The youth conference in Perth, Australia, held from 4 to 6 October in a school on the banks of the Swan River, featured multiple languages, cultures, and artistic expressions, and welcomed youth of various ages and backgrounds. Over the course of three days, it provided a space for over 700 youth from Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory, and from East Timor, to focus on their shared desire to contribute to the betterment of their communities and to build a common understanding of the role of their generation.
“I have realized that everyone here is like me––we want to help and change the world. I'm returning home to bring about unity, knowing that I don't have to do it alone.”
A participant at the conference
The opening plenary session was imbued with a spirit of consecration and excitement, as various cultural songs and dances were shared including a welcome by Noongar friends from South-Western Australia and a dance from representatives of East Timor. Throughout the weekend, study of the conference materials raised the consciousness of those gathered regarding themes such as the influence that positive and negative social forces have on each generation and the way in which today’s youth can assist those younger than themselves to overcome the various social ills that they encounter. As participants shared experiences and insights, confidence and a spirit of profound joy developed. One youth from East Timor said, “We are learning how to work together, to continue hand in hand to bring this message to the world. I am so happy to know that it’s not just me. It’s not just East Timor and it’s not just Australia. It’s youth all around the globe who are trying to heal this world for the next generation.” Discussions flowed into the breaks as friends shared their experiences of collaborating with younger youth.
On the second day of the gathering, participants reflected on how they could foster an environment of mutual support and assistance in which sincere love and patience serve to strengthen their efforts to contribute to the well-being of their communities. That evening, a group from the Balga Mirrabooka neighbourhood in Perth presented a poem they had composed on this theme:
With a bold vision for the spiritual transformation of society, participants prepared to return to their homes to share their enhanced understanding with their peers. Echoing the sentiments of his fellow participants, a youth from Western Australia said: “I have realized that everyone here is like me––we want to help and change the world. I'm returning home to bring about unity, knowing that I don't have to do it alone.”Return to top
Participants came from Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory, and from East Timor
Beautiful traditional dances were presented during the plenary sessions
Discussions began in large groups and then broke into smaller ones in order to explore the ideas in light of local realities
Participants study sections of the materials together
The conference was filled with both purposeful study and joyful fellowship
Groups shared insights gained during the discussions and plans for their return home
The atmosphere for the duration of the conference was joyful and high-spirited
The representatives of the Universal House of Justice being presented with traditional tais weavings from East Timor and medicine paintings from the Northern Territory of Australia