Advancing peace through Rotary Peace Fellowships
28 March 2019 at 7:30 am
Passionate Australians who want to advance peace and conflict resolution in troubled areas around the world can apply for a Rotary Peace Fellowship in 2019.
While the world hopes for peace, Rotary International – a humanitarian service organisation dedicated to world peace and understanding – is working to make it a reality by training the next generation of peace leaders.
Rotary is now recruiting for the Rotary Peace Fellowship, a program that allows successful candidates to attend one of Rotary’s Peace Centres, to earn either a professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies or a master’s degree in an area related to peace and security.
Since 2002, the program has provided advanced training to over 1,100 fellows internationally who are now working as leaders in government and non-government organisations, the military, law enforcement, peace education, media, international organisations like the United Nations and World Bank, and grass roots organisations.
Rotary District 9800 Peace Fellow Committee chairperson, Rob Helme, says that Rotary has made incredible investments in the field of peace and conflict education. Rotary Clubs and their members, with access to hundreds of thousands of communities worldwide, have been able to draw diverse applicants committed to working in peace and conflict resolution, see them through the nominating process, and continue to mentor and engage them after the completion of their training.
The district has had great success in finding outstanding candidates annually and endorsing them for final consideration by The Rotary Foundation in the USA. Helme says that his committee is now looking forward to receiving applicants for 2019.
One of last year’s fellows sponsored by the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Amra Lee, is partway through a master’s in peace and conflict studies at the University of Uppsala. Prior to her fellowship, she was working as a regional humanitarian adviser for the UN World Food Program in Bangkok. Lee has over 12 years’ experience in the humanitarian sector working for UN agencies, government, NGOs and the Red Cross.
“I am a strong advocate for equality and inclusion and providing a voice for marginalised and vulnerable groups. The majority of my field work has been in the Middle East and working on the Iraqi and Syrian refugee crises in particular,” Lee says.
“I am also interested in advancing evidence-based discourse on inclusion and human rights more generally, including in Australia.”
Candidates with vision, experience and a drive to develop the skills needed to serve as leaders and catalysts for peace are characteristics the Peace Fellowship Committee are looking for in their applicants.
In addition to contributing to peace as individuals, fellows are part of an expanding global network of alumni whose influence grows each year.
Helme says he encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply for this award.
“To make peace in the world, we need more peacebuilders and some of the best candidates could be working in your organisation or local community,” he says.
“Previous fellows have included a counter terrorist expert from Victoria Police, an Australian teacher who was based in a refugee camp in Jordan when she applied and now in New York with the UN, and specialist humanitarian volunteers from World Vision and RedR, to name a few. All are dedicated people who are striving to achieve positive change.”
Fellows attend one of the six Rotary Peace Centres that operate in partnership with seven premier universities in six countries around the world. Each Rotary Peace Center offers its own customised curriculum and field-based learning opportunities that examine peace and conflict theory through various frameworks. Five of the peace centers offer master’s degrees; one offers a professional development certificate for those contemplating a mid-career change in focus.
All courses are held in English and the award covers tuition and university fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, internship/field study expenses and a bursary for living expenses.
Start at the Rotary Club of Melbourne’s website to find out more about the Rotary Peace Fellowships and how to apply.
Applications close Friday 31 May 2019.