Sydney Peace Prize
The Sydney Peace Prize is awarded by the Sydney Peace Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation associated with the University of Sydney. The Sydney Peace Prize is the only international peace prize awarded in Australia.
The City of Sydney is a major supporter of the Sydney Peace Prize. This involves a significant financial contribution along with other in-kind support in order to foster peace with justice.
Over three months each year, the Sydney Peace Prize jury – comprising seven individuals who represent corporate, media, academic and community sector interests – assesses the merits of the nominees' efforts to promote peace with justice. It is awarded to an organisation or individual:
- who has made significant contributions to global peace including improvements in personal security and steps towards eradicating poverty, and other forms of structural violence
- whose role and responsibilities enable the recipient to use the prize to further the cause of peace with justice
- whose work illustrates the philosophy and principles of non-violence
The jury has been prepared to make some controversial choices. Sydney Peace Foundation Director, Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees, said "The initiators of the Sydney Peace Prize aimed to influence public interest in peace with justice, an ideal which is often perceived as controversial. The choice of a non-controversial candidate for a peace prize would be a safe option but unlikely to prompt debate or to increase understanding. Consensus usually encourages compliance, often anaesthetises and seldom informs." (SMH)
In 2004 conservative commentator Gerard Henderson criticised the award being presented to Arundhati Roy given her support for resistance to United States forces involved in the Iraq War. Roy's supporters defended her views on the basis that she advocated non-violent resistance only.
- 1998 – Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of the Grameen Bank for the poor
- 1999 – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize recipient
- 2000 – Xanana Gusmão, the poet-artist and president of East Timor
- 2001 – Sir William Deane, the former Governor-General of Australia
- 2002 – Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
- 2003 – Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian academic and human rights campaigner
- 2004 – Arundhati Roy, Indian novelist and peace activist
- 2005 – Olara Otunnu, United Nations Under Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict from Uganda
- 2006 – Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International
- 2007 – Hans Blix, chairman of the UN Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission
- 2008 – Patrick Dodson, chairman of the Lingiari Foundation
- 2009 – John Pilger, Australian journalist and documentary maker
- 2010 – Vandana Shiva, Indian social justice and environmental activist, eco-feminist and author
- 2011 – Noam Chomsky, American linguist and activist
- 2012 – Sekai Holland, Zimbabwean Senator
Gold medal for Peace with Justice
The foundation also occasionally awards a special gold medal for significant contributions to peace and justice. There have only been four recipients of this award in the foundation's fourteen-year history: South African statesman Nelson Mandela, 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, Japanese Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda, and Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange.
- "2012 Senator Sekai Holland: Courageous Zimbabwean politician wins 2012 Sydney Peace Prize". Sydney Peace Foundation. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
- "Julian Assange awarded Sydney peace medal". Australian Associated Press – via The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2011.