Sydney Peace Prize

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The Sydney Peace Prize is awarded by the Sydney Peace Foundation,[1] a non profit organisation associated with the University of Sydney. The prize promotes peace with justice and the practice of nonviolence. It aims to encourage public interest and discussion about issues of peace, social justice, human rights, and non-violent conflict resolution.[2]


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.

The prize[edit]

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 Founder, 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."[3]

Prize winners[edit]

Gold medal for Peace with Justice[edit]

The foundation also occasionally awards a special gold medal for significant contributions to peace and justice. Winners of the gold medal include South African statesman Nelson Mandela, 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, Japanese Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda, WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange,[4][3] Costa Rican Christina Figueres and Australian band Midnight Oil.[15]


  1. ^ "Home - Sydney Peace Foundation". Sydney Peace Foundation.
  2. ^ "Peace with Justice Links & Resources - Sydney Peace Foundation".
  3. ^ a b Rees, Stuart (28 October 2004). "Peace is about justice, not just violence". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b "2001 Sir William Deane AC KBE". Sydney Peace Foundation. 2001. Retrieved 1 January 2015. for his consistent support of vulnerable and disadvantaged Australians and his strong commitment to the cause of reconciliation. Sydney Peace Prize Lecture: "Justice for Indigenous People: The Peace Priority" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Julian Assange awarded Sydney peace medal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australian Associated Press. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  6. ^ "2012 Senator Sekai Holland: Courageous Zimbabwean politician wins 2012 Sydney Peace Prize". Sydney Peace Foundation. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  7. ^ "2013 Dr Cynthia Maung". Sydney Peace Foundation. 17 August 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2014. for her dedication to multi-ethnic democracy, human rights and the dignity of the poor and dispossessed, and for establishing health services for victims of conflict.
  8. ^ "2014 Julian Burnside AO QC". Sydney Peace Foundation. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Julian Burnside selected to receive Sydney Peace Prize". SBS. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  10. ^ "2015 George Gittoes AM". Sydney Peace Foundation. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2016. for exposing injustice for over 45 years as a humanist artist, activist and filmmaker, for his courage to witness and confront violence in the war zones of the world, for enlisting the arts to subdue aggression and for enlivening the creative spirit to promote tolerance, respect and peace with justice.
  11. ^ "Naomi Klein wins Sydney Peace Prize". SBS. 14 May 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Black Lives Matter named as winner of 2017 Sydney Peace Prize". Sydney Peace Foundation. 23 May 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  13. ^ Pitt, Helen (21 April 2018). "American economist Joseph Stiglitz wins 2018 Sydney Peace Prize". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  14. ^ Martin, Lisa (30 April 2019). "Tarana Burke and Tracey Spicer win Sydney Peace prize for #MeToo work". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Midnight Oil win Sydney Peace Foundation's gold medal for human rights". The Guardian. 13 October 2020. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  16. ^ "Uluru Statement from the Heart wins 2021 Sydney Peace Prize". The University of Sydney. 26 May 2021. Archived from the original on 30 May 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  17. ^ Zhou, Naaman (26 May 2021). "Uluru Statement from the Heart awarded 2021 Sydney peace prize". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 31 May 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  18. ^ "Uluru Statement from the Heart wins 21-22 Sydney Peace Prize". The University of Sydney. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  19. ^ Khadem, Nassim (25 October 2023). "Actress Nazanin Boniadi on why China shouldn't be mediator in the Middle East". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 28 October 2023.

External links[edit]