Catholic and Anglican Australasian Peace Education Symposium
“Today more than ever, our societies need “artisans of peace” who can be messengers and authentic witnesses of God the Father, who wills the good and the happiness of the human family.” (Pope Francis’ message on the 50th Anniversary of the World Day of Peace

15 July 2019

Educators from across Australia and New Zealand gathered in Melbourne this week for the Australasian Peace Education Symposium.

As “artisans of peace”, educators and practitioners of peace and nonviolence from Catholic and Anglican school systems and from various faith and justice groups explored the essential elements of educating for peace. The Conference was jointly sponsored by Pace e Bene, Edmund Rice Education Australia, Catholic Education South Australia, Anglican Schools Commissions in WA and NZ. The stories from activists who bring practises of peace and nonviolence to their work both locally and internationally was shared, as were the theological and theoretical insights in understanding Jesus as a definitive example of living a nonviolent life.

Highlights included: 

  • Simon Reeves from Geelong shared about his work at the Norlane Community Centre and Love Makes a Way
  • Sally Morgan shared about her work in Rwanda and on the Rwandan Stories curriculum as well as her more recent work with young people who are seeking asylum.
  • Carly Osborn helped participants to understand the theories of Rene Girard as a theoretical framework for recognising and making sense of violence in our world  
  • Restorative Justice as a practise of peace and nonviolence was explored from Australian and New Zealand perspectives
  • Facilitators, Brendan McKeague and Michael Wood, guided participants through processes of listening, dialoguing and harvesting the wisdom.
  • Through a Head, Heart and Hands framework, participants undertake professional development in teaching the Jesus and Nonviolence Religious Education Primary and Secondary curriculum units and were encouraged to reflect upon the challenge which principles of peace and nonviolence set for them in their own lives.
Dr Wayne Tinsey, Executive Director of EREA opened the conference with the following words: 

"It is a great pleasure and privilege for EREA to host this most important and significant gathering. You are all most welcome; may your Gathering be all that you hope it will be. Can there be a more important topic calling people of faith and belief in the future together than the quest for deeper understanding of peace and the power of peace in our individual lives and the lives of our communities? Can there be a more countercultural pursuit than the pursuit of nonviolence in a world which appears intent in ripping itself apart?
Many of us are involved in the formation of young people who will be the creators of the future. We know that the type of future that they will create will be shaped to a large extent by the peace that they encounter in the depths of their being. May they come to know peace! I pray that this Gathering will bear much fruit in the lives of participants and inspire our common commitment to create communities of peace and nonviolence.
Make us all instruments of peace…. Shanti, shanti, shanti…"

Jo Hart 
Symposium Co-convenor 
Edmund Rice Education Australia 

Peace Ed  Symp 1 (3)
© 2018 Edmund Rice Education Australia. All Rights Reserved.