Student Leadership Forum

On Wednesday, our College Captains attended a leadership forum with Archbishop Anthony Fisher.  This is an annual event that the Archbishop hosts in order to hear the voice of our young leaders within the high schools of the Sydney Archdiocese.  The keynote address from the Archbishop gave insight into the recent Youth Synod held in Rome and he discussed some of the challenges that the Church faces in engaging our youth.  Whilst mental health issues were prominent in Australia and New Zealand, he highlighted that in some African nations, their youth are dying whilst trying to escape their living conditions.  For others, it was the struggle to ensure their youth were educated.  Each region around the world have very specific issues related to youth in the Church and our students were given insight into issues that go beyond them.  It enabled our students to see a more global picture of challenges faced by the Church in relation to youth.

The Archbishop challenged the students to think about ways in which young people could be more engaged in our Church and he was genuinely interested and delighted with their responses. The initiatives that were proposed were thoughtful and insightful.  Some suggestions included linking the school careers advisor with the local church in order to show students that there are opportunities within the Church as possible career paths (not necessarily vocations, but for lay people to engage with).  They called for greater outreach opportunities and making the parishes more inclusive of young people.
The opportunity for our girls to collaborate with students from other schools was very rewarding and as an onlooker to the discussion that was had, I am very heartened by the enthusiasm, prayerfulness and genuine interest that all of the young people at this forum displayed.  If the Church can continue to foster the wonderful young adults like those that attended the forum, we are definitely going to be a rich Church for their contribution.
Diane Kennaugh

Leader of Religious Education and Mission