The 8th National Karen Youth Seminar was successfully held from 3rd - 6th January 2017 at Morrisset Outdoor Education Centre in Sydney, New South Wales. Congratulations to Sydney Karen community leaders, AKO New South Wales Chairperson and its dedicated team for their extraordinary effort for a successful event.
There were roughly around 120 people attended the 8th National Karen Youth Seminar with participants from Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia. Joining Aussie youth at this seminar is a dedicated Karen young girl who flew all the way from New Zealand just to experience the seminar.
The National Karen Youth Seminar is a biennial event which is held in Australia since 2000. The event has come about after the leaders of the AKO believed that there is a need for the youth in Australia to be exposed to the idea of culture maintenance, political awareness, being aware of Karen values and customs. It is to uphold and maintain Karen values and traditions and at the same time to adapt to Australian culture, values, and its rules and regulations.
The National Karen Youth Seminar was held alternatively between VIC and NSW in early years in a small group. But as the years progressed, the number of participants has increased due to the arrival of Karen refugees from Thai-Burma border across Australia under Australian refugee settlement program.
The aim and objectives of the seminar were to;
- To promote and facilitate networking among the Karen youth in Australia
- To empower the Karen community in Australia
- To equip and empower for future Karen leadership
- To maintain and promote Karen tradition and Culture
- To strengthen Karen national value and beliefs
- To raise awareness about the Karen situation