The Sydney Peace Foundation is a University of Sydney foundation which promotes peace with justice and the practice of non-violence and awards Australia’s only international prize for peace.
The Sydney Peace Foundation (SPF) was founded in 1998 in order to promote public discussion about peace with justice and so influence public interest. It is a not-for-profit organisation at the University of Sydney and is supported by the City of Sydney. The Foundation is run by a diverse council of sixteen members, which includes representatives from the media, business, academia and the community sector. The Foundation is wholly dependent on donations from its supporters, and does not receive funding from the University of Sydney.
The Foundation’s priorities are to promote universal human rights and peace with justice in any context, locally and internationally. Such priorities are regarded by the Council as the building blocks of any civil society. Without such goals and ideals, any culture becomes merely a survival of the fittest.
To achieve its goals, the Sydney Peace Foundation:
- Selects and awards the Sydney Peace Prize; Australia’s only international prize for peace.
- Engages the mainstream and independent media in its strong advocacy strategy.
- Hosts educational seminars and public forums. In 2011, such seminars included WikiLeaks and Freedom: Breaking Australia’s Silence, addressed by Andrew Wilkie MP, Julian Burnside QC and John Pilger to an audience of 2,500 in the Sydney Town Hall.
- Runs various peace projects, including the Youth Peace Initiative and the West Papua Project.
- Develops corporate sector and community understanding of the value of peace with justice in diverse contexts and countries.
- Sponsors peace initiatives, particularly the work of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney;
- Teaches peace and conflict studies and creates jobs for young people in areas of peace research, conflict resolution and the promotion of human rights.
- Awards scholarships and internships in peace, human rights and conflict resolution.
In 2011, with a lean staff of the equivalent of two full-time employees, the SPF events attracted audiences of at least 6,000 in Sydney and events were covered by all major news outlets. In addition, the 2011 Sydney Peace Prize recipient also addressed audiences in Melbourne of 5,000 and in Adelaide of 2,500.
Peace with Justice
Peace with justice is a way of thinking and acting which promotes nonviolent solutions to everyday problems and thereby contributes to a civil society. Peace with justice includes setting standards for the security of children and for primary health care, promoting an end to the violence of poverty, and facilitating personal fulfilment through the creation of rewarding opportunities in education and employment.
For more information and links on peace with justice click here.
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 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.
Each year on the evening before the Award is presented, the Sydney Peace Prize recipient presents the City of Sydney Peace Lecture.
This popular event is often a sellout and a spillover audience may be accommodated in a second theatre. The lecture transcript is available after the event.
Special events and visitors
Throughout the year the Sydney Peace Foundation presents special events and seminars with distinguished guests.
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
- 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:
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.
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.