2012_WILPF_Triennial_Conference_Report pdf format
Friday 4th May
WILPF women started gathering prior to the conference at the nearby CWA accommodation. The WILPF Centenary History Sub-Committee and WILPF Board met on the Friday afternoon and 24 women enjoyed an evening meal and informal get together.
Saturday 5th May
The Triennial was held at the Rex Centre, a large community centre run by the City of Sydney on one side of the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens Park, off Macleay Street.
Opening of Conference – MC: Mary Ziesak
The Conference opened with Mary Ziesak and then both Joint National Coordinators Barbara O’Dwyer and Ruth Russell introducing themselves and welcoming everyone. We also welcomed WILPF women from Aotearoa/NZ Mary also read out messages from many other WILPF Sections (attached).
The Welcome to Country was given by Aunty Joan Tranter who gave an inspiring contextual address which was much appreciated by everyone. We were pleased Joan joined us for the rest of the morning.
Keynote Speaker – Penny Williams
Australian Global Ambassador for Women and Girls
WILPF was very privileged to have Penny Williams talk to us about her role as Global Ambassador. This role was created last year by then Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd. Penny Williams had most recently been Australia’s High Commissioner to Malaysia (2007-10) after previously serving in Santiago and Damascus.
She outlined her ambassadorial role and her responsbility for high-level advocacy to promote Australian Government policies and activity regarding gender equality and the social, political and economic empowerment of women and girls, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
As Ambassador she works closely with foreign governments and international organisations to support measures that: eradicate violence against, and trafficking of, women and girls; promote better educational and health outcomes; protect women and girls in conflict and promote the role of women in peace-building; eliminate discrimination; and enhance the participation of women in decision-making and leadership.
Penny formally opened our Conference then answered many questions and stayed to talk over morning tea.
Performers for Peace
There was applause all round when QLD WILPF women, Norma Forrest, Del Cuddihy and Janette McLeod, dressed in elegant long white frilly period dresses with matching parasols, paraded and sang “I didn’t raise my son to be a soldier to kill another Mother’s darling boy.” QLD branch received a grant to develop this new street theatre piece based on the life of Emma Miller (1839-1927). Emma is Brisbane’s most famous twentieth century political activist. She was 75 years old in 1914 when war broke out in Europe and she joined the Women’s Peace Army to fight against conscription.
Performers for Peace (P4P) develop and perform short pieces of street theatre to support the activism of WILPF, with the support of Director Anna Yen. Their repertoire, developed over the past eight years, now includes 7 pieces:
- Votes for Women
- Margaret Thorpe and the School of Arts
- A Modern Day Fairy Tale
- A Few of Those Dangerous Things
- UNSCR 1325 Blue Silk Dreaming
- Sustainability: Need vs Greed
- Emma Stands Up for Peace
Most recently, they have developed a new production Listen – Give Racism the Flick! which continues the tradition of opposition to racism which WILPF Australia has had since its earliest days.
WILPF structure – Mary Ziesak & Lyn Lane (deputizing for Felicity Hill)
Mary and Lyn presented a paper initially prepared by Felicity and Mary, which outlined WILPF’s operational and decision making structure from the international to the Branch levels. They explained how when you join WILPF today you are joining an international organisation – not a confederation of organisations operating independently in different countries – but a federation working as one organisation.
The International Board (IB), responsible for the overall governance of WILPF, carries out the policies and program adopted by the International Congress and is responsible for ensuring the means of financing the administration, programs and all other activities of WILPF. The decisions of the IB are primarily actioned by a small number of staff in WILPF’s two international offices – the Secretariat based in Geneva and the UN Office in New York, which is the hub for WILPF’s two key international projects: PeaceWomen and Reaching Critical Will.
A lot of WILPF’s international work takes place through Committees. The IB’s functional standing committees include the ExCom, the Personnel Committee, Constitution Committee, Communications Committee and Finance. There are also a number of working groups, Y-WILPF, Environment, 1325, the 100th Anniversary, Middle East, 1325, African Regional & Food Sovereignty.
A full copy of this presentation is available from Lyn Lane, ACT Branch.
Review of WILPF Australia Work Program 2009-2012:
Barbara O’Dwyer distributed an annotated Work Program (attached) outlining what had been achieved, partially completed or not done over the last three years, which was accepted. It was agreed that we had an overly ambitious program and should focus only on priority issues for our next work program.
UNSCR1325 update - Barbara O’Dwyer & Lyn Lane
Australia now has a National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security, launched on International Women’s Day this year. WILPF played an active role in its development and we must continue to play an equally active role in its implementation, monitoring and reporting. The afternoon’s workshop would address these issues.
We will be greatly assisted with this by the work of WILPF International. The WILPF Executive Committee (ExCom), meeting in London in January 2012, had a long discussion on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 and its successor resolutions from a WILPF perspective. It asked the question ‘Is 1325 co-opting the women’s security agenda and is it being used and interpreted in ways we did not envision or support?’
Excom is calling upon WILPF Sections to study, think and consult on the ideas within their Sections and the people they know in their own region. They would like this to be another coordinated consultation with a concrete outcome, like the recent successful one involving 16 Sections working simultaneously on the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women in 2011.
They ask that Sections develop a work plan. International, (Including PeaceWomen) will develop concrete tools to assist sections in their work on National Action Plans (NAPS). The concern is that there be serious thinking about prevention of armed conflict. There will be ongoing communication between the ExCom and Sections on this and Excom are available to help as needed and requested.
They are encouraging consultations and outcomes to be completed by 10 December this year, Human Rights Day. The outcome documents from everyone will be the basis of the planning for the International Board (IB) meeting in Geneva in early 2013.
WILPF`s arguments on underlying causes are as relevant today as they always have been, eg. the vast discrepancy in assistance provided to create political and ‘security’ reform versus the amounts channelled towards re building the economic and social structures in ways which address the inherent discriminations which often caused the conflict. We need to address this in our approach to women, peace and security and to our NAP`s.
In summary we need to address:
- The approach that women are victims without agency;
- The essentialisation of women as peace bringers;
- Participation and non-discrimination as elements in the prevention of conflict;
- Addressing root causes, in particular social and economic rights and the intersection of discriminations, power and patriarchy;
- The consequences of militarisation in relation to sexual exploitation and trafficking.
We expressed our thanks to the QLD Branch members and especially Dr Margaret Grace who led this Working Group providing a Grow WILPF Resource Kit for each branch. A comprehensive written report (attached) was tabled at the Triennial with three recommendations to consider :
1. That Triennial establish a small working group to develop a simple Grow WILPF reporting mechanism for the Australian Board on the ‘strength, visibility and vibrancy’ of branches.
2. That the numbers of WILPF Australian members be noted and recorded annually by the Board to monitor membership trends.
3. That the Board monitor the governance well-being of WILPF Australia at both section and branch levels, ie its processes and how it is operating, including succession planning.
The next Australian Board will take up these recommendations.
Centenary History Sub-Committee
Ruth Russell reported that our aim is to look at events to celebrate our centenary in 2015.
WILPF History research –
Branches have been actively completing their archives. Del Cuddihy is our National Archivist and has an Excel template that includes recording where documents/photos/posters/artifacts are stored. Tasmanian branch has already written up their timeline which can now be translated across into Del’s template. Other branches are urged to use this template for consistency
PhD scholarship at LaTrobe University for the writing of WILPF history There is a call for expressions of interest for this scholarship with deadline 31 May 2012. Prof Marilyn Lake’s APF project “The International History of Australian Democracy” will provide a framework for this PhD project on WILPF.
Publication and launch of a book on WILPF history
We are discussing the production of a record of WILPF’s history complementary to the PhD history. This could include a variety of forms of audio/visual and print media, possibly using an e- book (print on demand) format with stories, photos and audio/visuals suitable for displays, illustrating WILPF’s significance over the last 100 years. The aim of this book would be to inspire and build WILPF. We would plan to launch this in 2015.
Other centenary activities proposed for the launch in April 2015 :
- Art exhibitions – posters
- Travelling exhibitions
- Public forums
- Drama/play – street theatre – film
- Commemorative postage stamp – need to get several letters of support for although WILPF fits the criteria for a stamp we will be competing with ANZAC centenary commemorations.
- Peace Train to the Hague for our Region (Del Cuddihy’s workshop)
- WILPF Centenary Fund merchandise for sale
Funding for these activities :
Grants are available from various sources –
Jessie Street Trust (this would be a national grant)
Local councils and State Libraries often have grants for local history projects
Recommendation to establish an Australian WILPF Centennial Fund
Thanks to Hellen Cooke (Vic) who has fundraised to put early WILPF woman Eleanor Moore’s book “The Quest for Peace” on CD (copies are now available for all branches) for an appropriate donation to a new Centenary Fund, but most of all to encourage members to read the book.
2013 Branches to complete archives and history template
2014 Decision on publishing a centenary book finalised by 2014
Launch and commemoration activities for April 2015 planned
A campaign to stop a radio active waste dump at Muckaty, NT
Dianne Stokes and niece Veronica, Muckaty Traditional Owners and Natalie Wasley (Beyond Nuclear Initiative) were invited to show a video and discuss their campaign which WILPF has actively supported.
Four Workshop Sessions were held on the Saturday afternoon with a Workshop Summary session covering each workshop.
1. Sue Gilbey – Increasing militarism in the Asia Pacific region and its relationship with increasing efforts of climate change in Delta areas such as Bangladesh. The workshop focussed specifically on the impacts on women and children.
Diagram Sector Vulnerability due to climate change
Increased Sea level rise Changes in temperature
cyclone/storm salinity intrusion increased flooding – river erosion
surge increased drought
Water Agriculture Fisheries Livestock Forests
All infrastructure affected
Human health affected
70% world poor are women
1% ownership of land by women
Cyclone Katrina – 80% of casualties were women – mostly African poor women
Language misuse to blur meanings of words such as war and peace.
The refusal to acknowledge climate change effects women and communities in low lying countries such as Bangladesh. It is recommended that we work to develop and support a group that will do practical things like build levees or an eco-village (Sue has a proto-type) so that those affected can remain in their own place rather than be forced to migrate.
2. Del Cuddihy – Centenary History: History of WILPF peace journeys and the possibility of an Asian/Pacific Peace Train to the 2015 WILPF Centenary Celebrations at the Hague, Netherlands
The workshop started with the WILPF members present sharing introductions, expectations and previous experience of WILPF journeys. Del had prepared a short history of how WILPF began – with women crossing borders during WW1 to advocate for peace, cooperation, justice and freedom.
In the years since then, WILPF has used journeys and delegations to carry WILPF’s message of reconciliation and negotiation both to warring nations and to women around the world.
Deliberate journeys have played a big role in WILPF publicising it’s activities – from the Pax Special – a railway coach hired by WILPF USA to take visiting international delegates on a speaking tour after the 1924 Congress, to the Peace Caravan which collected 3 million disarmament petition signatures across the USA in the 1930s, to the British Women’s Peace Crusade where women from all over the UK walked to London to ask for disarmament at the Five-Nation Naval Conference in 1930, to the 1995 WILPF Peace Train to the Beijing.
Examples were also given of the difficulties of WILPF members gathering at certain times and of how significant it was to WILPF that women should be able to meet and discuss even in times of war.
Examples were also given of the success of WILPF delegations over time eg after several WILPF delegations to China, the Chinese Minister for Health Madame Li flew to Birmingham to attend the 1956 WILPF Congress. Del noted that the work of WILPF was by no means unknown to the women of China who eagerly followed its efforts for peace.
The workshop participants decided that it was worthwhile to progress a peace journey from the Asia Pacific to The Hague. A number of alternative types of journeys were discussed including a Virtual Peace Chain of WlLPF greetings to be sent to the 100th anniversary; a series of regional meetings in a progression towards Europe, etc. Funding sources were also discussed, such as accessing ANZAC Day Centennial funding.
It was decided that:
- A working group be set up of the participants of the workshop who will do a feasibility study of different types of journeys, costs, etc and report to the Australia Board meeting in October 2012;
- 2. As a matter of priority, WILPF Australia to contact those members of the two Asian WILPF Regions and suggest that a WILPF Asian Regional Meeting be held in 2014.
- 3. Margaret Bearlin
De-militarising Australia: Building a Culture of Peace
WILPF women have been exposing and resisting militarism since WILPF began. This workshop explored how Cynthia Enloe’s book Globalisation & Militarism: Feminists make the Link can be used as a manual to expose and resist the increasing influence of militaristic ideas, structures and practices in Australian society. Reference was also made to Elizabeth Porter’s “Peacebuilding: Women in International Perspective”, as a inspiring primer on 1325.
Cynthia Enloe shows how using a “feminist curiosity’, by posing feminist questions eg “Where are the women?”, we can develop a gender impact analyses showing, for example, the consequences of stationing US troops in northern Australia. Further, by exposing notions of masculinity and femininity eg. in dominant notions of national security, and how this effects the lives of military wives and the thousands of women caught up in the web of globalised industries that serve our military and security establishment, we are enabled to move beyond impacts to causes, and to develop explanations which provide us with a basis for action.
We shared strategies we have used for “Blowing the Whistle” on creeping militarisation, whether in school curricula or Anzac Day and given the advent of the 1325 National Action Plan,are developing new ones that could be part of a national WILPF project to demilitarise Australia and build a culture of peace.
We recommend that WILPF develop a strategy for action in relation to increasing militarisation within Australia, to include:
1. Raising awareness of the past initiatives of WILPF and the framework documents on which they are based : UN Charter, Human Rights Law, Non-Violent Conflict Resolution technique, UNSCR1325 leading to NAP on Women, Peace & Security 2012.
- Using 1325 NAP to focus on domestic militarisation, create specific actions (based on gender impact analyses) for branches and members to raise awareness of effect on our society, especially women and children, and security of :
- increased US military presence in northern and western Australia (also possible stationing of drones).
- findings of the review of sexual harassment in Defence establishments.
Consulting and collaborating with groups which have already had experience with US bases eg. in the Philippines and Okinawa and have common objectives eg. WAVES.
4. Jan Goldsworthy and Barbara O’Dwyer:
Investing in Peace : featuring UNSCR1325 Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2012-2018
Working Group members:
Barbara O’Dwyer, Jan Goldsworthy, Sharna de lacy, Sophie Barrington,Belinda Lowe, Irene Davies, Pamela Lemoine
Workshop participants adopts a strengths-based approach aimed at improving the collaboration and overall effectiveness of the NAP’s implemenation phase (2012-2018).
WILPF welcomed the development and launch of Australia’s inaugural National Action Plan in March 2012. It was noted that WILPF had developed a significant submission at the initial stage of the NAP’s development, some elements of which had not yet been fully incorporated into the NAP.
Five high-level strategies (see below), related actions, and a monitoring and evaluation framework designed to monitor and progress are specified in the NAP available at http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/women/pubs/govtint/action_plan_women_peace/Pages/default.aspx :
- ·Integrate a gender perspective into Australia’s policies on peace and security;
- ·Embed the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the Australian Government’s approach to human resource management of Defence, Australian Federal Police and deployed personnel.
- ·Support civil society organisations to promote equality and increase women’s participation in conflict prevention, peace-building, conflict resolution, and relief and recovery.
- ·Promote Women, Peace and Security implementation internationally.
- ·Take a co-ordinated and holistic approach domestically and internationally to Women , Peace and Security.
The Workshop noted there was inadequate engagement with and involvement of relevant non-government organisations to obtain information on progress and therefore effectively monitor NAP implementation, at both the domestic level and in areas in which Australia provides international assistance.
Areas for Improvement:
The Workshop identified three areas to address in the initial implementation period, with progress to be reviewed annually. The following areas were identified at the initial stage:
- ·To monitor effectiveness of the Strategy’s implementation, at the domestic, regional and international levels;
- ·To address gaps in information/data on implementation of UNSC 1325, at the domestic level and in selected countries in which Australia provides international assistance;
- ·To identify and compare alignment of the Strategy’s implementation activities and effectiveness, at the domestic (Australia), local in-country, and at international levels.
- ·To improve access to data/information on UNSC 1325 implementation activities under the NAP.
- ·To increase participation in relevant formal and informal groups to support NAP implementation;
- ·To strengthen partnerships at domestic, regional and international levels to monitor and improve NAP effectiveness.
- ·To lobby the Australian Government to establish an NGO Reference Group to monitor and report on NAP achievements and effectiveness.
- ·To establish informal information networks with government agencies on the Women, Peace and Security Inter-Departmental Working Group to improve access to information and/or data on ‘sectoral’ implementation activities under UNSC 1325.
- ·To formally request WILPF participate in all meetings of the Women, Peace and Security Inter-Departmental Working Group
- ·Share/identify strategies to strengthen the NAP with partners such as IWDA, UN Women and other aligned groups/organisations;
- ·To research feasibility of developing and delivering ‘appropriate and relevant’ 1325 training for key stakeholders; including potential to train WILPF members to undertake or facilitate the formal development and delivery roles (both in Australia and in overseas countries).
- ·To develop regional networks through liaison with local (in-country) women’s groups to obtain information and data on:
- ·local feedback (impact statements) .
- ·capacity building (sharing info and resources)
- ·accountability and assessment of NAP effectiveness (regional perspective)
- ·build partnerships – through strengthening local (in country) 1325 training.
- ·Identify countries providing effective 1325 training at the local level.
- ·Identify alignment of the Australian NAP with that of other countries.
Y-WILPF Presentation – Sharna da Lacy
Y-WILPF is officially recognized by the International Board “to serve as a communications network for young women” and organise “self-generated projects”
YWILPF Action Plan for 2012 :
- Nationalise YWILPF
- Interviews with Australian Civil Military Centre
- 1325 training with UNWomen in high schools
- Publication of our Symposium Paper in Melbourne Law Review & Oxford Feminist Journal
- CEDAW submission on human rights in conflict & post conflict – June
- Connect with women in the Pacific via Femlink etc.
- Continue to promote 1325 NAP – particularly during parliamentary reporting periods
- Work on ATT submission with WILPF
- Speak to MAPW on 1325 (October Conference)
- Research ethical investments
- Do something to celebrate October 31st
- Develop the Dawn: ywilpfaustralia.wordpress
They would like Australian Board connection.
It was suggested that we make a grid connecting all WILPF groups.
Action :To develop Y-WILPF Terms of Reference with achievable goals.
WILPF Saturday evening dinner
WILPF women enjoyed the ambience and food provided for us at the “Arun” Thai Restaurant, 28 Macleay St, Potts Point. While we were disappointed that Felicity Hill was unable to join us as guest speaker at the last minute through illness, this provided an opportunity to get to know each other better.
A particular highlight was opening the Sunday morning session with the reading by Mary Ziesak of Solidarity Messages from WILPFers around the world to the Australian Triennial. Collected by Felicity Hill, they included messages from our beloved Edith Ballantyne and Adilia Caravaca, – WILPF International President. To borrow a phrase from Felicity “ They are a wonderful collection of good wishes and reminders that we are part of an international WILPF sisterhood.” (see attachment for full messages).
Ruth Coombes and Pat Jackman spoke briefly on activities in their Section; in particular the positive impact the White Poppy for Peace campaign is now having: this year it had support from the RSL. This annual appeal, coordinated by Peace Movement Aotearoa, runs in the week preceding Anzac Day, with all proceeds going to White Poppy Peace Scholarships. The first two Peace Scholarships were awarded in April 2010.
As copies of proposed Constitutional changes were distributed to all Sections in early March, Ruth Russell (assisted by Lyn Lane, Public Officer) went through the proposed changes in detail. These changes primarily update language (aligning titles with the International Constitution), provide for the election of an International Board alternate member and revise financial operations. An additional clause was added regarding storage and use of the Common Seal. Following discussion the special resolution that the changes be accepted was put to the meeting. It was passed unanimously by all members present.
Finalising our Australian Work Program for 2012-2015
Barbara O’Dwyer set the scene by stating that we need to focus on tangible results through using the SMART* system for all our proposed actions.
*SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achieveable, Relevant & Timely.
The following record is taken from the notes brainstormed at this session :
Q. What do we want to achieve by our 2015 Anniversary?
We need some real achievements to celebrate and promote WILPF :
- NAP properly implemented
- Women’s active participation
- Redefining Security focus to offer viable solutions to militarism
- Regional WILPF Conference in 2014
There was a suggestion that we make a map of the world showing all Sections’ significant work and a timeline of action (could be part of the history project).
We need to be mindful of our capacity (our internal resources limit us) and look at a coordination role using a Working Group structure. It would be useful to separate organisational issues from campaign work.
It was agreed that we would follow WILPF’s International Program of
Work under their three key headings. We then brainstormed our next three years’ work program over several sessions and the ideas generated are listed below :
Goals To reduce foreign troops in Australia
To redefine security in human rather than in military terms
To research what/who is informing the Australian Government’s decisions.
- Raise awareness of background documents eg. Defence White Papers
- Use 1325 NAP to create specific actions to challenge militarism
- Consult with peace/women’s groups in region about experience/ impact of military bases on women
- Branches lead reading groups to inform our theory and scholarship using “What’s wrong with Anzac” by Marilyn Lake & Henry Reynolds.
- Liaise and support other groups’ campaigns (such as MAPW which has written five papers on militarism, and the Anti-Bases group).
- Develop a national strategy to use WILPF’s international brochure “You Get What you Pay For” which challenges Defence spending.
See also the recommendations from The Demilitarising Australia workshop
Invest in Peace
Goals Develop a Plan for building peace in our region in partnership with others.
Advance 1325 actions and human rights
Peacebuilding – Raise awareness that economic instabllity and climate change lead to conflict
Promote ethical banking through not funding arms or nuclear
Get more peace books into schools to counter all the Anzac books
Promote UN International Day of Peace (21 September)
Consider the WILPF Aoteraroa/NZ and UK “White Poppies for Peace” campaign
Establish an annual “Peace Person of the Year” Award
- Work in partnership with like minded groups, academics and prominent Australians to promote a Peace Plan for our region.
- Develop a campaign strategy around ethical banking
- Provide a list of peace books to all schools
- In July send letters to federal and state parliamentary Speakers urging them to celebrate UN International Day of Peace by asking all politicians to avoid conflict in parliament on that day.
- Branches to consider adopting the “White Poppies” campaign which fundraises for a peace scholarship or a national Peace Award.
- Invite women from other cultures to join WILPF
- Make a WILPF stamp “Think peace” that can go on all correspondence
- Make WILPF peace posters for display wherever possible
- Make a WILPF peace card that we can send out wherever possible
Strengthen & reform multilateralism
Influence Australian government to improve implementation of UN Treaties
Australia to use Seat on the Security Council to promote peace
- Dialogue with Australian government on implementation and their treaty reports
- Work with WILPF International and other Australian organisations re Shadow Reports
- Learn about the UN system and how best we can feed into it
- Monitor/analyse CSW Working Group (partnership with UN Women and Pacific Women networks)
- Become corporate member of UNAA
- Promote UN International Days for Peace (21 Sept) and Human Rights (Dec 10)
Australian Board organisational Issues
Make a WILPF organizational chart showing international, Australian and branches.
The Australian Board to have two primary functional Standing Committees –Finance and Communications which it is agreed membership will include both Board members and general members including Y-WILPF members..
External liaison is an important function for WILPF which can be improved.
A Communications Standing Committee be established with its first task being development of Terms of Reference on how to best manage our communications to report to the Board by July 2012. Members to include both technical people and liaison people who know what the branches are already doing.
Names put forward were : Felicity Hill, Celeste Salter, Jan Goldsworthy, Linley Grant, Belinda Lowe, Fiona McAlpine, Sophie Barrington and Lyn Lane.
Margaret Bearlin is happy to give advice about her experience with the WILPF ACT blog. Del Cuddihy – National Archivist is happy to give advice re record keeping and archives.
Finance Standing Committee to be convened by National Treasurer.
Names put forward were: Janette McLeod, Ruth Russell and Jo Cooke (via Hellen Cooke It was also suggested that the membership approach adopted by International WILPF be considered. This would see an emphasis given to those members with the ability to read and understand financial statements in order to establish and maintain now and into the future a stable and effective financial plan for WILPF
Proposed Working Groups which will report to the Board :
The aim is to focus on membership and building the capacity of WILPF.
We need to use the Grow WILPF Resource Kit ideas for recruitment and retention as well as any governance issues as well as ensure that there is genuine engagement with WILPF members as well as inspiration and comfort.
Branches need to know what members want to do and give them opportunities to do it.
Implement the recommendations made by the Grow WILPF Working Group 2009 – 2012
Establish a Working Group to draft Terms of Reference based on SMART outcomes for the next Board meeting.
Names put forward were : Janette McLeod, Mary Ziesak, Trish Dwyer,
Cara Gleeson, Margaret Grace and Linley Grant.
WILPF Centenary History Working Group
Names put forward were : Del Cuddihy, Ruth Russell, Hellen Cooke,
Trish Dwyer Margaret Bearlin and Dragana Zivancevic
UNSCR1325 Working Group
Names put forward were : Barbara O’Dwyer, Lyn Lane, Jan Goldsworthy
Conflict Resolution Network – organised by Hellen Cooke.
Material was on display and for sale at the Triennial. $221 will be remitted to the new Centenary Fund.
Hellen Cooke’s comment : WILPF Australia could do more to recognise and use the Conflict Resolution Network as a resource. The business was founded by famous WILPF member, Stella Cornelius, and is now run by Stella’s daughter and grand-daughter.
Non Violent Conflict Resolution could play a larger and more emphatic part in WILPF understanding, proceedings and strategies: we could then welcome the conflicts that do occur in our working together to practise our conflict resolution skills and grow in expertise.
Working towards an effective NAP for Women Peace & Security will call for NVCR competence all round – if WILPF does not understand this – who will?
Mary Ziesak thanked all attending and formally closed the Conference. A group photo was then taken of those remaining.
Annual General Meeting
This meeting was chaired by Stefania Siedlecky and included the election of Office Bearers for the next WILPF Board. We thank Norma Forrest, who acted as Returning Officer. The following Officers were nominated and duly elected :
Joint National Coordinators Barbara O’Dwyer
Assistant National Coordinator Dragana Zivancevic
National Treasurer Janette McLeod
International Board Representative Lyn Lane
Alternate IB Representative Del Cuddihy
Editor “Peace & Freedom” Sophie Barrington
Branch representatives nominated by their branch were announced :
Qld to be advised*
NSW Margot Pearson
ACT to be advised*
SA Sue Gilbey
TAS Linley Grant
*Casual vacancies due to nominated Branch representative accepting other positions
Public Officer appointed Lyn Lane
Auditor To be advised.
Minutes of the AGM were recorded separately by Dragana Zivancevic and are available to all branches and members if required.
International greetings from WILPF women and Sections
To borrow a phrase from Felicity ” They are a wonderful collection of good wishes and reminders that we are part of an international WILPF sisterhood!”
Hi Felicity,I have just returned from the Netherlands, from helping to celebrate WILPF’s 97th birthday. We had a great get-together on Saturday at Nieuwegein’s new town hall – a gorgeous structure of light and space and members came from all corners of the country. There were some 50 members – many of them old WILPF stalwarts and friends and also young ones, including an energetic president who knows how to communicate. There is plenty of spark in our old Europe and plenty of energy to bring about this better world we want and for which we have been struggling for these many years. I have come back to Geneva feeling 50 years younger and ready to go on. We are in this together and together we are many. Let’s share our thinking and doing. The sky is blue here this morning and the sun is hugging the morning air. Warm greetings and good wishes for the Triennial to you all. Edith
Adilia Caravaca, – WILPF International President :
Dear women of Australian WILPF Section, At this moment I am in front of the Ocean, in the Pacific, Costa Rica, thinking of you, I imagine Peace, as a wave in which we all are connected around the world, trying to bring breezes of hope, to fertilize new times of better understandings, I send you my best wishes for wonderful celebration of WILPF´s anniversary at which commitments are renewed to continue the spirit that bring us to join in world efforts not only to stop wars but to promote conditions to prevent them and to live peace, actively in daily life. The variety of ways in which our members engage in peace work around the globe, from Australia, all around, seem as summing up to waves that come and go, and keep us moving in permanent way and in different forms, and feeding energies, so that despite the enormous challenges, we can also present our stubborn or rather profound commitment to life, and continue our contribution as other social movements for peace with each, with Nature, with our fellows in this planet. Some of our sections are strongly committed against racism, nuclear weapons, arms proliferation, violations of human rights, promoting women`s human rights in conflict and post conflict areas, for the protection of the Environment, of Children rights, working to promote peace and non violent resolution; participating in many fora in local and international settings. A breeze of peace comes to my soul with the feeling of closeness of the shared dreams of women from such diversity of countries and cultures. My thoughts are with you, with much love, Adilia Caravaca
Martha Jean Baker – WILPF International Vice President:
Dear Australian sisters, I hope that the gathering you are having this weekend will be inspiring and energising for you personally and for Australian WILPF. You are far in miles/kilometers from where I sit and write this but you are close in my heart. Whenever I hear or read the things you are doing on behalf of WILPF and WILPF’s ethos I am inspired. I wish we had a whole world of Sections who work as you do and are an inspiration for the rest of us. I have met and worked with many of you and I wish I could be with you. (I think of you all every day when I use the small shopping bag that clips onto the bigger bag I carry with me most days.) I look forward to hearing the outcomes of your time together as a Section and to your contribution to the ongoing work we are doing on 1325. In sisterhood, peace and with love, Martha
Edith Bell from WILPF Pittsburgh, USA:
We wish you a very successful Triennial, and let’s keep working toward a more peaceful world, one step at a time. Just don’t expect it to happen tomorrow, but don’t lose hope. We need to keep plugging along.
Maria Butler, Director of the PeaceWomen project: WILPF continues to ask critical questions today in all work. For example, in our Middle East North Africa work where we are conducting national consultation in 8 countries (Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen and Morocco) we are focusing on redefining security from gender perspective. Right now, it is as important as ever that WILPF sections around the world continue to discuss the links between insecurity, militarism and inequality. We thank WILPF Australia for your continued work on these issues.
Sending love and best wishes to our WILPF sisters, from the Board of JAPA. Photo taken on WILPF’s birthday 2012 at JA Hull House. Thinking of you and wishing great success AND fun at your most important meeting. In solidarity, Linda,Sandy,Judith,Tura,Jen,Eva,Jan,Mary,
Catia Confortini – US WILPF’s Representative to WILPF’s International Board; Assistant Professor of Peace & Justice Studies, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, USA:
Dear sister WILPFers in Australia: I send you my good wishes and congratulations as you open your triennial congress in this 97th birthday of our organization. I greatly admire and support your work on the impact of nuclear research and development on the environment on our lives and, particularly, on the lives of the aboriginal communities of Australia. I am also confident that the work you do in collaboration with all our sister sections and with WILPF International will bring about the realization of the full potential of UNSCR 1325, the women’s resolution, which is and will return to be the redefinition of security, the promotion of a culture of peace and the full participation of women in peacebuilding. To our collective work you add the development of a ‘peace lens’ through which to analyze and critique all social, political and economic issues of our time and I wish to thank you for all of this! In sisterhood and peace, Catia (US WILPF’s Representative to WILPF’s International Board; Assistant Professor of Peace & Justice Studies, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, USA)
From Phyllis Yingling and the Catonsville, MD, USA Branch of WILPF:
Best wishes to our sisters in the Australian Section of WILPF upon their Triennial Congress. You have done such good work over the years, especially in opposing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Please, for the sake of our planet and all living things, keep up the difficult, but excellent work that you do.
Lorraine Mirham, UK IB Member :
Dear Australian WILPF sisters, News of your Triennial Conference has reached the UK Section and we want to send you our warm sororal greetings for an excellent event. We too share your enthusiasm for the renewal of energy we felt at the Congress in Costa Rica and came away with the sense that it is WILPF that is so well positioned to redefine security and we look forward to hearing and reading about your discussions over the next 48 hours and learning from your perspectives. On a personal note, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Lyn Lane and Delene Cuddihy who were not only great company in Costa Rica but gave us a good insight to the work of your Section. Delene and one of our delegation, also keen on WILPF history, made valuable links too. Meeting up in person is simply the best way to really get to know WILPFers which is why you’ll gain so much over the next couple of days. Have a great time.
Helena Nyborg – Swiss IB Member:
Greetings to Australia and the WILPF sections there from good old Europe and the members of WILPF Switzerland. As we are just about to celebrate our 96th anniversary – we are behind in our time here in Europe – we are going to think of you “down under” and all the other now 40 sections worldwide. What a great thing to know that there are so wonderful women across the world, linked to each other in friendship and the knowledge that we share important concerns to make this world a better place to live! In particular, we have learned how you are dedicated in many local and regional projects to use energy sustainably and not to waste water or electricity. This is certainly a great concern to us here in Switzerland as well, the more so, as our government decided to finally phase out of nuclear power – after Fukushima. Now, we strive at closing our 2 outdated (oldest-in-the-world) nuclear power stations immediately and the other 3 as fast as we can, of course being faced by male-dominated resistance of the energy industry… To share a highlight with you, after intensive campaigning, also by our section, Switzerland’s militarist society voted to no longer store the army rifles at home – the reason of many homicides linked to domestic violence – but to take them to centralised armories; no we continue to advocate for a society with no arms trade. And there are so many other issues that need attention, unfortunately, we are a very small group of active women. The more it is great to know that there are reasons to celebrate, as WILPF women worldwide try hard to implement a peace and security agenda for us and the generations to come. We are sure that you continue with your great endeavors for peace and security as well as for a sustainable environment and wish you lots of fun, power and stamina. your WILPF-friends in Switzerland
Diane Brace, UK Section,
Greetings to you Flick and to WILPF Australia on your Triennial Congress from LONDONWILPF. We look forward to hearing how your Congress goes and what plans and resolutions are agreed. We would love a photograph. As WILPF sections, we hold the same principles and aspirations and no doubt experience the same obstacles and issues. We feel strengthened by knowing that you, half a world away, are walking with us. And the other 37. And of course, belated “Happy Birthday” for the 97th three days ago. We look forward to meeting you again in Den Haag in 2015. In Peace
Edel Havin Beukes, Vice President, WILPF, NORWAY:
On behalf of WILPF Norway I should like to send our warmest wishes to WILPF Australia for a successful triennial conference. The issue you will be addressing – Taking back the agenda on women, peace and securty – has our full support. At our recent annual conference we launched a book on nuclear power, discussed the film Whistleblower, and addressed a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about Depleted Uranium. We also protested to the Parliament of Norway about the arbitrariness with which candidates to be honoured with Alfred Nobel’s Peace Prize, are selected. With reference to the analysis of “The Nobel Peace Prize – What Nobel Really Wanted” by Fredrik S. Heffermehl, we forwarded the following demand: “The Nobel Committee is to choose prize winners who work for international cooperation about a systemic change with disarmament and doing away with war through the development of international law – towards what Nobel called the brotherhood of nations. War is also deeply woven into our economy and culture. Nobel’s goal was to make a break with this tradition. WILPF Norway’s annual meeting is of the opinion that it is important that these conditions are thoroughly analysed and discussed by Parliament; that ways and means are established to ensure a more relevant and competent composition of the Nobel Committee; that the choice of prize winners must respect Nobel’s clearly stated will about who is to be awarded the peace prize.” Sisterly greetings,