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Peace and Social Justice

Image: Julie Webb

New Watching Brief from QPLC 

Outlines the range of activities undertaken by the United Nations at its 75th anniversary and the involvement and support provided to the UN within Australia and globally.

Quakers and Peace

In Australia, our committees and meetings are involved in a range of peace activities. These include silent vigils, releasing public statements, participating in peaceful protests and supporting community activities in partnership with other organisations. Regular vigils are held Brisbane and Melbourne and all are welcome.

The Quaker peace testimony is the testimony most frequently associated with Quakers. Peace is seen by Quakers as far more than a rejection of warfare. In the silent meditation and prayer of the Quaker Meeting for Worship, and in our search in daily life for that of God in all other people, Quakers have sought to develop an ethos which puts a love of fellow humans into practice.

Quakers have been advocating peace for 350 years. We have driven ambulances and fed the starving on both sides in many conflicts. We send people into the midst of conflicts all over the world, to help find out what is going on, and to do whatever presents itself to help build a peace that 'takes away the occasion of all wars'.

Public Statements 2020

Australian Quakers write to politicians expressing their conern and desire for more just and peaceful policies and practices. Read our most recent statments below, or follow this link for public statements from previous years

  • Increased Military Defence Spending - September 2020 
  • People in immigration centre falling through the safety net during COVID-19 - September 2020
  • Pressures on democracy and social cohension cause by the COVID-19 pandemic - September 2020
  • Climate Justice, in association with ARRCC - February 2020
  • International Court of Justice ruling re: Rohingya people in Myanmar - January 2020

Resources

Exhibition about the peace and resistance work of Quakers during World War I.

A Quaker Calendar of Active Nonviolence - prepared by David Johnson, this calendar provides suggestions for inspiration and meditation for every day of the year, with a prominent leader or organisation noted for each month.

Australian Quaker peace organisations and activities

  • Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee - A national committee of Australian Quakers that lobbies the Federal Government on issues of human rights and social justice and issues background papers and public statements to keep informed.
  • Peace and Social Justice Fund Committee - A national committee of Australian Quakers that provides financial support to Quaker peace committees and to individual Members and Attenders to implement the peace and social justice concerns of the Society.
  • Quaker Service Australia - Aims to express in a practical way the concern of Quakers for the building of a more peaceful, equitable, just and compassionate world.

Other Quaker Peace Work 

  • Friends Peace Teams - FPT’s Initiatives build on extensive Quaker experience combining practical and spiritual to create programs for peacebuilding, healing and reconciliation aspects of conflict resolution around the world.
  • Alternatives to Violence Project - A network of independent not-for-profit grass-roots volunteer groups offering experiential workshops on creative conflict transformation in prisons, schools, and the wider community
  • Quaker UN Offices, Geneva and New York
  • National Council of Churches - Australian Quakers are represented on the NCCA by our Presiding Clerk and others.

Backhouse Lectures related to Peace and Social Justice

  • 2007 Lecture - Support for our true selves - Nurturing the space where leadings flow - by Jenny Spinks - MP3  (6.63MB)
  • 2006 Lecture - One Heart and a Wrong Spirit: The Religious Society of Friends and Colonial Racism - Polly O. (Daksi) Walker
  • 2005 Lecture - Peace is a Struggle - David Johnson
  • 2004 Lecture - Growing a Fruitful Friendship - A Garden Walk - by Ute Caspers - MP3 (3MB)
  • 2015 Lecture - This We Can Do: Quaker faith in action through the Alternatives to Violence Project - by Sally Herzfeld and Alternatives to Violence Project Members
  • 2012 Lecture  - From the inside out: Observations on Quaker work at the United Nations - by David Atwood 
  • 2002 Lecture - To Do Justly, And To Love Mercy: learning from Quaker service - by Mark Deasey - MP3 (66.82KB)
  • 2001 Lecture - Reconciling Opposites: Reflections on peacemaking in South Africa - by Hendrik W van der Merwe -  MP3 (65.49KB)
  • 1995 Lecture - Emerging Currents in the Asia-Pacific - by Donna Kyle Anderton & Barbara Baker Bird Bangkok, Thailand - MP3  (65.49KB)
  • 1994 Lecture - As the Mirror Burns Making a Film about Vietnam - by Di Bretherton
  • 1988 Lecture - Creative Conflict - by David Purnell
  • 1987 Lecture - The Vision That Connects - Building The Future We Choose - by Carol and Dougald McLean
  • 1986 Lecture - Looking for Meanings of My A-Bomb Experience in Nagasaki - by Susumu Ishitani
  • 1985 Lecture - For All The Saints - by Gerald Priestland
  • 1984 Lecture - Pilgrims for Justice and Peace - by Peter D. Jones

Other peace organisations we support