Youth PoWR, the largest interreligious youth event in Australia, this year will be held at four compass points of Sydney on Sundays, 25 August in Parramatta, 8 September in Pennant Hills, 13 October in Lakembaand and 3 November in Bondi.

Youth PoWR (Parliament of the World’s Religions) is the annual gathering of hundreds of young adults (18-35) from different faiths—Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, Sikh, and more, including secular beliefs in order to strengthens intercultural and interfaith relations among Sydney youth for a more cohesive society.

Photo from 2018 Youth PoWR.

Youth PoWR has been an annual, one-off event, but this year it is travelling to the four compass points of Sydney – north (Pennant Hills), south (Lakemba), east (Bondi), and west (Parramatta) – to meet youth in their own neighbourhoods

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Casting this Sydney-wide net is for a special reason – Youth PoWR is calling on young adults throughout the harbor city to generate The Sydney Statement, a list of interfaith actions that will help build bridges between believers from different religions.

Photo from 2018 Youth PoWR.

Chair of Youth PoWR’s Coordinating Committee, Ryan Epondulan, says,

“Inspired by similar statements throughout the world, such as The Vienna Declaration 2014 and The Washington Declaration 2018, this project will be tailored to Sydney’s multicultural, multi-religious society and is the first in the world to be driven by youth. Youth PoWR’s four events this year are an opportunity for young adults of every faith and belief who call Sydney home to help shape our multicultural and multi-religious city to be an inspiring example of respect for difference and social cohesion.”

Each event will feature a youth speaker, youth entertainment, food and, significantly, professionally facilitated group discussions in which attendees will voice their ideas for The Sydney Statement.

Photo from 2018 Youth PoWR.

Registration for each event is online through Humanitix.

  1. West – Sunday, 25 August @ Western Sydney University, Parramatta:  https://events.humanitix.com.au/youth-powr-2019-west
  2. North – Sunday, 8 September @ Pennant Hills Community Centre:
    humanitix.com.au/youth-powr-2019-north
  3. South – Sunday, 13 October @ LMA Function Centre Lakemba: humanitix.com.au/youth-powr-2019-south
  4. East – Sunday, 3 November @ Bondi Pavilion:
    humanitix.com.au/youth-powr-2019-east

Youth PoWR is a multi-religious initiative of the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations. The Sydney Statement is an initiative of Youth PoWR and The Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations. The project’s research partner is Western Sydney University. It is funded by the NSW Government through Multicultural NSW and the St Columban’s Mission Society.

Enquiries: Ms Kim Chong, Media & Community Liaison, Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations

(02) 9672 3616 | kimchong@columban.org.au | www.columban.org.au

 


 

FAQ on Youth PoWR & The Sydney Statement

What is Youth PoWR?

Youth PoWR (Parliament of the World’s Religions) is Australia’s largest interreligious event for young adults (18-35). Youth PoWR is by young people, with young people, for young people. It brings together hundreds of youth from diverse religions and spiritualties, to build better relations, mutual understanding and cooperation between believers from different religions.

What is The Sydney Statement?

The Sydney Statement is a list of interfaith actions for building better relations between believers from different religions. The idea is based on similar statements from other cities around the world, for example, The Vienna Declaration 2014, The Athens Declaration 2015, and The Washington Declaration 2018. Believers from different religions and spiritualties in Sydney will be invited to commit to these interfaith actions by endorsing the Statement on a dedicated website.

What is the role of Youth PoWR in The Sydney Statement?

Young adult attendees at each Youth PoWR event will participate in professionally facilitated discussions to draft the content for The Sydney Statement .

 Why are we having four Youth PoWR across Sydney this year?

Instead of gathering hundreds of youth from different religions to a central venue for an annual event, this year Youth PoWR will reach out to as many young people in their local areas through a series of four professionally facilitated workshops in the north, south, east and west of Sydney.

What is the role of Western Sydney University in this project?

In early 2019, Western Sydney University (WSU) conducted research on existing interfaith statements from around the world – what issues they address, what works, what doesn’t work, what is their impact, including, where possible, interviews with the authors of these statements. The findings from their analysis will serve as a guide to creating The Sydney Statement.

What makes The Sydney Statement Unique?

The Sydney Statement is unique among interfaith statements throughout the world. The others were written by religious leaders.  This is being led by young adults.  Their voice and ideas on how to build better relations, mutual understanding and cooperation between believers from different religions are crucial for the future of Sydney’s citizens.

Who is overseeing The Sydney Statement?

A Steering Committee consisting of religious leaders from different religious traditions – Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh– are overseeing the project.  A writing committee will formulate the draft for the final approval by Youth PoWR in 2020. Youth PoWR will then promote The Sydney Statement to their respective faith communities, organisations and networks for endorsement.

Who is sponsoring The Sydney Statement?

Youth PoWR and The Sydney Statement are an initiative of the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations. Our research partner is Western Sydney University. The NSW Government through Multicultural NSW and St Columban’s Mission Society have provided funding.

Frequently Asked Questions_ Youth PoWR & The Sydney Statement