What is SOYA?
Serbian Orthodox Youth Association (SOYA) was founded on the initiative of His Grace Bishop Irinej, who, in May 2008, called on the Serbian Orthodox young adults of Australia to unite and form a nationwide youth movement.
In December 2008, the beautiful monastery of St. Sava in Hall (ACT) was the location of a three-day youth conference that gathered over 40 members of the Serbian Orthodox community of Australia and New Zealand. (see full conference report www.soc.org.au)
One of the outcomes of the conference was the creation of the By-Laws committee, which was charged with the responsibility of creating a structure for the creation of the Serbian Youth organization to be known as the Serbian Orthodox Youth Association. The committee was comprised of the two most senior representatives of the soon to be formed organization; Ilija Bilic, National President and Janko Nikolic, National Vice President.
In October 2009, the By-Laws committee convened in Sydney to develop a constitution as requested. This constitution was presented to his holy Grace Bishop Irinej who gave his blessings to register the association.
In November 2009, the Serbian Orthodox Youth Association constitution was endorsed by a general meeting of Serbians in Victoria. The first SOYA state board (under the new constitution) was elected to serve as care taker representatives of SOYA. One of its stated aims and priorities, was to implement a request by the By Laws committee, to register SOYA as a not for profit Incorporated association.
In December 2009, Ilija Perac Victorian State Secretary submitted the SOYA constitution to the Department of Justice in Victoria.
In January 2010, the Serbian Orthodox Youth Association now known as SOYA Inc. was successfully registered as a not for profit Incorporated association.