Future leaders gather for third annual Catholic School Youth Summit  

27 June 2018

This week saw the third annual Catholic School Youth Summit (CSYS) take place at Notre Dame University Australia in Fremantle. This year, 127 students and 36 teachers from 24 schools across Western Australia came together to share in a day of faith-filled learning, listening and collaborating with the help of inspiring guest speakers and workshop facilitators. 

With 2018 being the Year of Youth, this year’s Youth Summit was particularly significant in encouraging our youth to share in the life and mission of the Catholic church, learning more about leadership, the importance of listening to one another, and sharing ideas about how to how to live out these intentions in their own lives as future leaders.

The theme for this year’s Summit, “Your voice is needed – join in!” was inspired by The Year of Youth and the Plenary Council 2020, acknowledging that our young people are not only our future, but our present – and their voices are very important. 

Year 11 student from Chisholm Catholic College, Julianne Ho, was motivated by the message, saying “With the driving motto, ‘Your voice is needed – join in!’ It led us to rethink about the ‘subtle’ changes we can do as the soon to be leaders of this new and evolving society,” she said.

“Through the help of the Catholic Church, our voice will be heard and our views will be helped in our journey of perseverance in change. Coming to the close of the Youth Summit, I came out with an open mind and a will to change the world shaping a better future for all.”

The keynote speakers for the day shared great learnings, each with a different focus and message. Lana Turvey-Collins spoke to Plenary Council 2020 and emphasised that youth are not just our future but our now, and the voice of our students is important. Shark attack survivor, Sean Pollard, was incredibly inspiring and spoke about resilience with the resounding message being ‘don’t give up – keep trying’. The final keynote for the day was Channel Seven news media-mogul, Rick Ardon, who covered a range of topics with students, from the pitfalls of Social Media and the importance of not chasing happiness through material things, to bullying, giving back to others and “seizing every opportunity”. 

Students also took part in concurrent sessions that allowed them to further discuss and explore topics such as “The power of Prayer” with Rev Father Renald Anthony, “What you do makes a difference – what kind of difference do you want to make?” with Ms Jacqueline Reid, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” with Cassandra Ledger, as well as presentations by representatives from Orange Sky and Brothers & Sisters. Each of these sessions addressed different challenges and stimulated different learnings, encouraging students to explore their faith and use it to help others.

Students were also lucky enough to explore Notre Dame’s Campus in Fremantle’s historic West End, guided by a campus expert who shared stories of the buildi

ngs’ history and how they became home to Australia’s first national Catholic university.

Proving to be a successful third annual event, we look forward to another great Summit next year!

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