Australia Yearly Meeting 2024: June Update

Jo Jordan, South Australia and Northern Territory AYM Organising Committee

Over 200 Friends have registered to attend Yearly Meeting 2024 in Adelaide. Over 120 Friends will be arriving from around the country joining Friends in Adelaide (30), looking forward to joyful reunions at the first face-to-face Australia Yearly Meeting in five years. Over 50 Friends have registered to attend online. The deadline to register for accommodation has passed, but Friends can still register to attend Yearly Meeting in Adelaide if they find their own accommodation, or they register to attend online.

 Accommodation

Most Friends are choosing to stay in shacks at The Retreat within the West Beach Parks complex. These are comfortable, well equipped and warm during Adelaide’s chilly winter. Mindful of the new Yearly Meeting Travel Guidelines, many Friends are travelling by land, arriving a day early on the Overland from Melbourne or by car. The venue has made accommodation available on Friday before YM24 for early arrivals.

 Friendly School and Share and Tells

On Sunday of Yearly Meeting, Friends will explore the theme “Quakers in times of conflict and change.”  At the Adelaide venue seven workshops are on offer. A program for those joining online is being developed, See the QA website for a description of each of the topics and to register for your chosen Friendly School workshop.

 About 30 Share and Tell sessions will be offered at the venue across the week. Some of these will be hybrid, accessible to those online. Topics will be on the QA website soon. About five Share and Tell sessions will be offered concurrently during each timeslot.

 Excursions

During Wednesday 10th July in the afternoon the pace slows down. Some Friends will choose to rest and others will choose to go on an excursion to one of the following:

Wittunga Botanic Garden, where Beth Robertson will speak about the selection of trees and plants and its connection to her Quaker family.

Colebrook Reconciliation Park at Eden Hills, where First Nations man Allen Edwards will speak about links to the stolen generation and its present use.

The Quaker Burial Ground, Adelaide, where Charles Stevenson, will speak about eminent and infamous Friends who rest there, then to Friends’ Meeting House North Adelaide, where Charles will speak about this National Trust building and its heritage.

The Quaker Shop at Norwood where Virginia Phillips, the current manager, will speak about this famous op-shop and invite you to find a pre-loved treasure.

Riverside Walk at Breakout Creek, West Beach where representatives from ecology groups will speak about their restoration work in the area.

Additional excursions, yet to be confirmed, may be available

During all excursions afternoon tea will be available at the venue or close by.

 Adelaide in July

Although most people connect Adelaide with the heat of summer, in July Adelaide has cold nights and mild, sometimes sunny days. Although Adelaide has low rainfall, most of it arrives in winter, so be prepared for some wet days. All shacks at The Retreat are airconditioned, and so is the main meeting area at the Sea Rescue building nearby where formal sessions take place. We can expect cool to cold weather during your stay in Adelaide, and a warm reception at Yearly Meeting, whether in person or online.

Children and JYFs

The organising committee want to give a special welcome to children and young people. To do this we are offering free accommodation and meals for all children and JYFs. We hoped to offer a four-day JYF camp in the Adelaide Hills. However, the response was not sufficient for the camp to go ahead. For those who will be there an exciting program of activities is on offer during the day, and each night they will return to a cosy, warm bed. No doubt a camp in summer, autumn or spring would be more attractive to young people. Do we need a change to the timing of Yearly Meeting if children are to be at its heart?

 

The SANTRM Organising Committee: Jo Jordan, Topsy Evans, Betsy Holden, Harald Ehmann

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