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Media Release by The Hon Sussan Ley MP

Sydney to host 2008 Catholic World Youth Day

The Parliamentary Secretary for Children and Youth Affairs, the Hon Sussan Ley, today joined Prime Minister John Howard in welcoming the announcement by Pope Benedict XVI that Sydney will host the Catholic World Youth Day in July 2008.

“I would like to congratulate Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, and everyone in the bid team who worked so hard to secure this event for young people,” Mrs Ley said.

“Sydney’s Olympic Park will host the event, which will attract an estimated 250,000 people from Australia and abroad.

“By announcing Sydney as the next host of the Catholic World Youth Day, it further demonstrates Australia’s reputation as a welcoming and friendly nation.

“Sydney joins a long list of international cities who have previously hosted the event including Rome, Buenos Aires, Manila, Paris and Cologne.

“It is a world wide acknowledgment for young people, aged 16 to 35 years, celebrating diversity, friendship and culture.

“The event is held every two or three years and provides an opportunity for youth from many cultures to gather and celebrate the Catholic faith.

“I look forward to seeing young people from around the world when they visit Sydney in July 2008,” Mrs Ley said.