Australian Bishops establish ongoing Office for Youth

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) has announced the establishment of an ongoing National Office for Youth to evangelise and minister to youth and youth ministers in Australia.

The proposal for a youth office was approved at the ACBC November 2013 Plenary meeting. It was later announced at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in front of 3,500 young people. The operational details and staffing have been developed in recent months and have now been finalised.

Bishop Anthony Fisher OP, the Bishops Delegate for Youth, shared his joy at the announcement.

“This is another sign of how highly the Australian bishops prioritise young people and want to respond to their hopes and needs. This new office builds upon the graces of World Youth Day 2008 and the efforts of the Church in Australia since. The office will provide inspiration and formation for the Church in its mission to share the message of Jesus Christ with young people.”

The ACBC Office for Youth will be staffed by a Director Malcolm Hart and a Projects Manager Gabrielle Sinclair.

Malcolm, who has worked for the Bishops Commission for Pastoral life (BCPL) for the past five years, has been appointed Director.

During this period, Malcolm led the implementation of a number of initiatives and resources including Australia’s participation in World Youth Day 2011 and 2013, and the hugely successful Australian Catholic Youth Festival.

“I am very grateful to the Bishops for the establishment of this office and for my appointment as Director. I am deeply passionate about sharing the message of Christ with young people and empowering them to go forward in their faith,” Malcolm said.

“The national office recognises the past work we have achieved under the auspices of the BCPL, and shows a strong commitment to the future. It is important for the Church in Australia to continue to see evangelisation of young people as a priority. We must continually look at how it can be implemented and supported. I hope the work of the National Office for Youth will assist in this growth,” Malcolm added.

Gabrielle Sinclair, the Office for Youth Projects Manager, has worked for the BCPL over the past two years.

In 2014 the Office for Youth will work towards updating and relaunching the Bishops vision for Youth Ministry; Anointed and Sent, develop the website and multimedia resources, and continue to manage ongoing events and existing projects.

From 3-5 October 2014, the Office for Youth will host the third Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention (ACYMC) in Adelaide. One of the keynote speakers will be Director of the Office for Youth, Malcolm Hart, discussing the experiences and practices of youth ministry across the country.

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