UQ celebrates International Day of Peace

20 September 2021

Despite the distressing stories coming out of Afghanistan, Syria, Myanmar and elsewhere, University of Queensland academics and students continue to promote peace and conflict resolution in our world.

On 21 September UQ’s Rotary Peace Centre, located in the School of Political Science and International Studies, will join with the UN Association of Australia and several local groups to commemorate the United Nations’ International Day of Peace (IDOP).

Taking place at St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane’s CBD tomorrow, this free event promises a much-needed antidote to the daily newsfeed of war and human tragedy.

As part of the celebration, the Rotary Peace Centre will be presenting awards to two candidates who have made a sustained contribution to peace.

Founding Director of the Rotary Peace Centre Associate Professor Marianne Hanson said these ‘Celebrating Local Agents of Peace Awards’ are an important way of recognising the work that so many people in our part of the world perform to advance peace.

“We want to encourage and celebrate these dedicated people, who are motivated by ideals of a common humanity,” Dr Hanson said.

Past recipients of these awards include Brisbane man Ritchie Yorke, who was John Lennon’s ‘Peace Envoy’.

In this role, he travelled around the world advocating for the end of the Vietnam War. Upon returning to Brisbane, he worked to promote peace and non-violence through music and the arts.

A more recent recipient is Wendy Flannery, from the Mercy Sisters, who is active in promoting social justice, an end to poverty, and a sustainable planet. 

The event will also feature a special message from the UN Secretary General, and the Annual Brisbane Peace Lecture will be given by former Defence Force Chief, Admiral Chris Barrie AC - ‘Peace – an aspirational leadership challenge: can we do better in the 21st Century?’

Two Brisbane sisters, Augnes and Teresa Joy plan to commemorate the day and aim to set an official world record by singing the world’s 195 national anthems in 100 languages.

“They are on a mission to sing the anthem of every nation of the world to promote world peace, children’s safety, women’s empowerment, common humanity and care for the climate,’ Dr Hanson said.

Launched in 1981 as a United Nations resolution, IDOP marks a date when all of humanity can commit to overcoming their differences and build a culture of peace.

All are welcome to attend this memorable event, which promises to be an uplifting night in Brisbane’s social calendar.

Event details

Date: Tuesday 21 September, 7–8.30pm

Venue: St John’s Cathedral, 373 Ann Street Brisbane

Please register your attendance here

In the event of a Brisbane lockdown or if you wish to view from afar, the evening will be livestreamed.