Contents of this edition:

  • Message from our President
  • WILPF Australia Triennial Conference (“Triennial”), AGM and the National Peace Women Awards
  • Australia its time to sign!
  • Sisters in Peace – The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Australia,  1915–2015
  • Join a WILPF Working Group
  • WILPF’s work Women, Peace and Security (WPS) at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68)
  • WILPF is 109
  • Let’s talk about intergenerationality!

Message from our President

Hello everyone,

WILPF continues to remind the Australian Government of its responsibilities under international law to protect  civilians in Gaza. A letter was sent to the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese recognizing the Foreign Minister’s  diplomatic efforts in her visit to Israel and the West Bank but expressing concern that the Prime Minister  himself had chosen to offer support Israels leader, Mr. Netanyahu at a time of extremist violence against  civilians.

The” Not in my Name” statement was posted on social media identifying the known statistics of deaths of women  and children, health and UNRWA workers and destruction of Palestinian infrastructure. WILPF members and their supporters were invited to support this statement.

After the International Court of Justice (ICJ) announcement on January 26th that South Africa’s claim of Israeli  genocide in Gaza “was plausible”, WILPF made several attempts to investigate the Australian Government’s  official response as a signatory to the Genocide Convention. To date there has been no official statement from  the Attorney-General or Prime Minister. Adding to concern was the Foreign Minister’s ‘pause of aid’ to the United  Nations Relief and Works Agency after allegations were made about some workers activities. An Australian  submission detailing the correspondence, petitions and statements from a wide range of civil society  organizations and individuals was communicated to the International Court of Justice indicating that, in the  absence of an Australian Government response, it was important the ICJ had this information which reflected  the extent of public concern.

WILPF has now written to the Foreign Minister welcoming the restoration of UNRWA funding and requesting  the establishment of a planning mechanism within Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for coordinating  Australia’s contribution to an International Post War Rebuilding and Rehabilitation effort. Many unions and non government organisations will be offering their expertise and support, but it will require coordination and resources from the Federal Government

In February, I attended the Australian Peacebuilding Roundtable – Peace Building in Australian Foreign Policy,  a symposium held in Parliament House hosted by Professor John Langmore, Institute for Peace Building, University of Melbourne. A range of civil society organisations, academics and public servants discussed ways to restore Australia’s peace building capacity and give priority to our strengths in this area of international  relations.

Last week Lyn Lane represented WILPF at the presentation to the Australian Parliament of the Plea for a Common Humanity (Palestine- Gaza, West Bank, East Jerusalem). Drafted by Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees AM in collaboration with other high-profile individuals, the ‘Plea’ calls for decisive action to prevent further harm  to the people of Gaza by adopting the following urgent, practical objectives:

  • Implementation of the rulings of the ICJ
  • Demands for a permanent ceasefire and an end to the siege of Gaza.
  • Expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador to Australia, recall of Australia’s Ambassador to Israel.
  • Ending any Australian military support for Israel
  • Developing plans for peace with justice in which Palestinians from all walks take a lead
  • No more unilateral solutions imposed by the US or Israel
  • Support for a multinational UN force to ensure peace and security in Gaza &the West Bank
  • Support for a UN led emergency humanitarian program to address the immediate medical, food and housing needs of Gazans.

To cap off a busy March, I gave a lecture to Monash University International Relations students about the role of WILPF in past and present foreign policy debates. Students were particularly interested in WILPF being the  oldest international women’s peace organisation and its feminist analysis of war and militarisation. Discussion  included the need for Australia to assert an independent foreign policy, prioritise diplomacy in the South East Asian and Pacific region and reject any involvement in war with China.

I am hoping to catch with our WILPF sisters from across Australia at the Triennial in May. Whether its in person or on-line, there is much to discuss and plans to be made. Its also a time to celebrate the work of all  peacewomen. I’m sure you will agree that the five outstanding women WILPF Australia is recognising through  our 2024 PeaceWomen Awards are doing some pretty amazing work for peace in Australia and  internationally.

for peace,

Margaret Reynolds, WILPF Australia President
Margaret Reynolds AC

WILPF Australia Triennial Conference (“Triennial”), AGM and the National Peace Women Awards

17 to 19 May 2024 in Meeanjin (Brisbane).

The Triennial is for reviewing the activities of the WILPF Australia Board and the WILPF Australia Section since the last Conference and for considering the directions of the WILPF Australia Section for the next 3 years. Planning is going full-steam ahead and over the next week or so more information will be shared. Registrations  open soon – look for the online registration link and sign up!

For those coming to Brisbane make sure you book flights and accommodation soon as Brisbane is busy in May!

Triennial 2024 is going hybrid. The venue at the Red Cross Training Rooms (49 Park Road, Milton) offers the  technical facilities needed to enable members unable to be there in-person to zoom in and participate from your  comfy chair at home. The PeaceWomen Awards are on Friday evening (17th ). Triennial opens at 9:00 am on  Saturday (18th) and concludes at around 3:00 pm on Sunday (19th) with the announcement of the new WILPF Australia Board for 2024-27. Did you get the Call for Nominations? It was emailed out recently. If not, check  your junk mail first, and if it’s not there message Stella (the Chief Teller) at Nominating to serve on the Board is a great opportunity for wider member involvement. WILPF is after all a member-based  and member driven global peacebuilding organisation.

Triennial is shaping up to be a busy two days. The Program Committee is mindful of the need to ensure all  sessions are accessible, and there has been some creative thinking happening around plenaries and  workshops. A Draft Triennial Program will be in your inbox soon.

Resolutions have historically (hertorically) been an aspect of Triennial for eons; at times the merit of particular resolutions has been ‘hotly’ debated and at other times although a resolution was agreed it ended up not being implemented. The Program Committee understands that some members see Resolutions as ‘democratically providing a voice for members’. There will be time set aside on Saturday afternoon’s program to discuss any Resolutions received. A template for submitting a resolution is attached.

Triennial is for all financial members of the WILPF Australia Section to attend and participate in. Membership is by calendar year with membership dues payable by 30 April.

Have you renewed your WILPF membership for 2024? If not, you can renew online at

Sisters in Peace – The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Australia,  1915–2015

Authored by: Kate Laing

“In examining the rise of WILPF in Australia, Sisters in Peace provides a gendered history of this country’s engagement with the politics of internationalism. This is a history of WILPF women who committed to peace activism even as Australia’s national identity and military allegiances shifted over time—a history that has until now been an overlooked part of the Australian peace movement.

NEWS FLASH ….. KATE LAING is coming to Brisbane for the WILPF Triennial – she is one of the keynote Speakers for the Saturday morning session, and we are trying to arrange to have copies of her book available to purchase.

Australia its time to sign!

In the last newsletter, the graphic below prepared by Chris Henderson, showing the countries in our region that had signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was shared.

Last week an ICAN delegation, led by their International Executive Director Melissa Parke, met with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Parliament House to hand-deliver a joint petition (with the Australian Conservation Foundation), “urging Labor to keep their promise and join the treaty. With over 11,000 signatures, this petition is the biggest petition on the nuclear weapon ban treaty in Australia yet.”

Join a WILPF Working Group

National working groups meet online and as such present a great opportunity for all members across the  WILPF Australia Section to participate, to engage in discussions and action with like-minded peace activist  sisters. Do you have passion? knowledge of the issues? Interested in learning more about WILPF’s position?  If this is the advocacy you would like to participate in, either email the Convenor or send a brief expression of  interest to and Lyn will ensure your message is immediately passed on.

The Demilitarisation Working Group (DWG)

End Nuclear Weapons Working Group (ENWWG)

Environment and Climate Change Action Group (ECCAG)

WILPF’s work Women, Peace and Security (WPS) at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68)

Join the Women Peace & Security Working (WPS) Working Group to  advance peaceful and sustainable alternatives to crisis and conflict and learn more about WILPF’s work for  gender equality and justice around the world. Let’s build on the work from CSW68 and work together during  2024 to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the Adoption of the Beijing  Platform for Action (1995) along with the global community in 2025 at CSW69.

Share your ideas about what Australia, and our Asia-Pacific region can be doing to celebrate the Beijing  Platform “considered the most progressive blueprint ever” to advance women’s rights and how we can work  for sustainable feminist peace.

Next meeting – 8 May. For more information & a copy of the CSW68 Debrief (from 3 April 2024) contact  Ludmilla Kwitko at

WILPF’s 109th anniversary

WILPF’s 109th anniversary is on April 28: the day we get to celebrate our rich legacy of feminist  peace activism. WILPF is in an exciting time in its journey. Since our establishment in 1915, WILPF been  working to advance peaceful and sustainable alternatives to crises and conflict and remains united in its vision  for permanent peace in a time in the world when feminist peace is needed more than ever.

Globally, WILPF now has Sections and Groups in over 40 countries across the Americas, Africa, South Asia,  Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East, with an International Secretariat (IS) based in Geneva and a New  York office. How we work: .

Let’s talk about intergenerationality!

On 5 March, WILPF members met during a Global Call to talk  about ‘intergenerational’ means and what it can look like in practice. You can find the notes from the call here. To make sure that everyone gets a say, members are invited to participate in a short survey (in English). It’s  not necessary to answer all of the questions; just provide feedback on the points that match your experiences  and ideas! This feedback will help the WILPF International Membership team “to gain a better understanding  of generational challenges and privileges and what solutions exist to facilitate inclusion, collaboration and  engagement within the WILPF movement”.

The WILPF Australia Update is for ALL members across the Australian Section. In future editions let’s look to share good news from members, brief updates from Branches & working groups, as well as events. Contribute by sending a short article to