April 20, 2013 by tvo320
What an inspiring day! Today was the tenth annual Peace Fellows’ Seminar at the University of Queensland (UQ) as well as the tenth year of the program. Nine members make up Class X Rotary Peace Fellows who have returned from a three-month Applied Fieldwork Experience (AFE) to present their research to Rotarians, academics, and the public.
The Peace Fellows’ Seminar is a great way to maintain a strong relationship between the Rotary Centre and Rotarians. Rotarians are able to hear firsthand about the special work that the Peace Fellows have been conducting while UQ can properly thank Rotary for its continued support and funding a worthwhile program that aims to work towards world peace, justice, and understanding.
The program was very well-organized and engaging. I wanted to share our jam-packed schedule with you all and am already looking forward to next year’s seminar.
- 9am-9:45am: Welcome and Introduction
- 9:45am-11am: Session on Peace, Security, and Diplomacy
- 11am-11:30am: Morning Tea
- 11:30am-12:45pm: Sessions on Asia
- 12:45pm-1:45pm: Lunch
- 1:45pm-2pm: Interactive Exercise
- 2pm-3pm: Session on Africa and Middle East
- 3pm-3:30pm: Open Forum on Peace
- 3:30pm-4:15pm: Recognizing New and Former UQ Peace Fellows
- 4:15pm-5:30pm: Closing Ceremony
I enjoyed all of the presentations especially the “Peace through Diplomacy in Bosnia Herzegovina” by Casey Crocket and Brothers through Bullets: Veterans Building Peace in Vietnam by Nissa Rhee. Casey discussed her experience with the Office of Public Diplomacy in the US Embassy in Sarajevo where she focused on small educational and cultural programs to bring the US and Bosnia Herzegovina together. I loved her community read project with the book “One Bosnia and Herzegovina, One Book” that focuses on encouraging the youth and giving them hope for the future. Then, Nissa’s project gave great insight into veterans who fought in the Vietnam War who are returning to Vietnam and trying to reconcile the past. She highlighted two veterans, both named Chuck and the programs they have started in Vietnam to help those who were affected by the war. In addition, they are trying to have the US government acknowledge and be accountable for the land mines and agent orange cases that still affect the lives of many Vietnamese citizens every day.
We know that reaching global peace has a long journey but after listening to all of the Peace Fellows, progress has been and is being made one step at a time. The reason that peace is occurring is because people are making a change and I truly believe we need more individuals like the Peace Fellows who share such passion for peace and conflict resolution. Peace Fellow Paul Conrad’s of the day presentation summed it up best.