As well as the annual Sydney Peace Prize, the Sydney Peace Foundation presents various other awards to recognise achievements in the promotion of peace with justice. These include prizes, certificates and the Gold Medal.
The Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal is awarded on occasion to recognise extraordinary achievement for the promotion of peace with justice. It is distinct from the annual Sydney Peace Prize, which is awarded in November each year, and is the Foundation’s preeminent accolade, made in honour of a lifetime commitment to advancing peace with justice.
In its fourteen year history, the Sydney Peace Foundation has awarded its Gold Medal on only five occasions.
2013 – Stéphane Hessel
In 2013 the Sydney Peace Foundation awarded a posthumous Gold Medal for Human Rights to Stéphane Hessel, former French resistance fighter, concentration camp survivor, co-author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and author of the ground breaking book, Time for Outrage.
On May 2nd, at the Australian Ambassador’s Residence in Paris, Ambassador Ric Wells presented the award to Christiane Hessel-Chabry, Hessel’s widow.
Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Professor Stuart Rees, described Hessel as ‘a towering figure of 20th century resistance.’ Hessel insisted on respect for the universality of human rights and he inspired the Occupy Movement’s protest against what he called ‘the international dictatorship of the financial markets.’
To learn more and see pictures, click here.
The Sydney Peace Foundation has awarded its Gold Medal for peace with justice to WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange. The citation reads, ‘For exceptional courage and initiative in pursuit of human rights’.
’Assange’s work is in the Tom Paine Rights of Man and Daniel Ellsberg Pentagon Papers tradition- challenging the old order of power in politics and in journalism.
Assange has championed people’s right to know and has challenged the centuries old tradition that governments are entitled to keep the public in a state of ignorance. In the Paine, Ellsberg and Assange cases, those in power moved quickly to silence their critics even by perverting the course of justice’.
The Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal was awarded to Julian Assange at a ceremony in mid 2011. For more on Julian Assange’s award including a video of the ceremony at London’s Frontline Club, click here.
2009 – Daisaku Ikeda
Sydney Peace Foundation Executive Committe member Marie Whybourne presented an SPF Medal Daisaku Ikeda, the Japanese Buddhist philosopher, educator, writer and peace activist (seen here with Foundation Directory Professor Stuart Rees).
Dr Ikeda founded Soka Gakkai International, an organisation with ten million members world wide who share a philosphy which emphasises the value and dignity of all life and the responsibility of every individual to contribute to building a world where people of diverse cultures and faiths can live in peace.
2002 – 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet
Former Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Kathryn Greiner, presented His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, with the Sydney Peace Foundation Medal. The presentation was in recognition of his untiring work for human rights, nonviolence and world peace
2000 – Nelson Mandela
Former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, presented Dr Stella Cornelisu, founder of the Conflict Resolution Network, and Dr Faith Bandler, campaigner for indigenous rights in Australia, with certificates for their dedication and achievements in conflict resolution and education