Awarding the Sydney Peace Prize

Selection criteria

The Sydney Peace Prize is awarded to an organization or an individual whose life and work has demonstrated significant contributions to:

  • The achievement of peace with justice locally, nationally or internationally
  • The promotion and attainment of human rights
  • The philosophy, language and practice of non violence

A purpose of the Sydney Peace Foundation is to promote a cosmopolitan view of peace with justice. For example, a Peace Prize nominee may be considered worthy because he or she has worked for human rights in relation to education, social welfare and health issues within their own community. They may have received little public recognition for such work.

We have not sought candidates with impeccable records, as efforts for peace and human rights are often controversial. Neither have we regarded a Peace Prize recipient as someone whose claims on a prize must be associated with a specific event, such as a ceasefire in hostilities or the signing of a peace treaty.

Selection process

The Sydney Peace Prize Recipient is selected by the Sydney Peace Prize Jury.

The composition of the Jury is determined by a Nominations sub-committee of the Sydney Peace Foundation Executive Committee, comprised of the Chair, the Executive Director and one other.

Since its inception, the Jury has always comprised six to seven members, including at least three members independent of the Executive Committee. The Jury membership reflects a balance of men and women of diverse backgrounds. The jury's meetings are convened and chaired by the Convenor of the Jury.


Members of the public are encouraged make nominations.

Nominations are invited from :

  • Members of the community at large
  • Members of the Sydney Peace Foundation Executive Committee
  • Members of the Jury

Submitting a nomination

The Sydney Peace Foundation accepts nominations in writing via post and email. Nominations can also be submitted online

Nominations received by the end of June in each year are considered for the award of the Sydney Peace Prize the following year.

Nominations should be accompanied by a detailed statement explaining the merit of the nomination against the criteria for selection, together with as much relevant supporting material as possible.

Click here to submit a nomination online


Email nominations to:


Post nominations to:

The Executive Officer
The Sydney Peace Foundation
Mackie Building KO1
The University of Sydney, NSW, 2006

The Jury and the process of deliberation

The precise process, including the number and frequency of meetings, the manner of consideration, and the manner of determination, is decided by the Jury.

Generally, the first meeting is held in August of the year preceding the award of the Peace Prize (e.g. the meetings for the 2019 Prize would commence around August 2018) with a view to a final decision in October that year. This allows a lead time of approximately 12 months to contact the intended recipient and make arrangements for the Peace Prize events.

At the first meeting, Jury members are reminded of the three selection criteria and also
(i) that each nomination be taken as seriously as any other, i.e. there can be no summary dismissal of anyone’s nomination, and
(ii) that the potential box office draw quality of the candidates – including the ability to give a public lecture - needs to be kept in mind.

After the first meeting the nominees’ files are divided, with each Jury member receiving a selection of candidates' cases to present at following meetings. This process is used to canvass the various nominees, with a view to the identification of a shortlist of nominees.

Upon determination of the shortlist, the Jury may commission more extensive research on the identified nominees.

The Jury makes its choice by process of discussion, question, answer and analysis. The tradition of the Jury is to choose the Sydney Peace Prize recipient by consensus. One colleague may be asked to write the rationale for the jury's selection – the ‘citation’. Such a document provides the base for subsequent media releases which explain the jury's choice.

Following the jury's decision, usually made by late October, the Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation writes to the chosen candidate, informing them of the grounds for the Jury's decision and invites him or her to come to Sydney for the Peace Prize events in the first week of November the following year.


All processes and deliberations of the Jury are subject to strict confidentiality. The principle of confidentiality has been adhered to in several ways:

  • Nominations are treated confidentially by the Jury.
  • Nominees are not informed that they have been nominated.
  • The minutes of Jury meetings are confidential.
  • The name of the selected recipient is not made public until they have accepted offer of the Prize.
  • A prospective recipient's unwillingness or inability to accept the Prize is not made public, thus making possible a reconvening of the Jury with a view to selecting another candidate.
  • Each Jury member's views are not for public comment even if, inevitably, some members have strong feelings about the merits of nominees.