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Young Quakers in Australia

Image: Mt Field National Park, Emily Chapman-Searle

We need a closer participation with children today because we need fresh perspectives on our activities. We need their insights, and not only in the area of social action. We need their spiritual insights too. Elise Boulding 1996

We have three age groups of young Quakers in Australia, children (0-11), Junior Young Friends (12-17) and Young Friends (18-30).

The largest gatherings take place at Yearly Meeting where young Quakers from all over Australia can come together, some with their parents. A full week’s program is organised for the Children and JYFs.

Some of our Meetings for Worship have regular programs for children and JYF’s, and many have casual arrangements if children come to Meeting. If you plan to go to a Meeting for Worship with children it may be best to contact the Meeting first to check on the arrangements. Contacts for the various Meetings can be found here.

You can view our Child Protection Policy.

New 2024 Report - Quakers and Young People at the Heart of Quaker Life

Read the new report from the Children and JYFs Committee researcher, Fiona Gardner. The Committee hopes this summary of what emerged will be used to foster the inclusion of all ages in Quaker communities in Australia.

Australia Yearly Meeting 2022 recommended that the Australian Children and Junior Young Friends’ Committee employ a paid worker with relevant experience in social research to

  • identify and consider the needs of meetings, families and young people;
  • build community, relationships and support for those working with families and young people;
  • connect people with similar challenges, ideas and needs; and
  • consult with other YMs and learn from their experiences (e.g. A/NZ).

The aim was to provide a way forward for supporting families and young people within AYM. After some initial difficulty in filling the position, the Children and JYFs Committee asked Fiona Gardner, an experienced researcher from La Trobe University to carry out a research project titled: Children and Young People at the Heart of Quaker Life in May, 2023. She and a research colleague, Jill Hanlon, met with four groups of Friends including Hobart, Victoria and South Australian Regional Meetings and individuals across all states, a total of 50 people overall including some children and JYFs to explore current and past experiences of how Meetings have sought to include all ages, what is being done well and what we could do better.

Quakers and Young People at the Heart of Quaker Life
A Report for the Children and Junior Young Friends Committee of Australia Yearly Meeting
Fiona Gardner
March, 2024


We publish newsletters for and about children and Junior Young Friends in Australia. Visit our Committee page to read the latest news.

Backhouse Lectures about or by young people

  • 2014 Lecture - Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness: Bringing children into the centre of Quaker life and worship - by Tracy Bourne
  • 2010 Lecture  - Finding our voice: Our truth, community and journey as Australian Young Friends
  • 2003 Lecture  - Respecting the Rights of Children and Young People: A New Perspective on Quaker Faith and Practice by Helen Bayes - MP3 available here (5.1MB)
  • 1996 Lecture - Our Children, our Partners A new vision for social action in the 21st century by Elise Boulding

QuakerSpeak videos about children and parenting



Ages up to 11

Junior Young Friends

Junior Young Friends - aged 12 to 17

Young Friends

For Quakers aged 18 to 30-ish