Young Christian Students (YCS) is a movement that is run for, by and with secondary school students. It is the only movement in Australia that is run completely by students for students. Its main focus is to form Young Christian Leaders to take action in the world around them. They become leaders by not only taking action but also reflecting on the situations they are enacting upon. This helps them not only use their faith and help put that into practice but to also create the best possible action that will solve the situation.
Using this method that we like to call the Review of Life, SEE-JUDGE-ACT, the student not only review their personal issues but greater issues. In the past these include bullying, racism, fair trade and refugees and asylum seekers. With this in mind, the focus for YCS at the moment is Mental Health. With the National Campaign “Break Free: free the mind, free the child”, it focuses not only on the mental health of everyday young Australians but also the mental health of young children in immigration detention.
Now you may ask, what difference does this all make? How can high school students make a change?
Well, good question, but to tell you the truth, this change is already happening right here in Townsville. There are YCS groups in St Margaret Mary’s college and Ryan Catholic College with groups looking to be started up else where. These students have been making a huge difference with them getting involved with multicultural days to promote equality and to educate people on racism, holding an “R U OK?” day to promote positive wellbeing and that there is always someone to talk to.
On Australia Day, the students hit The Strand, taking pictures of people with their sign that said “#breakfree #1144” with the that being the title of the new national campaign and the number being the number of children in Immigration detention in Australia. The idea was to get pictures with the sign as showing your support for our campaign. It is what we call a photo petition.
On the day the Townsville students got over 50 pictures down the strand and the students nationwide took over 200 snaps. There is much more awareness out there now and we also have something to take to politicians to show your support for this issue.
Yes, the students do actually make a difference!
So if you are interested below are the contact details of the Townsville YCS Co-ordinator, Liam McGuire, please don’t hesitate to contact him if this is something you want at your school or parish. He will be ecstatic that you call. Also, the website link is below please visit it and also like us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Liam McGuire Townsville YCS Co-ordinator