The Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) has this week announced that the two young men behind ground-breaking charity Orange Sky Australia, will be among the keynote speakers at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival.
Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi will join a stellar line-up of presenters and performers including world renowned Canadian Christian singer Matt Maher, speaker and worship leader Emily Wilson and fellow American singer songwriter Steve Angrisano along with local artists and Church leaders at the three-day festival (7 to 9 December), at Sydney’s Olympic Park.
More than 15,000 Catholic youth from around the nation are expected to flock to the unique and contemporary celebration which includes concerts, workshops, social events, forums and worship.
Established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC), the festival aims to provide quality formative and experiential opportunities for young Catholics from Year nine to age 30 to deepen their relationship with Jesus, be empowered to be disciples in the world today and encounter and celebrate the vitality of the Church in Australia.
The founders of Orange Sky came up with the world first mobile laundry idea three years ago after wanting to provide dignity and respect as well as clean clothes to those living on the street.
The pair from Brisbane, who fitted out an old van with a generator, water tanks and two large washing machines and dryers, said they were thrilled to be part of the star line up for ACYF and share how their dream became a reality with the thousands of young people attending.
The duo will showcase one of the vans at the festival on Thursday 7 December to explain how their simple idea has now grown to 16 laundry vans and three shower vans across Australia.
“Our mission is to positively connect communities and we have more than 1000 volunteers who facilitate genuine and non-judgemental conversations every single day,” Mr Patchett said.
“We have met so many incredible people on our three-year journey, and we hope that by sharing these stories, we will inspire others to make a difference.
“We are really looking forward to meeting some of the 15,000 young people who will at the festival and can’t wait to be involved,” added Mr Marchesi.
Joining Orange Sky at ACYF will be Triple J Unearthed artist Emma Fradd and Therese Nichols, Director and co-founder of OnePlate, an organisation which partners with restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars across Australia, who nominate a specific item on their menu to be their OnePlate dish. Each time that items is ordered, $1 is donated to fund sustainable food projects in developing countries.
The program also includes a number of well-known religious men and women, such as X Factor contestant, Fr Rob Galea and Sr Hilda Scott, who rose to fame after appearing in the ABC reality television series The Abbey as well as interactive displays, activities and experiences through a multitude of halls.
The festival culminates on Saturday 9 December with a closing evening Mass in The Domain open to all Catholics and which more than 30,000 people are expected to attend.
For further details go to www.acyf.org.au. Group registrations close October 20. Individual registrations available.