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National Druzhynnyk Conference
8-11 June, 2007
Adelaide, SA

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The National Conference of CYM Druzhynyky was held in Adelaide from Friday 8th June to Sunday 10th June. The conference began on Friday night with a social gathering in the Ukrainian Hall in Hindmarsh and our Druzhynyky tired from their long journeys - Sydney, Geelong, Perth, Canada, Germany, Adelaide and Melbourne, hungrily tucked into whole bowls of borsch, varennyky with sour cream, holubtsi with fried onions. There was a a good vibe as our youth, who met up with local Adelaide youth, socialized to the early hours of the morning.

On Saturday the conference proper began with registrations at 8:30 in the in the hall of the parish of St Volodymyr and Olha in Woodville. After the official opening, Druzhynyky presented short reports about the activities in their respective states, it being evident that Druzhynyky in some States were more active than others. The first sign of success was all the participants eagerly writing down those activities that they could adapt to their own state. After that, the national co-ordinator of Druzhynyky, Marko Tkaczuk briefly summarized the key elements of the Ukrainian Community in Australia and the role of CYM. The Druzhynyky then reviewed their knowledge about CYM and debated the CYM motto “God and Ukraine”, particularly ways of strengthening the participation of CYM members in the religious life of the Ukrainian community.

Following a delicious lunch prepared by senior CYM-ivtsi in Adelaide, the Druzhynyky-Senjory of CYM related their longstanding and exemplary participation in the Ukrainian Community as well as the broader Australian Society through their work in the different sections of Druzhynyky in CYM ‘Druzhyny’; Mychajlo Morawski community worker – ‘Suspilnyk’, Tatania Zachariak educator – ‘Vykhovnyk’, Marko Tkaczuk outdoors/sports – ‘Ratnyk’, Natalia Morawska arts coordinator – ‘Kulturnyk’, Stepan Romaniw inter community relations – ‘Mmizhnarodnyk’. All of them stressed that the knowledge and experience they gained in CYM contributed considerably to their success in the Ukrainian community, the broader Australian society, and work careers.

Enthused by older CYM-ivtsi, Druzhynyky divided themselves into the CYM ‘Druzhyny’ of Suspilnyky, Vykhovnyky, Ratnyky, Kulturnyky and Mizhnarodnyky, and began recording existing activities in each state as well as developing ways of activating the work of Druzhynyky in their state. After an hour and a half of solid work, Druzhynyky reported the results of their discussions. All the participants were ‘gob-smacked’ by the number of useful and interesting ideas that were generated in such a short space of time. They eagerly asked those reporting to elaborate on their ideas so that they could adapt them in their own Druzhynyky programs in their oseredky After the reporting, each Druzhynyky received a badge aligning them with their Druzhyna of interest. This was followed by dinner and free time.

On Sunday morning, all the Druzhynyky attended Divine Liturgy in their CYM uniforms and then adjorned to the Parish Hall for a formal assembly. During the assembly the head of CYM National Executive Wasyl Senko, congratulated the National Druzhynnyk Coordinator for his excellent organization of the conference, and all the Druzhynyky fop their attentiveness and participation. He thanked Karpaty Credit Union for their provision of stationary and also thanked CYM Adelaide Halia Danylko (President), Genia Stanko, Xrystia & Iryna Reshitnyk for hosting the Conference and looking after us so well over the weekend. During the assembly Druzhynyky from Geelong – Nadia and Sonia Tkaczuk were awarded Level 2 Kulturnyk, Stepan Tkaczuk Level 2 Vykhovnyk and Pavlo Kaminskyj Level 2 Suspilnyk. Tetiana Zachariak from Melbourne was awarded Level 4 Vykhovnyk, recognizing many many years of her work with Junastvo and Druzhynyky in CYM. Druzhynyky were also encouraged to join taborovi Bulavy and actively participate in the preparation of the program for this years Spilnyj CYM and Plast tabir under the patronage of CYOA, commemorating 60 years of Ukrainian Youth in Australia.

After the assembly, Druzhynyky broke into groups according to their oseredok, to develop an activity plan for their State and then they outlined it back to the conference. What a transformation! The same Druzhynyky who just yesterday lamented about the lack of ideas for activities in their their State, now boldly announced a 5 point plan to re-vitalise those activities including details of what, who and when.

Personally I was very impressed by the process that generated this amazing transformation: the organization & facilitation of the conference program by the CYM National Druzhynnyk Coordinator Marko Tkaczuk, the interesting input from all of the presenters, the exemplary role modeling and mentoring by the Druzhynyky-Senjory and the excellent response from the younger Druzhynynky. It was quite evident from the outcomes of the Conference in Adelaide that CYM in Australia has a solid foundation and an exciting future. The conference ended just like it started with lashings of delicious holubtsi & varenyky for lunch and a boat tour of Port Adelaide Harbour.

Follow on meetings have been planned for all states, for representatives of each oseredok to share with and engage other Druzhynyky in their respective states…

Bohdan Mykytiuk
CYM oseredok Perth

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