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Young humanitarians welcomed to Sydney

Saturday 9 November 2013

Maya Ishikawa and Yumino Tanaka from Japanese Red Cross and Diko Florah Bismarck Abdullah Gita from South Sudan Red Cross stand with a local Australian koala and rabbit.

A colourful opening ceremony has delighted more than 200 Red Cross Red Crescent youth leaders from around the world who are meeting in Sydney to shape a better world.

Gadigal Aboriginal Elders welcomed young humanitarians from 115 countries to the Global Youth Conference (GYC). The opening ceremony featured giant dancing Australian animals, Chinese Lion dancers and even lifesavers and surfers, providing a lively snapshot of Australian culture.

Inspiring addresses from International and Australian Red Cross leaders set the tone for the meeting, inspiring young humanitarians to make their voices heard in the coming days.

Australian Red Cross is hosting the conference, at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, ahead of the key statutory meetings of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, held in Australia for the first time.

Australian Red Cross Board Youth Member, Chris Kwong, says one of the main outcomes from the conference will be equipping young humanitarians with the specific skills required to influence the highest decision-making levels of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.

"The meetings are structured to allow youth - in unprecedented numbers - to participate and influence the agenda, looking particularly at the post 2015 development agenda."

"It's vital to strengthen the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement for the future, when today's young humanitarians will be tomorrow's leaders," Mr Kwong says.

Exciting times for young people, looking to make a difference, the conference will continue until Sunday evening.

Return to the Statutory Meetings 2013 home page.