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Media Release: ‘Time for Outrage, Time for Celebration’: Honoring the life of Stephane Hessel

Australian Ambassador presents Sydney Peace Foundation’s posthumous award to a hero of the French Republic

In the Australian Embassy in Paris,  on May 2nd , the Australian Ambassador to France awarded the Sydney Peace Foundation’s human rights gold medal to the widow of Stephan Hessel, former French resistance fighter, concentration camp survivor, co author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and author of the ground breaking, inspirational book, ‘Time for Outrage.’

Originally chosen to receive the 2013 Sydney Peace Prize, Australia’s only international award for peace, Stephan Hessel died on February 27th. The citation explaining the choice of Hessel acknowledge ‘his life time commitment to human rights even to the point of putting his life on the line.’

Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Professor Stuart Rees describes Hessel as ‘a towering figure of 20th century resistance.’  ‘ He inspired the  uprising in several Arab countries  and the Occupy Movement’s protest against what Hessel called ‘the international dictatorship of the financial markets.’

Hessel’s values and views challenge governments and citizens all over the world.

Hessel was outraged by governments’ treatment  of  immigrants and the poor, by the destruction of the environment, by the erosion of social welfare but most of all by Israel’s cruelty towards the Palestinians, in the refugee camps, in Gaza and on the West Bank. ‘ Have the Israelis forgotten the human values of Judaism?’, he asked.

The ceremony in Paris on May 2nd will also acknowledge Madame Christiane Hessel’s work for social justice. Christiane will remind her Australian and French audience of her husband’s enduring human rights legacy and his plea: ‘ To Create is To Resist. To Resist is To Create.’

Photos from 2 May: