Connections magazine was published in October with Young Life Australia’s financials for the year 2018-19. You can read it here.
Meet Mark Stretton, Young Life’s new Manager, Field Operations and Training.
We announce Mitchell Broom steps into the role of Chair, on the Young Life Australia Board. Mitch has served on the board since 2012.
We farewell Young Life’s Chief Financial Officer, Llew Morris who is retiring after 15 years of service.
Connections is published three times a year. To subscribe, contact our national office on 1300 557 647.
National Day of Prayer for Youth
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Young Life Contact: Glyn Henman, CEO | PH 02 9877 5144 or MOB 0412 432 274
On Wednesday, August 21, Young Life Australia will be praying for youth in Australia and we are inviting the whole community to participate. Visit https://younglife.org.au/pray/
Why pray for youth? Because for every 100 young people (15-19 years) in Australia, fifty say they believe in God but only five attend church. Meanwhile 23 are at significant risk of mental illness and between 9 and 25 will struggle to find work when they leave school*.
“Praying for youth is so important,” says Glyn Henman who heads the national Christian youth outreach Young Life Australia.
“Young Life Australia is for teenagers who may not have any other connection with church or Christianity. We are involved in supporting youth by helping out schools with different initiatives such as breakfast clubs, lunchtime activities and sport; while running Young Life Clubs in the community – where anyone up to the age of 18 can join in. That’s where young people hear (often for the first time) someone talking about their love for Jesus.”
“On August 21, our teams will be praying in 15 centres around Australia for more volunteers and church involvement on the ground; as well as for schools in our neighbourhoods, church youth leaders and the youth who need to hear about the reality of God’s goodness and grace.”
“We’re keen for others to join us,” says Glyn. “We have information and prayer points from our youth teams on a webpage. People can tap in and pray at home or in their small groups. Really we want people to think about their local schools, the teachers, the kids who may be struggling, the influences good and bad on teens and pray for teens to come in contact with the Gospel and ways the churches can play a part.”
“Also we need to pray for Chaplaincy – it’s still running in many Australian schools – and the student wellbeing officers who play a part in helping families dealing with tragedy and various struggles.”
Young Life is an international movement. It arrived in Australia in 1972. Today, the registered charity employs 44 (mostly part-time) staff and has 400 volunteers who run a network of clubs and camps in 15 locations around Australia with church support and community donations driving the engine.
For more information about Young Life and find information on our National Day of Prayer, visit https://younglife.org.au/pray/.
*Data on teens in church was cited in Powell, R. & Pepper, M. (Eds). (2017). Local Churches in Australia: Scanning the Landscape. NCLS Research: Sydney, Mirrabooka Press: Adelaide and is drawn from 2011 surveys; Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute published the Youth mental health report Youth Survey 2012-16; and the research into youth unemployment was done by the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
How good was Wyld Life Camp last year!
It was awesome! Led by a band of pirates, students in Grades 5 – 8 from New England, Central West NSW, Sydney and the ACT joined the four-day camp. Check out the pics!
This year the camp will take place from September 30 – October 3 during the NSW school holidays on Milson Island, an amazing property run by NSW Sport & Recreation on the Hawkesbury River.
There’s only one way to get to an island and that’s by ferry; and the only way to be on that ferry is to register at younglife.org.au/wyldlifecamp.
The camp cost is $299.
What’s Wyld Life all about?
If Wyld Life is a new concept to you, it’s Young Life’s program for students in Grades 5 – 8. Like Young Life Club, we meet up and play games, sport, skits and talk about faith and issues that matter to young people.
Heather Gant is Young Life Australia’s regional manager in Central West NSW. She is sold on the importance of community-based youth programs for pre-teens.
“There are so many influences both positive and negative in young people’s lives today. If we want to send a positive message to young people we can’t wait until their teenage years because by that stage there are so many voices in their lives.”
“And having a place outside of school where you and your friends belong and where the leaders are fun and supportive provides so much protection from the negative experiences that can accompany adolescence.”
“That’s what we are aiming for,” she says.
Dubbo Young Life team members Zac and Laura Kinscher, are part of an initiative offering support to teenagers living at boarding school.
“Young Life was asked by the principal at Macquarie Anglican Grammar School, if we would step in and help support students in the boarding program’s first year,” explains Laura.
“Our job is to get to know the students and spend some of their down time with them, chatting, playing games and sharing a meal.”
There are seven boarders currently living at the school. Some of the boys and girls go home on weekends while others stay on for the school sport and other programs.
Zac describes spending time with the students “one of my favourite times of the week”.
“They are the most delightful bunch of kids. Ever since Laura and I arrived they have embraced us.”
“It isn’t structured… we play cricket, swim in the pool, chat, find out who they are and where they are coming from.”
Laura agrees. “Our role is to provide community and be a support for the students who are all different in personality and in the way they respond to school and separation from their families,” says Laura.
“When we were asked if we would be interested in the role, we knew it was perfect for us,” says Zac.
“We are involved in Young Life because we are convinced relationships are what it’s all about when it comes to encouraging young people… that’s the ministry.”
“But I’m convinced we enjoy going out there more than the kids enjoy having us!” says Zac.
#connections #makingadifference #younglifevolunteers #younglifedubbo
Will you help Young Life Australia reach more teens with a life-changing message of hope?
The end of the financial year is fast approaching and I’m writing to ask if you will consider making a donation toward Young Life’s youth programs.
Your gift really will make a difference!
In the past year, Young Life Australia has played a part in more than 3000 young lives through our programs, camps and chaplaincy work. Our uniquely local and relational programs are helping to impact the life and culture of close to 60 school communities across Australia… and we’d like to do more.
I’m sure you agree, making a difference in the life of just one teenager who is struggling to believe in their own self-worth is incredibly worthwhile.
But in reality, every time a teenager turns from despair to a new sense of hope, ripples occur in every direction. Classmates notice the difference. Teachers, parents and siblings watch in amazement.
Everyone can see the change and are filled with hope because the young person they know and love, has found a new sense of purpose.
Ebony’s* story is one such example. Ebony’s early years were spent in foster care due to the turmoil in her mother’s life. Today she lives with her grandmother and attends a school where Young Life is active. Recently she began attending Young Life Club. It was the change in a close friend that attracted her interest. Why had he changed? What was behind it?
Her skepticism was high but Young Life Club wasn’t threatening or weird. Over time she became a regular and Young Life gave her a place to think through her early experiences which were troubling. She learned about God’s love for her which has changed the way she sees her own value as a person and her life at school and home. Young Life allowed Ebony to grow in assurance, simply by offering friendship, consistency and words of hope.
This is the real gift – and there are many stories like this arising through Young Life’s work in your area as well.
I believe, there are countless young people like Ebony searching for answers and acceptance. With your help, Young Life will continue to offer a sound and secure base upon which young people can grow and develop socially, emotionally and spiritually.
Please, will you make a donation by downloading our Giving Form and returning it to Young Life Australia, PO Box 240, West Ryde NSW 1685? If you are a regular donor, it is possible to increase your regular gift or to make a one-off additional tax-deductible gift. Our online giving page can be found at younglife.org.au/give.
We are so thankful for your involvement in the work of Young Life.
CEO | Young Life Australia
- Ebony’s name and some details have been changed for privacy reasons
By Glyn Henman
Recently I heard a young High School student tell of the way Young Life has changed the direction of her life for the better.
It was such a significant moment when you learn of the situations she has experienced.
But before I share her story, I would first like to thank the many people who share a deep concern for the future of young people and work with us to make a whole range of positive, locally-based, relational programs possible.
And if you are new to Young Life please find out more about our mission to help teenagers build confidence and grow in resilience. Some of those programs include:
- Early morning pancake breakfasts
- In-school support through sports, lunchtime clubs and homework assistance
- Young Life Club after school
- Camping experiences and day trips
- Small groups with a Christian focus
These are just some of the ways we help young people build connections and fight back against isolation and alienation.
Which brings me to Elle’s story*. Like many young people our youth leaders meet, Elle’s family life is complex but as Elle explained, in her particular case family friction and trauma nearly resulted in her becoming homeless.
When Elle met Young Life, she was an angry, unpredictable adolescent in desperate need of someone to care and help her through the emotions and decisions she was making. Someone like a big sister.
This is where Elle’s Young Life leader stepped in. At Young Life Club and Camp she discovered a place where she could unpack some of the hurt and find supporting friendships. It has changed Elle’s life. Today, Elle shares her story with others and has this to say. “Young Life saved my life. I didn’t have a family and now I do.”
You can be a transforming influence in a teenagers life by giving to Young Life. With your support, more young people like Elle will be helped.
To make a donation, visit our website www.younglife.org.au/donate or call our national office on 1300 557 647 to make arrangements in person. We’d love to hear from you.
CEO, Young Life Australia
*Not her real name