Celebrating Non-violence Month
Inspired by and with the support of Ela Gandhi, Gandhi Development Trust and ICON (International Centre of Non-violence) Durban, the International Centre of Non-violence (ICON) Australia was launched on 2 October 2012, when celebrating UN International Day of Non-violence and commemorating the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth.
The main objective of the ICON Australia will be to part education on action in non-violence at various levels. Their vision is of a non-violent society based on the celebration of our common humanity and of the natural environment that sustains us. ICON will work to make strategic interventions in education – development of educators and curricula, teaching and writing – that challenge structural violence, enable learning untainted by violence and advance a culture of nonviolence. It works through reflective practice and focused research to develop and disseminate its understanding, and to build networks of educators with a similar vision and commitment.
ICON invite you to participate in the NON-VIOLENCE MONTH, starting on 2 October 2014, International Day of Non-violence and birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and finishing on 1 November 2014. More information can be found on the website www.nonviolence.org.au.
It will be an Australia-wide event in collaboration with the major universities in every major city (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, Darwin). Planned activities will include concerts, musicals (peace through music), sports, lectures, workshops, visit to prison inmates and under privileged communities in the various regions of Australia.
Participation is possible in the following manner:
- Mark any of your proposed activities during the month of October as part of the Non-violence Month;
- Hold a lecture series on educating the concept of non-violence and its implementation in day to day life in any university / institution in Australia;
- Dedicate any literary / sports activities at any of the universities / institutions to promotion of the cause of Nonviolence;
- Your special message / write-up for the Non-violence Month magazine;
- Introduction to any of your high profile peace partners in the manner suitable / appropriate to you.
Confirmed Activities as of 18 September 2014:
The leading government departments, councils, universities, schools and organisations will participate in the NON-VIOLENCE MONTH by various means and ways. Some will act as a leading voice for building peace in our communities through dialogue and other forms of non-violent conflict resolution, inviting and hosting speakers, contacting the relevant business units and associations at their organisations to seek their input on how they are able to actively participate, spreading Non-violence messages through student clubs and societies, writing and publishing articles on Non-violence theme, promoting their social media networks, arranging lecture series or workshops or rebranding sporting activities etc. The Participants in the NON-VIOLENCE MONTH activities include:
Griffith University, Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue
Dr Brian Adams, Director, Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue is a leading voice for building peace in its communities through dialogue and other forms of non-violent conflict resolution. The Centre has expressed its willingness to participate in Non-violence Month by promoting material for non-violence activities and by hosting a speaker.
James Cook University
Sandra Harding, Vice Chancellor, James Cook University strongly supports the Non-violence Month initiative. James Cook University has contacted its relevant business units and associations to seek their input on how the University would be able to actively participate.
Monash University has expressed its willingness to spread the non-violence message through it students association and executive staff. This would provide exposure to a broad range of services encompassed within Non-violence Month theme, including but not limited to, race, religion, disability, politics and gender.
Institute for Economics and Peace
Camilla Schippa, Director, Institute for Economics and Peace has shown its willingness to participate in Non-violence month. They are desirous to publish articles and other non-violence related material by Non-violence Centre of Australia on its www.visionofhumanity.org website. They themselves are willing to write an article about Non-violence Month and promote it through its social networks, Facebook, twitter etc.
Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WA)
Angela Hartwig, CEO, Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WA) has informed that the Council will dedicate the theme for their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 28 October as part of their commemoration of Non-violence Month. The Council will be dedicating the day to Mahatma Gandhi as they highlight some of the important work of the organisation over the last year, such as the Promoting Respect Project. Angela Hartwig as CEO will read out a Special Message.
Noosa Library service would like to commemorate Non-violence month in October. The library has expressed its willingness to display nonviolence material about Non-violence Month and ICON Australia.
Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney
Dr Wendy Lambourne, Deputy Director and Academic Coordinator, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney has informed that they are organizing an event on 22 September 2014 which will be linked with International Day of Peace on 21 Sep. And an event on 26 September 2014 will be linked with Non-violence Month.
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
The Department communicates regularly with school based staff, including a weekly Schools Bulletin which is issued every Tuesday during school term. The Department will highlight Non-violence Month in the Schools’ Bulletin in October month. The story will include images and key messages from ICON Australia, a call to action for schools to run their own activities.
Blacktown City Council
Blacktown City Council actively works to promote community harmony and non-violence. Each year they sponsor major events and art exhibitions to celebrate diverse cultural communities and encourage interfaith and intercultural dialogue. While they will ensure that key non-violence messages are incorporated into a partnership event they are organising with the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW, Mount Druitt Ethnic Communities Agency and Sydwest Multicultural Services on 5 September 2014.
Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW)
In recognitions of the importance of non-violence worldwide, activities undertaken by Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) during October will be recognized as nonviolent activities where possible.
Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment
Dr Jim Watterston, Director General, Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment has conveyed his best wishes for Non-violence Month and he has conveyed that his department is proactive in addressing bullying and violence in schools. On 21 March 2014, 596 Queensland Schools with over 315,000 students participated in the fourth annual National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.
Penrith City Council
Penrith City Council has informed that planning is currently underway for its local events for 2014 and will continue to work towards promoting and maintaining a safe city. It continues to work towards promoting and maintaining a safe city and is committed to encouraging safe, confident and well-connected communities and this is highlighted through its Community Safety Plan 2013-2016. Domestic and family violence is its current priority area under the Plan with the objective of increasing community awareness and reporting of domestic and family violence in the Penrith Local Government Area (LGA).
Department of Justice
Corrections Victoria (CV) operates with a zero-violence policy to violence including all acts of threatening behaviour, harassment, intimidation, threats, and physical violence. The policy applied to staff, offenders and visitors across the Prisons and Community Correctional Services (CCS). Corrections operating procedures are designed to prevent and minimise the risk of violence against staff, offenders and visitors. For CV participating in a one-month non-violence event is not reflective of the ongoing work undertaken across the system to combat the issue of violence. However, CV wishes to emphasise the ongoing efforts on a systems basis to reduce violence.
At the recommendation of the Premier, Dr Vanessa Goodwin, Attorney General, Minister for Justice, Minister of Corrections, Minister for Arts, Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council Tasmanian Government has noted Non-violence Month plans with interest and offered the government participation in promoting the Non-violence Month.
City of Sydney
The City supports the White Ribbon campaign, which aims to end men’s violence against women. The City has an annual program of events which we produce in-house, we can assist charities that want to stage events in our local government area through grants, sponsorship or by hiring out our venues and facilities.
Message of support from Lord Mayor of Sydney Hon. Clover Moore:
“Non-violence Month carries on the important work of Mahatma Gandhi and all those who seek a world free of violence. I commend the International Centre of Nonviolence for their continuing effort in promoting a culture of peace and understanding through education and public awareness. On 2 October, in celebration of the International Day of Non-violence and the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, let us reflect on his inspiring belief that ‘non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind.'”
University of New South Wales
University of New South Wales (UNSW) will be hosting the launch of Non-violence Month on 2 October 2014 at the Library lawns in front of the Mahatma Gandhi bust. UNSW have graciously provided the venue. The Australia India Institute UNSW node, (courtesy of its patron, Neville Roach AO) has also extended their support.
Gandhi Jayanti Event at UNSW on 8 October 2014
UNSW and Australia India Institute will be having their annual celebration of Gandhi Jayanti (birth anniversary) at UNSW on Wednesday 8 October 2014 with a theme ‘What leaders today can learn from Gandhi’s life’.
Refreshments: 6.00pm – 6.45pm. Panel Discussion: 6.45pm – 8.00pm. Venue: UNSW, Leighton Hall, John Niland Scientia Building (G19), Library Walk, Gate 11, Botany Street Kensington, 2052. For additional information, contact Krista Arief on:
New South Wales Parliament House.
New South Wales Parliament have extended their support for the Non-violence Month project. An especial event will be held on 16 October 2014 at the Theatrette New South Wales Parliament House. This special function for the State MPs and VIPs will be hosted by the Hon. Victor Dominello, Minister for Citizenship and Communities, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Veterans Affairs, and Assistant Minister for Education.
Soka Gakkai International Australia
Soka Gakkai International Australia (SGI) will host and dedicate a number of activities at their Centres Australia wide promoting the concept and importance of non-violence in everyday life.
Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Queensland Corrective Services
Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) wholeheartedly supports the project of Nonviolence Month. QCS actively participates in the promotion of anti-violence messages, through several channels, in the treatment and rehabilitation of prisoners. During 2014, QCS actively advertised anti-violence posters in all corrective services facilities and Probation and Parole offices. A number of focus groups were held to inform the development of campaign materials. This remains and active campaign. QCS also delivers a number of offender intervention programs which specifically address violence issues.
In 2013, the Positive Futures for Men offender intervention program was implemented which addresses violence and substance abuse needs of indigenous males. Currently, under development is a similar program currently being developed to target the violence and substance abuse needs of indigenous females. The Cognitive Self Change program, a six month intensive program is also being delivered in correctional centres which addresses the entrenched violence supporting beliefs of high risk men in custody. There is also an Ending Family Violence program (an indigenous program addressing family violence) that continues being delivered in some remote locations, pending the implementation of the Positive Futures programs in these areas in 2014.
And of course… Sydney Peace Foundation
The 2014 Sydney Peace Prize, Australia’s only annual international prize for peace, will be awarded on Wednesday 5 November—just following non-violence month. One of the criteria through which the Jury choose a recipient is that the winner must reflect the philosophy, language and practice of nonviolence. This year the Prize will be awarded to to Julian Burnside AO QC, barrister and human rights advocate, at Sydney Town Hall. There will be an Award Ceremony and Lecture, where Julian Burnside will speak and Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH GCL will present him with the Prize. A Gala Reception will follow, in the Town Hall’s gorgeous Vestibule, with a Q&A moderated by distinguished journalist Richard Ackland and entertainment from The Chaser’s Charles Firth, over drinks and canapés. Click here for more information.
ICON expect confirmations from a number of organizations throughout Australia who will be organizing and/or dedicating activities for the Non-violence Month.