The Sydney Peace Foundation

SPF logo

The Sydney Peace Foundation (SPF) was established in 1998 as an initiative of DPACS to develop corporate sector and community understanding of peace with justice. Its relationship with the University was formalised in 1999 when the Sydney Peace Foundation Constitution was ratified by the Senate.

The Foundation is a partnership between business, media, public service, community and academic interests. It is wholly funded by its Partners in Peace, and by the support of business organizations, key NGOs and individuals. SPF has a close relationship with DPACS and shares its University premises.

The Objectives of the Sydney Peace Foundation were laid down under Article II, Section 1 of its Constitution to be:

  1. To select and award recipients of the Sydney Peace Prize
  2. To raise funds to cover the costs of awarding and administering the Sydney Peace Prize, and
  3. To sponsor peace initiatives, particularly the work of the DPACS at the University of Sydney and other projects which through teaching, encourage public understanding of the meaning and significance of peace or enhance public awareness of national and international initiatives to achieve peace with justice.

The Sydney Peace Foundation's activities include:

  • The selection and award of the Sydney Peace Prize award. The recipient is presented with the Award at a Gala Fundraising Dinner in November. The recipient also presents the City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture at the Seymour Centre.
  • Hosting of seminars and other events throughout the year (often in conjunction with DPACS).
  • Providing funding for research at DPACS; particularly providing funding for the position of Research Officer.
  • Providing funding for scholarships for DPACS students, particularly from developing countries.
  • Creation of the Schools Peace Initiative to promote SPF values in school education and local communities.

Click here to view the Sydney Peace Foundation website

Fundraising in corporate and other sectors

The Sydney Peace Foundation actively seeks funding from external sources, including sponsorship from corporations and donations from individuals, to continue its activities. The Foundation is aided in its fundraising activities by its Executive Committee.

Annual Sydney Peace Prize Award and City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture

The major activity of the SPF is the awarding of the Sydney Peace Prize. Each year the prize 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

Sydney Peace Prize Winners 1998 – 2015

2015 - George Gittoes AM
2014 - Julian Burnside AO QC
2013 - Dr Cynthia Maung
2012 - Senator Sekai Holland
2011 - Prof Noam Chomsky
2010 - Dr Vandana Shiva
2009 - John Pilger
2008 - Patrick Dodson
2007 - Dr Hans Blix
2006 - Irene Khan
2005 - Olara Otunnu
2004 - Arundhati Roy
2003 - Dr Hanan Ashrawi
2002 - Mary Robinson
2001 - Sir William Deane
2000 - Xanana Gusmao
1999 - Archbishop Desmond Tutu
1998 - Professor Muhammad Yunus

Sydney Peace Prize Award Ceremony

The premier annual event of the Sydney Peace Foundation, is the Sydney Peace Prize Award Ceremony which attracts an audience of 400 of Sydney's top business, government, NGO and university leaders and well as diverse community members. In 2003, the Award Ceremony was held at the NSW Parliament with Jennifer Byrne as MC. Premier Bob Carr presented the Sydney Peace Prize to Dr Hanan Ashrawi. In 2004, the Award Ceremony returned to the University of Sydney. The Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir AC, presented the Sydney Peace Prize to Indian Writer and human rights activist Arundhati Roy in McLaurin Hall. Patrick Dodson was presented the Sydney Peace Prize by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2008.

The annual City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture was previously held at the Seymour Centre and Town Hall. For the last two years, the Lecture has proved so popular it was moved to the larger capacity Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House. The Lecture has been repeatedly broadcast on ABC radio and demand for copies of transcripts and CDs of the lecture has been high.

The awarding of the Sydney Peace Prize affords the University of Sydney and the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies considerable status and prestige, and a high public profile. It provides a critical and demonstrable link between the corporate community and the University, to the benefit of all involved. It receives national and international publicity.

Hosting of seminars and public presentations (including in conjunction with DPACS)

Throughout the year the Sydney Peace Foundation presents special events and seminars with distinguished guests which are open to the public and often free.

In past years SPF has conducted seminars with:

  • The Hon. Gareth Evans AO QC, President of the International Crisis Group, on the international responsibility to protect
  • Margaret Reynolds, President of the United Nations Association of Australia, on the 2004 - UN Commission on Human Rights
  • Jeff McMullen, award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent
  • Father Frank Brennan
  • Hugh Mackay
  • Bryce Courtenay AM

Funding of scholarships

In 2004 SPF sponsored the awarding of the Citigroup Scholarship for study at DPACS and has secured corporate funding for two additional scholarships in 2005.

Youth Peace Initiative

In keeping with its mission to recognise and encourage expertise in the promotion of peace with justice, the Sydney Peace Foundation established the Youth Peace Initiative (YPI) in consultation with students and teachers from a number of NSW secondary schools.

The purpose of YPI is both to enable and also to learn from the voices of Australian youth that speak out on issues relating to peace and social justice. It is a youth-driven, community development project, which not only promotes a critical literacy around peace with justice and nonviolence among young people, but also seeks to bring youth experiences and insights to bear on shaping the nature of that literacy.

View the Youth Peace Initiative website