Go forth and preach everywhere, while the Lord works in you and confirms the word through accompanying signs.” The sessions on Sunday had a more organisational theme, beginning with our Annual General Meeting, then dealing with the finances of the movement, creating some policies and procedures to guide us in our work and continuing our actions within the National Plan of Action. Our closing reflection, facilitated by the National President and National Secretary, was focussed on Mark 16:15 which tells us to “Go out in the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” We want to spread not only the good news of the Gospel, but the good news of the YCW in the form of our National Campaign ‘Our Space in the Workplace’, so we took some time to write our own experiences of work culture in our reflective space.
We all left the Melbourne YCW House on Sunday evening feeling enthused and ready to take action. The National Executive is looking forward to the next stage of the National Campaign and our role in collecting and analysing the stories, so please check out the Action blog again to see how you can be involved.