SOYA in Sydney
Last weekend, a group of young Serbs from Melbourne arrived in Sydney. They were there as representatives of SOYA (Serbian Orthodox Youth Association), and were travelling in order to promote Boris Malagurski's documentary film 'Kosovo: Can You Imagine?'. An account of the screening itself will be available for perusal in the next issue of the Srpski Glas, whilst we will use this opportunity to tell you a little bit about some of the unofficial reasons for our visit to Sydney.
That same group of young people were afford ed the honour of spending Friday evening in the company of His Grace, Vladika Irinej. Taking into account that SOYA itself was formed on the initiative of His Grace, it was therefore only natural that this young cadre would find itself in such esteemed company, in order to discuss their recent efforts and successes. The youths in question were able to convey their thought as and plans for the future amidst a relaxing, comfortable ambient, with the accompaniment of Newtown's finest cuisine. At a time when so much Serbian youth distances itself from the Church, this congenial meeting took on a special significance.
Thereafter, on Saturday 13 February, the first informal gathering of Sydney's SOYA members was conducted under the guise of a 'SOYA Cafe'. The half dozen representatives from Melbourne were joined by more than a dozen young Sydney Serbs, including the young Deacon, Branko Bosancic. These get-togethers have proven to be very popular in Melbourne, so this recipe was utilized for success to stage a Sydney version prior to the screening of the film. The Cafe session provided young members of Sydney's Serbian community the chance to get to know each other, to share ideas and to establish ties. The other main objective of the SOYA Cafe was to sign up new members to SOYA in NSW and to provide nomination forms for election to the State Executive of SOYA. Having recently registered a new constitution SOYA Inc have been busy recruiting new members and representatives.
The following day on Sunday 14 Feb, The Documentary screening of Kosovo: Can you imagine had over 200 guests in attendance at the Paddington Movie Cinema. Following the screening, guests were invited to share their views on the documentary. Discussion centered on what action the Serbian community in Australia could focus on to help our position on Kosovo. The main message was that the Serbian community needed to invite their non Serbian friends to screenings such as this one and that SOYA could perhaps lobby mainstream media outlets to screen the documentary. In closing it was agreed by all that SOYA has displayed a significant potential to effect major change in the Serbian community.