Yearly Meeting 2022

Covid uncertainty strikes YM22! We had all hoped that 2022 would be the year in which we could hug our friends at YM. Alas, it’s still too hard to imagine what we will be able to do in the first week of July. with each state having its own rules about how people can travel and gather, it’s too uncertain to try to plan a national gathering.

So, what is the plan?


So, once again YM will be online. There is the possibility of difference, though. Whereas YM20 and YM21 was designed purely for individual participation, YM22 envisages that some people will want to travel to another centre to join Friends there for participation in YM online. It’s not the same! But this may allow some visitation for those whose local rules permit this. As examples, Friends from Ballarat might visit Friends in Geelong, stay there a few days, and meet those Friends in person. Friends from Blue Mountains might go to Canberra, meet up with some Friends there, enjoy social contact with them, have in-person conversations, do some Canberra outings, etc.

Of course we cannot foresee what will be possible then, but not having a central venue gives us more flexibility, and the possibility to change at short notice, which could be required. Each local “pod” can make their own arrangements about visitation and hospitality at their location.

Some technical arrangements will need to be different to accommodate pods; we are working out how this can be done effectively.

Because doing everything online is inherently tiring, we have made a decision to extend the duration of YM22 to 9 days. We recognise that Friends may well choose not to participate in all activities, and the design hopes to take account of this.

Briefly, it goes like this:

  • We hope that many of the Preliminary and Explanatory Sessions will be held online in the weeks preceding YM (which will be in early July). Such session online have been effective previously, and have attracted good participation by interested Friends.
  • 3 days of the introductory activities (welcomes, some formal sessions, etc). 2nd July - 4th July
  • 3 days of sessions which will promote community, reflection, learning (including many of the Share & Tells). We reason that where Friends are getting together, they may choose some local out-and-about activities during this time. (5th July - 7th July)
  • 3 days focused on business. (Formal Sessions) (8th - 10th July).
    This will allow the possibility for more Formal Sessions, but the overall pace will suit our energy levels, provide opportunity to build community, worship and share together.
  • Home Groups will be a feature of this YM. Some Friends will have experienced Home Groups in previous gatherings. Doing these in an online setting will be very novel, and call for some innovative thinking.

For those who like information presented visually, here is a diagram that shows this information. (Click this link).

The national organising committee encourages Friends to get together for all or some of the duration of YM22. However, they will not do any organising of this; it needs to be done at local level. We encourage meetings to consider inviting others to come to join with them, to facilitate hospitality, and fun together.

Clerking online meetings with pods presents some extra challenges. This will necessitate some changes to seating, equipment setup, and so on. We will be publishing protocols and suggestions for this.

Formal registration to attend YM22 will be a required, a registration form will be available soon (also accessible through this website).

So, we encourage you to start making plans, yet to recognise that their plans could be overturned by circumstances. But, if we don’t make the plans, it is certain that YM will not run smoothly, and that we will not get to visit the friends whose company we enjoy so dearly.


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Daily Notices

Information about what will happen in the coming day(s) will be set up here.

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Help Desk

Information about what the Help Desk will provide will be set up here.

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Key contacts

Information about who will be the people you can go to, and the people in various roles will be set up here.

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We want you to register for YM22, please

Even though YM22 is online, and can be accessed from your home, etc, and you do not have to travel to attend it, we'd like you to register.

That way, we know whom to expect at what activities, and to contact you beforehand and make sure you have the information you need; we will only be able to send such information via email, not by post.

Running a YM online does incur some costs, so we are asking for a registration payment. However, we know that money is tight for some Friends, so we do not want inability to pay to prevent anyone from registering. We will not keep any track of payments made into the bank account, so it's fine if you can't pay.

Please go to the registration form at and complete the registration form. This will take you from this website, but you will be able to return after registering.


Payment details

Please deposit payment at:

     Bank Australia

     Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Australia

     BSB: 313 140

     Account: 12091523

Please put your name as the Reference in the bank deposit.

If you prefer to pay at a bank branch, you can, supplying the above information. The bank you go to might charge a fee.

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Technology for hybrid online YM

In the last two years we have been able to conduct YMs which are fully online, with fairly satisfactory results. This year is planned to be hybrid, allowing some pod (a group in one place) to join the Zoom meeting, which will consist mainly of individuals on screen.

Hybrid business meetings bring a new set of challenges, to enable the people in the group to have a good experience, as well as others in the meeting to have a good experience of the pods. If we don't get it right, someone in a pod will have trouble:

  • Indicating that they wish to speak /minister
  • Being acknowledged by the Clerk
  • Being seen by people in other places
  • Being heard by others

and therefore having a real sense of participation in the meeting. All of these challenges can be overcome, but it requires some set-up, some adherence to protocols and some Quaker discipline.

The following pages give the protocols and some technical advice. Please follow the protocols.

If you are joining in a group, it is important that the pod have a Pod Leader who can set up a little bit of extra equipment, and the furniture. We will be very happy to communicate with each Pod Leader, and support them to do this.



What kind of group are you planning to be?

Are you a:


Small pod?

Large pod?


Hybrid meetings are different from what we have been doing. For example, raising an electronic hand, while necessary, will not identify the individual who wishes to speak. So we need something extra. A low-tech solution is for each person to have their name written on a piece of paper they can hold up below or alongside their face, for the clerking team to see.

Mostly, one camera will not see everyone in a pod, so we need some changed arrangements to help make sure that a person who is giving ministry in a meeting sits where the camera can see them, and the microphone can pick up their voice. We ask a person wishing to speak to move to a designated chair (with their name sheet).

Setup of the room a pod uses will need to be done carefully. More detail on that later.


Small pod

A single laptop does not service a group bigger than three people very well. Some expansion of equipment is recommended.

Here is a diagram of why a maximum small pod is three people.


Large pod

Here is a large pod, showing some of the adaptations we need to make for it to be feasible.



Protocols for business meetings

The protocols and acceptable behaviours need to be different in a hybrid meeting (in which there may be a group of people on some devices) from meetings in which there is only one person (occasionally two) people on one Zoom screen. Here are some of the protocols we’ll ask you to follow, depending on how big the group you are in is.


Naming a group and each person

It is very helpful for the Clerk and others to be able to know who is in a group which is participating in a hybrid meeting.

It is important that the group name which is presented on-screen is accurate.

The Clerk likes to know the name of the person she will call to speak. So, as well as the group name, each person needs to be named. Prior to coming into the session, each person should make themself a half A4 page with their name written clearly on it. This can be held up under next to their face as they wait to be called, to enable the Clerk to identify them.

Indicating a wish to speak

Use of the Zoom Raise Hand facility is essential in a hybrid meeting. Physical hands can not be seen reliably by others in the meeting. It is important that in any group participating in the meeting, one person is able to raise and lower the electronic Hand for anyone in the group.

When a participant in the meeting uses Raise Hand, Zoom will relocate that image (group or person) to the top-left of the screen in Gallery View. Thus it is easy for the clerk to see the people who have Raised Hand and who wish to speak.


Using the Raised Hand tells the Clerk that someone wishes to speak. It does not tell who, within a group, wishes to speak. A further step is needed for the Clerk to know who that person is.

If you are part of a Large Pod, please note the need for the person wishing to speak to move into the focus chair, to be seen and heard well (as per diagram above).


Lost the need to speak?

If a participant changes their mind about speaking (someone else has spoken their mind, or their contribution has lost relevance), the Hand can be lowered, and the Zoom image returns to its earlier position, out of the queue. The withdrawing speaker returns to their previous chair.


Suitable equipment and setup for groups/pods

An individual or pair can sit at a laptop and participate well.

A small pod will benefit from a small investment (as below)

For a large pod, some purchase of equipment is essential. It’s important to attend to this well ahead of YM, to have the extra equipment, and become familiar with how to use it.

Some people will resist outlying some money. Please remember that the usual costs of YM (travel, accommodation, food) are removed or greatly reduced in this type of YM. any equipment purchased will continue to be useful for future online activities, eg Quaker webinars, committee meetings, etc.



For meetings in a circle

Such as a Meeting for Worship:


Large screen: it helps the people in the room to be able to see who is with them online. A (borrowed) large screen helps considerably. Position it, so that people in the room can see it; you may have to re-distribute seating a bit to accommodate it.


Camera: These present different challenges to include in a Zoom meeting. A wide-angle webcam will capture the pictures of some people, possibly not all. Re-pointing the camera can help, but you have to balance the intrusion into the meeting, and what is acceptable.


Microphone: Inevitably, the microphone (even a webcam) on its tripod will be widely varying distances from each participant, and so pick up their voice at widely varying volume. A microphone in the centre of the group is a good solution. It is a similar distance from each person. Oh, you might have multiple rows! That could be a bother.

Purchase a Blue Yeti microphone ($150-ish from Officeworks, etc.). It is a bit costly, but it does a great job. It has a pre-amplifier and Automatic Volume Control built in. (What are they?). An automatic volume control means the microphone adjusts its sensitivity so that, regardless of the volume of what it picks up, it send out a similar level of signal to other participants. Soft sound => it turns its gain up. We have found it works very well for people speaking up close, or 5 metres away from it.

Sit it on the table in the middle of the circle. A Blue Yeti plugs into a USB connector on your computer; no extra software needed. Works happily with Windows, Mac, etc. an extension cable is useful here (mind the safety of cords crossing the floor). Your Yeti can be useful for other purposes, too, eg recording an interview.

There may be cheaper versions that will also do a good job; can’t vouch for them.




Filming Testimonies--some advice


Filming Testimonies – Some Advice

Meeting online, we need to reduce some of steps which use a lot of time, to help us keep YM session briefer, and reduce our fatigue. One way of doing this, is that fewer of the testimonies to the lives of deceased Friends are read in sessions. The text is put on this website for Friends to read.

Some Meetings are attracted to the idea of making a video of the testimony being read and putting the video online. a link to the video is listed with the link to the text on the testimonies page. If you are interested in making such a video, the following are some tips for doing it well.


Background - When filming, it is best to have a simple background behind you. You don’t want a lot of mess or clutter, and you don’t want it to be busy and distracting from the person being filmed. A bookshelf is fine, but piles of paperwork can be distracting. It’s also better to have a lighter background than a darker one (white wall over black curtains for example).


Type of shotIn this case, you want to use what is called a “mid-shot”. This means that the person in the frame is seen from about somewhere along their torso, to the top of their head – with a little ‘space’ above.


LightingLighting for a video can be complicated, but here are the key points to remember. You want most of the light (whether from a window or lamp) behind the camera. You also want some light coming from behind the person being filmed, but not shining directly into the camera. This could just be the downlights in the space you’re filming in, or you put a lamp behind.


What to film on: You can film on a camera with video capabilities, a smartphone, or a webcam on a computer.


Camera: Photography cameras can be a range of qualities. If you are using a camera, see your owner’s manual about the best setting to film a video with. It is best practice to attach a camera to a tripod when filming, so you can point accurately and steadily.


Webcam: Like photography cameras, webcams can have various qualities. It will likely be set up with the right type of framing/shot if you have used it for Zoom meetings. If your computer has a built-in webcam, you may be able to set that up suitably to use it.  There will probably be a ‘Camera’ program which will let you film. If not, you can download the Zoom app and make a free account. Though designed for educators, this video is a good guide on how to film yourself on Zoom:

Please note, we do not want to screenshare or have any other participants in the meeting when filming Testimonies. 


Phone: The camera on your smartphone will probably be of high quality. You will need to position it as vertical as possible. If you have a compatible stand or tripod you should use that. Otherwise, books stacked on a table can work. When recording, just use the ‘video’ function in the camera app.


QualityYou want the video file to be of a decent resolution. The video should be at least 480×272 pixels.


SoundThe closer you are to your microphone, the better the sound quality will be (but you don’t want to be so close you can eat the microphone!). If you do not have an external microphone, do not worry. The microphone built-in to your phone or computer–that you use for Zoom - should be fine. Make sure there is minimal background noise when you are filming.

TestingBefore you film, do a test run. This can just be a minute of you talking, or of reading through part of the Testimony. Ensure that you are speaking as loud and clearly as you plan to when filming properly. Once you’ve stopped the test, watch and listen back. If the volume is too soft, or the video is dark, make adjustments as necessary.


FilmingWhen filming, wait 2-3 seconds and then read the testimony as if you were reading it at a formal session. There is no need to add anything else to the video.


When you have completed the video, please contact Michael Searle ( to arrange for posting it to make it available to others.


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Link to the timetable

Click here to view the timetable. Please note that the timetable is an external app, and has controls that enable you to display it differently, if you prefer. There is a lot of detail about each session, experiment by clicking links in it, especially the button at top left labelled Week. Change it to day, and more detail is available. Since YM spans two weeks, you may need to find how to get to the second week.

The Structure of the timetable

YM will span ten days. It has three groups of three days. First three do the introductions and get us going, some business sessions. The second three (Tuesday to Thursday) are focused on community-building, and are lower paced. The third three (Friday to Sunday) return to business, and concludings. So, our hope is that YM will be well-balanced for pace and style. In the middle three days, there is opportunity for those who go visiting to do off-line activities with their hosts.

When we first scheduled YM22, that week did coincide all states for holidays. It was the only week which did. Subsequently, in Covid responses, holidays were moved by various states, and there is now no week when all states are on holidays together.

Programs for children, JYFs are being developed (not yet shown).

Worship, business sessions, etc are in their settled time-slots.

Some activities appear twice in a day.

The program of Share & Tells is being developed too.

We hope everyone will participate in Home Groups, a small consistent group, meeting each day, which will allow building of relationships together. Home Groups appear in two time-slots: morning and afternoon. You will be asked to join one group which will meet in one of those time-slots. The duplication is to make good use of the time difference across the country.

What’s going on? Sessions are an extension of First Timers. Anyone can attend, and bring their questions or concerns about the Quaker process they are experiencing at YM. On each day, part of our de-mystification program! Offered twice a day, to remove clash with Home Groups.

Preparatory and Explanatory Sessions

Each Quakers Australia national committee writes a report of its activities during the year. these can be discussed at a Preparatory Session or an Explanatory Session that is part of the YM process. All Preparatory and Explanatory Sessions this year will be held prior to the July week, actually during May, to reduce the pace and demand of that week in July. Please go there to see when these important sessions will be held online.  You can find the schedule for these here.

Change is still possible

More detail may still be added. Details of community-building and social activities are not yet fully known. We welcome offers to host community and social, and to offer Zoom technical help.

Share and Tells are shown, but might be developed further. We are juggling multiple aspects with the timing of Share & Tells. At present they might reduce the opportunities for pods to do activities together in their local group (which some might be visiting); we are trying to leave some spaces in the day to reduce Zoom fatigue. Comments and further offers welcome to Michael Searle (

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/\ Backhouse Lecture 2022

Working for Justice in a Warming World


Bio: Yarrow was nineteen years old in 1988, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was founded, and the IPCC’s five-yearly reports have sounded ever more dire warnings throughout their adulthood. Having worked all their life as an early childhood educator, Yarrow is reminded every day of the uncertain future that awaits their young students. These children will be Yarrow’s current age in 2070 – a future that may be either apocalyptic or utopian, depending on our actions now. As a Quaker, an activist, and a gardener, Yarrow aims for that utopian future, even when the path to that place is murky.


The 2022 Backhouse lecture looks at the critical issue of climate justice – at how our responses to the climate emergency have the potential for great suffering, as well as great redemption. In a world where the rich pollute, and the poor suffer, we do not just need to address our rapidly-warming planet, but also the injustices which drive this environmental catastrophe.

Yarrow, in conversation with Quaker and non-Quaker activists, explores the history of this crisis, and the despair and hope we must negotiate in coming to grips with a problem of planetary proportions. This crisis offers us an unparallelled opportunity to remake our political, economic and social systems, in ways that support a liveable planet, while addressing the profound injustices of our age, especially racial inequality. Yarrow asks us ‘what can we do?’ and seeks to offer ways forward that create hope not just for all people, but for all the living creatures on our small blue-green planet.

/\ Children & JYFs program

Program for children and families

Zoom link for childrens activities will be added here later


Some of the fun activities the program will offer

One of the JYF activities

/\ Friendly School

Caring for Humanity in Interesting Times.

Friendly School at Yearly Meeting on Zoom,

Sunday 3rd July, 11.30 - 4.30 (AEST) 2022.

The list of topics for Friendly School groups, from which you can choose is here


As a community we journey together in a world beset with violence triggered by climate extremes, food insecurity, political failure and damaging environmental pollution. In these times Friends are challenged more than ever to find ways to care for humanity, and all forms of life that share this planet.

This year Friendly School will explore  a variety of creative responses to this theme. For Friendly School participants will be able to choose one of the topics being offered. This will be an opportunity for you to share experiences and ideas that will help heal our communities and the planet.


This is an invitation to take part as either participant or presenter.


How is the spirit moving for you? How can your passion contribute to caring for humanity?


If you would like to offer a Friendly School, please contact  Rose and Michael on and (0417 026 111) by 15th May and let us know what you propose. Information on Friendly School topics will be updated on this page in May.

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List of Friendly School topics and facilitators

These are the Friendly School sessions, from which you can choose.


Climate Emergency and Species Extinction

Facilitators:  Elizabeth P'O and David King                2pm to 3:30pm AEST

A focus on the deeper spiritual and cultural factors behind our exploitation of the world and resources.


Working together adaptively as we face the ten threats to human existence

Facilitators:  Bob Douglas & Vidya                              11:30am to 4:30pm AEST

Human civilisation, and perhaps our existence as a species, is threatened by global warming, global poisoning, ecological devastation, population overgrowth, resource depletion, food insecurity, pandemics, nuclear weapons, dangerous new technologies and lastly, mass delusion, with the uncontrolled spread of misinformation and disinformation. 

Facing these catastrophic risks challenges our established ways of working together and our governance systems.  In Australia we are experiencing more severe and more frequent floods, cyclones, droughts and bushfires, and a Covid pandemic.  How can we adapt in the face of these and other emerging threats?  What is adaptive governance?  What role can Quakers play in Australia and around the world? 

This session will run across the full time that is available, starting at 11:30 am and going to 4:30 pm.


Creative Writing on the Theme of “Caring for Humanity in Interesting Times”.

Facilitator:  David Evans                                   11:30am to 4:30pm AEST

Creative writers are invited to contribute an essay or poetry on the theme of Friendly School 2022 ,“Caring for Humanity in Interesting Times”. The time available will be divided between the number of contributors.
In the first session opportunity is given for each attendee to talk about their involvement in creative writing, past, present, and future. The second and third sessions will be presentation of individual articles related to the theme of Caring for Humanity followed by discussion with the group. Lastly there will be consideration of opportunities for Quakerly Writers in the wider world. Friends newly interested in creative writing are welcome to attend.
With permission the contributions will be put together as an e-book. At YM2017 the theme of Friendly School was Turning Points. This published set of 10 essays by Australian Quaker Writers is available from David Evans (

The labyrinth as a way of consolation

Facilitator:  Joy Bowles                                              12:30pm to 2pm AEST

During the times of COVID, many people around the world are finding it helpful to meet with others on Zoom to participate in a finger labyrinth meditation. The practice of using your finger to trace the design of a labyrinth, which is a one-way path leading you from the outside to the inner centre, allows you to reflect on where you are on life's journey at any time. Many people find the physical process relaxing, and it can provide some surprising insights depending on what you take into the session.
In this 90 minute session, running from 12:30 to 2pm AEST, we will hear a little about labyrinths and their use as meditation aids, we will do a finger labyrinth meditation, and then we will share any insights or reflections we feel like afterwards.
The attached design can be printed out on paper and used if people don't have their own finger labyrinth.

Quaker concerns for Asian West Pacific peace and development, in Interesting Times

Facilitator:  Adrian Glamorgan                                11am to 12:30pm AEST

Quaker concerns for Asian West Pacific peace and development, in Interesting Times


Quaker Peace and Legislative Committee

Facilitator:  Harold Wilkinson, Margaret Clark

Friends have always been more about peace building than just opposing violent conflict. Creating the world we want for the future, and developing ways to make it happen is both a creative community enterprise, engaging the community of Friends.


English-based endeavours to “come right way” with Original Australians

Facilitator:  Harald Ehmann

Humanity is a complex mass of cultures, with most having their own language. Words in languages are usually shorthand for concepts, often complex ones if we are unfamiliar with the culture/language. Despite its world dominance the English language does not and cannot include all of the diversity of word/concepts of even one other language.
In this group we will be introduced to several words in the languages of Original Australians and learn the implied concepts they encapsulate.
Understanding the underlying and implied concepts and meanings of these words can provide eye-opening re-evaluations of the way Original Australians are and live in the English-dominated world.
Elders invite us to consider and adopt their understandings, words and concepts in our ongoing English-based endeavors to “come right way” with Original Australians, ourselves, nature and the Earth.
Adopting these will help to truly care for Humanity, all life and the Earth in these times.


Poetic and Artistic responses to Caring for Humanity in ‘Interesting’ Times

Facilitator:  Michael Griffith

How do poets and artists local and international care for humanity by opening minds and hearts to the reality, the light, that lies beyond our distraction? As John Main OSB noted in Monastery Without Walls “…neither we nor creation have lost the divine radiance. But we have lost the faculty of seeing it”. Beginning with a number of poems and paintings, this session will explore this question: how can the “language” of the arts open our lost faculty of “seeing”? Participants are encouraged to submit poems and paintings (from established authors/artists) for possible inclusion in our exploration. Please send to

Examples: *Welsh poet R.S. Thomas: “But, the silence of the mind is where I live best/ Within listening distance of the silence we call God”. *Australian artist John Olsen, with reference to his painting Sydney Sun: “I like to keep the open-eyed innocence of a child”.


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/\ Home Groups and "What's going on" sessions

Home Groups

The opportunity to make new friends is a joy of YMs. Broadening our set of friendships is also a blessing of YM. We love to get together in Yearly Meetings with our friends in other places, to share how our lives are going, how our communities are doing, to have some discussions on important topics. Building bonds in a smallish group that remains consistent during YM can be a great way to do these things. Even if we are with some people we don't know, we can make new friendships, find things we share, and are diverse about.

Home Groups is a tried and true way of enhancing our fellowship and sense of community . Home Groups have long been integral to Quaker gatherings worldwide, though we haven't included them in our YMs recently. They are part of YM22. Everyone will be allocated to a Home Group which will meet each day for up to 45 minutes. We hope all will attend and bring a willingness to listen to others and share from their own experience.

Pods of people in one location might like to form a home group that can sit together physically. Online participants can be part of a geographically diverse group. As part of dealing with the two-hour time difference between East and West, Home Groups are scheduled twice. The idea is that you can specify (at registration) whether you prefer to be in a morning group or an afternoon group. So, there will be a set of morning groups and a set of afternoon groups, each meeting just once per day; you will be in one group.

Suggestions will be offered about how to run your group, topics to explore, some ideas for fun and so on.


What's going on? sessions

YM is busy and complex; it can be bewildering! The rusted-on Quakers can forget that there are many subtleties and mysteries to Quaker practice, especially Yearly Meetings.

For a long time we have run First Timers session to offer some explanations. This year we will expand that program by offering each day a What's Going on? session. There will be a few seasoned Friends at each to be an explainer. We invite any and all participants in YM to come to any of these sessions, bring your questions, your curiosity, your surprises. Come once, come often. Some answers may help, or more questions may be raised! Quakers are like that, you know.

These sessions are scheduled twice per day, in the same time-slot as Home Groups. We don't want you to come to a What's? session instead of going to your home group, you can go to the one that's in the alternate time-slot. We hope that these sessions will increase the welcome of YM.

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/\ Share & Tells

Some of what happens at Yearly Meetings is Share & Tell sessions. In these, a Friend has an opportunity to share about an interest, a passion, an idea of theirs, and that they reckon others will be interested in.

Much more detail to come.

If you are interested in offering a Share & Tell, please register for YM22 (here), and offer your session there. You will then be contacted to work out details, a time for the session, and what assistance (technical or otherwise) that you need.

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***YM22 Testimonies***

When a Friend dies, it is common to remember them at the Yearly Meeting following their death, by reading a Testimony written by the Friend's Regional Meeting. This usually happens at the start of a YM Formal Session.

In this year's online Yearly Meeting, we are conscious of keeping screen time at sensible levels. We have decided not to read Testimonies. They will all be published here, so they are available for individuals to read. 

Testimonies, Minutes of Record and Notices of Friends who have died since last Yearly Meeting are listed (alphabetically) by Regional Meeting.

(Note:  A Testimony may be listed here of a Friend who died just prior to YM21, and whose named may have been mentioned at YM21 but whose full entry was written after YM21. Also a Testimony may be listed if it was newly written, for a Friend who died in the recent past.)

Please note that there will be a Meeting for Worship for Remembrance at YM. It's on Wednesday morning at 10am AEST. This meeting will be focused on remembering our Friends who have died, especially in the most recent year.


Canberra and Region Quakers



Minutes of Record / Notices


New South Wales Regional Meeting



Minutes of Record / Notices



Queensland Regional Meeting



Minutes of Record / Notices



South Australia Northern Territory Regional Meeting



Minutes of Record / Notices



Tasmania Regional Meeting




Minutes of Record / Notices



Victoria Regional Meeting



Minutes of Record / Notices



West Australia Regional Meeting



Minutes of Record / Notices


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***YM22 Business***

Prep Sessions are now all completed. Link to reports from Preparatory and Explanatory sessions (click here)

Link to Documents in Advance (click here)

Yearly Meeting 22 Business Processes Explained

Each national committee, working group, and AYM-associated body is asked to write a report for Documents in Advance (DiA). Regional Meetings may also write a report for YM (Yearly Meeting,) if they want to submit a Part B. Regional Meetings have written their main report of their year's activities for the AGM held in January.

Each report submitted to Documents in Advance consists of a Part A, and may have a Part B, as well.

  • Part A which reports on the work of the committee during the preceding year.
  • Part B (included only if needed) presents questions or proposals for consideration at Yearly Meeting.

DiA will be distributed late March and is also available on this website.

Regional Meetings receive all the DiA reports and are asked to discuss the Part B matters at their Meetings for Worship for Business, so that consideration at Yearly Meeting is well informed. Regional Meeting responses are minuted, sent to the AYM Secretary, and are available on this website.

Prior to YM, each group which has submitted a DiA report, may hold an Explanatory Session, or a Preparatory Session. They have been held prior to Yearly Meeting, during the time-range of 1st to 22nd May. The aim is to reduce the pressure on time during YM (an important consideration for an online event).

An Explanatory Session is for a group whose DiA report only has a Part A. These sessions provides an opportunity to present what they have been doing, to elaborate on what is in their report, present it in more than words on paper. Such a session will not contribute to decision-making, but will air the good work of the committee. Because a decision is not sought, the reporting of this committee stops here; it does not go on to a Formal Session.

Preparatory Session is held when a group has a Part B in its DiA report, in which they have brought a question(s) that they would like Quakers nationally to consider for adoption or decision. Prior to the Preparatory Sessions, Regional Meetings will have considered the reports. At the Preparatory session:

  • The Regional meeting responses are shared
  • The matter for decision is explored
  • The proposal might be modified somewhat by the group as it hears its proposal discussed.

A Prep Session report is sent to the AYM Secretary for consideration by the Clerking Team for YM22 business. This report will indicate if the matter/s under consideration seem to have been resolved through the Regional meeting responses and/or the Preparatory Session.

Preparatory and Explanatory Sessions will be publicised as part of YM22 publicity. Committees are encouraged to make known their own sessions, and to attract interested people to participate, so that multiple modes of informing Friends of what is on, and what they are likely to find interests them can be exercised.

The list of Scheduled Preparatory and Explanatory Sessions can be found here.

Preparing the agenda for YM

The national Clerking Team will look at the reports from Preparatory Sessions, and decide that either:

  • The responses from all RMs and the Preparatory Session indicate substantial agreement, so the recommendations in the initial DiA item are acceptable. In this case the issue is considered to be resolved.
  • The responses indicate divergence on the item such that it should be discussed at the whole Yearly Meeting, in a Business Session. In this case the issue is considered to be unresolved.

In the first case, the Clerking Team will draft a minute for the Business Session to adopt as an agreed minute of YM.

In the second case, the Clerking Team will schedule time in a Business Session for discussion of the item, if time is available.

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Abbreviations, terms & definitions

AF: The Australian Friend, the journal of Australia Yearly Meeting, is published online and in print in March, June, September and December. The editorial committee is under the care of a Regional Meeting.

AFFH: Australian Friends Fellowship of Healing, a national group interested in healing, whose members are Friends, but which is a separately incorporated body.

AVP: Alternatives to Violence Project, begun by Friends, is now a separate organisation.

AYM:  AYM is generally used as the abbreviated name of Australia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia Incorporated.

AYM Committees and Working Groups: A list of all AYM Committees and Working Groups, with the names of all Committee members, is printed in Documents in Advance, and updated in Documents in Retrospect, and at the Members section.

BL: James Backhouse Lecture. This is an annual lecture, which aims to bring fresh insights into truth, often with reference to the needs and aspirations of Australian Quakerism. It is usually presented at the time of Yearly Meeting, and is named after an English Quaker who travelled extensively in Australia from 1832 to 1837.

DAQB: The Dictionary of Australian Quaker Biography includes Testimonies to the Grace of God in the lives of many Australian Friends. An annual supplement includes Testimonies to those who have died in the past year, and additional information received on those already listed. Regional Meeting and a number of other libraries hold copies of the DAQB. The web page for Australian Quaker Biographies provides online access to all DAQB entries, together with biographies of prominent Quakers from around the world.

FNPCC: The First Nations Peoples Concerns Committee, formerly called the Indigenous Concerns Committee.

Formal Sessions of Yearly Meeting: The Presiding Clerk conducts the Formal Sessions according to the usual Quaker business method. The Presiding Clerk can grant permission for those who are not AYM Members to attend and fully participate in YM sessions, on the recommendation in advance of the Elders of the appropriate Meeting.

FPT: Friends Peace Teams.

The Friends’ School: The Friends’ School, Hobart, is the only Quaker school in Australia.

FWCC: Friends World Committee for Consultation is a worldwide body comprised of affiliated Yearly Meetings, Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups. It meets periodically to promote links between the different Quaker traditions. Australia Yearly Meeting is part of the Asia-West Pacific Section of FWCC.

Handbook of Quaker Practice and Procedure in Australia: The Handbook sets out the guidelines within which Meetings normally operate within Australia. The Handbook is continually revised in line with YM decisions. The current 7th edition was published in 2020, and is available on (listed under Publications)

JYFs: Junior Young Friends are aged 12 to 17 years.

Meeting for Learning: a one-year program that begins and ends with a retreat week, usually held in September-October, under the care of the Quaker Learning Australia (QLA) Committee.

Ministry and Oversight: Sometimes known as M & O, or Elders & Overseers, or Ministry & Care. These Local or Regional Meeting committees, either separately or combined, are responsible for the spiritual and pastoral care of members.

NCCA: National Council of Churches in Australia, of which AYM is a member.

Pastoral Care Committee: This committee is set up for the period of Yearly Meeting and consists of Friends nominated by their Regional Meeting for the purpose of assisting people at Yearly Meeting.

Penn Friends: Penn Friends (after William Penn) are ‘written correspondence friendships’ between older Friends and children (often now by email), who may live in another Meeting.

QPLC: The Quaker Peace & Legislation Committee, based in Canberra, lobbies government, provides a space for peace and social justice discussions, and posts on our website ‘Action Alerts’, ‘Watching Briefs’ and Discussion Papers on current issues for Friends.

QSA: Quaker Service Australia, the development aid agency of Australia Yearly Meeting, a company limited by guarantee, is based at Unit 14/43-53 Bridge Rd Stanmore NSW 2048.

RM: Regional Meetings in Australia are Canberra and Region Quakers (CRQ), New South Wales (NSWRM), Queensland (QRM), South Australia Northern Territory (SANTRM), Tasmania (TRM), Victoria (VRM), and West Australia (WARM). These organisational bodies of the Society are individually incorporated associations. Regional Meetings are responsible for matters of membership and business within their area, as set out in the Handbook of Practice and Procedure.

The Sanctuary: The Sanctuary is the name of a house and grounds in Sydney that was part of the Lemberg Bequest to Australia Yearly Meeting. The property is behind the Wahroonga Meeting House, and has been leased as a residence.

SC: Standing Committee, a body with two representatives from each Regional Meeting, and from Young Friends to conduct business on matters which must be addressed before the next Yearly Meeting. The Presiding Clerk, Secretary, Treasurer, the Immediate Past Presiding Clerk, and the Incoming Presiding Clerk are ex-officio members of Standing Committee.

SWQC or Silver Wattle: Silver Wattle Quaker Centre is a centre in Australia for spiritual development and learning about Quaker faith, based at Silver Wattle, 1063 Lake Road, Bungendore, New South Wales. See

YFs: Young Friends are 18 – 30-ish year-olds who may be Members or Attenders. Young Friends may have representatives on most AYM committees, including Standing Committee.

YM: The words ‘Yearly Meeting’ (YM) are used to describe the annual meeting of Australian Friends.

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YM22 Preparing for Business

Preparing to Participate in Australia Yearly Meeting 2022 online Business Sessions

In our meetings for worship we seek through the stillness to know God’s will for ourselves and for the gathered group. Our meetings for church affairs, in which we conduct our business, are also meetings for worship based on silence, and they carry the same expectation that God’s guidance can be discerned if we are truly listening together and to each other, and are not blinkered by preconceived opinions. It is this belief that God’s will can be recognised through the discipline of silent waiting which distinguishes our decision-making process from the secular idea of consensus. We have a common purpose in seeking God’s will through waiting and listening, believing that every activity of life should be subject to divine guidance. 

Quaker faith and practice 3.02

Business Sessions for YM22

Quakers’ experience internationally is that worshipping together online can be deep and spirit-filled, with ministry springing from a gathered stillness. In 2020, Quaker Yearly Meetings approached Business in quite different ways. Britain Yearly Meeting was held over one day during which Friends received and considered committee reports; some North American Yearly Meetings included no formal Business sessions; and others scheduled fewer Business sessions covering a limited agenda.

Clerking ‘virtual’ Yearly Meetings online with sometimes large groups of participants was a new and rather daunting experience for each Clerk. Ann Zubrick says "I found it required different spiritual and practical preparation, significant backroom technical support, and practice. Deep listening with everyone muted is challenging for the Clerk to gain the ‘sense of the Meeting’."

Now, with that experience, and Friends’ encouragement, additional Business sessions will be offered during Australia YM22. Some sessions will Minute items discerned and agreed by Regional Meetings. Matters requiring further consideration and discernment will be scheduled during YM22—with a Zoom link, agenda and links to documents or reports advised on the YM22 website.

Zoom Meetings for Worship for Business take longer than when we meet in person. Clerking Standing Committee and Annual General Meeting experiences over the last 2 years suggests that a virtual Meeting for Worship for Business may take 30%-40% longer than one held face-to-face. There may not be time at YM22 to address all Friends’ concerns.

Preparatory work for the Meeting for Worship for Business

If you plan to attend and participate in YM22 Business sessions,  please come prepared. Please access information on the YM22 website and read the relevant reports.

Preparatory work for the Meeting for Worship for Business includes both information gathering (which includes Yearly Meeting 2022 Documents in Advance, reports from Preparatory Sessions, Regional Meeting responses and reports or recommendations from committees and other meetings) and preparing the mind and heart.

As part of your preparation, Friends are asked to reflect upon matters to come before the meeting, so that all relevant insights, leadings, information and other considerations can be weighed in the meeting’s discernment process.

A virtual YM restricts or eliminates the formal and informal opportunities there are when we meet in person. There are no informal conversations among Friends during meals, morning and afternoon teas, shared walks or shared tapestry time. It’s easy to overlook the value of these conversations in preparing Friends for Business sessions.

Spiritual preparation and support for the clerking team helps to ensure that the meeting is conducted in a worshipful manner. Elders and Pastoral Care play an important part before, during and after each session.

It is important that each participant begins the meeting with the expectation that it will be a spiritual experience.


  • What activities, rituals, practices can you engage in to prepare yourself for YM22 Meetings for Worship for Business?
  • Have you read the relevant material for each meeting and taken time to sit with this material? Is there anything you are unsure about that you could ask a friend for clarity about?
  • How might you create your own opportunities for informal conversations and connections during YM22, perhaps on the phone, meeting up with nearby Friends, or through daily walks in nature?

Recognition of speakers

It is the responsibility of each Friend to be recognised by the Clerk before offering a contribution, and to address the meeting rather than any individual.

A Co-Clerk will advise the Clerk the names of people wishing to speak. The Clerk will name that person who should then unmute. All others wishing to speak should remain muted, until called upon. 

Contributions should be brief and clear, and avoid repeating points that have already been put before the meeting. It is not expected that any Friend will speak more than once on an issue, unless specifically requested by the Clerk (e.g. to provide a committee report or information from a Friend’s area of expertise).

The Clerk will allow time to process and consider before calling the next person. We need this space to create a gathered stillness for ministry within the worshipping community.

The YM22 Clerking team is currently working with the IT support people and YM22 organising committee to ensure this process works as well as possible.

If you indicate that you wish to speak, but are not called upon to speak, it may be because you have already been heard on the topic, because there are many people wishing to speak, or it may be an accident. If this occurs, please do not ‘just speak’. Instead, remain in worship and trust that if the contribution needs to come to the meeting, a way forward will present itself.

Preparing the space where you are meeting

Friends wishing to participate will need to have a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone with a Zoom connection, a camera/webcam, a microphone setting and enough bandwidth to allow them to be heard distinctly without the signal breaking up.

Friends using a phone line or experiencing unreliable internet should consider simply listening to a Business session or joining another Friend with a better connection. If either situation applies to you, please consider talking with your Clerk about how you can best participate in YM. If you know someone in this position, consider reaching out to them and inviting them to join you for Business meetings, or offer to help them get set up on Zoom.

Preparing to participate if this is new for you

  • Try out Zoom in advance, ideally with a friend who can help you – it takes away the stress, and lets you learn peacefully first.

And on the day

  • Make sure the name you wish the Clerk to use is on the screen. If more than one person is present, please include names of all Friends.
  • Connect 10 minutes or so ahead of the scheduled time of Meeting so if you need help, you can contact someone who can help (there will be a Help Desk number for YM22).
  • Check that your microphone is turned on, but muted unless you are speaking.
  • Try to have a few minutes of quiet preparation ahead of the start of the session.
  • Stay in that worshipful space throughout the whole meeting, especially if the clerks leave the main meeting to write a minute in a break out room.

Queries for preparing the space you are in (either on your own or with other Friends)

  • Is this a quiet space? Is this a space where I can be quiet and still? If I unmute, will there be background noise?
  • What will Friends see on the screen? Does it look like and feel like a worshipful space? Might a few flowers or a copy of This We Can Say help set the scene?
  • Do others in the location understand that you are Meeting for Worship for Business?
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YM22 DiA

Documents in Advance

Each national committee, working group and associated body writes a report for Documents in Advance (DiA), which consists of:

  • Part A - reports on the work of the committee during the preceding year.
  • Part B (included only if needed) presents questions or proposals for consideration at Yearly Meeting.

You can read more about the business processes for YM 22 here.

You can download the complete Documents in Advance here (updated 25 May 2022).

You can find links to individual reports below (aqua text).

Reports from AYM Officers

  • AYM Treasurer’s Report to Yearly Meeting 2022 - report
  • AYM Archivist Report to Yearly Meeting 2022 - report

Reports from AYM committees and Working Groups

  • The Australian Friend Committee - Part A 
  • Australia North Korea Peace Support Group - Part A
  • Australian Quaker Narrative Embroidery Committee: Friends in Stitches - Part A
  • AYM Working Party on the Role of the AYM Secretary  - Part A
  • Backhouse Lecture Committee -  Part A
  • Child Protection Committee - Part A
  • Child Protection and Other Safety Concerns Working Group - Part A & B
  • Children & Junior Young Friends Committee - Part A & B
  • Climate Emergency and Species Extinction Working Group - Part A & B
  • First Nations Peoples Concerns Committee - Part A 
  • Friends Online Recognised Meeting - Part A
  • Handbook Revision Committee - Part A & B
  • Information Technology Committee -  Part A
  • Quaker Peace & Legislation Committee -  Part A
  • Quaker World Connections Committee - Part A
  • Peace & Social Justice Fund Committee -  Part A 
  • Publications Committee -  Part A & B
  • Rainbow Friends and Allies - Part A
  • Relationship between QSA and AYM Working Group - Part A & B
  • Safe Quaker Community Committee -  Part A 
  • The Sanctuary Management Committee -  Part A 
  • Thanksgiving Fund Committee - Part A
  • Yearly Meeting Organising Committee -  Part A 

AYM Representative Reports

  • Australian Palestine Advocacy Network Report - Part A
  • Australian Religious Response to Climate Change Report - Part A
  • Independent and Peaceful Australia Network Report - Part A 
  • National Council of Churches in Australia Ecumenical Report -  Part A 
  • National Council of Churches in Australia Safe Churches Network Report -  Part A

Reports from Associated Bodies

  • Australian Friends Fellowship of Healing Report -  Part A 
  • Friends Peace Teams-Asia West Pacific Report -  Part A
  • The Friends’ School Report - Part A 
  • Friends World Committee for Consultation - Asia West Pacific Section Report -  Part A
  • Quaker Service Australia Report -  Part A
  • Silver Wattle Quaker Centre Report -  Part A 
  • Werona (Kangaroo Valley Friends Properties) -  Part A
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Reports with Part A only

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AYM Archivists' Report

In August 2021 I accepted the nomination as the incoming AYM Archivist, as Alan Clayton stepped down after many years of service. I thank Alan for his service and contributions to the Society over the years he held the role.



I have used as my starting point in the Archivist role, the points mentioned in Alan Clayton’s 2021 Report for Documents in Advance:

Activities to be completed:

  a) the need for the meetings at all levels (from Local Meetings to Yearly Meeting) to develop and maintain a retention/disposal schedule for records that would identify:

          i. records for permanent retention;

          ii. records which should be kept for a period of time (particularly financial records); and

          iii. records that do not need to be preserved beyond their normal use.

  b) measures for providing for the physical safety of records;

  c) measures relating to records that are stored in electronic form; and

  d) measures relating to documents of a confidential nature.

Additional tasks provided in accordance with the revised Role Description for AYM Archivist in 2021:

  e) Promoting a wider awareness of the heritage of the Society

I have worked towards addressing the above items.

a) develop and maintain a retention/disposal schedule for records – IN PROGRESS

  • The AYM Archivist communicates with RM Archivists advising and assisting them with the records of the Regional Meetings regarding changing legal requirements to retain certain records for longer periods of time and more records requiring permanent retention. This is due in part to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (RCIRCSA) and National Redress Scheme (NRS); however other record classes have had significant changes in retention as well in recent years.  It is important to achieve clarity in relation to these issues and for all Meeting Archivists to be consistent in their practices.
  • The focus for 2021-2022 has been on seeking a new Retention Schedule for the Regional Meetings and AYM that cover these many changes in recordkeeping as a single source. This way we can ensure each meeting (Regional and Australian) is aware of their recordkeeping requirements and is compliant with government approved retention time frames (which currently differ from State to State for some record classes). The General Retention and Disposal Schedule will be a single point of truth for record keeping and to comply with statutory legislation (State and Federal) including current recommended practices as directed by RCIRCSA and are approved by relevant Government authorities. National Archives of Australia is part of working group that is currently working on what will become a new streamlined National GRDS that satisfies all these concerns. It is anticipated that AYM will be able to utilise this schedule upon completion.

A NATIONAL SCHEDULE project is underway with all State and Federal Archives being involved; once completed AYM will adopt the National Schedule as approved the NAA.  Estimated time of delivery is 2022-2023.

b)  measures for providing for the physical safety of records - DONE

      • Another point of activity has been updating Regional Archivists Procedure Manuals with new guides and resources on the creation and safe storage of society records. The AYM Archivist provided updated copies of the following guides:  Preservation & Storage of records (General;, Preserving paper records; Integrated Pest Management; Arrangement & Description; Creating and Managing records, Disposing of old records; Box listing; How to document the destruction of records; Helpful tips for taking Meeting Minutes; Managing Back-up copies; General information on Caring for collections and the Principals of Recordkeeping.  All guides are based on Industry best practice as recommended by National Archives of Australia, Australian Society of Archivists, National Archives of America, and UK National Archives). A webpage on the AYM website (in the Regional Meeting Resources section) also now lists these Guides: . Friends need to be logged in to the website access this information.
      • Regional Meeting Archivists and AYM Secretary were provided the Australian Society of Archivists: Vicarious Trauma & Immediate Support resource list and information on training available. AYM acknowledges that vicarious trauma exists within the archival profession and that prevention requires education, support and awareness.  As Quakers our testimonies and concerns may bring us, as a Faith community and as individuals, in contact with situations that can cause trauma, persons suffering from trauma or for our Archivists and Elders & Clerks dealing with records that reflect these. It is important to acknowledge that trauma is pervasive and affects everyone. AYM has been proactive in providing information and training materials about what this means for our Archivists and how they can be better support people and themselves when dealing with records in their collections. The mental preparedness and care of Archivists is recognised as having an impact on the physical care and security of records.

c) measures relating to records that are stored in electronic form – IN PROGRESS

      • All RM Archivists were provided with a link and invited to undertake free record keeping training and awareness package called Get started with records management which is a Government created, interactive online program showing how we manage work-related information, data and records in a digital (and paper based) world. No responses were received from RM Archivists as to their participation in this free course.

d) measures relating to documents of a confidential nature – IN PROGRESS.

      • Provided feedback and information to the Working group RE YM.21.34 Item not agreed upon through the YM21 Business Process – Child Protection and Other Safety Concerns Working Group – continuation - 'Yearly Meeting asks the incoming AYM Archivist to progress the Confidential Records and Archives Guidelines for YM22'.

The AYM Archivist recommended the document be called a Code of Conduct for the Care of Children and Vulnerable persons in the Religious Society of Friends (a more appropriate working title) and to start afresh with new content and format. It was recommended that the new document does not include any references to recordkeeping as the retention, disposal and security of records is currently covered by the NRS and Royal Commission (RCIRCSA) recordkeeping guidelines whilst we await the outcome of the National Recordkeeping/Retention Scheduling project.

      • The National Recordkeeping/Retention Scheduling project will take 12-18 months and is currently in the consultative stage with relevant stakeholders. The recommendation is for the Society to adopt the standard National Schedule envisaged to be the outcome of this project as it will cover all relevant record classes for child protection/vulnerable persons among other relevant records classes; it will bring all 7 Quaker regions/meetings under a single schedule (and record keeping jurisdiction). It will become the cornerstone document to which any other AYM document may reference in relation to record keeping/disposal requirements; therefore, any other documents will not contradict the Recordkeeping Schedule and all documents will be complimentary to each other. The Recordkeeping Schedule will be a single point of truth for recordkeeping requirements. All Meeting Archivists will be provided a copy for their meetings’ use once available.

e) Promoting a wider awareness of the Heritage of the Society – ON GOING

  • AYM joined the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) as an Organisation in order to promote a wider awareness of the heritage of the Society in Australia and to provide support and professional development with opportunities for ASA training and accessing ASA resources for all Regional Meeting Archivists. AYM and our Regional Meetings are unique, in that we have in the most part, non-custodial archival collections.  A small percentage of permanent holdings are maintained by each Regional Meeting, Silver Wattle and AYM.
  • AYM Archivist attended the Special Interest Group (SIG) for Religious Institutions & Collections now known as the Faith Traditions Group (FTSIG) at the Annual Conference for the Australian Society of Archivists in Brisbane in September 2021. The meeting provided an opportunity to meet with other Faith Organisations Archivists and to promote an awareness of Friends.  Many attending did not know anything about the Society or that Quakers still existed! NRS record keeping was a hot topic of discussion.
  • RM Archivists were requested to nominate courses of interest on offer from the Australian Society of Archivists. Participation in industry led courses not only helps to broaden and update our pool of knowledge, it also makes our organisation more visible to other members of the ASA. No responses were received from RM Archivists as to their interests in participating or undertaking any professional development opportunities. We respectfully acknowledge that all Archivists are volunteers.
  • AYM Archivist contributed an article to the ASA Faith Traditions Special Interest Group (FTSIG) online publication called Blessed Collections to be published in June 2022. The article briefly covered the structure and recordkeeping processes of the Society whilst also promoting our unique Australian Quaker Narrative Tapestry project briefly as an example of Storytelling and recording Quaker history through extensive research and artistic interpretation. The article is titled ‘An introduction to Australian Quaker Collections’ and is hoped to be published in the July 2022 edition

OTHER TASKS for 2021-2022: 

  1. Update the AYM recordkeeping policy. It has been quite some time since the last review of the AYM recordkeeping policy was done. An updated version reflecting changing needs and practices is now required. The new Draft Policy is attached. (APPENDIX 1)
  2. Handbook revision of section: 5.2.7 AYM Archivist. In line with a new draft Recordkeeping policy, a revision of the Handbook was also required as it has also been quite some time since the last review of section 5.2.7 AYM Archivist was completed. An updated version reflecting changing needs and practices is now required so all documents regarding duties and archival processes are consistent and in line with current Archival practices. This revision appears in the AYM Handbook Revision Committee’s Report for DiA22.
  3. The Silver Wattle Board expressed interest in being included in the Regional Meeting Archivist’s group as they embark on creating their own small Quaker archive. Their collection will be significantly different to the Regional Meeting and AYM collections which are largely non-custodial and records based. Board Member, David Johnston has received the same information guides as our RM Archivists to assist the Silver Wattle team with their endeavour.

Saadia Thomson, AYM Archivist

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AYM Treasurer’s Report

AYM Treasurer's Report to Yearly Meeting 2022

This is the first year that I am reporting as the Treasurer. Roger Sawkins, the past Treasurer, is a member of the Finance Committee and his continued presence is valued.

  1. Annual General Meeting The Annual General Meeting took place in January. The audited accounts for 2020/2021 were accepted at that meeting and the auditor reappointed.
  2. Investments and cash flow Financial markets settled during 2021, and there were increases the values of assets held. The Sanctuary in Wahroonga was revalued at a higher value and our managed funds also increased in value. 2022 may be a very different year.

Our cash flow comes from the Quotas paid by Regional Meetings which again were lower. The Federal Government Covid support has ceased so there will no longer be that offset. However, I expect for the next year or so, travel may be less as we get used to living in a hybrid online world. This will contribute to lower costs.

We also receive investment income and was a lot higher than in past years. This was mainly because some of our managed investment funds sold assets and booked realised capital gains which was distributed as income.

  1. Bequests During the year we received a large bequest of $1 million and another of $30,000. These are now invested and part of the Thanksgiving Fund.
  2. Carbon offsets payment Our carbon offset provision for the 2020/2021 financial year has been paid to Greenfleet.
  3. Update of the accounting system During the year the accounting system will be moved onto Xero. This will provide additional functionality and allow multiple users. It will also aid the flow of information to the auditor.
  4. Finance Committee members The Finance Committee membership has changed. The committee members are Jane Drexler, Treasurer; Ray Brindle and Peter Williams, Victoria RM; Roger Sawkins, Queensland RM; Steve Smith and Robin Walpole, Tasmania RM.

Matters for Consideration                       

We have no matters for consideration by Yearly Meeting.


Jane Drexler

AYM Treasurer

March 2022

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AYM Working Party on the Role and Work of the AYM Secretary



Following the recommendation of a Working Group asked to develop Terms of Reference for those reviewing support needed by the AYM Secretary, the AYM Nominations Committee discerned and brought forward the names of Emily Chapman-Searle, Jude Pembleton and Margaret Clark to serve on a Working Party on the Role and Work of the AYM Secretary.  On 7 March 2022, these names were agreed to by the urgent decision-making process of Australia Yearly Meeting, to serve for a period of four to six months.

The Working Party met for the first time on 14 March 2022.

The Working Party will hold an Explanatory Session prior to Yearly Meeting 2022, to discuss with Friends possible ways forward.

The Working Party will deliver its report and recommendations prior to Standing Committee in September 2022, for their discernment.

In addition, the Working Party has been asked to consider short-term employment options to assist with the work of the current AYM Secretary for the remainder of her term (until the end of YM23), and if needed, to write a suitable role description.  The Working Party is undertaking this work in time for discernment by Standing Committee just prior to Yearly Meeting 2022.


The Working Party’s Terms of Reference, as well as tables which list the current work of the AYM Secretary can be found in APPENDIX 2 (which you can see here).



Submitted by: Emily Chapman-Searle, Jude Pembleton, Margaret Clark                                       


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Australia North Korea Peace Support Group



 1] We used to have a group meeting every one or two months, but discontinued due to lack of any happening under the Covid situation.

2] Had a web meeting between Australia and US Friends re North Korea on Dec 3, 2021. The US Friends which had an agricultural aid project in North Korea had faced travel ban and discontinuing communication with North Korea for a long time, and we exchanged information on each other’s activities, and got to know each other.

3] Adrian Glamorgan, a member of this group, became Secretary FWCC Asia West Pacific Section. Adrian came up with an idea of organising a webinar among various Religious Groups on North Korea. However, we decided not to after some discussion.


Unfortunately, not many activities are possible in relation to North Korea under the current circumstance of no communication.

Some of us intend to continue studying the North Korea situation and carry on some information sessions in the future.

Once, and if, the Covid situation improves, and North Korea opens up, we may restart with what is easiest, i.e., another study tour. Other opportunities may be explored.

Given the current insufficient activity, we have decided to lay down the official status of our group. We will remain an informal group for now, and become a formal one when there are more activities.



Committee members: Sejin Pak, Wilma Davidson, Sue Ennis, Dale Hess, Rae Litting, Rowe Morrow, Roger Sawkins and David Swain.


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Australian Friend Committee



The Australian Friend committee has again published four issues in the last year. The committee communicates by email to review contributions for the next issue, communicates with the authors and agrees on the final contribution. This has been a smooth process in the last year.

The Australian Friend Committee is a hosted committee, hosted by NSWRM. The Committee announced early 2021 that it wished to lay down its task. No Regional Meeting came forward to take over the responsibility.

At YM2021, Friends from other Regional Meetings were encouraged to join the committee. Margaret Clarke, CRQ and Peter Williams, VRM have joined the committee. Garry Duncan has stood down from committee and Wies Schuiringa will do so as well. Rae Litting and David Swain will continue.

It might be useful if there were correspondents from other Regional Meetings on the Committee to assist in identifying issues and potential writers from around Australia.

Nominations for the Australian Friend Committee need to come through a Regional Meeting nominations committee.

We encourage Friends to keep writing for the Australian Friend. Support is available to develop your article and for editing.


The Australian Friend Committee now has membership from three different Regional Meetings and is therefore not a hosted committee by NSWRM anymore. After some communications with the AYM nominations committee, the AYM Secretary and the Handbook Revision Committee, it was decided that the Handbook Revision Committee would have carriage of re-defining the Australian Friend Committee within the AYM committee structures.

The proposal is in the Handbook Revision Committee’s report in Documents in Advance 2022.



Committee members: Wies Schuiringa, Rae Litting, Margaret Clark, Peter Williams and David Swain.


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Australian Friends Fellowship of Healing Report




Our primary activity is holding Meetings for Healing around the country.  Friends in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Sydney, the Northern Rivers and Blue Mountains in NSW meet regularly, at different intervals.  Our meetings vary in size from 1 or 2 Friends to 10 or 12.

We have a weekly newsletter that is circulated with a prayer list created from requests for healing from Friends all over the country.  There has been a great sense of community building as a result of the sharing this enables.  Sometimes we are holding as many as 25 loved ones in the healing light.

An in-person healing gathering at Silver Wattle Quaker Centre was planned for March 2022.  In the event, the omicron crisis meant we decided to delay this gathering until people feel more comfortable travelling.

Detailed reports from our healing meetings as well as an update about the Home of Healing in Hobart will be presented at our Yearly Meeting gathering at an Explanatory Session.

Committee member: Elspeth Hull, Convenor.

AFFH Charitable Trust Trustees: Alison Imbriotis, Jackie Perkins



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Australian Palestine Advocacy Network Report

Useful APAN resources

Key points of reporting and discussion

  • Australian bi-partisan politics must stop retreating behind supporting the two-state solution which is increasingly unlikely to happen.
  • ‘IHRA language’ – The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) have developed a definition of antisemitism and criminal acts which are antisemitic. This is a very contentious issue, not only for supporters of Palestine, but also academics and journalists. A Guardian article of 30 November 2020 is useful:

APAN membership includes 36 organisations (15 large, 21 small) and some 700 individual members (564 at the time of their annual report), many of whom joined this year.

APAN now has three part-time paid positions focusing on: policy, community development and working with young people, and a media/communications person who is starting in late October.  APAN receives some funding through a Trust and has decided to use some of it for staffing costs. 

Details of APAN activity are in their annual report, and elsewhere on the website, and include:

  • APAN facilitated various online training events including: Palestine 101 webinar series, writing letters to the editor and social media training. These events have had over 100 people in total attending.  The Palestine 101 YouTube videos hosted by Jafar Ramini are at
  • A small group met with ABC executives over the language used in reporting the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. APAN explained that they were using the term ‘apartheid’ and they oppose the IHRA terminology. APAN felt that the meeting was productive and they have been subsequently contacted by the ABC for pre-publication comment on some relevant articles.

David Purnell is the AYM Representative to APAN

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Australian Quaker Narrative Embroidery Committee



Panels completed

  • Cherish our place - completed 2021
  • The Friends’ School - completed 2021
  • Dunera Boys, completed in England in 2022 and apparently being sent to Australia


  • Brisbane Library
  • Kelvin Grove Meeting House
  • Lyceum Club, Brisbane, and lecture.

Prospective exhibition plans in progress

  • Broken Hill - Zoom meeting held with Broken Hill artists and community  workers.
  • Australian Wool Museum, Geelong. Dialogue in progress


  • Brisbane at Kelvin Grove
  • Four sessions of Workshops for grade 9/10 Textile class at The Friends School.

2022 Calendars: 75 sold.

  • Trialed a process of nominating ‘sales agents’ in each capital city. Some issues with collecting funds.

Regional Committees

  • New and enthusiastic group formed in Brisbane following the visit from Co-Convener, Sally O’Wheel, to Brisbane in April 2021.
  • Regional Committees in all other states have collapsed.


  • Slow ongoing work on embroidery.


  • COVID is slowing development because we haven’t been able to travel, e.g. to go to Broken Hill or organise workshops or exhibitions.
  • Lack of designers, lack of stitchers.
  • Ageing demographic.
  • Pray for new blood and new enthusiasm among Friends.



Committee members: Tessa Spratt, VRM and Sally O’Wheel TRM. (Co-Conveners); RM Correspondents: Wilma Davidson, CRQ; ellan, NSWRM; Saadai Thomson, Gillian Risdale, QRM


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Australian Religious Response to Climate Change Report

I cannot speak for ARRCC as I am involved at the State level – there is no structure to my ‘role’ as AYM representative.

So, I draw Friends attention to the ARRCC Annual report 2021: The report states in part:

  • Quakers make up 3.6% of membership.
  • Yearly Meeting, three Regional Meetings and one Local Meeting provided financial support:
  • National organisation membership: AYM
  • State organisation membership: CRM, SANTRM, VRM
  • Local Organisation membership: Wahroonga Meeting

Friends listed as being involved as individuals:

  • Peta Cox – DSLM/CWWG is on the board
  • Sue Ennis – VRM – Divestment Working Group
  • Maxine Barry – TRM – State meeting group
  • Wies Schuiringa – NSWRM – State meeting group
  • Gerry Fahey – VRM – State meeting group

Many Friends have been involved indirectly via the letters to the PM campaign and by attending vigils outside MP’s offices.  We also know Friends are involved in other States: Emily Chapman-Searle, Yarrow Woodley, Peri Coleman – SANTRM; David Shorthouse, Kay de Vogel – CRM.

As the incoming ARRCC representative, I did contact Regional Meetings and have had a follow up contact, this has resulted in a small increase in support in some Meetings. 

Given the brevity of my reporting of the achievements/ Activities of ARRCC above, I am reflecting on the request from the YM Secretary, in calling for this report: ‘But this year, … it may be more important than usual, for Friends to know what activities ARRCC has been involved in and how we benefit from our representation with them’.

Perhaps the question we need to be asking, is how can ARRCC benefit from our involvement with them?  I am often reminded by Friends that we are small in number, so we need to be strategic about how and where we put our energies. 

Working with and supporting ARRCC seems to be a very effective way to engage our energy.  What more can we do?  All Meetings can become organisational members.  The amount asked for a passionate organisation membership is $120.00 per year.  Given that AYM pays $1843 per year to the NCCA, hopefully we can consider paying more to ARRCC, at both YM and RM level.

We can also become individual members.

How else can we become more engaged with ARRCC?

Sue Ennis (VRM), who is involved in the ARRCC Finance and Divestment sessions, also notes that one of the challenges appears to be that people in general and people of faith have difficulty understanding how many bank, utility companies, insurance companies and superannuation funds invest in fossil fuels.  Attending the ARRCC sessions helps us to make sense of this and can be the impetus to make changes in our finances.  Friends who have the means, can also take part in divestment actions.

All Meetings can become organisational members.  The amount asked for a passionate organisation membership is $120.00 per year.  Given that AYM pays a contribution of $1843 per year to the NCCA, hopefully we can consider paying more to ARRCC, at both AYM and RM level.

All Worshipping groups, Recognised Meetings and Local Meetings also become organisational members. We can also become individual members.

Gerry Fahey is the AYM Representative to ARRCC

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Backhouse Lecture Committee



Backhouse Lecture 2021: Because travel restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic necessitated some hasty re-planning, the 2021 “lecture” took the form of a panel discussion. The video, transcript, and a series of reflection/discussion questions arising from the panel discussion are now available on the AYM website.

Backhouse Lecture 2022: Informed by concerns of possible ongoing travel restrictions, the nominated lecturer for 2023, Yarrow Goodley, was asked to instead be the 2022 lecturer. Yarrow accepted that invitation and, in collaboration with other activists, has committed to producing a written version of their lecture as well as providing an in-person presentation. We appreciate Yarrow’s willingness to carry out these tasks in such a compressed time frame.

Backhouse Lecture 2023: American Friend, Jon Watts, (initially proposed as lecturer for 2021) has agreed to be our 2023 lecturer. Jon was instrumental in producing the Quakerspeak videos and has used his musical and other creative talents to tell of Quakers to a wide and diverse audience around the world. Following the request from the Backhouse Lecture CommitteeL to Standing Committee that, in light of the financial hardship involved, AYM provide an honorarium to Jon Watts (BLC 2020 Report to SC) and SC’s advice (SC1.20.12) that application be made to the Thanksgiving Fund, we have submitted such an application to that committee.

Backhouse Lecture 2024 and beyond: We are continuing with an ongoing process of discernment to identify possible future lecturers who can bring what we as Quakers proceeding into the middle part of the 21st century need to hear.


While the pandemic restrictions seem to be easing, we were advised by SC to keep in mind the possibility that we may not be free of them and so need to be prepared with alternative arrangements if required.

Our negotiations with Jon Watts regarding how he will leave us with a permanent legacy of his ministry, have led us to question whether, in this world of increasingly electronic and online communication, a text-based version of the Backhouse Lecture is necessarily the best or only form in which the message from the lecturer is permanently recorded.

We are also questioning whether the present copyright provisions provide the best conditions under which the message of the Backhouse Lecture can be a form of ministry to the world. Together with the Publications Committee, we are exploring other possibilities, in particular the use of a Creative Commons licence, endeavouring to discern what may be potentially lost and what gained by such a change. (And, incidentally, appreciating the value of membership overlap between the two committees.)

Jon Watts’ suggestion of an honorarium has led us to reflect that it is important not to limit our choice of Backhouse Lecturer to those who are in the fortunate position to be able to take time out from their regular lives, with no financial penalty being involved due to, say, loss of their usual income for some period.



Committee Members: Kerry O’Regan, Convener (SANTRM); Tracy Bourne (CRQ), Evan Gallagher (CRQ), Jude Pembleton (QRM), Taisoo Kim Watson (QRM)


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Child Protection Committee



We have organised on line meetings of Child Protection Contact Friends (CPCFs) every 6 – 8 weeks.  At each meeting, CPC Fs have an opportunity to raise issues of concern and there is always an information sharing time on some aspect of our Australian Quaker Child Protection Policy and Procedures. CPCFs suggested some changes to the annual child protection audit form in order to make it clearer, and the AYM Secretary has implemented these changes for the 2022 audit.

We have been meeting regularly with the Children & JYF Committee in order to discover ways we can collaborate and thus enhance the well-being and inclusion of children, young people and families in our Quaker communities. We are currently in the process of adding the importance of this close working relationship with the Children and JYF Committee into the role description for the AYM Child Protection Committee contained in the Child Protection Policy and Procedures.

We convened an on line workshop in January 2022 in collaboration with the Children and JYF Committee for Quaker Approved Child Carers. 23 Friends attended from all but one of the Regional Meetings. Content included a focus on understanding the legal responsibility of each Regional Meeting for children in their care, together with an emphasis on promoting a welcoming and inclusive environment for children, young people and families. 

In order to increase the understanding of the safety framework in place for Australian Quakers to care for and support our children, we plan to offer a workshop that will be open to all Friends later in 2022, again in collaboration with the AYM Children and JYF Committee.

The Ten Principles for Child Safe Organisations comprise an important part of this safety framework. These were endorsed by YM21 and can be downloaded from the Quakers Australia website for display.


Care of children in our Quaker community is the responsibility of all of us.

It is an ongoing challenge for us to provide a nurturing and welcoming space for children and their families and also to ensure we are meeting our legal responsibilities. This challenge highlights the overlapping areas of concern of the AYM Children and JYF Committee and the Child Protection Committee.

Our Child Protection Policy and Procedures needs regular review due to changes in the legislative, social and the AYM environments. The current policy was written in 2017, with the Appendix approved by YM21 to take account of developments since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

When the work of the AYM Child Protection and Other Safety Concerns Working Group is completed, it will be timely for our Committee to review the Child Protection Policy to ensure that it takes account of the Working Group’s Code of Conduct and any other of their recommendations.

The current Committee (Lorraine Thomson and Ronis Chapman) took on the work of the Child Protection Committee for an interim period.  We have advised Nominations Committee that we are willing to continue until YM23 if Nominations Committee is not able to find other Friends for the Committee.



Committee members: Lorraine Thomson, Ronis Chapman (CRM-Canberra and Region Quakers)


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Introducing and Reflecting on Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC)

According to our World Office, the purpose of Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) is to:

  • encourage fellowship and understanding among all the branches of the Religious Society of Friends.  FWCC brings Quakers together in multiple ways to celebrate God in our lives, to gather the Quaker voice, build networks to address issues of our time, and to unite Friends within our diversity. ( as at 10 March 2022)

There are many active verbs – to encourage, bring together, celebrate, gather the Quaker voice, build networks in order to address issues, unite Friends.  It’s quite a brief, and the World Office does it on a shoestring along with the Sections of Europe & Middle East; Africa; Americas; and (with even less of a shoestring) Asia West Pacific Section.

Having been a Friend in my own Meeting, it took me a long time in membership to grasp what might be meant when we say “FWCC,” because a number of separate FWCC entities are in play, including:

  1. National committees in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australian meetings
  2. FWCC Asia West Pacific Section (FWCC AWPS), currently registered as an incorporated association in South Australia
  3. FWCC World Office
  4. Central Executive Committee, the trust overseeing the FWCC World Office

For purposes of clarity here are occasions when I find it easy to call FWCC AWPS, “Quakers in Asia West Pacific”!

A New Secretary’s Reflection on emergent themes

Beginning as Secretary on 1 July 2021, I was able to build on the longterm relationship-building in our Section by my predecessor, Ronis Chapman. Since starting I’ve focused on actively listening, connecting with Meetings and individuals across the Section, in order to sense and reflect on the life of the Spirit amongst us, and where this might be calling us.  In my own mind and heart, several themes have emerged:

  1. continuing to develop Section-wide relationships, including the Friends Peace Team Asia West Pacific, schools, meetings, isolated Friends, other peace churches, and interfaith opportunities.  These relationships are strengthened through practicing active awareness, care, concern, appreciation, curiosity, service and mutual support. 
  2. The need and opportunity to build capacity in Meetings and on our own Section Committee.  This capacity includes building understanding of Quaker insights and processes; technical capacity in technology, partnering with Quaker educational institutions (adult education and schools) serving in the Asia West Pacific, working with interfaith groups, and engaging  seasoned Friends whom have served on the Section Committee over the years, and so have built up friendships, relationships, knowledge and insights that other Friends may wish to draw from.
  3. orientation around language diversity
  4. developing communications through the Secretary’s “Weekly Round,”the expanded two-monthly Secretary’s Newsletter, “Quaker Asia West Pacific Circle,” our website, a new youtube channel, Section Committee.We have a Section Committee gathering planned for this year – it seems likely it will be based in zoom, but last year’s success points to the value of us meeting this way
  5. to identify suitable common concerns that allow us to unite faith-in-action, allowing for different concerns and limits.
  6. Fundraising to lengthen the shoestring
  7. The seventh theme is about spiritual nourishment,

These are all elaborated in a paper I’ve drafted. 

From all I can say this: FWCC, like Love, is an active verb.  And this is how it’s summarised on our website:

Answering God’s call to universal love, the Asia West-Pacific Section brings Friends of varying Quaker traditions and cultures together to celebrate our Quaker heritage, to care for one another and to work collectively on international concerns.

In two years’ time – covid, climate and rumours of war aside - Quakers around the world will be invited to attend our World Plenary gathering, to explore the theme Living the Spirit of Ubuntu: Responding with hope to God’s call to cherish creation – and one another. Some will travel to southern Africa, others will comprise a large component online. No doubt the anniversary of George Fox’s 400th birthday will also spark reflection on our beginnings, and the unfoldings of a common future. 

Please see APPENDIX 4: FWCC-AWPS Report, PART II & PART III for additional reporting (download at the bottom of this page).

In Friendship,

Adrian Glamorgan \

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First Nations Peoples Concerns Committee



Since our last Yearly Meeting, the Committee has:

  • provided support and honouriums for the CORE Webinar by Aunty Christine
  • forwarded  funding requests  for a Nursery proposal  and assistance in  touring remote communities in Northern QLD to discern grass roots input into the current Sovereignty debate from Judulu Neil of the Djungan Clan  to QSA and the AYM PSJ committee respectively
  • written letters to the Australian Human Rights Commission in relation to the appalling legislation and policing practices in the Northern Territory in relation to youth detention, taking a highly punitive  approach to minor offences rather than supporting and financing a restorative justice approach that has seen to achieve major benefits  where it has been trialled both in NSW and internationally
  • sent a second letter to ABC’s Four Corners to request a follow-up report on the treatment of youth detainees in the NT after its initial expose´ of what was happening at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre
  • sent a letter to Senator Ley in relation to the inadequate Heritage protection of important First Nations Cultural sites at both the State / Territory level and Federally, in relation to the failure of the Minister and ACT to enquire into the proposed destruction of Ainslie Foothill Cultural Site for housing development

The Committee made a submission to the Australian Senate enquiry into fracking in the NT.

The Committee also made the following donations on behalf of Friends:

  • $500 Honorarium for Aunty Christine
  • $2000 to the Ingkintja Men’s facility in Alice Springs, for towelling for showering facilities.
  • $2000 from our Funds to the ANTaR fund to assist Uncle Lex meet the request from the Wilcannia Community and
  • $3000 to the Kambri Scholarship at ANU


The call for truth telling, Sovereignty, Treaties reparation and acknowledgement of the oldest continuing culture on earth having a special and unique place on this continent must be heeded if we wish to heal and walk forward together.

The on-going destruction of heritage sites shows how little progress we have made.

The lack of attention and acceptance of the wisdom and knowledge of Original Australians by governments and many settler Australians reflects our inability to come to terms with the past.

This is most telling, and detrimental inattention is preventing us from creating a sustainable future for the Land and for all Australians.

We must integrate our pre-1788 and post-1788 histories if we wish to build an integrated sustainable future.



Committee members: Chris Hughes and Sharee Harper (Co - Conveners) (VRM); John McMahon (VRM); Larissa Barritt (YF), Correspondents: Clare O’Leary (WARM); Sitara Gare (QLDRM); Elspeth Hull (NSWRM); Ann Felton (CRM); Katherine Purnell (TRM); Harald Ehmann (SANTRM); Gedda Fortey (CORE); Jackie Perkins (QSA)


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Friends Online Recognised Meeting



During 2020, our then monthly online meeting moved to become weekly as face-to-face meetings became difficult with Covid-19 restrictions. The meeting prospered and became a Recognised Meeting under the care of NSW Regional Meeting. Through 2021 and now into 2022, as the pandemic and associated restrictions have eased, the weekly online meeting has maintained attendance numbers. While the online meeting is under the care of NSW Regional Meeting, we have regular attenders from Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, NSW and the UK. They come from rural and regional areas as well as from cities and towns. This is the only Quaker meeting some participants attend, while others enjoy both a face-to-face meeting and our online meeting. Weekly attendance is usually approx. 20-25 friends, but regular participants probably number twice that with many not able to attend every week. The presence of the Friends Online Recognised Meeting on the Australian Quaker website attracts many people wishing to find out about Quakers. A number have stayed and are now regarded at Attenders.


What makes the Friends Online Recognised Meeting both exciting and challenging is the geographical spread, the wide variation of experience of Quakers and Quakerism, and the diversity of ages, spiritual needs and desires. How can we best meet the needs of our meeting members online, and those seekers who come to meeting to see if Quakers meet their needs?

Over several months in 2021, we held Quaker Learning sessions on the testimonies after Worship. Six “new” Attenders participated in the 2021 online Yearly Meeting, and a couple have attended the Silver Wattle online Quaker Basics course, while some members of the meeting participated in the recent Raising Peace Festival. Several organised a four-week online Poetry and Contemplation group to explore contemplative practices further during March 2022.

We have also developed a team who host the weekly online meetings. Hosting involves both some technical knowledge and an understanding and a sensitivity to guide the meeting spiritually. The team is core to the strength of our online community. This year, our team has begun planning ways to strengthen online community. We hope to develop learning sessions to deepen attenders’ understanding of Quaker history and practice, and to support their broader spiritual development.

We are encouraging more members to share their own learnings. We are also exploring structures to develop our online meeting – particularly concerning Pastoral care, but also considering background requirements such as confidentially managing email lists, developing Zoom Host skills, and using “chat rooms” more creatively. We will invite more people into this development process, to be as inclusive as possible. “Newer” friends provide a fresh outlook and energy, and their involvement, along with that of more experienced friends, is leading to the positive development of our online meeting.

We give thanks for the way the Friends Online Recognised Meeting has developed and look forward to the challenges of serving our community in the online environment.

We recommend that more groups, Regional Meetings, etc., develop online meetings, at different times of the week, in different ways. They can be invigorating.



Submitted by: Peter Hillery, Susan Freeman, Michelle Peterie, and Gordon Brown

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Friends Peace Teams-Asia West Pacific Report

Update 19 May 2022: Read the Explanatory Session report here.



With Covid 19 still rampant, all training (Cultures of Peace and the Power of Goodness) and communication has taken place on-line. We have Kins Aparece, based in the Philippines, who is the Coordinator of all our work, which stretches from South Korea, The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, West Papua, Nepal, Myanmar and the North Caucuses (Georgia, Chechnya and Ukraine). Kins and other workers are very generous with offering workshops to Australian Quaker groups, AVP groups and even a Women’s Club in Brisbane.

Significant collaboration has taken place between our work and that of FWCC/AWPS, which is heartening, as both organisations are working for peace in the same region. We are very grateful to FWCC/AWPS for connecting us with the Myanmar Worship Group. 

AYM Funds have been allocated from both the Thanksgiving Fund and Peace and Social Justice funds. This has enabled the completion of the permaculture project at Peace Place in Pati, Java and expanded the work of Peace Libraries in two locations in Java. Arif from Jogjakarta said Peace Place is a very different place — “it’s like heaven on Earth”. His Islamic group in Jogjakarta have requested training, as well as the Global Mennonite Conference. Petrus’ team is offering workshops for groups of up to 150 - 200. 

The Joglo Preschool at Pati has become a demonstration site for active learning, especially the full integration of children with a variety of abilities and needs. 

A worker in West Papua continues the work of Cultures of Peace under isolated and difficult conditions. Valerie Joy has offered to be on a support group to meet with Selly on a monthly basis.

A Share and Tell session was conducted on Zoom at AYM in 2021, and this will again be offered in 2022.

Online Power of Goodness is building the confidence of young adult facilitators from around the world as they feel successful in facilitating these global events. Challenging themes, such as “Living by the Fruits of One’s Own Labour”, have kept the events vital. 

The Clerk of the AWP-FPT was Jane Drexler (TRM) until other Quaker work and personal issues intervened. We now have Pia Reierson (NSW RM) as Co-Clerk and Taisoo Kim Watson (QRM) has joined the working group. Other Australian Friends are involved with the work, but this needs to be expanded, particularly with Young Friends becoming involved.

The AYM Secretary publishes articles from Peaceways in her Newsletter on occasion. /

The website is well maintained and Friends can find exciting reading here: and sign up to receive the news, including announcement to the next online Power of Goodness event. The Working Group has approved funds to print and post “Peaceways” to Australian Friends for an initial period.


FPT-AWP is a major Quaker peace organisation in our region, now with significant links to FWCC. After 8 years as an incorporated organisation in NSW, its work is still not very well understood by the general body of AYM members and attenders. This in turn affects the individual financial support and other support that is provided: eg to projects. When the restrictions of Covid permit, it is hoped that younger Friends will be enabled to visit some of our many projects and participate in the training we offer in person.

Another issue is the militarization of West Papua, which limits our work in that region. Militarization in our entire region, but particularly in South Korea serves to keep North and South Korea in a state of readiness for war. Our witness on Jeju Is, is costly in terms of imprisonment of activists, but our training seeks to redress this and empower workers there.

Actions that Regional Meetings can take:

  1. That the Peaceways Journal is subscribed to by each Regional Meeting and the AYM Secretary- note free issues are being sent now to RMs to illustrate our work.
  2. That the schedule/budgets of all Regional Meetings in AYM includes a line for Friends to donate to the work of FPT-AWP, and an explanatory text of the work we do.
  3. That Regional Meetings seek opportunities to collaborate with the work by holding on-line information sessions. Contact Kins Aparece to arrange these on
  4. Queensland Regional Meeting Peace and Social Justice group will convene a Zoom presentation on “Peace Libraries” on Sunday 14 August at 11.30am. All AYM and Aotearoa Friends are welcome to attend.
  5. That Young Friends in AYM and possibly in collaboration with Aotearoa are invited to plan a Zoom session where workers from our projects can speak about the work. Assistance will be provided.

Submitted by: Pia Reierson, Valerie Joy, Taisoo Kim Watson, Jane Drexler, John Michaelis, (AYM); Kins Aparece (Philippines); Nadine Hoover, Fenna Mandalong, Tom Martin, Deb Wood, Debbie Wood, Janet Anderson, Cassie Cammann, Mark Hoover (USA); Nanik, Petrus, Ratih and Selly (Indonesia); Ram and Subhash (Nepal); Jungjoo (South Korea); Melanie (Malaysia); Rustam and Chris (Chechnya)

Australian Friends – Jane Drexler, Valerie Joy, John Michaelis, Paula Panaanen, Pia Reierson; USA Friends – Nadine Hoover, Gay Howard, Fenna Mandolang, Tom Martin, Deb Wood, Mark Hoover; Indonesia – Petrus Petrus; Nepal – Subhash Chandra; Philippines – Kins Aparece; Malaysia- Melanie Siaw; Korea- Jungjoo Park; Caucasus- Chris… Rustam



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Independent and Peaceful Australia Network Report

QPLC continues to work with the Independent and Peaceful Australian Network (IPAN, During the year, IPAN completed the People’s Inquiry: exploring the case for an Independent and Peaceful Australia. Some 280 submissions were received, and an interim report, which includes expert comments, has been published on the Inquiry website: (  

The full report will be launched in Canberra and tabled in the Australian Parliament following the federal election. 

In addition, IPAN wrote and promoted an Open Letter to the PM, Foreign and Defence Ministers regarding Ukraine which was signed by the AYM Clerk, among others  

IPAN was one of the initiators of a letter (signed by QPLC) calling for a national Anti-AUKUS webinar in November 2021. The outcomes of the well-attended meeting included the establishment of Anti-AUKUS groups in states/territories and public actions in December 2021, with more being planned for 2022.  

Margaret Clark is the AYM Representative to IPAN

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Information Technology Committee



We have again had a busy year keeping the website and other systems up to date and making sure the arrangements are secure. But at the same time, we have been frustrated by circumstances beyond our control. We have met as a Committee by Zoom on 26 occasions in the last twelve months, as well as having discussions with various people who are working with us.

The website

Our main problem this year has been getting a professional support person for our website software (Drupal). After our previous developer ceased business with us due to his increased workload we have had difficulty sourcing an appropriate company. However, in November we signed a short-term contract with CMTech based in Brisbane and at the time of writing (February 2022) we are still sorting out our needs and bringing everything up to date.

We have had a similar problem with sourcing a suitable replacement for our Membership directory, although Mitch Davis of Victoria RM has responded to our tender for building a new Directory. Good progress is being made, but we have not fully locked in this engagement.

Standing Committee in January resolved the issue we had raised about publicising online Meetings for Worship and the ones recognised by Standing Committee are now listed on the website

Another enhancement of the website was the addition of Help and Search functions to assist Friends and others to find what they want.


George Underwood from Tasmania was able to complete several videos for us for our YouTube playlist However, the Covid situation has delayed several times the additional interviews and subjects we need. At the time of writing (February 2022) we are hopeful that these can be completed later in the year.

As part of her outreach work, Emily Chapman-Searle produced a series of study guides to go with our videos as well as keeping our public and private Facebook pages up to date and refreshing the look of our website. Unfortunately, Emily decided to lay down the role and so has not continued doing the work, although there are still some other suggestions that we are discussing with her.

Yearly Meeting arrangements

With another online Yearly Meeting happening this year we are learning from our previous experiences and helping the organising committee with the arrangements.

We have firmly established the practice of using our website for disseminating information about Yearly Meetings. For the last several years we have built a sub-site which contains lots of information. This includes the program, timetable, activities, epistles and arrangements. It also holds the reports and minutes related to each business session.

This is helping place the website centrally in our Quaker resources.

We are discovering how powerful it is to be able to hold national online meetings on many topics. YM Preparatory sessions, and many others, are now available online and enable broad participation.

We have learned a lot, and enabled many changes, both positive and challenging. As our needs and the available technology change, we hope to continue to be able to make good use of IT to enhance our community.

Generic email addresses

The system under which AYM and RM Office holders, AYM Committee and all worshipping groups each have a generic email address seems to be working well. Friends occasionally need advice on making changes but not very often. Julie Walpole has helped us to check that all the addresses are being monitored appropriately.

The Committee

Members of the Committee remain Roger Sawkins (Convener), Michael Searle and Jacque Schultze, with Julie Walpole co-opted. Daniel Buckmaster (NSWRM) has also agreed to be co-opted on to the Committee and will be attending committee meetings.



Committee members: Roger Sawkins (Convener); Jacque Schultze; Michael Searle, with Julie Walpole and Daniel Buckmaster co-opted.


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NCCA Ecumenical Report

National Council of Churches Australia (NCCA) met via Zoom throughout 2021 and the beginning of 2022. A date may be set shortly to hold a face-to-face meeting for both the NCCA Board and National Church Leaders.

As a director on the NCCA Board I have attended quarterly Board Meetings, the Annual General Meeting, and served as a member of the Search Committee to bring to the Annual General Meeting a name of a person willing to serve as Incoming President of NCCAA for a four-year term.  The Search Committee’s nominee--Reverend John Gilmore, Churches of Christ-- was accepted at the NCCA Annual General Meeting in October 2021.

During February 2022 John Gilmore met individually with each Board member on Zoom to seek feedback on the work of the Board, and to inform strategic focus for the NCCA Board prior to the next NCCA Forum which has been deferred from June 2022 to a mid-year date in 2023.

I attended three NCCA Assemblies and all virtual meetings of NCCA Faith Leaders. Meetings provide opportunity to share experiences through changes and challenges imposed by pandemic/travel and other restrictions. 

John Gilmore has now invited National Faith Leaders to contribute agenda topics and input for Meetings of Faith Leaders, and NCCA Assemblies--i.e. themes that are of concern to faith communities in Australia so that in meeting together we create opportunities to grow our understanding of specific matters and our responses to them [eg refugee advocacy and re-settlement]. Themes/topics suggested by National Faith Leaders will inform NCCA Assemblies and Roundtables. [So Friends, let me have your suggestions!]

The NCCA Secretary and President have had substantial engagement with Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) through the Pacific Churches Partnership Advisory Network (PCPAN). Linking Pacific programs and issues with Australian Churches and the Australian Government will be key objectives for both NCCA and PCPAN in 2022.  I have encouraged NCCA Secretary to communicate and liaise with Adrian Glamorgan in his role as FWCC(AWPS) Secretary.

At the invitation of Archbishop Kaye Goldsworthy (Anglican Archbishop, Perth) I attended a memorial evensong at St George’s Anglican Cathedral for Bishop Desmond Tutu held Sunday January 2nd2022 and a Peace Vigil for Ukraine on Ash Wednesday, March 3rd. Both were well attended and employed an inclusive liturgy. I attended several online services of worship run by Common Grace including one on the evening of January 25th.

have remained one of six national faith leaders who are contact points for media or information on behalf of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC). I’ve enjoyed preparing possible responses for media and other interviews. Alas, there has not been opportunity to do interviews since media is highly concentrated on the east coast and that time zone!

I continue to represent WARM on the West Australian Heads of Churches Group.

Ann Zubrick, Presiding Clerk

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NCCA Safe Churches Network Report

This Network has been though much change over the last year. For a number of years the Network had paid staff and this has not been the case for the last year.  The Network has met every 6 – 8 weeks by zoom over the last year and has been convened by the NCCA General Secretary, Elizabeth Stone.

The Network has become an information sharing network and the Purpose statement can be read here:

A part time staff person, Naomi Boulton, has been appointed to work for the NCCA Safe Church Program and the first Network meeting with her was on 28 February 2022. Read about the work of the Program on the NCCA website:

The Network has mostly been mostly an information sharing place.  All of the denominations who attend the network ( except Quakers) have staff who work in Professional Standards Units, Policy Units or Education/Training Units.  I probably am the only attender who is not a paid worker.

Regular attenders are the Lutheran Church, Churches of Christ, Salvation Army and the Uniting Church of Australia

Ronis Chapman is the AYM NCCA Safe Church Network Representative

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Peace & Social Justice Fund Committee



This committee is under the care of Canberra and Region Quakers.

Between March 2021 and February 2022, the committee met 4 times

For the 2020-21 Quaker financial year, the fund had approximately $34 600 available for projects and grants totalling $30,550 were agreed to.

For the 2021-22 Quaker financial year, the fund has approximately $31 100 available for projects and as at February 2022 no grants have been made.


During the period March 2021 to February 2022, the following projects have been agreed to:

  • Promotion of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  The International Campaign against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Australia and The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Australia hosted a stall at the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly in Canberra during June 2021 to build awareness within Mayors and Councillors of this Treaty.  The Fund provided $5000 to support this stall and participation in the Association's National Assembly.  This Assembly unanimously passed a motion calling on Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty.
  • Opposition to the Land Forces Expo, Brisbane.  Brisbane Quakers, in collaboration with a number of Peace and Social Justice groups, worked to raise public awareness and opposed the weapons expo by nonviolent actions.  Information was disseminated and onsite demonstrations took place over the expo period outside the Convention Centre and Brisbane based weapons companies.  The Fund provided $5000 towards their costs.
  • Support for First Nations People from Yuendumu.  The Fund agreed to contribute $2500 towards the cost of providing lunch time food and water for around 150 Warlpiri people from Yuendumu (300km west of Alice Springs) holding a vigil outside the Alice Springs court house during the murder trial of a police officer who shot an aboriginal teenager.  The trial was to be live streamed from Darwin.  However, the COVID pandemic delayed the trial and resulted in major changes to its conduct.  As at February 2022, the trial has recommenced without live streaming.  The Peace and Social Justice Fund’s contribution now contribute towards the increased travel and accommodation costs for the victim’s family members attending the trial in Darwin.
  • Australian Quaker Peace videos - Let your Lives Speak.  Three Friends applied for funding to produce 2 short pilot audio-visual programs about the history of Quakers and peacemaking in Australia, and the principles of nonviolent direct action.  The Fund agreed to provide up to $5550 for this project.  As at Feb 2022, the project has been delayed and no funds have been used.
  • Creation of the Raising Peace website.  The Fund granted $3000 to cover the costs of the creation and 2 years maintenance of the Raising Peace website.  This website was part of a week-long event which coincided with the United Nations International Day of Peace on 21 September 2021.  Many peace organisations participated in this event held in Redfern, New South Wales.

The committee asks all Regional Meetings and individual F/friends to consider making a contribution to the Fund as part of their annual contribution.  We also ask all Treasurers to include the fund as part of their annual contribution request letter.



Committee members: Peter Hillery (Convener), Graham Jensen, Peggy Storch, Marilyn Webster Harold Wilkinson.


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Quaker Peace & Legislation Committee



1.Working Arrangements. The Committee has continued its on-line monthly meetings, with good attendance and participation. A national preparatory session on-line was held in April 2021 as a prelude to YM in July. Many Friends from across the country participated in discussing the QPLC DIA report. Further link-ups with RM correspondents have been held every few months since YM, to ensure better sharing of concerns. A further initiative was an on-line meeting in September with Friends from Aotearoa/New Zealand on peace concerns. We hope to continue this connection.

2.Communication. We have continued our practice of issuing briefing papers in the form of Action Alerts, Watching Briefs, and Quaker Flutters. These cover a wide range of issues as follows:

Action Alerts: IPAN Enquiry on US-Australia Alliance; Whistleblowers; Defence Amendment legislation; Women, Peace & Security National Action Plan.

Watching Briefs: Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty; Federal Budget; Women, Peace and Security; Australia and the Arms Trade; Refugees and Asylum Seekers; Afghanistan; AUKUS Defence alliance; Government Surveillance; Australia and the Pacific.

Flutters: Ratification of NW Ban Treaty; New economy recovery plan; Juukan Gorge Enquiry; IPAN Submission; Friends of the Treaty; Actions on Afghanistan.

Public Statements: Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; Riots in US Capitol; QUNO Peace Statement; Alarm over Nuclear Threat; Trade agreement with Israel; Various petitions in cooperation with IPAN.

Submissions and Letters: IPAN Enquiry on US-Australia Alliance; Refugees; Afghanistan and Brereton report on war crimes; Detention of First Nations people; Religious Discrimination legislation; Julian Assange; AUKUS; Death penalty; Defence enquiry.

Website development: Creation of ‘Peace in Action’ page (with help of Emily Chapman-Searle and Lorel Thomas).


For 2022, we identified the following priorities:

  • AUKUS – Pacific voices should be heard. We agree to continue building our links with NZ Friends, especially in relation to Pacific issues. 
  • AUKUS – Work with QUNO and FCNL to press the importance of this agreement to people in the Pacific, including the risk to Nuclear Free zones.
  • Build or strengthen regional collaboration and solidarity in the Pacific - we need to build networks particularly among Friends in the region.
  • Integrity in public life which applies to so many issues, including the Integrity Commission
  • State capture (including potential legislation and the influence of powerful interest groups and their financial resources), the health of democracy in Australia and effective functioning of Parliament
  • 2022 federal election – perhaps holding webinar before Easter. We could identify 4-5 topics we think are particularly significant and deliver short presentations to provide points for people to raise with their candidates.
  • Religious Freedom bill – possible follow-up to withdrawal of legislation by contact with politicians who took a stand on rights of minorities.
  • Application to Jan de Voogd Peace Fund for a peace worker for the next 3-5 years. Possible projects for a peace worker could include peace education, gender equality and lobbying training.  
  • Possible online lobbying training - using FCNL and other resources.

Other areas of concern:

  • ICAN and the Nuclear Ban Treaty.
  • Military spending.
  • Refugees.
  • Afghanistan.
  • Israel/Palestine.
  • Strengthening regional cooperation and solidarity.
  • Social and economic injustices that have been amplified due to COVID. 
  • Climate justice concerns. 
  • War Powers Reforms.
  • Missiles and Minors Report. 
  • Julian Assange.
  • Lifting quality of public debate and resist the polarizing language is essential.



Committee members: Harold Wilkinson (convener), Margaret Bearlin, Margaret Clark, Ronis Chapman, Gareth Knapman, David Purnell, Shobha Varkey, Shannon Zimmerman. AYM Representative to APAN: David Purnell; AYM Representative to IPAN: Margaret Clark.


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Quaker Service Australia Report



This past year has been another challenging year for the world as Covid-19 has had a greater impact spreading further into the QSA project footprint in Asia and Africa. Education in how to prevent Covid has become a top priority. Increased levels of joblessness and lower incomes have put development work on the back foot seeing people in many localities lose past gains. Some predict it will take a decade or more to fully recover. Despite these setbacks, resilient communities continue to pivot and innovate where possible.

There were other crises that QSA has been able to also respond to around the world. The unraveling of freedoms in Afghanistan, with the return of the Taliban, has seen a huge humanitarian and refugee crisis unfold. While to date only a small number of refugees have been accepted into Australia, QSA has been able to provide $30 000 of assistance to three asylum seeker and refugee support agencies. QSA continues to be an active member of the Refugee Council of Australia.

This past year has seen a good focus on First Nations projects within Australia with strong levels of funding committed to these programs. Ongoing on the ground dialogue occurs with the active involvement of the Australia Yearly Meeting First Nation Peoples Concerns Committee. QSA continues to step up with its active participation in ACFID acknowledged with representation on committees continuing a strong legacy of QSA’s involvement in the sector. Active participation in the Church Agency Network gives QSA a collegial network of peers to work on world problems together. 

Our funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program, like that of other development agencies, has leveled out in recent years. There may be scope to look at adding other funding grant submission avenues in future years. Independent field reports on the effectiveness of QSA projects have been undertaken this year with great feedback received on the transformative impact these are having at project sites in Cambodia. Skills development is enabling local communities to become more self-reliant. It is also empowering neighbouring communities as new skills and knowledge is shared. The QSA impact is being felt well beyond the local projects as QSA project partners become models for others to learn from. Our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals is being mapped in our project proposals complementing the work of other in-country development agencies. The environmental impacts of global warming are increasingly being noticed by our project partners. A greater focus on these will need to occur in the coming years.

Awareness of preventing sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment continues to be a priority across the sector. A commitment to educating our partners, and they, in turn, those involved in their projects, allows a focus on wellbeing to look out for safeguarding each other. Community-led solutions are the proven positive approaches QSA takes in resolving grass-root community concerns.

Despite the many challenges this year our supporters have remained strong and faithful in funding projects. Online giving continues to grow as the Stripe payment facility is being increasingly utilised by Friends on the QSA website. We have continued to receive good support from The Quaker Shop in Adelaide, The Friends' School, and the wider Quaker community. Bequests make a big difference in being able to fund new project initiatives. They enable QSA to put Quaker testimonies to an even greater application by taking timely actions to support communities in need. We seek your active interaction through Yearly Meeting dialogue in finding new ways to partner with QSA beyond financial support.  

Together we have made a difference in a turbulent world. Consulting, listening, and discerning will help us in shaping the future of those we assist and determine the directions QSA takes to achieve this. How we do that may change through time as we adapt to new circumstances. However, when our focus remains on meeting the needs of others, in partnership with on-the-ground partners, QSA will continue to have a significant life-changing impact. We invite you, as part of Yearly Meeting, to continue that journey with QSA this coming year sending in your ideas and suggestions. Together we will seek to respond to poverty alleviation, boost food security, create greater sustainability, promote gender equality and child rights. A big thank you to all involved with QSA this past year. A better world is achievable when we all work together seeking to be the change where it’s needed the most.

Submitted by: Therese Douglas, QSA Convenor

QSA Company, Management Committee members: Therese Douglas (Convenor), Pia Reierson, Martin Reusch, Dan Ong, Mary Jane Hogan, Laurel Doel.

Other QSA Company Members: vacant (CRQ); Rae Litting (NSWRM); vacant (QRM); Jo Jordan (SANTRM); Peter Jones (TRM); vacant (VRM); Lesli Grant (WARM). Ex-Officio: AYM Presiding Clerk, AYM Secretary


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Quaker World Connections Committee



We have continued to meet bimonthly via Zoom, intending to expand our Connections with the Quaker World. Zoom’s Closed Captions has been a major improvement for one of our members.

Representatives encouraged their RMs to participate in World Quaker Day around the theme Resilience and Hope: Drawing strength from our Quaker faith. The AWPS-Africa combined worship was well attended but the link to Africa failed.

We farewelled Ronis Chapman as the FWCC AWPS secretary and welcomed Adrian Glamorgan into the role. We value the input of these ex officio members of the committee.

We have started to have presentations from the wider Quaker World e.g. Friends Peace Teams (not currently affiliated with FWCC).

We have struggled with planning for our YM2020 AWPS Visiting Friend’s deferred trip to Australia – particularly Hobart and Friends School. However, the changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic meant that we have again needed to delay Sanjeev’s trip to at least May-June 2023. We appreciate the offers from some Meetings to host Sanjeev in their regions, and hope that those offers will be renewed at the deferred date. We ask individual Friends to suggest a possible visit for Sanjeev to a disadvantaged school as well as Friends School in Hobart. (Contact us via )

We have shared links to informed reports and to support Quakers in Ukraine and in Russia.


World Quaker Day 2022 will be on 2nd October. The theme is Becoming the Quakers the world needs. We intend to work together on a joint AYM activity – in conjunction with FWCC-AWPS.

With the changing nature of YM gatherings, and concerns over climate change, we will need to review the practice of inviting an AWPS Visiting Friend.

PART B: Items for Consideration


Committee: Representatives: YF & SANTRM - Marie-Joelle Nininahazwe; WARM - Sharon Matthews; VRM - Sue Ennis; CRQ Jonathan Benyei; TRM - Julie Walpole; NSWRM - Paula Paananen; QRM - Liz Terrey.


Ex Officio (any Australian Friend who holds office within FWCC is an ex officio member of QWCC):  Adrian Glamorgan (AWPS Secretary); Harold Wilkinson (AWPS Treasurer); and Aletia Dundas (AWPS Rep on the governing committee of QUNO – New York)



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Rainbow Friends and Allies


Achievements / Activities

Rainbow Friends and Allies Meeting have been holding a Meeting for Worship on the 4th Sunday of each month, since September 27th, 2020. We are excited to be now recognised as a Meeting for Worship within Australian Yearly Meeting.

Our Meeting usually has between six to twelve Friends at each Meeting for Worship. Some Friends are very regular attenders, and others are more sporadic. Friends join us from nearly every Regional Meeting. After worship, we have social time, sometimes with a focused discussion on a topic relevant to Rainbow Friends.

Recently the organising group developed content for the AYM website.

Issues / Analysis

As we are growing and forming as a Meeting, we are sharing the responsibility to provide pastoral care and support for each other within Rainbow Friends. We have a roster of elders, Friends who help facilitate discussions and provide tech support, and are listing Friends who are Quaker approved Child Carers within our meeting.

We continue to work with other online Meetings for Worship to provide support and care for each other.



Submitted by: Em Chandler, Jess Donaghue, Mark Macleod, Vidya, and others at the 27 February 2022 Meeting for Worship

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Safe Quaker Community Committee


Achievements / Activities

In brief, the Committee has built on the sound foundation laid by Robin McLean (TRM) and Ronis Chapman (CRM), pioneers of this AYM concern and core SQCC members for many years until 2019.

Working with Contact Friends (CFs), the Committee developed and distributed to all regional meetings (RMs) and Standing Committee, suggestions and recommendations about how they can better support CFs, as well as clarifying their role within the current SQC Policy. Most RMs have now connected their CFs to a pastoral or oversight committee, and some RM CFs have begun organising workshops for Friends interested in finding out more about the role CFs can play in their communities — a good way of preparing future CFs! This initiative directly addressed both the first and fifth purposes required of the Safe Quaker Community Committee: supporting Contact Friends ad Regional Meetings.

Meeting regularly by Zoom, the Committee invited CFs to attend to discuss any issues they had, or to deal with a particular theme, e.g., bystander support in incidents of disrespect by others. These meetings strengthened relationships between CFs across the country, and between CFs and Committee members, revealing the important role which RMs also need to play.

The Committee reviewed the AYM SQC Policy, suggesting amendments to clarify the policy relating to record keeping and processes. It made good use of the SQC Committee section of the Quakers Australia website, especially ‘What do we do? ‘, with links to the Report from Safe Quaker Community, RM, CF Workshop, August 2021, and ‘Resources’.

The Committee facilitated the two sessions of what has become its biennial workshop for CFs by Zoom, given State and Territory government restrictions due to covid, but also to encourage the broadest attendance of CFs and Committee members. On each consecutive Saturday, 7th and 14th of August 2021, the Committee presented a 90-minute session to ten CFs from six of the seven regional meetings. The first covered SQC policy and procedures, including especially the role of the CFs as listeners to, and supporters of those needing support. A range of resources was provided, especially the Resource Manual and Guide for Safe Quaker Community Contact Friends (SQC CFs) and other Interested Australian Quakers, of September 2019, developed and distributed to previous Contact Friends by Robin McLean (TRM) and Ronis Chapman (CRM). The second session was an opportunity, through role plays, for CFs to clarify their role in a variety of scenarios presented by aggrieved Friends. An observer of the role plays gave feedback afterwards. The above-mentioned Report of August 2021 recorded CFs feeling more capable and confident in their new role after the experience.

The Committee’s resource tab on their AYM webpage provides a range of preventative strategies for Friends to consider in creating a positive supportive experience at Quaker events.


The key to enabling Quaker communities to nurture their spiritual life is for Regional Meetings to consult CFs to develop a supportive on-going relationship between the CFs and the pastoral care/oversight committee: to give CFs the assistance they feel they need to perform their role effectively.

The SQC Committee sees its role as providing for Contact Friends a safe space and opportunity to discuss and de-brief how they can perform their role and liaise with Regional Meetings and AYM. Appendix 6 of the Safe Quaker Community Policy in The Handbook of Quaker Practice and Procedure in Australia is essential reading in the questions it raises for Regional Meetings.
The Committee sees its role as discrete from the areas of Child Protection, the National Redress Scheme and Compliance with WHS (Work Health Safety), which depend on those with specific competence.



Committee members: Chris Hughes (VRM) Convenor, Diana Campbell (SANTRM), Elizabeth Kwan (SANTRM)


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Silver Wattle Quaker Centre Report



The Covid pandemic has challenged us, and we have survived intact. Silver Wattle remains financially secure, with our community coherent and all contributing towards our vision. Many of the original people are beginning to hand over the reins to the next generation, and we hope more will be drawn to complete this succession. Sometimes we sense how miraculous has been the journey and progress for this first 12 years. We have been truly blessed.

Our Centre Coordinator Brydget Barker-Hudson has entered her second year. The pandemic has limited several of the plans she hoped to develop, and we hope her second year will allow some of these to happen. Brydget has been a very steady, lively and hospitable hand at the Centre. Even when there are fewer courses there is always much to do!

The Advisory Committee is embarking on a deep exploration of the future of Silver Wattle: Towards a Self-sufficient and Sustainable Silver Wattle Quaker Centre in a Decolonising Australia. This complements Silver Wattle’s imagining of a future towards 2030 and beyond, and includes development of appropriate facilities, including a larger library and a new meeting room. Planning is underway for a set of three units to accommodate those with limited mobility.

The Finance & Risk Committee and Treasurer have provided steady oversight of the Company’s financial position, trimming costs within a prudent risk framework. We have completed many maintenance tasks, with some refurbishment planned to ensure the buildings remain attractive and safe.

The Land Care and Orchard Committee continues to oversee the food production from the fruit orchards and vegetable gardens, and is developing a strategic plan to move from colonial to regenerative land management, with planning underway for a set of graded walking trails and paths.

The Programs and Learning Committee have continued to develop online courses to complement residential courses in these uncertain times. In 2022 two extended courses are attracting healthy participation: Voices in the Wilderness, an 8-month study based on the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and Food for the Soul, a year-long program of spiritual deepening which will have onsite retreats as well as online learning.

Our Elders Committee has continued to provide spiritual support throughout the organisation, to course participants, and to the Board. The Silver Wattle Elders Enrichment Program (SWEEP), which offers training and support for Elders involved at Silver Wattle and also latterly for Elders from Regional Meetings, has proved a much-valued service.

Silver Wattle is much aware we are part of a Quaker community, a national community and a global community, all of which are facing enormous challenges of climate change, and the consequent pressures on food supplies, resources and security. We look forward to being a “hub” for the 2022 Yearly Meeting gathering in hybrid form.

We are grateful for the contribution from AYM which has assisted installation of a new water tank and water quality system at the Camping Area at Silver Wattle

Submitted by: David Johnson, Clerk, on behalf of John Baker, Jonathan Benyei and Sheila Keane (the SWQC Board)

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Thanksgiving Fund Committee




In October 2021 the Thanksgiving Fund Committee; Bronte Collins, Christine Collins (co-Conveners), Robin Sinclair and Charles Stevenson laid down their roles on this Committee.  South Australia and Northern Territory Regional Meeting (SANTRM) undertook to host this AYM Committee for at least one further year, to allow sufficient time to draft a Terms of Reference.  A new Committee has been appointed by SANTRM comprising of David Barry (Convener), Lee Haradine, Topsy Evans, Sejin Pak.

Since the last report to Yearly Meeting 2021, the Thanksgiving Fund Committee has made the following grants to the total of $160,134.00:

  • $12,800 to Australia Yearly Meeting for administration support to our AYM Secretary.
  • $5,000 to South Australia and Northern Territory Regional Meeting on behalf of Faith Coleman for her ecology work in the Coorong.
  • $4,462 to New South Wales Regional Meeting on behalf of Valerie Joy for the Joint Churches Domestic Violence Prevention Project.
  • $5,120 to Northern Suburbs Local Meeting on behalf of Shannon Ormiston and Gabrielle Paananen to support eight Young Friends to attend a Newkind conference.
  • $5,200 to Queensland Regional Meeting on behalf of Greg Rolles to assist with rent for refugees and other vulnerable people seeking accommodation at the Dorothy Day Community House.
  • $4,000 to Queensland Regional Meeting on behalf of Dawn Joyce for travel costs within Australia for senior custodians to oppose Adani’s mining project threatening their sacred Doongmabulla Springs.
  • $15,000 to Queensland Regional Meeting on behalf of Greg Rolles to support refugees in Kabul.
  • $13,552 to Victoria Regional Meeting on behalf of Sue Ennis to support the delivery of conflict resolution and peace building programs at selected universities in Africa.
  • $20,000 to Victoria Regional Meeting on behalf of Dorothy Scott and Diamond Valley Local Meeting in support of the 'Keeping Connected, Sustaining Hope" project.
  • $5,000 to South Australia and Northern Territory Regional Meeting on behalf of Faith Coleman in support of her work on ecology in the Coorong.
  • $70,000 to Blue Mountains Local Meeting on behalf of Rowe Morrow in support of her work on the ‘Afghan Refugee Pilot Project’


  1. We believe that both Friends making applications to the Thanksgiving Fund Committee for a grant, and the Committee that reviews those applications, would benefit from guidance from Australian Friends on their expectations as to the intentions and on-going management of the Thanksgiving Fund.
  2. We remind Friends (and the bodies providing the Minute of Endorsement supporting their applications) for whom grants have been approved, that there is an obligation to provide a report back to the Thanksgiving Fund Committee outlining the benefits and learnings resulting from receiving the grant.  It seems there are a number of grants that have been awarded for which there does not appear to be a corresponding report back to the Committee.  We ask recipients of past grants to provide a report, if they have not already done so.

Committee members: David Barry (Convener), Topsy Evans, Lee Haradine, Sejin Pak.


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The Friends’ School Report


The Friends’ School started its 136th School year of educating children in the manner of Friends schools on 2 February 2022 with 1270 students enrolled, slightly up from last year’s student numbers. This year, as opposed to the previous two, Covid regulations have had a much greater impact upon the start of the School year. However, all staff, students and parents have been very supportive at following the Public Health directives.

The School’s facilities development projects on its Commercial Road campus are well underway. The School anticipates occupying its new Sports Hall by the end of March, 2022. The renovation of the Oats Centre from being a sports hall into office and classroom spaces is underway and due to be completed before the end of 2022.

Nelson File has announced his intention to retire as the Principal of The Friends’ School effective January 2024. The Board of Governors has embarked upon seeking a suitably qualified member of the worldwide body of The Religious Society of Friends as required in the School’s Rules of Association. The Board has contacted Yearly Meetings in North America, Europe and New Zealand notifying them of the availability of the position and seeking expressions of interest. The School has also placed advertisements in Quaker publications as well as with the Quaker Schools’ councils in the US and UK. Various regulatory requirements in both Tasmania and Australia require a long lead time for non-Australians to qualify for an appropriate Australian visa. If no qualified Friend can be identified, the Board will seek a non-Quaker to assume the Principal’s position in 2024.

The School community thanks Robert Pennicott, Karen Davis and Sally McGushin for their contributions as members of the Board of Governors.

All three laid down their service to the School in July, 2022.


To find a suitably qualified member of The Religious Society of Friends (world-wide) to assume the role of Principal in January 2024.

Report prepared by: Nelson File, Principal

The Friends’ School Board of Governors: Craig Stephens, Presiding Member; Mary Beadle, Deputy Presiding Member and TRM nominee; Natalia Urosevic, Deputy Presiding Member; David Edmiston, TRM nominee; Karen Wilson, TRM nominee; Sam Ibbott; Ann Zubrick, Presiding Clerk AYM, ex-officio member; Nelson File, Principal, ex-officio member.

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The Sanctuary Management Committee



The Sanctuary committee overseas management of “The Sanctuary”, a heritage listed house in the Bauhaus style designed by the architect Hugh Buhrich and built in the 1950’s for Rudi and Hanna Lemburg, who were refugees from Nazi Germany in 1933, where they first met Quakers.

The home and surrounding bush garden were bequeathed to Australian Yearly Meeting in 1998 by Hanna Lemberg, along with money which was used to renovate the property.

It has been rented out on the commercial market since 2001, the rent providing income for maintenance and surplus funds can be used by AYM. As Sydney property values have increased there has been a proportional increase in value of the Sanctuary.

The current tenants have occupied the property for over 4 years.

Bush regeneration work continues to prevent regrowth of invasive weeds, and continue to have regular pest inspections to monitor for termites.

Allowing enough funds for routine management of the property, bush maintenance and possible contingency work the committee advised Standing Committee (January 2022) that a sum of $20,000 could be made available to AYM.


From Standing Committee Meeting 15th January 2022 the Sanctuary Committee note the following minute:SC1.22.3:

Standing Committee thanks the AYM Sanctuary Committee for the offer of $20,000 to be used by AYM for a purpose agreed upon by Friends.

Following recent significant bequests, AYM is well placed financially at this time. Regional Meetings strongly supported the money being used to make a real difference to individuals’ lives. We ask the Sanctuary Committee to allocate these funds to a national refugee and asylum seeker organisation without further reference to Standing Committee.

The Sanctuary Committee are actively working towards allocating surplus funds as directed by Yearly Meeting.



Committee members: Mavis Barnard (Convener), Bill Brennan and Jacque Schultze


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Werona (Kangaroo Valley Friends Properties)



Kangaroo Valley is looking green, lush and beautiful. The rains in recent months have renewed the vegetation which was devastated by the bushfires. In early 2022 Werona joined the Biodiversity Conservation Trust of NSW (NSW BCT). This ensures that 31.9 hectares of the 38-hectare property will remain a conservation area in perpetuity, preserving the natural bush and animal habitat.

Issues/ Analysis

In the next twelve months the BCT will develop a site values report which will document all species found on the property along with a vegetation map. The main gate at the entrance to the property needs to be relocated as it is currently on Crown Land. We hope that the BCT will assist with this.

Another major issue is access to the Kangaroo River. Heavy flooding in recent years has caused part of the track to the water and the edges of the river bank to erode. One of the joys in visiting the property is swimming in the river. Access to the water needs to be improved.

It is important to have a contingency plan to help care for Werona into the future. Many of those involved in the day to day running of the property are ageing and we are hopeful that younger people will become involved.   We remain deeply indebted to those friends of Werona who have volunteered their skills to care for the property over the years.

We are looking to expand the number of young Directors in the near future.

Submitted by: Anne - Maree Johnston, Secretary/Director

Directors: Timothy Sowerbutts and Wies Schuiringa; Treasurer: Margaret Littlewood; Bookings organiser: Katrina Hasleton

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Yearly Meeting Organising Committee



Our task is to plan and prepare for Yearly Meeting 2022.

We plan to present a high quality YM which will be able to be hybrid. It will mainly be an online event (similar to YM20, YM21), but we will promote the possibility of Friends visiting other meetings, to enable visitation and connection, which we all seek so strongly. Whilst this committee will not organise any “pods”, we encourage them, and will offer support and technical advice for any pods who wish to get together. The program is designed to suit visitation and fellowship between individual participants and the groups who get together.


This committee needs to be broadened and increased in size. Organising an online YM brings fresh challenges. Organising a hybrid YM even more.

In 2023, we hope we can return to face-to-face gatherings. Even so, there will be demand to offer online participation for those who cannot, or do not wish to travel to a central location. This will mean further adaption. So, this committee has the dual tasks of organising a gathering in a location, and the provision of suitable technology, protocols for its use, etc. These are big tasks.

Currently this committee has six people who have already busy lives. We are involving others and delegating as we can, but we do not have an abundance of people to whom we can delegate. Delegating a task only reduces the work-load by around 50%. More involvement of younger people would be very welcome.

Certainly, the future will require further adaption. Our YM gatherings will be an important part of this adaption. Well-developed thinking about this will be needed by AYM. Leadership and consultation amongst the organisation’s fold will be important.

Committee members: Michael Searle, Vidya, Harold Wilkinson, Em Chandler, Jess Donaghue, Anna Wilkinson


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Reports with Part B

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Child Protection and Other Safety Concerns Working Group

  • The three Report Attachments can be found HERE and can be read in full in the text below. 
  • UPDATED 10 MAY 2022: RM Responses to the Report's PART B can be read by clicking HERE or downloaded from the bottom of this page.

  • Updated 25 May 2022 - read the Preparatory Session report here.




Development and revision of 3 documents:

  1. Code of Conduct for Australian Quakers
  2. A Community Agreement to be used for all on line gatherings of Australian Quakers.
  3. Incident Form

The attached documents (following this Report) have been revised with much appreciated assistance from numerous Friends. They are intended to help guide and uphold a range of legislative, insurance and practical regional meeting obligations. 

These documents were taken to Standing Committee in January 2022 and then circulated to all regional Meetings.

Please note:

  • The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended a Code of Conduct for all organisations that offer programs to children, and the proposed revised version is based on the national principles for Child Safe Organisations which have been adopted by Australia Yearly Meeting. 
  • The draft Community Agreement was requested to promote safe on-line gatherings and draws upon the Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) document which required individual agreement to participate in BYM21
  • The Incident form is designed to help document incidents which may give rise to insurance claims, mandatory reporting or other records.

We have asked Regional Meetings and relevant office-holders to consider using these resources and provide feedback by the end of May 2022 to enable final changes and formal adoption by YM2022 in July.  

With thankfulness for the commitment to the safety of our community.


  1. Endorsement by AYM July 2022 of the Draft Code of Conduct for Australian Quakers.
  2. Endorsement by AYM July 2022 of the document Community Agreement
  3. Endorsement by AYM July 2022 of the Incident Form

Working Group members: Jennifer Burrell (until late 2021), Jonathan Benyei, Ronis Chapman


We are grateful that you have joined us

We want you to feel Welcome

Quakers are a community committed to caring for one another

& for the world around us.

We seek & respect ‘that of God’ in every person - in all our lives,

both public & personal.

We are committed to peace, integrity, equality, sustainability & justice. Information on our testimonies & our policies is available on the Australia Yearly Meeting (AYM) websites: ; and   

This Code of Conduct explains our expected behaviours when interacting with people of all ages.

We acknowledge that we all experience vulnerability at times.

Code of Conduct

We are committed to:

  • Treating every person with respect
  • Fostering healthy, supportive relationships between people of all age groups
  • Listening & responding to the concerns of children & adults
  • Acting in a manner that promotes & enhances the wellbeing of all
  • The ethical & sustainable stewardship of our resources.
  • As individuals, we are expected to:
  • Be aware of and follow AYM Quaker Child Protection and Safe Quaker Community policies
  • Create an environment that is welcoming, culturally safe, inclusive and encourages participation
  • Involve people in making decisions about activities, policies & processes that concern them
  • Respond promptly to any concerns or complaints of child or adult harm or abuse.

We will not:

  • Engage in any activity that is likely to harm anyone
  • Discriminate unlawfully against any child, adult, or their family members
  • Use inappropriate language, show or provide or allow anyone access to inappropriate images or material, or engage in abusive sexual activity
  • Work with children or adults while under the influence of alcohol or prohibited drugs

If you think this Code has been breached, you should …

  • Take immediate action to ensure children & adults are safe
  • Promptly report any concerns to a responsible person, following Quaker reporting requirements.

Breaches of this Code may result in consequences including exclusion from participating in Quaker activities, prohibition to enter premises, escalating to dismissal from employment, termination of Quaker membership, legal action, criminal investigation and/or prosecution.

 Who can I talk to?

If these issues trigger anything of concern for you, please talk to someone you trust. This may include your Meeting Clerk, a Safe Quaker contact see ), another trusted Friend or Lifeline on 13 11 14

DRAFT AYM November 2021


Australian Quaker Practice at on-line events

“Respect the wide diversity among us in our lives and relationships. Refrain from making prejudiced judgments about the life journeys of others. Do you foster the spirit of mutual understanding and forgiveness which our discipleship asks of us? Remember that each one of us is unique, precious, a child of God.”

- Australian Quaker Advices & Queries 24

Quaker gatherings should be enriching experiences which help build positive, inclusive communities. It is important for us all to consider what impact our behaviour and words might have on others. We all need to practice listening and speaking to each another with care.

Quakers are not immune from the bad behaviour which can easily occur online, particularly with social media activity. Interactions between Friends can result in pain and distress (online or in person). This may arise from unconscious patterns of behaviour. Behaviours such as bullying, harassment and verbal abuse are not acceptable. If you experience or witness unacceptable behaviour by anyone in our community, please let an Elder or a member of your Regional Meeting Pastoral Care Team know.

For any Australian Quaker online gathering:

  • Follow the guidance provided for each event
  • When talking or writing to other participants take care how you communicate. For example, pause before pressing 'send'; consider whether you are saying something you would later regret.
  • Be mindful of how sensitive an issue may be to others when discussing views and beliefs. Respect the experiences and opinions of others even if they differ from your own. Be open to change.
  • Do not claim to speak on behalf of others when expressing your own view.
  • Do not engage in parallel discussion in an online meeting, in the same way we would not chat to neighbours during a face-to-face Quaker meeting.
  • Do not lobby clerks, introducers, staff or other servants of the meeting. Do not assume Friends who are closely involved will always be available to discuss a topic with you – they may need quiet reflection during session breaks.

We all need to maintain our discipline of coming together to 'know God's will for the gathered group' as we face the challenges of meeting remotely. If someone does not abide by these guidelines, Clerks and Elders may decide to block access to an individual in order to protect the safety of the group.

This document has been adapted from Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) Community Agreement which all BYM21 participants were obliged to agree to as part of BYM21 registration


This form can be found in the PDF here.

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Children & Junior Young Friends Committee




  1. Coordinators. Gina Price (WA) and Tania Aveling (Qld) finished their term as coordinators after YM21 and Sofia Jones (Tas) and Sarah Davies (NSW) were appointed to take on this role. We are grateful for the work of all our coordinators, particularly in these covid times, when many of the ways we are used to gathering are no longer possible. Our coordinators have brought creativity and energy to different ways of working to support young people and their families in our meetings,
  2. Working with Child Protection Committee. The Childrens and JYF Committee has been working closely with the Child Protection Committee and looking for ways we can support Meetings to support the wellbeing, safety and spiritual life of our young people. Together we drafted e-safety guidelines for events involving children and young people. We also co-hosted an online event with CP contact Friends and child carers and have been co-meeting since YM21.
  3. Supporting the organisers of YM21 children & JYF programs.
  4. Updating of contact list and mail out to all families. This project had several aims:
  • 1. to update our contact lists to establish where our children, JYFs and families who were currently engaged with Quakers were.
  • 2. in discussion with the Child Protection committee, to seek feedback from young people about how the 10 Principles of Child Safe Organisations, recently adopted by Quakers Australia, could be interpreted as part of Quaker activities.
  • 3. we also felt at the time (August/September 2021) that many Friends were and had been experiencing lock downs and other isolation from familiar activities, so we wanted to reach out with a message or support for wellbeing.
  • Each family on our contact list was mailed a small package containing a letter introducing Sarah and Sofia and offering some words of support; a print-out of the 10 Principles of Child Safe Organisations; a short, open ended questionnaire to invite feedback from children, JYFs and families about these principles; and a packet of hot chocolate mix by Victorian company ‘Grounded Pleasures’ which is gluten-free, vegan, ethically produced and delicious!
  • 77 packages were dispatched with 7 of these returned through the mail, and our data-base accordingly adjusted. 8 responses were provided to the questionnaire, which were passed on to the Child Protection Committee.
  • This process has helped us build a clearer picture of where children and JYFs are around the country…and we are keen to keep adding to this picture.


Our big challenge in these covid times has been working out how to support young people, families and meetings. With the loss of in-person gatherings, such as Yearly Meeting and camps, that provided a glue, particularly for JYF’s connections, we have struggled. We have heard that many young people are wanting to connect in person, not over screens. We yearn to be able to bring young people together, but have struggled to know how to do this safely. We feel torn between how we want things to be and how things currently are.

We are actively thinking and talking about YM22 and the kinds of programs we could offer for families, that will be meaningful, engaging, and allow for connection within families, between families and between the wider body of AYM. We see this as our priority, as a way to engage with families and young people around Australia, to bring them together (online) and build momentum to support connection and spiritual wellbeing. We see supporting families and meetings as a way that we, as an AYM Committee, can support young people.

We see that families and parents need support and engagement, as much as young people, in order to have thriving children and JYF communities.

We are seeking guidance about what your meeting - be that a worshipping group, local meeting, regional meeting - wants from our committee.


We don’t have clear recommendations at this point in time. Our committee is in a period of transition, and we hope that our questions and recommendations will be clearer by the time we hold our preparatory session at YM22 in May 2022.

  1. Our biggest consideration is, in this time where we are not-yet-able to organise national in-person gatherings, how can we support young people and families?
  2. Is there a place for a national committee at this stage?
  3. How else could we be organised to support the spiritual growth and wellbeing of our young people?
  4. How do we keep working to ensure this work is aligned with the Child Protection Work?
  5. We want to be responsive to the needs of meetings, but are not always sure what these are. Would the CJYF Committee and coordinators be more effective if it was morphed into a ‘Quaker Families and young people’ position, that worked to support local meetings to engage families and young people and was more closely aligned with the Yearly Meeting Office, rather than in its current structure?

Submitted by Committee members: Di Bretherton, Emily Chapman-Searle, Geoff Greeves, Restina Nininahazwe, Jenny Turton, Sofia Jones (Coordinator,) with Ronis Chapman & Lorraine Thomson (Child Protection Committee)

Contact: CChildrenJYF@quakersaustralia.inf

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Climate Emergency and Species Extinction Working Group




We had our first Working Group meeting in late July 2021, establishing an online meeting structure that, given our small numbers, as much as possible allows shared clerking and participation in discussion.

The committee has a basic web presence that includes some resources and links to other relevant organisations.  We have a YM email address, and we have been building a list of contacts of Friends and groups so we can better communicate as needed.  We drew on IT support from Emily Chapman-Searle to make better use of the online tools available.



Part of this communication has been with Correspondents appointed by the Regional Meetings. We held our first meeting with most Correspondents in November, where we all reflected on and responded to the question: "If we were only doing one thing, what would you like to see Quakers doing about climate emergency and species extinction? What's the most transformative thing we could do?"  (We did this, asking us all to be extravagant in our thinking, therefore not asking for analytic drilling down for this first gathering.)

We commenced scoping the depth and breadth of the Terms of Reference of the Working Group, which we will revisit in 2022.  We are aware of the tension between our task to report back in 2023 and the need for action right now and speak to this under ‘issues/analysis’. 

We developed a questionnaire for Friends aiming to grow the Working Group’s understanding of how the Climate Emergency and Species Extinction issues are experienced, lived and hoped for in the lives of Quakers around the country.  We also hoped the questionnaire would promote conversation amongst Friends.

As a result of the Questionnaire, we have responded to some Friends who are taking action now and who have focused concerns and needs.  We will circulate a report on the Questionnaire at a later time.

Most of the Working group and a few other Friends, took part in an online Woodbrooke course: “Responding to Ecological Crisis: Quaker Spiritual Insights”.  The course was meant to be delivered in a face-to-face mode in Meetings and we have yet to discern how a similar course might work in Australia. 

We have also made connections with other Faith groups such as FEN (Faith Ecology Network) and had initial contact with QUNO (Quaker United Nations Office) and QEW (Quaker Earthcare Witness). We are part of the Quaker Global Sustainability Network and have participated in regional climate emergency meetings with Asia West Pacific section of FWCC. A zoom meeting with QPLC reaffirmed our common threads of concern.

We received a request from a Friend for funds to support their non-violent direct action as part of Blockade Australia. The WG allocated $2000 for this action and agreed to assist this Friend make other applications to Quaker Funds.


We are engaging with the enormity of the task to develop a clear recommendation for AYM regarding appropriate responses to the Climate Emergency and Species Extinction. We experience a tension between the need to support existing actions by Friends and related groups, and the more difficult task of focusing on developing a plan at the systems level. It is a challenge for us to consider how best to support the diversity of actions that individual Friends are involved with. This tension was highlighted by the request to provide significant support to Blockade Australia, while other groups are also playing important roles in addressing important issues.

 Given the extent of our Ecological Crisis and the imperative to ‘design, develop and drive a national Australian Friends’ action plan on climate emergency and species extinction’, the response to our questionnaire was less than hoped.  While we know many Friends are engaged in action and work within Friends and across other groups, our communications are not as effective as they could be.  Are our Meetings keeping this concern at their heart or is the burden being placed on those in designated roles (such as the CESEWG)?

The questionnaire responses show a recognition of the urgency for action and engagement.  We see this as a need for change at the individual, group and system level.  While this Working Group is tasked with delivering a plan in 2023, the need to act is now and we need all F/friends to do all they can, in whatever way they can, to bring about the systemic change needed in our human communities to avert the current trajectory towards collapse and extinction.  Our message is “Do not wait for our final report – Act Now’


  1. We ask Young Friends to appoint a YF to our WG.
  2. We ask for a TRM correspondent to be appointed.
  3. We request that Meetings Australia-wide look to see what support they can provide their members who are committed to working on these intertwined issues.
  4. CESEWG proposes to hold a Preparatory Session in May 2022 to report on the Questionnaire and to hear Friends’ ideas as to future work of the WG.
  5. Would RM’s appreciate the WG holding a zoom consultation with interested Friends as we prepare a plan for YM23?
  6. Can all Meetings for Business, at YM, RM, local and committee level consider how they can acknowledge the Ecological Crisis at the start just as we acknowledge First nations peoples?

Working Group members: David King, David Shorthouse, Elizabeth PO’, Gerry Fahey, Peri Coleman


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Handbook Revision Committee

  • UPDATED 11 MAY 2022 - RM Responses to the Report's PART B can be found HERE or downloaded at the bottom of this page.
  • Update 12 May - There have been some updates to Section 4.6.4 Testimonies to the Grace of God since the DIR report was submitted. The Committee found a better Guideline, and  were asked to reinstate a deleted paragraph. You can read these updates here.
  • Update 24 May 2022 - Read the Preparatory Session Report here.





The committee has met regularly to respond to and to identify entries in the Handbook requiring updating because of changed practices, factual changes, legal requirements or unclear passages.

Kay de Vogel, (CRQ) stood down from the committee during the year for personal reasons and Michael Corbett, (QRM) joined the committee.

The Handbook, updated to February 2022, has been provided for addition to the AYM website.  We thank Sue Headley (Publications Committee) for her detailed attention to this task.

Factual changes such as the change of the NCCA “Heads of Churches” meeting to “Church Leaders” meeting or the new name of Canberra and Region Quakers are excluded from this report, as are the changed entries for associated bodies such as AFFH.

The RM handbook revision liaison Friends and membership secretaries have provided feedback on proposed revisions this year.

The flowchart for revisions has been clarified.

The proposed revisions can be found here:

The proposed revisions are in three columns:

  1. in the first column, the current text in edition 7;
  2. in the second column the proposed revisions with new wording in red font and grey highlight, and;
  3. in the third column, comments for the revision by the Handbook Revision Committee. 



In APPENDIX 3* of Documents in Advance 2022, are the proposed revisions:

  • 4.3.2 Weddings in Meeting Houses
  • 4.5 Sojourners
  • 4.6.4 Testimonies to the Grace of God
  • 5.2.7 AYM Archivist
  • Changes to the entry for the Australian Friend



That the proposed five revisions (APPENDIX 3*) are accepted.
* APPENDIX 3 can be downloaded HERE.

Committee members: Wies Schuiringa, Julie Walpole, Michel Corbett



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Publications Committee




The Committee has met four times in the past year, via Zoom, so we have been able to see and/or hear each other.

AYM Publications
  • Pamphlets: A suite of pamphlets suitable for printing and displaying in Meetings around Australia is available on the AYM website  at
  • Jenny Stock and Charles Stevenson continue to update pamphlets as Friends draw attention to out of date material.
  • So far, the pamphlets About Quakers, Quaker marriage and committed relationships and On speaking in Meeting have all been updated.
  • All the other pamphlets, except Procedure for Quaker funeral ceremonies and Quaker business methods have had their contact details updated.
  • Margaret Bywater is checking whether the status of Quaker Service Australia is represented accurately in the pamphlets.
Handbook of Quaker Practice and Procedure
Australian Quaker Style Guide and Style Sheet
  • In consultation with the Handbook Committee, Publications Committee also developed a style sheet and a style guide for Australian Quaker publications. These documents are useful for the Publications Committee and the Handbook Committee. They would also provide guidance for Friends who might wish to consider preparing new Quaker publications. 
  • Publications Committee has offered the AYM Style Guide and Style Sheet to the Backhouse Lecture Committee. These would also assist outside editors in editing Quaker material as those outside the Society are often unfamiliar with Quaker terminology.
  • During the year, Publications Committee corresponded with the Children’s Committee about the A&Q for children put together by a UK Friend who thought Australian Quakers might be interested in using this material. However, British Quakers are now going ahead with the publication of the A&Q for children and this offer has been rescinded.
Illustrating Advices and Queries
  • Publications Committee has discussed producing an Australian illustrated A&Q, given that Emily Chapman Searle of SANTRM had chosen and designed beautifully illustrated individual Advices and Queries and posted them on the Facebook Quaker page.
  • Recently, Silver Wattle Quaker Centre has approached the Publications Committee to ask to use the text of the Advices & Queries with illustrations produced by SWQC. They propose that the text remain copyrighted to AYM but the new publication would be a Silver Wattle Quaker Centre publication.
Copyright -v- Creative Commons licenses for AYM Publications
  • Discussion within the Backhouse Lecture Committee as to whether producing the Backhouse Lecture under a Creative Commons License would be more suitable for Quaker publications. It is suggested that this proposal would make the Backhouse Lecture more accessible for more people. Publications Committee will explore the implications for such a change as a more widespread recommendation for AYM publications generally. Margaret Bywater noted that there are six different categories of licence. The owner of the publication can decide which licence is appropriate for their publication. We would all need to understand the implications of those different categories and the consequences of decisions about licences. Margaret Bywater has undertaken to look into the categories and liaise with the Backhouse Lecture Committee. We note that the pamphlet on Quaker Marriage and committed relationships is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License
The future for Publications Committee — what are our visions?
  • For some years, Publications Committee has seen its role as having an oversight role for AYM publications. Members of the Committee re-write and update the existing suite of AYM pamphlets, but the Committee has not seen its role as writing new materials.
  • To date, the Committee responds to requests from individuals and other AYM and RM Committees.
  • Recently, we have received a suggestion that material produced for an AYM Summer School 2008 in Melbourne, with the title "Quaker Testimonies: With Spirit into Action" could be produced as an AYM publication. We welcome offers from those who may be willing to revise this material to create a new AYM publication.
  • We ask that Young Friends and Regional Meetings consider the following and respond to the AYM Publications Committee (

                1. Would Young Friends be willing to update the Young People’s pamphlet.
                2. We request input on any pamphlets that need updating and/or subjects that could be considered for new pamphlets.
                3. We ask if there is a Friend with a leading to re-work material prepared for AYM Summer School 2008 in Melbourne, with the title "Quaker Testimonies: With Spirit into Action"
                4. We invite feedback on the issue of using Creative Commons Licenses for AYM publications.


  • Does AYM agree to allow Silver Wattle Quaker Centre to use the text of the Australian Advices & Queries with illustrations produced by SWQC. They propose that the text remain copyrighted to AYM but the illustrations would be copyrighted to Silver Wattle Quaker Centre. We are unaware of the legalities of such an arrangement but put this forward as a proposal for decision by AYM.

Committee members: Judith Pembleton, Margaret Bywater (Co-Conveners), Garry Duncan, Dawn Joyce, Sue Headley, Jenny Stock



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Relationship between QSA and AYM Working Group

  • UPDATED 10 MAY 2022 RM Responses to the Report's PART B can be found HERE or downloaded from the bottom of this page. QSA Response to the Report's PART B can be found HERE or downloaded from the bottom of the page
  • Updated 23 May 2022 - read the Preparatory Session report here.



Achievements / Activities

These are articulated in our FULL REPORT (a separate PDF, which accompanied Documents in Advance 2022).
The following Part B: Items for Consideration, are a summary of what appears in the Relationship between QSA and AYM Working Group Report (a separate PDF, which accompanied Documents in Advance 2022)


1. Relationship of QSA with Australia Yearly Meeting

  • 1(a) That the wording of the QSA entry in the 6th edition of the Handbook be reinstated and that any proposals to change the substantive terms of that entry be subject to the well-established forms and processes of Australia Yearly Meeting.
  • 1(b) Given the now demonstrated ability for groups to conduct business through video conferencing applications such as Zoom and Teams, that QSA revert to its former arrangement of “a committee of the whole”. This is seen as the simplest solution to the issue of meaningful participation of all Members. It is also seen as the approach most in accord with Quaker values in not having a status distinction among and between Members.

In terms of having a committee that is not too unwieldy in terms of numbers, that the membership of the “committee of the whole” be constituted by seven regional meeting nominees, a Young Friend nominee and the AYM Presiding Clerk and Secretary as ex officio   members. That is 10 members in total.

- 1(c) That the Recommendations from a QSA review committee be included in Documents in Advance for the next Yearly Meeting following the submission of the review committee’s report and that these Recommendations be part of the determinative processes at that Yearly Meeting.

- 1(d) That Australia Yearly Meeting maintains a record of the progress of implementation of the Recommendations from a QSA review committee report that have been agreed at Yearly Meeting and that an updated report on such progress be given to each subsequent Yearly Meeting.

- 1(e) It is unfair and impractical for Australian Friends to require QSA to be all things that Friends would wish to see done in the world. In recognising that QSA has necessarily marked out a specialist remit for itself (for example in aid and development, not emergency relief) within a framework linked closely to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s funding mechanisms for Non-Government Organisations, there must be space to both dialogue with QSA about that mission, and look more broadly afield for what other areas Friends may be called to operate. This requires a clear mechanism within AYM, to both engage directly with QSA, and to enable ongoing conversations within AYM about issues beyond QSA’s remit, which may lead to alternative expressions of Quaker faith in action. More development education within AYM is needed to help Friends more deeply appreciate aid dynamics, which can appreciate QSA’s choices, and more broadly help Australian Friends contextualise the existence of poverty and its relationship with militarism and exploitation of the earth, dispossession and colonialism. AYM should also periodically review whether there are any corporate leadings to invest efforts in other areas not defined by QSA’s work.

2. Legacy Issues

2(a) This Review:

  • I. draws attention to the provision in the 6th and previous editions of the Handbook that “QSA’s strategic direction, management plan and project selection criteria” are matters that are required to be submitted annually to Yearly Meeting for approval;
  • II. notes that such matters often involve complex matters of discernment and the need for informed judgment; and
  • III. recommends that, given the findings of successive QSA review committees that many Australian Friends have a strong interest and concern about the nature and geographical spread of QSA’s remit, as well as issues relating to project selection, that a special session on these issues be arranged at next Yearly Meeting.

- 2(b) In the light a strongly expressed desire among Australian Friends for greater involvement by QSA with First Nations concerns in Australia, we reiterate the recommendations of the 2012 Review (albeit with a different time frame) for:

  • I. a review of QSA’s Statement of Purpose by both QSA and the AYM First Nations People Concerns Committee with a view to making a recommendation to the QSA AGM at next Yearly Meeting that the Statement of Purpose be reconsidered for its inclusivity of Aboriginal projects; and
  • II. representatives from AYM First Nations People Concerns Committee and QSA commence a dialogue about Regional Meeting’s engagement with the identification and choice of Aboriginal projects and report back to QSA within six months. As an initial step, we call on Friends who have been active in concerns around Indigenous Australians to share their knowledge of organisations and communities with which they have worked, as a first step to identifying areas where QSA support could be appropriate, and partners with whom relationships could be built. This call to partnership also applies in relation to project selection by Friends with knowledge of the Pacific region.

- 2(c) That, in line with a previous recommendation, the specific mention of working with Aboriginal groups within Australia, contained in the 6th edition of the Handbook, be restored.

Working Group Members: Di Bretherton, Alan Clayton, Mark Deasey, Adrian Glamorgan, Peter Hillery

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Preparatory & Explanatory Session Reports

Update 23 May 2022 - we are tidying up these pages as the business of YM22 progresses. So we have moved some of the pages about Preparatory & Explanatory Sessions. You can find them at the links below:

Reports from Preparatory and Explanatory Sessions can be:

  • Downloaded from the page containing the committee or working group's Documents in Advance report. 
  • Accessed from this page, by clicking on the text 'access report here' next to the name of the Committee of Working Group.

Preparatory Session reports

Explanatory Session reports


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Preparatory & Explanatory Sessions-Explained

Prior to YM, each group which has submitted a DiA report, may hold an Explanatory Session, or a Preparatory Session. They will be held prior to Yearly Meeting, during the time-range of 1st to 22nd May. The aim is to reduce the pressure on time during YM (an important consideration for an online event).

An Explanatory Session is for a group whose DiA report only has a Part A. These sessions provides an opportunity to present what they have been doing, to elaborate on what is in their report, present it in more than words on paper. Such a session will not contribute to decision-making, but will air the good work of the committee. Because a decision is not sought, the reporting of this committee stops here; it does not go on to a Formal Session.

Preparatory Session is held when a group has a Part B in its DiA report, in which they have brought a question(s) that they would like Quakers nationally to consider for adoption or decision. Prior to the Preparatory Sessions, Regional Meetings will have considered the reports. At the Preparatory session:

  • The Regional meeting responses are shared
  • The matter for decision is explored
  • The proposal might be modified somewhat by the group as it hears its proposal discussed.

A Prep Session report is sent to the AYM Secretary for consideration by the Clerking Team for YM22 business. This report will indicate if the matter/s under consideration seem to have been resolved through the Regional meeting responses and/or the Preparatory Session.

Preparatory and Explanatory Sessions will be publicised as part of YM22 publicity. Committees are encouraged to make known their own sessions, and to attract interested people to participate, so that multiple modes of informing Friends of what is on, and what they are likely to find interests them can be exercised.

The list of Scheduled Preparatory and Explanatory Sessions can be found here.
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Preparatory and Explanatory Sessions-Schedule

Preparatory & Explanatory Sessions have now all been completed

The reports of Preparatory and Explanatory Sessions can be found on this page


Friends Peace Teams-Asia West Pacific (Explanatory)

Sat 7 May, 1pm AEST. Read the DiA report here


Children & JYF Committee  (Preparatory)

Sat 7 May, 3pm AEST. Read the DiA report here


AYM Working Party on the Role and Work of the AYM Secretary  (Explanatory)

Sun 8 May, 7pm AEST. Read the DiA report here


Working Group on the Relationship Between QSA and AYM (Preparatory)

Tues 10 May, 5:30pm AEST. Read the DiA report here


Information Technology Committee (Explanatory)

Wed11 May, 7pm AEST. Read the DiA report here


Friends Fellowship for Healing (Explanatory)

Thurs 12 May, 4pm AEST. Read the DiA report here


Handbook Revision Committee (Preparatory)

Sat 14 May, 3:30pm AEST. Read the DiA report here


Publications Committee (Preparatory)

Sun 15 May, 4pm AEST. Read the DiA report here


Demystification Session

Mon 16 May, 7pm AEST. Demystifying YM Business: preparatory, explanatory and formal sessions


QSA (Explanatory)

Wed 18 May, 7pm AEST. Read the DiA report here


[The session focused on how various QSA projects are addressing or have been impacted by climate change.]


Silver Wattle Quaker Centre  (Explanatory)

Thu 19 May, 7pm AEST. Read the DiA report here


Climate Emergency & Species Extinction Working Group (Preparatory)

Fri 20 May 3pm AEST. Read the DiA report here


Thanksgiving Fund Committee (Explanatory)

Sat 21 May, 4pm AEST. Read the DiA report here


Child protection and other Safety issues Committee (Preparatory)

Sun 22 May, 4pm AEST. Read the DiA report here




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Resolved & Unresolved items

Once all Preparatory sessions have been held, a report will be written by the relevant committee or working group and will indicate which items can be considered resolved and which unresolved.

Resolved Items:
these are items that DO NOT need to progress to a YM22 Formal Session, as the committee or working group considers have been resolved through the RM response and preparatory session process. They will appear here on the website, and be brought to a Formal Session, so they can be recorded in the YM22 Minutes.

Unresolved Items:
    these items have not been resolved through the RM responses and preparatory session. These items are likely to progress to a Formal Session at YM22.


  • The YM 22 Clerking Team will consider all the reports and recommendations, and will inform Regional Meetings which items have been resolved and which items have not been resolved.
  • Regional Meetings in June will have a chance to consider these reports.
  • No formal response is required from RMs, unless the RM considers that something listed as resolved is actually not resolved. If this is the case, RMs need to contact the relevant committee and the AYM Secretary ASAP. 


In early June, this page will be updated with information from the Committee/Working Group about which items are resolved and which are unresolved:

  • AYM & QSA Relationship Working Group
  • Child Protection and Other Safety Concerns Working Group
  • Children & JYF Committee
  • Climate Emergency & Species Extinction Working Group
  • Handbook Revision Committee
  • Publications Committee
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Formal Sessions

The following business items will come to YM22 Formal Sessions

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YM22 Formal Session agendas

This page will contain the agenda of each of the YM formal sessions, as they become available. Agendas might be decided only a short time before its session.

Please note, agendas may change throughout the week. Revised agendas will be posted prior to Formal Sessions

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YM22 Minutes

This page will be the repository of the Minutes of Formal sessions, available for access by all.

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Epistle Drafts

Each YM produced epistles to the rest of the Quaker world. Sometimes there are several, with some contributed by particular groups within YM.

Drafts and finals will be posted here, once YM22 is under way.

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