Our long weekend of peace concluded with discussions of alternative ways forward.
We were honoured to have as speakers Professor John Langmore AM, Chair of the Initiative for Peacebuilding at the University of Melbourne and Alison Brionowski AM, former diplomat, author and President of Australians for War Powers Reform. John and Alison discussed the role of diplomacy in world affairs as well as comment on alternatives to the role of Australia’s current defence narrative.
The next speakers were Margaret Hepworth, the founder of the Gandhi Experiment in Melbourne that works with academics, school students, community groups and at international forums to promote and model cooperative approaches to conflict management. Aletia Dundas spoke about conflict resolution processes from her experiences as a presenter of the Alternatives to Violence program and her knowledge of the work of the Quaker United Nations Offices at Geneva and New York whose focus is “finding common ground through quiet diplomacy”.