An Australian Young People’s and Young Adults’ Workshop 

In April I led a workshop near Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, for eight young adults, two young people, and four allies. The youngest young person was sixteen, and the eldest young adult was thirty. 

For the past four years in Australia, we young adults have been working to support each other and take charge in our Communities. One of the ways young people and young adults are hurt is that our peer relationships are trivialised. At the workshop we prioritised our relationships by having plenty of play and rest time. We got to just be ourselves with each other in a relaxed way, which meant that we discharged well and were present for the classes. The rounds we did in the classes were full of great thinking! 

People used the close connections to work on their relationships with each other and with their peers outside of Co-Counselling. It became clear how persistently society asks us to give up on our relationships as we get older and how we all want support to resist that. 

After some work on relationships, it was easier to look at what we wanted our lives to be like. We had a panel on “How do you want your life set up?” The participants got group attention while they discharged and thought about going for1 their goals and being supported by other young people and young adults.

During our young years, people often tell us we should strive for much less than what we want. Having other people on our team while we figure out and go for our goals is essential. We do hold big aspirations for the world and ourselves—they just may be buried! 

We decided to have allies at the workshop, because having allies challenges the young people’s and young adult oppression that says that our movement isn’t as important as other liberation movements. That the allies had discharged about, prepared for, and gotten to the workshop made it easier to notice that our work is central in the RC Community. 

Laurel Waddell
Bega, New South Wales, Australia



As the leader of the allies, I felt that our main job was to be connected to ourselves and to each other, and to show that we liked each other. That would make us more attractive as fellow humans who happened to have a few extra years on the earth, and less needy for the young adults’ and young people’s attention. 

We discharged together on what life was like for us as young people and young adults and looked at our role as oppressors. One of the best things we did was to have a pre-breakfast Sunday walk and talk together and then a support group in which we discharged and thought about everyone at the workshop. I think it paid off.2 We not only got to discharge but also bring our intelligent thinking to the fore.


Pamela Mears
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


I particularly loved how much fun we had and how much we laughed. The games and laughter helped build closeness. Our thinking about the importance of friendships—particularly at the young adult age when everyone is busy with partners, jobs, study, and dealing with other young adult expectations—was a good reminder to really go after3 the good friendships in my life. 

Nicola Ossher
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 

 

It was a safe place to explore leadership. It was peaceful and fun, which gave us a lot of attention to listen to the struggles of others.

Bernhard Mitchell
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

I took away from the workshop the importance of friendships and how isolated we can feel as young adults trying to “make it”4 in the world. I really got5 how powerful and wonderful my connections with the young adults in the RC Community are. And I realised that my relationships in the outside world can look just the same—and that it is up to me6 to make it so! 

Melanie Blazevic
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia



Young adult oppression makes us give up on our dreams, but we can use RC to reach for what we want in life and want for the world. It was a huge contradiction7 to hear how other young adults are constructing big, powerful (and relaxed, connected, fun) lives in the midst of all the distress surrounding growing up and “settling” for a limited version of what we really want. Knowing that other young adults are taking brave steps in this direction makes it much easier for me to be powerful, hopeful, and courageous in my own life. 

Allies following our lead, and rethinking their lives by discharging on where things got hard for them as young adults, is a huge contradiction to how “shut down”8 the adult world can look to young adults. When allies are right “in there” with us, eager to hear our thinking, and working toward changing their lives because of what they hear, it paints a much more hopeful picture of the future. It feels like we are working together for all of our re-emergence, and it’s easier to not accept the limits society places on our lives. 

Brooke Greenwood
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

 

I loved the chance to support the re-emergence of all of the amazing people. There was energy and passion in the air, and so much generosity and closeness among everyone. 

We allies worked together on our own young adult years. For me this was transformational. We encouraged each other to take our full power—to be present for the workshop participants and abandon any feelings that would get in our way. How wonderful to have the opportunity to be our full, magnificent selves, in support of all of us. 

Ann Porcino (ally) 
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

I loved the workshop and how relaxed and friendly it was. I had fun and felt connected, present, and relaxed while dealing with real issues. This was a big change from the “crazy” world and a reminder of what is really important: having good relationships, going for “the next big thing,” and thinking about each other well in whatever stage of our lives we are in. 

Sandy Wilder (ally)
Moruya, New South Wales, Australia 


1 “Going for” means pursuing.
2 “Paid off” means had a good result.
3 “Go after” means pursue.
4 “Make it” means succeed.
5 “Got” means understood.
6 “Up to me” means my job.
7 Contradiction to distress
8 “Shut down” means lacking in free attention.

 


Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07