In 2008 the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) hosted the Youth Leaders Gathering (YLG) to discuss and reflect on “Where to after World Youth Day 2008?’ During the gathering the Australian Catholic Youth Council (ACYC) invited participants to offer ideas and feedback on possible national events for the future. This feedback identified two ways in which a national event could be developed. The final outcomes of the gathering named:
1. National Day for Youth
The identification of a national day in which simultaneous youth ministry events and initiatives are carried out across the country to promote young people in the Catholic Church. This national initiative could incorporate elements from WYD or Days in the Diocese and possibly be supported by a national initiative such as a “travelling road show” or symbol.
2. National Youth Ministry Conference
A national conference aimed at young people, youth ministry workers and staff with a focus on networking and formation for participants. Any national conference would need to consider appropriate cost and accessible for those around Australia.
Historically in Australia, the ACBC have not hosted a regular national youth ministry event. In this absence many Movements, Communities and Religious Orders have developed their own of varying sizes and foci. These organisations have served the Catholic Church in Australia well.
In reflecting upon the outcomes of the YLG, the ACYC saw a need to develop a biennial Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention (ACYMC) hosted by the ACBC. This convention would need to focus on the formation of professionals engaged in ministry with young people including key youth and young adult leaders. It is expected that this Convention would provide a key networking opportunity for those engage in youth ministry in Diocese, Schools, Movements, Communities and Religious Orders.