Yearly Meeting 6-13th July, West Beach, Adelaide SA

Jo Jordan, South Australia and Northern Territory Regional Meeting

Friends have been eagerly awaiting the next face to face Yearly Meeting and it is on the way!

It will be in winter, at the same site as YM17, close to the sand dunes of West Beach with open skies and the sound of the sea.

This will be a yearly meeting accessible to all, on-ground or online. Many of the sessions will be hybrid, taking place within the venue and available simultaneously online. Some sessions will run in parallel, face to face and online.

During the past five years children and young people have missed out on the experience of belonging to the family of Friends at a Yearly Meeting. So we believe that it is important to go out of our way to encourage families to attend this YM24 because the cost of travel to Yearly meeting for a family is challenging enough. There will be no charge for children or JYFs attending Yearly Meeting 2024. Children and JYFs may stay and share meals at The Retreat free of charge. In addition, we are offering, also free of charge, an exciting camp experience to Junior Young Friends and a children’s programme for the younger children. This has been made possible with support from the Grace Geraldine Brown bequest and from the Children and Junior Young Friends Committee.

The JYF camp will be at the Woodhouse Activity Centre at Mount Lofty, a venue owned by the Scouts SA, from Sunday 7th July and returning to the Retreat on Thursday 11th July. There will be experienced Guides on site as well as the supportive Quaker presence of Tracy Bourne and Andrew Bray in residence. The venue offers lots of challenging activities as well as an evening around the campfire.

The children’s programme at The Retreat will be in the spacious Poolside room, in the centre of the Retreat complex, close to an outside play area. It will be staffed by qualified child carers as well as Quaker volunteers who possess a Working with Children certificate.

Accommodation at The Retreat has been reserved for Friends in well-designed, comfortable holiday homes, called Shacks. Some of the Shacks are wheelchair accessible. All have well equipped kitchens which are perfect for self-catering. All have two bedrooms with either one king size bed or two or three single beds. It is possible to register for either a single room, at extra cost, or sharing with one or two others.

The main meeting area where formal sessions are held is near the western boundary of The Retreat, at the Sea Rescue headquarters. The lounge areas of the shacks may be used as smaller meeting spaces for Friendly School or Share and Tell sessions during the week.

Friends can decide to self-cater, or register for catered boxed lunch, and for dinner at the Golf Club near the entrance to the Retreat. The Golf Club will be catering for vegetarian, gluten free and diabetic diets, but Friends with less usual diets will need to self-cater. Regular trips to the local supermarket at Harbour Town will be organised or Friends may travel on the local bus which stops outside the entrance to The Retreat.

Wednesday, in the middle of Yearly Meeting, will be a rest day. There will be a range of excursions available that day, so let the organisers know if you would like to visit a particular venue which is not too distant from The Retreat. The CBD is about 20 minutes away by bus or car and the Adelaide Hills about 30 minutes by car.

We don’t know when Yearly Meeting will be meeting again face to face, so don’t miss out on this special opportunity and register as soon as you can!

If you have any questions about YM24, contact Jo Jordan or Topsy Evans

Karkalla  Photo by Harald Ehmann

This photo features Karkalla growing on the sand dunes at West Beach, the site of Yearly Meeting 2024. Karkalla is the name given to this plant by the Kauna People of the Adelaide Plains and adjacent areas, its botanical name is Carpobrotus rossii. It occurs around Australia’s coast (including Tasmania), and in mallee and saltlake landscapes from Shark Bay to Kaurna Country to Rockhampton, reflecting the wide extent of Quakers in Australia. Can you find out the name given to this plant by the First Nation on whose unceded land you live? Please bring this to Yearly Meeting 2024.

 The flowers, fruit and leaves are widely used and eaten by Original Australians. The fruit is left on the plant to mature and sometimes to partly dry. The fresh fleshy leaves are edible, either raw or lightly heated on coals. Besides food fibre and minerals, Karkalla can be a significant source of water, vitamin C and antioxidants. The undiluted juice from a broken leaf soothes itches, insect bites or stings, and burns. The juice of several leaves finely chewed can be used as an oral swish for throat and mouth infections.  

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