At a convention centre on the shores of the Brisbane River, 550 youth from Queensland and northern New South Wales gathered for the first of three youth conferences to be held in Australia.
On 14-16 September 2013, youth from across Queensland participated in the Youth Conference located in Brisbane. This was one of 114 conferences that were taking place around the globe between July and Oct 2013.
In a message from the Baha’i International Governing Body called “The Universal House of Justice” addressed to the participants in these youth conferences provided the framework for the gatherings, exploring such themes as the characteristics inherent to the period of youth, the historical contribution of young people to the transformation of society, the responsibilities of the present generation of youth, the society-building power of the Baha’i Teachings, and the importance of faith and tenacity to a life of service.” (Extract from International Baha’i Community website)
A large number of youth from the Gold Coast attended, and were inspired and filled with new resolve to contribute to transformation in their communities. Through the gift of these Youth Conferences, youth are building strong bonds of friendship and mutually supporting each other to walk a path of service.
The Youth Conferences also provided a special opportunity for people to learn about the graceful integration of the arts. Following on from the Brisbane Youth Conference, Gold Coast youth have continued to incorporate the arts as a way of sharing the enthusiasm and inspiration they experienced during this momentous time. For example, at a youth gathering after the Conference, several youth worked together in creating a collective artwork based on the following from the Baha’i Writings:
“Material civilization is like unto the lamp, while spiritual civilization is the light in that lamp. If the material and spiritual civilizations become united, then we will have the lights and the lamp together, and the outcome will be perfect.”
A group of youth study one of the sections of the material together
Young people between the ages of 15 and 30 gathered to discuss how to better serve their communities
The conference was filled with both purposeful study and joyful fellowship
One of the large workshops group studies the material with the assistance of a facilitator
A group shares the fruit of their deliberations
Each group came up with artistic ways to illustrate the concepts they had been exploring
Songs and other artistic expressions were shared during both plenary and group sessions
A spirit of joy and focus imbued the atmosphere
Participants shared songs inspired by the Bahá’í Writings
Efforts of the youth continue to build across the Gold Coast, and together with the support of all participants in the community, we look forward to what may gradually unfold.
Please click here to see more about 114 Youth Conferences around the world.