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Naomi Klein wins 2016 Sydney Peace Prize

14 May 2016
Awarded for her 'bold, courageous and visionary' work

Naomi Klein, award-winning author, journalist, and activist will receive the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize on Friday 11 November at Sydney Town Hall.

Naomi Klein.

Naomi Klein.

Following No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein's most recent book, documentary and global campaign This Changes Everything is a bold and insightful examination of the make or break issue for us all: the global climate crisis and what we can do about it.

The 2016 Sydney Peace Prize Jury's citation reads:

'Naomi Klein: For exposing the structural causes and responsibility for the climate crisis, for inspiring us to stand up locally, nationally and internationally to demand a new agenda for sharing the planet that respects human rights and equality, and for reminding us of the power of authentic democracy to achieve transformative change and justice.'

The Sydney Peace Prize is Australia’s international prize for peace, awarded by the Sydney Peace Foundation at the University of Sydney.

The Prize recognises leading global voices that promote peace, justice and nonviolence. Past winners include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, Arundhati Roy, and Professor Noam Chomsky.

"It is a tremendous honour to receive this recognition," Naomi Klein said.

"It comes at a time when the impacts of the climate crisis are being acutely felt, from the devastating bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef to the horrific wildfires tearing across my own country. A great many people know in their hearts that now is the time for bold action. Yet political leadership is still lacking — and nowhere more so than in Australia."

The Jury observed that many Australians feel let down by our politicians, and that the transition to a clean economy has been hampered by short-term thinking and the self-interest of powerful industries.

"Klein's award comes at a time when Australia is at a challenging crossroads," said David Hirsch, Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation.

"We can act decisively on climate change if we want to. We can be global leaders if we want to. Naomi Klein – bold, courageous and visionary – shows us how we can and why we should."

The Jury commended Klein for proposing solutions that not only reduce emissions and end fossil fuel extraction, but also aim for social justice, economic fairness, and authentic representation.

"She inspires people to demand a leap towards a society based on caring for each other and for the earth, and challenges feelings of powerlessness, apathy and confusion," said David Hirsch. "We think that Klein's message is one that Australians really want – and need to hear."

"This award will help further articulate the need for a justice-based transition from fossil fuels, highlighting policies that dramatically lower emissions while creating huge numbers of jobs and battling systemic inequalities. I have no doubt that the jury's decision will spark healthy debate, and I look forward to participating in those discussions," Klein concluded.

Recipients for the Sydney Peace Prize are selected from nominations submitted by the public. The community can nominate for the 2017 Prize until 30 June via www.sydneypeacefoundation.org.au/.

Purchase tickets for the City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture at the Sydney Town Hall and the celebratory Gala Dinner at the Hilton Sydney on the evening of Friday 11 November via bit.ly/tickets-sydneypeaceprize or by contacting peace.foundation@sydney.edu.au or (02) 9351 4468.

Kate Mayor

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Sydney Peace Foundation