Sydney Peace Prize lecture tonight
7 November 2012
The Sydney Peace Prize lecture will be delivered this evening by Senator Sekai Holland, Zimbabwean cabinet minister and long time campaigner for the rights of her compatriots.
Senator Holland is the recipient of the 2012 Sydney Peace Prize, awarded annually by the University of Sydney-based Sydney Peace Foundation.
She has been a seminal part of the push for independence and democracy in Zimbabwe since the 1960s when, while studying in Australia, she became part of the growing anti-Apartheid movement. She was often joined by her husband, Australian Jim Holland, in protests calling for reform in what was then Rhodesia.
The Hollands returned to Sekai's homeland in 1980, soon after Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain. Soon after her return, Zimbabweans' struggle took another turn with Robert Mugabe's rule becoming increasingly tyrannical and intolerant of dissent. Holland became closely involved in democracy campaigns, also working to increase the education of rural women. She was a founding member of the Movement for Democratic Change in 1999.
As a key figure in the MDC, Holland faced imprisonment, harassment and torture. But the MDC has slowly gained traction; its two split factions now share power with Mugabe's Zanu-PF, with Holland currently serving as the government's Minister for Reconciliation, Healing and Integration.
Holland will use the $50,000 awarded as part of the Peace Prize as seed funding for numerous initiatives that involves ICT training and providing computer access to children in rural and remote areas of Zimbabwe.
"My job is not to just pick one thing, it is to draw attention to the great jobs that little kids everywhere are struggling to achieve."
When: 7pm, Wednesday 7 November
Where: Sydney Town Hall, corner of George and Druitt Street, Sydney
Cost: $25 to $35
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