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Mice Net : October 2008
wyd 08 An Epic event Ian Steigrad’s World Youth Day journey began in 2003 when he was engaged through a tender process by the Catholic Diocese of Sydney and the NSW Government to look at the potential of running and managing a World Youth Day in Sydney. “What I quickly realised was that this was quite an extraordinary event. After research we realised that we had to go to Cologne where the 20th World Youth Day was being held in 2005. “The church put a bid [for the 2008 event] to the Vatican prior to this but we heard nothing about how it went. The first time that we would know whether we were successful was when they announced it in Cologne. Which is exactly what happened.” On his return from Cologne, Mr Steigrad was asked to become the director of event planning and operations, employed by the Catholic Church, at which time he put the wheels in motion for pulling off one of the largest events in the world with just three years to do it. “What I and my team [of 400 full-time staff] didn’t do was basically anything to do with services to pilgrims. We didn’t handle registrations, accommodation, travel, anything like that. We were responsible for all of the construction work, and all of the operational and creative staging of the events. “Whilst we didn’t do catering we did install all the catering equipment; we did accreditation, production, engaged the workforce, communications, and venue management staff recruitment. We built accommodation sites for the pilgrims but then we handed them over to be operated [by others]. “What was made very clear to me very early by Cardinel Pell was that we had a certain amount of money and that was all there was – there wouldn’t be any more.” As most would have read in recent times, everything did work, and nothing went wrong, despite there being so much potential for it to do so when you are dealing with such a vast number of people. “I think the worst accident we had was a bruised knee. The type of crowd that we had certainly helped. They were so compliant. We had reports from police officers of people [pilgrims] thanking them for their efforts.” The wash-up The official and final count had visitors, or pilgrims, somewhere in the vicinity of 223,000 which included 110,000 from 170 nations. Approximately 120,000 were accommodated in schools, parishes, homes and other venues like the Sydney Showground, and served up 3.5 million meals across 400 venues. Final figures also report: • 150,000 attended the Opening Mass at Barangaroo and CBD sites • In excess of 400,000 people attended the Final Mass at Southern Cross Precinct • 500,000 people came out to welcome His Holiness on Thursday, July 17 on the boat-a-cade, official arrival at Barangaroo and motorcade • 223,000 people registered for pilgrim services during WYD08 (110,000 international pilgrims + 113,000 local pilgrims) • More than 170 nations were represented at World Youth Day Sydney 2008 • 168 international flags took part in the Procession of Flags at the WYD08 Opening Mass • WYD08 events were watched live by an estimated international TV WHERE MIRACLES ARE PERFORMED phone: 02 9663 8500 www.royalrandwick.com miracles2.indd 1 86 mice.net email@example.com 29/8/08 1:34:08 PM