Who we are
Greetings Peace Educators…
As we wind down the calendar year and approach the season of peace birthed on our planet, we would like to let you know that Peace and Nonviolence Education Australasia will be having a 'quiet pause' in 2024.
Our initiating support group has reduced due to everyday life movements and shifting job/role priorities and will not be able to provide proactive energy for much of the coming year.
Brendan McKeague and Michael Wood will continue to be available and respond to any queries or requests for individual educator/school/system support, as reflected in this website, which will remain active during 2024.
Our core group will reconvene in 2024 to discern our future together then. It’s been a wonderful six years working with passionate peace educators, prophets and prototypes….pace e bene to you all.
Peace and Nonviolence Education Australasia was inspired on 1st January 2017 by the Papal Peace Message entitled Nonviolence: A Style of Politics for Peace.
This led to Pace e Bene Australia successfully applying for a grant from the Australian Research Theology Foundation (ARTFinc) to develop a senior school pilot curriculum unit (Years 11/12) which was piloted in four Anglican Schools in Perth in the first half of 2018, following the delivery of half day and one day Professional Development programs for RE staff who would be teaching the unit.
The network of participating schools and school-systems expanded from there, with subsequent PD programs in Adelaide (2018), Melbourne(2019) and Brisbane(2020), and national gatherings of teachers in Adelaide (2018) and Melbourne (2019). After the limitations caused by Covid we expect further PD to be offered in 2024.
The network developed through the support of school 'systems' as well as some project grant funding from Pace e Bene Australia. We continue our work as a network of professionals who are passionate about peace education and developing cultures of peace in Christian schools.
During the last 6 years, the following organisations have worked together on this project, guided by a Steering Group of volunteer professionals:
Pace e Bene Australia
Anglican Schools Commission WA Inc
Catholic Education South Australia (CESA)
Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA)
Anglican Schools Commission South Queensland
Anglican Schools of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia
Here are the presentation slides about our work, presented at the Raising Peace online forum in September 2021.
Peace Education Symposium
Brendan McKeague (Current)
I grew up in the ‘troubled’ Northern Ireland in a culture deeply embedded with discrimination and destructive violence, alongside an equally embedded tradition of Celtic music, dance, poetry and storytelling.
I have been fascinated by this complex mix ever since. My long-term passion is to continue learning about sustainable, nonviolent peace building, through practical experimentation with conflict transformation and spiritual reflection. In recent times, I have been working with others in the development of curriculum resources as part of a growing global movement towards peace and nonviolence education in schools and communities at all levels.
Michael Wood (Current)
Michael is an Anglican Priest, Organisational Coach and Group Facilitator. He was one of the founding members of Peace and Nonviolence Education Australasia. He has worked in parish ministry, university chaplaincy, and is currently Community Chaplain at St Stephen's Anglican Church in Richmond, Victoria. Michael is very interested in how we create conditions for peace in the everyday contexts of family, community, church and workplace. His book, "Practicing Peace: Theology, Contemplation, and Action" was published in 2022 and shortlisted in the Sparklit Australian Christian Book of the Year Awards.
Jo Hart (past member)
Jo Hart is an Education Officer with Edmund Rice Education Australia. She supports EREA schools to provide an education for justice and peace that is safe and inclusive for all. She brings her experience as an educator in Catholic secondary schools, and leadership in the Identity area, to the Peace and Nonviolence Education Australasia project. She is passionate about coming to understand and practise ways of being in the world that don’t just seek peace but live peace and explore how we can invite young people into this way of being.
Jacqui Chesley-Ingle (past member)
Jacqui Chesley-Ingle is an Anglican priest and was school chaplain at Hukarere Girls’ College - the last remaining Māori Anglican girls boarding school (146 years old) located in Napier, Aotearoa/New Zealand. In 2023 Jacqui relocated to Western Australia where she provides leadership and pastoral support to the Mauri community in SW WA.
A descendant of the people of Parihaka, who in 1881, made history through their non-violent and peaceful resistance against government troops invading and confiscating Māori land.
Through this genealogical and historical connection an avid interest has grown in peace education and the developing of the culture of peace within the school environment.
Gillian Moses (past member)
Gillian Moses is an Anglican priest and school chaplain at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School in Brisbane. She has particular interests in gender relationships, education, community building and the formation of young people. She sees the principles and tools of peace and nonviolence as an effective alternative narrative to the dominant paradigms which shape the world, and with which our students must be equipped to contend.
Penelope Russell (past member)
Dr Penelope Russell was, until recently, the Anglican Schools Commission’s (ASC) Director of Teaching and Learning. Her main responsibilities were to provide leadership of Religious Studies in Anglican schools, support ASC schools in their provision of Religious Studies, provide pedagogical leadership of Teaching and Learning and support ASC schools in their preparation of students for Senior Study. Penelope has moved back into a senior teaching and learning role in a large Christian school in 2024.
Michael Vial (past member)
Michael has been an educator for over thirty years and, until he retired in 2023, was the Manager Religious Education and Faith Formation for Catholic Education South Australia. He led the redesign of Crossways: the Religious Education Curriculum for SA Catholic Schools, which incorporated the importance of nonviolence in an understanding of and praxis for the world God desires. This initiative integrated with the promotion of nonviolent pedagogies which honour the voice and agency of children and young people.