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People’s Forum on How to Avoid All Wars

20/09/2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


The war in Ukraine has woken the world up to the increasing threat of war. Violent conflict has never disappeared entirely, but for decades it has been happening out of sight, and the consequences have been remote. Today, the Ukraine war has brought violence to Europe and the threat of war has never seemed more real.

Raising Peace hosted a “People’s Forum on the Ukraine War” in July and now on the eve of the International Day of Peace, we are widening our field of inquiry in this People’s Forum on How To Avoid All Wars. This may sound ambitious, but as the world risks being drawn into conflict we need to boldly imagine a world in which a different way of doing things is possible.

In our discussion we bring together a distinguished panel with a broad range of backgrounds – diplomatic, political, theological and artistic – as the way to peace is one that must be forged by  people of all types.

Each speaker will talk to a specific topic of their choosing under the theme before we go to discussion.

  • Dr Alison Broinowski (ex diplomat, President Australians for War Powers Reform) on Can Australia avoid another war?
  • Rev Dr Thorwald Lorenzen (Theologian, ethicist) on Peace must be waged!
  • Hellen Rose (Artist, worked in Afghanistan) on ART POWER 
  • Costa Rica Ambassador Victor Vargas on Building a new global alliance for peace

The forum will be moderated by Margaret Reynolds, national president of WILPF.

His Excellency Mr Armando Vargas Araya is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Costa Rica to the Commonwealth of Australia, since 7 August 2019.

A writer and historian awarded with the National History Prize and a member of five national or foreign learned academies, he is the author of 31 books on different aspects of communications, culture and politics.

He has been a university professor and guest speaker at professional events and academic centres in some twenty countries of the Americas, Asia and Europe.

A former cabinet minister in the Communications Portfolio, he has served as Ambassador on Special Missions to Argentina, El Salvador and Cuba. Five Latin American and European countries have decorated him.

With a considerable international career in the private sector as a strategist on communications and IT, he has been a vice-president or director in satellite communications corporations both in the UK and the US. (Source)

Dr Alison Broinowski AM is a former Australian diplomat who has written and edited eleven books about the interface between Australia and Asia and Australia’s role in world affairs. She is President of Australians for War Powers Reform.

Thorwald Lorenzen was the Senior Minister of the Canberra Baptist Church. Before that he was Professor of Systematic Theology and Social Ethics at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Zurich, Switzerland. He chaired the Human Rights Commission of the Baptist World Alliance, was the Baptist representative at the United Nations in Geneva, and participated in several ecumenical dialogues. At present he is Adjunct Professor at the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University. He is the author of Yes! A Christian Vision of Life (1921).

Hellen Rose

Co-founder of The Yellow House Jalalabad 2012- with Artist/Film Maker George Gittoes. She is Assistant Director and Actor on 5 Pashtun Drama’s made in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Hellen is the first European woman to appear in Pashtun Films.

In 2017 on International Women’s Day she was the first woman to sing to a mixed gender public audience in Afghanistan in 80 years at the Governors Palace Jalalabad. Assistant Director/Actor/Musician on ‘Love City Jalalabad’ and Music Director on the award winning and AFI finalist 2016, ‘Snow Monkey’, both films Directed by George Gittoes. Hellen was Co Producer and Music Director on ‘White Light’ screened on the ABC 2020.

Director – Haunted Burqa winner of over 11 International film awards, screening at Event Cinema’s George St along with No Bad Guys filmed in South Side Chicago 2021 on  September 11th for the Sydney Underground Film Festival.

Co Created ‘Victory ‘ exhibition Irpen Ukraine 2022.


Margaret Reynolds began working for peace as a young Townsville mother in 1970 via her campaign to establish a branch of the anti-conscription organisation Save our Sons. Margaret has worked for peace as a Senator in the Australian Parliament, the United Nations and the community. She is President of WILPF Australia.


7:00 pm - 8:30 pm