What is YCS?

The Young Christian Students is an international Movement, present in over 80 countries, that empowers secondary school students to take action based on what they believe, in their student reality.

WE ARE RUN ENTIRELY BY SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS! YCS gives students the chance to be agents of change themselves. When we as students take ownership and responsibility for our Movement it allows us to develop the skills needed to lead an organisation as well as those needed to play an active leadership role in our community with other secondary school students.

We use the Joseph Cardijn inspired method, “SEE, JUDGE, ACT” which enables students to SEE what is happening in the world around us and analyse the facts. We then JUDGE this in light of our beliefs and the Gospel, and take ACTION to transform not only the world around us but ourselves.

We are organised in local groups, who collectively take action as a region. We have a National team which enables us to work together and a campaign for change across the country. We are currently campaigning for the more than ever relevant issue of Climate Justice.


Our Principles

The YCS Principles gives you some idea about what we are all about!

It sums up our mission, what we believe in? Why we exist? and how we work? You don’t have to memorise them, but it’s just good to know that they are there if you are ever confused about how or why we do certain things!

  1. The Young Christian Students’ Movement of Australia is led for, by and among secondary school students.
  2. It is inspired by and wants to live the mission of Jesus Christ among secondary school students.
  3. It has a specific task of formation and education of secondary school students.
  4. It believes in the Joseph Cardijn inspired Review of Life methodology as its method of education. This includes reflecting on the encounters of students, judging these encounters in light of their faith and developing action.
  5. Its faith in Jesus Christ challenges students to an active response among, with and on behalf of all secondary school students.
  6. It commits itself to working for justice and peace, especially among secondary school students.
  7. It is a Local, Diocesan, National and International Movement and accepts that it has responsibility at all these levels.


Joseph Cardijn

The Young Christian Students movement is based upon the teachings of Joseph Cardijn, a Belgian priest who had devoted his life to bringing Christianity to the working class and advocating for an end to the dehumanising influences that were enforced onto the working class people.

Born in 1882 to a working class family, Cardijn was exposed to the lives and hardships of the workers and as a result, saw life as a priest as a means of bringing positive change and hope to the people of belgium. This brought about the the international organisation , Young Christian workers (YCW). From there, our Movement, the Young Christian Students was created, where we use the See, Judge, Act Methodology to take action. Through the YCW, Cardijn sought to promote not only the spiritual and temporal welfare of youth, but also to overcome poverty and exploitation of people.

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