First post of a new blog, always daunting! Well maybe… This one is all about the Australian Congress…
The Australian congress was held from December 30th-January 6th at St Andrews College a residential college for a near by university. It was very close to the city centre and easy to get to by public transport (if you knew where you were going, unlike me- thank goodness for my smart phone).
There was a youth program for the congress developed by Roland F & Sofia M for the 12-17 year olds, but as there were many ‘older’ youth attending (actually more than the 12-17 year olds by far!) they were strongly encouraged by us to join in.. (and did!)
Unfortunately the numbers of children and 12-17 years attending were really low. However the number of over 17’s was massive. There was a really nice feeling as 20 somethings hung out with the youth that attended and made them feel very welcome.
Planned activities included daily sports on the oval, a scavenger hunt, a ghost tour, movie night, A gala Sports Day, cupcake decorating and a movie making project. Unplanned activities (well not structured but spaces made available for the youth) included the table-tennis, fuse ball, pool table and lounge hang out area. I felt the location of this youth space was great- it was literally right beside the cafe which meant no segregation or separation between where people at the congress were hanging out.
The movie project was a big success, lots of people got involved. The theme was a David Attenborough style documentatry on the life of the ‘Subud Tribe’. The final product was shown at the Music Cafe (after a very dedicated edit by Sof) and got lots of laughs… It’s still needing some tweaking but hopefully can be shared on the net soon..
A big highlight was the market night, where people came and sold their wares or fundraised for their groups. I organised a stand for the cupcakes we had decorated eralier to be sold and we had a (pseduo) russian telling peoples fortunes… Both helped to raise money for the IYTF, around $200! At the Musicafe Roland and his brother did a great job of Auctioning of art painted at congress and some special prints that the SD rep for Australia wanted to sell. Some of the funds for this went to SD but we managed to get another $200 or so towards IYTF- very successful!
At a meeting with the National Council, Roland and I gave our impressions and thoughts on the Subud Youth of Australia. I also implored the group chairs to keep the youth in the their feelings and where they felt to, to test about how they can best support the youth. The entire time I have been in this position we have not had a Youth Rep in Australia. In a strange way I felt this a burden (not a heavy one) but I was really aware of the gap and the need for that. I talked with my friend Alica and she actively went around asking women if they would test for the role!
Unfortuantely I couldn’t be at the testing sessions (they clashed with the youth program) BUT I am very happy to announce from Alica’s coaxing and I believe a few chats amongst the men that there is now a male and female youth team in Australia! They are married and live in Adelaide. I had a chance to speak with them both briefly before the end of congress and have already had lots of email contact. David is also a part of the Yes Quest team and this is great for Roland as he is strongly involved in that too. David is already pondering a gathering at Easter for SYA (Subud Youth Australia).
Throughout the congress there were many performance nights, too many to mention but I think my favourite was three young Subud women singing ‘In The Jungle’ at the Musicafe night.
Near the end of the congress I got some feelings/insights into where I am at with this work. I felt very strongly to focus on my Area and developing the relationships with the Youth Reps in each country in my Area. I felt also that I want to have better communication which I think in turn is why I also felt to start this blog! When I suggested the blog to the team they were supportive- so here it is!
Ok, so I am writing this quite post me attending.. so I apologise for anything I have forgotten, for the long-winded-ness and I hope that it still paints a picture of my experiences. There are lots of photos around on facebook you can check out some here.