Above (L-R): The assembled crowd lighting candles, Co-Patron of the event, William Kelly OAM addresses the crowd, members of the audience listening to “Thoughts For Peace:
Walking the Pathways to Peace, the inaugural Mornington Peninsula Peace Vigil, held on October 27th, 2001 at “Seawinds Gardens”, Arthurs Seat, Victoria – was an evening of shared thoughts and reflection that focused on the peace process and the acknowledgement and celebration of Australia’s cultural diversity. A non-denominational and non-political event, with no affiliation with any religious, government or political organization, it was a peaceful, family-orientated event, designed to give people a quiet moment in turbulent times.
Special guests for the evening were American-born Australian artist, Fullbright Fellow and recipient of the Prime Minister’s Violence Prevention Award, the late William Kelly OAM. In addition to his own thoughts, William relayed a message specially written for those attending the Vigil from Dr. Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson and co-founder of The MK Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence. Both William and Dr Gandhi also acted as Patrons for the event.
In addition, we were delighted to welcome Indigenous artist, Ben McKeown who performed a ‘Welcome to Country’ in his role at that time as representative of the Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land the vigil was held.
Produced by Incognita Enterprises’ Creative Director, Sally McLean with local teacher, Christine Nagorcka, the event followed a simple format around Thoughts for Peace, contributed by locals and Victorian dignitaries, read out by locals, and finished with the lighting of candles for peace at sunset. The Walking the Pathways to Peace logo, was re-created by local Indigenous artist, Rondon, from his original artwork, as a two metre wide centrepiece for the Vigil, and the focus for the candle-lighting part of the ceremony.
Eminent Australians showed their support of the Vigil in the form of specially written pieces that were read out at the Vigil, and included contributions from former Prime Minister and Head of CARE Australia Malcolm Fraser, former Governor-General Sir William Deane, The Hon. Robin Cooper MP, then Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, then Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Philip Ruddock, Martin Dixon MP and Senator Aden Ridgeway. Local contributions came from Mornington Secondary College student, Stephanie, Jonathon from Dromana Primary School and the Rev. Tim Gibson, the only religious leader across every denomination to respond to the Vigil organizers’ request for a contribution. Also present on the night in an unofficial capacity were local Federal MP’s Bruce Billson and Greg Hunt.
PHOTO GALLERY OF THE EVENT:
OFFICIAL SPONSORS & PARTNERS
The following businesses and organisations generously donated their time, services and resources to help make this event possible and we sincerely thank them for their support.
Stuff ‘N’ Wax
Handmade candles for house & home
GW Williams Public Address Systems
For a full round up of the event, visit the official website here: https://walkingthepathwaystopeace.com/