Category Archives: Vigils

An Invitation from the Community of the Canberra Anzac Eve Peace Vigil, 2013

We send greetings and a heartfelt invitation to you, and/or to all members of your group, to join us in ceremony and song at the third lantern-lit Canberra Anzac Eve Peace Vigil, from dusk on Wednesday, April 24.

With each successive Vigil on the eve of Anzac Day, our contemplation of the sufferings in Australia’s war involvements is deepening, with particular recognition and sorrow for the ongoing trauma to Aboriginal peoples in the wake of Australia’s Frontier Wars;  and an encompassing compassion for dispossessions, exiles, and emotional injuries associated with conflicts and their refugees throughout the world today.

This year, a ceremonial focus is the kindling of the Peace Fire at the Aboriginal Memorial, embers of which will light the lanterns and Welcome to Country ceremony at the top of Mt. Ainslie, light the community gathering and smoking ceremony at Remembrance Park, and light the walkers’ way to the all-night Peace Vigil at the end of Anzac Parade.

As we walk, sing, share poetry and stories, and make ceremony together, we remember that almost everyone in Australia has a family story of trauma and loss through war and, for many, dispossession.  The Peace Fire gives expression of light and blessing upon our hopes for a safe, united and happy future, for our children and all our descendants.

(We draw attention to our recommendation for participants to wear warm clothing, bring a portable chair, mug for soup, and rug if needed.)

Honey Nelson,  (contact)

Johanna McBride,  (musical coordinator)

Graeme Dunstan,  (lantern-maker)

A Chorus of Women, Poets for Peace,


WILPF Update from the Human Rights Council

The latest communique from WIFPF on the proceedings of the 21st  Session of the UN Human Rights Council can be found here WILPF Update from the Human Rights Council.

It includes a  statement by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

He laid out five challenges that warrant our attention, one of which was the continuation of the fight for women’s rights. He stated, “Unleashing the power of women will usher in a new era of respect for human rights”.

It also includes a statement from WILPF which followed as follows the  Special Rapporteur’s report on the subject of children in armed conflict.


We were concerned that the link between small arms/light weapons proliferation and illicit trade was not made with children and armed conflict. 

 In our statement, we called on all states to acknowledge the impact of explosive weapons on children, monitor and report on where explosive weapons cause a pattern of killing and maiming of children, and end the use of explosive weapons with wide effects in populated areas. 

This week, WILPF cosponsored a side-event for the Human Rights Council on violence against women in India. At this event, four Indian women got the chance to tell their powerful stories to an international audience, hoping to make a difference in their societies.

 While coming together to tell their stories is a great and empowering experience for them on its own, actually changing the circumstances in which their horrific stories took place will need more.

 These women travelled from their villages in Manipur, one of the most isolated, remote regions in India, where martial law has ruled for the last fifty years and the voices of the local population are swept under the rug. After an almost 24-hour flight and a life long journey, they came to the United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva, where all States are supposed to be held accountable for their human rights violations.

 As they were telling their horrific stories of being raped and beaten by soldiers and police however, they seemed most upset by the devastation of their (family’s) honor.

 While this is understandable from their perspective, this sentiment seems to echo exactly the values of a militarized, patriarchal society, where women are made to feel ashamed for something they have absolutely no control over.

 Until these core issues like militarization, patriarchal hegemonies, and so-called traditional values are dealt with, the stories coming from the Manipur region will likely remain the same. It is for these stories, and the stories of all women across the world, that WILPF always has, is, and will continue to focus on these issues in Geneva, New York, and across the world.


To all WILPF members and friends

Anzac Day, 25 April 2012, Silent Peace Vigil, 3pm at the National Peace Memorial 

We invite you to join with us on ANZAC Day at 3 pm at the Peace Memorial (between the National Library and the Lake), to reflect in silence on the grief and suffering and waste of war; to grieve for all who have died and are suffering through war; and to commit ourselves to build a world without war in which conflicts will be resolved without violence and where women and men contribute equally to the building of peace.  Please bring a flower to place on the Peace Memorial if you wish.                       

Further information Margaret 6247 3739

ANZAC Eve Candlelight Vigil 2011

Photographs and video from this are available.