1982 • PROLOGUE
Our scene opens on Melbourne in 1982, where Australia’s first National Youth Conference under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese takes place.
The motto of the Conference is a passage from Timothy’s first epistle: “Let no one despise thy youth”. It would become the first of many National Youth Conferences that would give young Orthodox people the chance to explore the history and mystery that our faith has to offer.
At this Conference, a resolution is passed to establish within each Archdiocesan District a central body comprising of youth who could oversee the establishment of youth fellowships across their state.
1989 • GENESIS
1989. What a year to be alive. The Berlin Wall fell, Nintendo released the first Game Boy and the Greek Orthodox Youth Movement in Sydney is born.
GO Youth New South Wales – formerly known as the Central Youth Committee of New South Wales (CYC NSW) was established in 1989 as a committee under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. It has at its head the Primate of the Archdiocese, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Australia. The committee is overseen by His Grace Bishop Seraphim of Apollonias.
GO Youth has never been a governing body of all youth fellowships. The committee aims to bring together youth representatives from all NSW parishes, universities and other fellowships under the guidance of the Archdiocese. The first committee members dedicate themselves to creating spaces for young people in Australia’s Greek Orthodox Church.
They set their mission statement as “unity which strengthens the youth of our Holy Orthodox Church and cultivates the renewal and development of their faith.”
A lot has changed since 1989, but we’re still committed to the unity and strength of the Orthodox Youth Movement.
2015 • REVIVAL
As we enter the new Millennium, new generations represent different challenges for our Church. The language and cultural barriers of a historically migrant community mean that the next generation of youth start to disengage from Orthodoxy.
GO Youth NSW pivots its focus to addressing the needs of these generations, our Millennials and Centennials – those kids born in the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s. New energy is placed on meeting the youth where they are, which includes taking the spiritual to the digital
His Grace Bishop Seraphim appoints the Very Reverend Archimandrite Father Apostolos Trifyllis to oversee the Archdiocese’s Youth Ministries and support GO Youth’s new youth initiatives. Over the next five years, there is an explosion of new youth and young adult fellowships across New South Wales parishes. Young people begin to explore their faith again within the setting of spiritual retreats, social events and conferences organised by GO Youth.
2020 • A NEW CHAPTER
Following the ordination of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia (Griniezakis), a renewed focus is placed on the youth of our Church. At his Enthronement in 2019, His Eminence places young Christians front and centre when he says, “we shall give greater emphasis to the younger generations. Young people constitute a priority for the Holy Archdiocese of Australia. They are not simply the future; they are also the present of the church.”
2020 marks this with the largest ever Youth Conference held in New South Wales to date, with over 500 attendees aged in their teens, twenties and thirties.
His Grace Bishop Emilianos of Meloa has now been appointed to oversee the direction of GO Youth’s Youth Ministries to continue the goal set from our inception: strengthening the faith and unity of our youth.