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Tuesday, 5 February 2019
World YMCA leaders take a stand for young people

World YMCA leaders will take a stand for young people in Brisbane next week, with over 50 world leaders of the YMCA, the world’s largest and oldest youth organisation, gathering in Brisbane (11-14 Feb), in the lead up to the organisation’s 175th birthday in London, where the YMCA began, in August.

The venue for the 2019 World YMCA National Secretary Generals Conference is the George Williams Hotel, owned and operated by the YMCA in Brisbane, and named after the young founder of the YMCA.

The new head of the World YMCA Carlos Sanvee, will be present, along with CEO and President of the YMCA of the USA, Kevin Washington – the largest Y in the world.

YMCA Australia CEO, Melinda Crole, says it’s incredibly exciting to be able to host such a large gathering of committed YMCA leaders to explore how the Y can strengthen its impact for young people’s benefit, with the YMCA across Australia recently refocusing on young people as its primary purpose.

“From our own global One Million Voices Research Report Two of young people aged 17-20 across 26 countries we know young people are greatly affected by globalization, rapid technological advances and social and political shifts, with educational and employment systems failing for many young people and mental health issues rising,” she said.

“What’s true here in Australia, is true for young people right around the world, and the YMCA is well placed to take more action to support young people.”

Other YMCA Secretary Generals  (ie CEOs of their National Movements) in  Brisbane include the heads of the YMCA in Togo, Madagascar, Belarus, the Ukraine, South Africa, Palestine, Honduras, Cambodia, Japan, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Panama, Mongolia, Chile, Philippines,  Haiti, El Salvador, Scotland, Senegal, Canada, Germany, Spain,  and Switzerland.

Guest speakers from outside of the Y will include Jan Owens, OAM, CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians and Dr Peter Ellyard, a prominent futurist, and Owen Tracey, a partner at AT Kearney, a global business advisory consultancy who has been working closely with the Y in Australia to transform its operations.

Fast facts

- The YMCA works in 120 countries to build a more just and inclusive world, with an emphasis on youth leadership and participation.

- Over 50% of YMCA employees in Australia are under 25.

- The Y in Australia is in over 500 communities.

- 28 million times last year people of all ages took part in a YMCA program or service in Australia, 1.1 million times in youth-specific programs.

- YMCA’s combined turnover last year was $469 million with its key areas of operation in child care, outside school hours care, recreation and youth development and leadership.

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