Save the YCW Camp

The ACI Board of Directors has expressed its opposition to proposals to divest the historic YCW Camp facility at Phillip Island in Victoria. Instead, the board has backed an alternative proposal to save the camp by restoring it to its original purposes.

In a statement, the ACI board says that it “learned with dismay of recent proposals regarding the future of the YCW Camp at Phillip Island, which disregard the heritage and the interests of the Young Christian Workers movement and its work.”

The contested proposals seek to transform the camp into an aged services provider exclusively serving the needs of exservicepeople.

In response, the ACI board states that it “is our conviction that the disposal or sale of the property at this stage, particularly in the absence of a fully developed alternative proposal that takes account of the interests of the YCW, would be a grave mistake.”

Instead, it proposes that the YCW Camp, which is managed by the YCW Camp Committee Patriotic Fund, should be redeveloped in line with its original purpose as a YCW camp simultaneously serving the needs of young workers in general as well as the dependents and families of exservicepeople.

This was the original vision of Melbourne YCW chaplain, Fr Frank Lombard, and of Archbishop Daniel Mannix, both of whom were military chaplains, the ACI board notes.

Moreover, this was also the basis on which the Victorian State government funded the camp over many decades.

“The YCW Camp should be redeveloped in line with its original dual purpose of serving the needs of young workers as well as young people from the families of exservicepeople,” the ACI board says.

New programs should be developed, including intergenerational volunteer programs “enabling young people to interact not only with their peers but also with older veterans,” the board argues.


ACI Submission on the future of the YCW Camp, Phillip Island


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YCW Camp