On the weekend of the 26th-28th July 2019 in Melbourne, the National Executive of the Ukrainian Youth Association in Australia organised the Wasyl Senko Leadership and Training Conference. The conference was hosted by the head of the National Educational Council, Tatiana Zachariak and consisted of over 30 Druzhynnyk participants from around Australia including Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong and Perth.
The focus of the conference was based on the resolutions of the XXIV Triennial Meeting of the Ukrainian Youth Association in Australia, to hold a conference for Druzhynnyky and Branch Executives to revise CYM knowledge and the organisational logistics of an Executive.
Among participants of the conference, it was an honor to have present, Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Sydney, Mr. Jaroslav Duma OAM, first vice-president of the World Executive of CYM, Peter Duma and branch presidents of Melbourne (Andrew Lech), Sydney (Justin Senko), Geelong (Mark Hyd), and Perth (Andrew Lozyk).
The conference began with a cocktail party on Friday 26th July at the Quality Hotel Melbourne Airport where participants were able to meet and network with other Druzhynnyky and representatives from different branches in an informal atmosphere. The official program commenced on Saturday 27th July with the President of the National Executive of CYM in Australia, Andrew Duma, opening the program with a presentation about leadership, the qualities of a leader and the importance of teamwork.
This is the third national leadership conference that the National Executive has organised in honour of the late Wasyl Senko who was an inspiration and example to many young and current leaders of the Ukrainian-Australian community.
The program continued with a CYM themed pop-quiz. The quiz provided participants an opportunity to revise their knowledge on CYM history, famous CYMivtsi, what the emblem symbolises, ranks and rules of Yunatstvo. Olexa Matiouk, from Sydney, delivered an informative presentation on the history of CYM under the title “CYM history in the context of world history”. It was interestingly noted in the presentation as to how and why CYM was created as well as why Ukraine had undergone certain hardship in history.
The educational-historical part of the conference concluded with a presentation by General Secretary of the National Executive, Markian Stefanyshyn, about the ideals of CYM and OUN. The presentation revolved around the history of OUN and how the ideals and rules in CYM underly the principles of OUN.
Further, President of the National Executive, Andrew Duma, and Communications Referent, Mark Hyd, led a lively session of discussion about the importance that CYM continues to teach our youth and not become a ‘social club’.
Following lunch, the conference sessions resumed with discussions about leadership. The Branch President of CYM in Perth, Andrew Lozyk along with delegates from Perth branch executive, delivered a workshop with Druzhynnyky about how we can mesh our work and community roles for the better. This was followed by a case study by Branch President of CYM in Sydney, Justin Senko, who presented to participants about Sydney’s community project – UkiFest 2019, that is currently being organised at a community level with support from CYMivtsi-Druzhynnyky who are willing to not only work within the ranks of CYM but also at a community level. This session motivated participants that for them, the most important journey on a social-community level is for CYM to actively involve themselves in both community and religious life of Ukrainians in Australia.
The first vice-president of the World Executive, Peter Duma, led an informative session, especially for young Druzhynnyky who are stepping into an executive role, about CYM statutes and handbook – what it is, what can be found in them, how to use them and so on. He also discussed about the ranks of a Druzhynnyk and motivated Druzhynnyky to continue their work in the ranks of CYM to reach those higher ranks. With the discussion also being about honorary membership in CYM, Peter Duma explained what this type of membership is and how to achieve it. He also encouraged branches to submit applications of honorary memberships for long-standing branch members.
Branch President of CYM in Melbourne, Andrew Lech, alongside Mrs Darka Senko (wife of the late Wasyl Senko whose conference is named in honour) from Sydney led a discussion around “What does my CYM & Executive look like?” There was the discussion of different roles in an executive, structures and responsibilities.
Organisational Referent of the National Executive, Tamara Moravska, presented about the legal obligations in an executive and code of conduct that members should apply by. The final session of the conference was presented by Mrs Mary Duma from Sydney, who explained the legalities of and how to create a child safe environment – what it is, what is it for and how we can implement this in the branches of CYM.
The Wasyl Senko Leadership and Training Conference was an overall success. Participants learnt a lot about the history and values of CYM, the importance of an educational program, policies and regulations that we need to be aware of and finally structures and roles of an executive. The official program of the conference concluded on Saturday with dinner.
After the conclusion of the Wasyl Senko Leadership and Training Conference, on Sunday, 28th July, participants attended the Divine Liturgy at the Ukrainian Catholic Church Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul. Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.S.s.R, during his homily, greeted the CYMivtsi and congratulated them for the ongoing work with youth in the ranks of CYM on the frontlines of the Church and Ukrainian community.
Following the Divine Liturgy, the National Executive and Branch Executives attended the National Plenum where the National Executive presented it’s work for the previous year. The Plenum was an opportunity for participants who are not on any executives to see how formal proceedings are carried out. Amongst members of the National Plenum, it was an honour to greet Eparch of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.S.s.R. The National Executive also had the honour of formally ratifying CYM Melbourne’s application of honorary membership to long-standing head chaplain of CYM in Australia, Bishop Peter C.S.s.R. President of the National Executive of CYM in Australia, Andrew Duma, greeted Bishop Peter C.S.s.R. with this award and thanked him for his long service to CYM and its youth.
The National Executive thanks all participants, presenters and everyone who helped hold this successful conference.