Communities for Peace

The Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market is a mixed bunch, its diversity reflected in the varied foods and produce that it showcases from communities around the State. This month Harvest Launceston joins the Tamar Valley Peace Festival to celebrate and promote living peace in our everyday lives.

The Tamar Community Peace Trust and Festival Coordinator have worked tirelessly to bring together a diverse and dynamic program of over 40 community-based events that will bring people together in recognition of our shared humanity. This Saturday volunteers will be at the market to invite you all to join in the many activities promoting peace.

From culinary journeys to conversations about human rights and refugees; opportunities to hear from the extraordinary men and women who do battle for peace against discrimination and violence; shared stories about peace through dance, music and books; party, meditate, plant, walk and cycle for peace, these are just some of the opportunities to share and celebrate diversity and kindness this winter.

Peace has no rules and festival participation is about incorporating peace into existing activities that support the concept of community kindness, tolerance and non-conflict resolution. These include writing projects for schools and university students, exhibits, dances, pubic lectures on movies and books on peace.

At the West Launceston Primary School a Peace Tree is growing with messages and thoughts of peace in the windows facing Basin Road. Peace Doves are flying high in the ground floor windows of the Launceston LINC offices at Civic Square.

The local Aboriginal community are hosting a walk through the Gorge, however this event has sold out and anyone who has accepted is asked to please inform organisers if they cannot attend as there is a long waiting list.

A culinary journey to peace will lead you to the community kitchen at the Esk Tavern in Invermay. On July 23 the Tasmanian Bhutanese Community will share their cultural bounty. The following Sunday, July 30, the Filipino Women’s Group will showcase their culinary traditions.

Other events including an opportunity to come together to plant for peace, by painting ceramic pots in which to plant flower and vegetable seedlings to grow at home. Pedal for peace and bring your local cycling group with you to the Harvest market on July 29 to meet students from the University of Tasmania as Harvest celebrates community.

The concept of the Peace Trust was initiated by long time peace activist Mrs Jean Hearn. Jean, in her mid-nineties, was inspired by the late Tasmanian Governor Peter Underwood’s 2014 Anzac Day address where he issued a challenge to all Tasmanians to “actively strive for peace on a daily basis and learn ways of resolving conflict without violence” and to “do something to learn how to create peace”. Together with a group of volunteers, the Peace Trust is driven by a shared view that non-violent solutions to conflict will only be achieved when communities themselves demand tolerance and kindness.

The inaugural Peace Festival in 2015 brought together over 50 local organisations with the direct participation of more than 7000 people in events that highlighted peace. This success and amazing response has driven the Peace Trust to make the Festival a regular winter event for Launceston that will contribute towards a society that is mindful and understanding of the social and financial benefits of being peaceful as opposed to the costs of violence and intolerance.

Visit the Peter Underwood Peace Garden at Kings Park on land allocated by the Launceston City Council.

Violence touches us all. Experiences can be personal, through the headlines on the radio and television news, with constant updates on mobile devices that focuses attention on wars, death and the hurt people inflict on each other. Then there is the violence that tears apart families, in our workplaces and on our streets, the casual racist remark that belittles the young and old living far from their families or trying to find peace in a new community.

The Peace Festival’s centrepiece events are a series of free public lectures (bookings required):

The Relationship between Religion and Individual Rights in a Diverse, Multicultural Community
Key speaker: Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow
Panellists: Rodney Croome AM, Very Reverend Richard Humphrey, Robin Banks
Facilitated by Professor Richard Eccelston
July 27, 6:00pm – 7:30pm University of Tasmania, Lecture Theatre 9, Newnham Campus.

Why Tasmania needs a Human Rights Act
Panellists: Robin Banks, Kristen Desmond, Rodney Croome AM, Rajan Venkataraman
July 28, 5:30pm – 7:00pm Scotch Oakburn College, Horton Auditorium, 85 Penquite Road.

Peace: A Practical Matter
Speaker: Martin Flanagan, Australian journalist and author
July 31, 5:30pm – 7:30pm. Annex Theatre, UTAS. Inveresk.

Inspiring Women in Business
Speaker: Rebecca Cuthill, Manager – Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal
(There is a charge for this event.)

For more info on the 2017 Tamar Valley Peace Festival, visit: