Here’s what we’ve been up to…

West Papua Forum

On the 16th of September, the UNAA Queensland Peace and Security Program hosted the online event, ‘West Papua: Finding a way forward’. What was presented was some great insight into current status of West Papua and what we, as an active civil society, could do in the face of significant challenges that are evident in the West Papua case. What followed was a brief overview of our four speakers’ presentations and some of the key points that emerged.

Click here to read more

International Day of Peace Lecture and
Salute the Nations

Brisbane’s hosted its 9th annual International Day of Peace events in this 75th anniversary year of the UN at St Johns Cathedral. The world record-making singing of the anthems of all 193 nations of the United Nations during the day by Teresa and Augnes Joy, was an incredible effort and a joy to hear their beautiful voices uniting the peoples of the world for Peace in their program Salute the Nations.

The evening Brisbane Peace lecture heard Retired Major Cameron Leckie speak about his journey from a very enthusiastic young soldier to his present-day view that Australia’s involvement in the wars of the past 70 years has been solely to demonstrate our allegiance to the United States of America and nothing to do with defence of our country. Cameron went on to introduce retired Rear Admiral Chris Barrie who strongly supports the Australians for War Powers Reform and highlighted the urgency of addressing climate change and the threat of nuclear war the importance of nuclear disarmament.

The University of Qld Rotary Peace Centre Local agents of Peace awards went to Margaret Pestorius and Annette Brownlie recognising the work they are doing to raise awareness and demonstrate alternatives to war and the preparations for war in Australia.

Sustainable Development Goals Champions Event (15th Year)

Congratulations to the following individuals (and organisations) who epitomize the themes of the SDG’s (people, planet, prosperity, peace) during their lifetime of contributions locally, but have never been recognised appropriately through government institutions.

Champion of People: Dean Parkin
Champion of Planet: Lyndon Scheneiders
Champion of Prosperity: Professor Susan Harris Rimmer
Champion of Peace: Valarie Joy
Champion of Peace: Louise Erbacher
Champion of Partnership: Chris Knight

Champions Louise Erbacher and Professor Susan Harris Rimmer provided some comments regarding their impression of the current state of peace and security, and how UNAAQ can contribute to resolving it:

“I think we have a long way to go but we are living in a time where there is much more involvement from people at the ground level to work together to fix the structures that are causing inequality and peace and violence.
The work that UNAAQ is doing around connecting with other agencies is keeping the agenda in the public profile…I think that’s the beauty of UNAAQ is that open invitation all the time to get people working together and to raise awareness of what’s really going on.”

Louise Erbacher, Champion of Peace

“…We had the amazing development that the UN security council and the general assembly called for a global ceasefire during the COVID pandemic, which is the first time in my memory that the UN has ever done that. Was that observed? No, it was not… But this idea that hostilities must cease when there’s other strong human rights issues happening, or health issues, is really important, because now … you get this multiplied effect of conflict on people’s lives, and that is the worst of all possible worlds. So I think that’s what I’ve thought about the state of peace and security at the moment is this intersection between climate change, pandemics, and traditional security.” 
Professor Susan Harris Rimmer, Champion of Prosperity



Doug Everingham Lecture by Leanne Smith

This year’s Doug Everingham lecture was about Peace, Dignity and Equality on a Healthy Planet: How Australia can contribute to the UN Common Agenda. The lecture was given by the newly appointed Chief Executive at the Australian Human Rights Commission, Leanne Smith.

Click here to access the lecture



“Our Common Agenda and the New Agenda for Peace” [as delivered]
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The United Nations is focused on assisting and supporting the Afghan people at this very critical time.  During a high-level meeting in Geneva on 13 September, the international community pledged more than $1.2 billion in humanitarian and development aid to the Afghan people.
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Since the conflict erupted in March 2011, Syria has witnessed unprecedented devastation and displacement. More than 5 million Syrians have fled the country and 6 million are internally displaced. With more than 13 million people in need of assistance, the conflict has caused untold suffering for Syrian men, women and children.
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Peace and Security Program workshop
5th December 10am

Guest speaker Associate Professor Marianne Hanson
Justice Place, Woolloongabba Brisbane
Please bring a plate of food to share.
Click here for more details.


Human Rights Commemoration Day
13th December

Guest Speaker Clem B Campbell OAM
St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane
Friends and family are welcome to attend.

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