Perth comes together for peace

St George’s Cathedral Perth will play host this weekend to a once-in-a-lifetime ecumenical commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the end of World War 1, and a commitment to making peace in 2018. The Perth Peacemaking Conference will bring together headline interstate presenters, local peace activists, and practical opportunities for peacemaking.

Kate Leaney, Social Justice Officer for the Uniting Church in Western Australia, has been one of the key organisers of the event along with other members of the Ecumenical Social Justice Roundtable.

Kate believes that the conference will be, “A unique opportunity to hear about peace from many different perspectives, including representatives from over 7 faith backgrounds, plus a variety of theologians, academics and activists from many of the active peace initiatives throughout WA. It’s not just a conference, this is a call to action.”

Dr Sue Wareham, President of the Medical Association for Prevention of War Australia, will be one of the keynote speakers with a challenging message.

“Australia has spent a huge amount of money on the commemoration of World War I, but we’ve actually, as a country, refused to learn any of the lessons from World War 1,” she said.

Uniting Church theologian, Rev Dr Chris Walker, is another on the line-up.

“If we are seeking to follow the way of Jesus then being a peacemaker is not an optional extra.  Note that the term peacemaking is an active one.  We are to make peace, seek peace, recommend those things that build peace,” Chris said.

In an extra collaboration, The Perth Peacemaking Conference is partnering with Careers Kitchen, a local social enterprise who will be catering the entire conference. Careers Kitchen connects people seeking asylum and refugees in Perth with employment opportunities, providing connections for people new to Australia to truly call this nation home.

Kate Leaney was particularly pleased to facilitate the link with Careers Kitchen.

“The treatment of people seeking protection in Australia, many of whom are fleeing the very wars we as a country contribute to, is steeped in cruelty – this small act of providing an employment opportunity to people fleeing violence is the first step we can take together in assisting people to rebuild their lives here in Perth,” Kate said.

Registrations are required and can be made online here.

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