About the Sydney Peace Foundation

About the Foundation

The Sydney Peace Foundation is a University of Sydney foundation that promotes peace with justice and the practice of non-violence and awards the Sydney Peace Prize, Australia’s international prize for peace.

Ever since its foundation in 1998, the Sydney Peace Foundation (SPF) has encouraged people in Australia and abroad to think about the meaning of peace, justice and alternatives to violence. The Foundation was created as a partnership between various sectors – its diverse Council includes representatives from business, media, public service, community services and academia.

The Sydney Peace Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation at the University of Sydney and is supported by the City of Sydney. The Foundation is wholly dependent on donations from its supporters, and does not receive funding from the University of Sydney.

Our Patrons

The City of Sydney is proud to be associated with the  Sydney Peace Foundation for the benefit of Australians and people across the globe. To read a message from the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore MP, please click here.

For a message from former The University of Sydney Chancellor and Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, please click here.



What is Peace with Justice?

The Sydney Peace Foundation advocates for Peace with Justice.

Peace with justice recognises that for societies and communities to truly live in peace, people require more than safety from bombs, gun violence and oppression. To achieve true and lasting peace, we must acknowledge and address deep structural injustice and inequality.

Peace with justice is tangible. It includes setting standards for the security of those more vulnerable amongst us, for primary health care, promoting an end to the violence of poverty, ending discrimination and marginalisation, and facilitating personal fulfilment through the creation of rewarding opportunities in education and employment.

Without such goals and ideals, any culture becomes merely a survival of the fittest.

When peace with justice is realised:

  • every person’s human rights are universal and unchallenged, regardless of one’s culture, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, economic standing or political affiliation;
  • poverty is eradicated, all people are able to fulfil their basic needs, and enjoy equal opportunity and a fair wage for their work;
  • we live in sustainable partnership with the earth and care for the environment that allows us to exist;
  • conflict of any kind is resolved nonviolently.

For more information and links relating to peace with justice click here.

What does the Foundation do?

The Foundation’s advocates for peace with justice, universal human rights and nonviolence in any context, locally and internationally.

We do this primarily by awarding Sydney Peace Prize, Australia’s international prize for peace. The Prize starts conversations and public debate – it creates a platform for leading voices of peace to influence public awareness and interest.

During their visit to Sydney, the Prize brings the Sydney community together to recognise and honour the extraordinary achievements and dedication of some of the world’s most effective peacemakers.

By sharing their remarkable stories of vision and courage, recipients remind the Australian public that a fair, equitable and just world is possible, encourage conversations about the meaning of peace, justice, equality and nonviolence, and inspire people to take action. Such priorities are regarded by the Council as the building blocks of a humane society.


The Sydney Peace Foundation also:

  • Hosts educational seminars and public forums.
  • Develops corporate sector and community understanding of the value of peace with justice in diverse contexts and countries.
  • Encourages the important contribution of young people to peace by engaging with schools and through the Youth Peace Initiative.
  • Has supported and promoted peace initiatives, particularly the work of the Department for Peace and Conflict Studies and the West Papua Project.
  • Has awarded scholarships and internships in peace, human rights and conflict resolution.

Signature events

Every year in the first week of November, the Sydney Peace Foundation presents the Sydney Peace Prize. The Sydney Peace Prize is awarded to an organization or an individual whose life and work has demonstrated significant contributions to:

  • The achievement of peace with justice locally, nationally or internationally
  • The promotion and attainment of human rights
  • The philosophy, language and practice of non-violence

To read more about the Sydney Peace Prize and the nomination and selection process click here.

The Sydney Peace Prize Gala Dinner

The premier annual event of the Sydney Peace Foundation, this gala dinner attracts the an audience of 400 of Sydney’s top business, government, NGO and university leaders and well as diverse community members.

The City of Sydney Peace Lecture & Award Ceremony

Each year the award is awarded during a public ceremony at Sydney Town Hall. The City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture is an inspirational annual address delivered by the year’s Sydney Peace Prize recipient, which takes place at Sydney Town Hall to a sell-out crowd.

The lecture transcript is available after the event.

Learn what the first ten Sydney Peace Prize recipients think about peace:

Special events and visitors

Throughout the year the Sydney Peace Foundation presents special events and seminars with distinguished guests.

00 stu and nelson

In past years seminars have been conducted with:

  • Andrew Wilkie MP, Julian Burnside QC and John Pilger addressing WikiLeaks and Freedom: Breaking Australia’s Silence
  • Gareth Evans, President of the International Crisis Group, on the international responsibility to protect
  • Margaret Reynolds , President of the United Nations Association of Australia, on the 2004 UN Commission on Human Rights
  • Jeff McMullen, award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent
  • Father Frank Brennan
  • Hugh Mackay
  • The late Bryce Courtenay AM

Since the inception of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Partners in Peace have had the opportunity to meet some of the world’s most inspiring leaders and advocates of peace with justice. Visitors to the Foundation have included:

Nelson Mandela
On 4 September 2000 former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, presented Dr Stella Cornelius (left), founder of the Conflict Resolution Network, and Faith Bandler right, campaigner for indigenous rights in Australia, with certificates for their dedication to and achievements in conflict resolution and education. The Sydney Peace Foundation was proud to have such an honoured guest.

 His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet

 On 25 May 2002, Councillor Kathryn Greiner, then Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, presented His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet with the Sydney Peace Foundation Medal. The presentation was in recognition of his untiring work for human rights, non-violence and world peace.