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Peace Education

On Mandela Day, Australia Says “Make a Difference”

Melbourne, Australia—African community leaders, NGO leaders and politicians celebrated Nelson Mandela International Day with music and prayer.

More than 250 people attended a music-filled program held in Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne, which was followed by a church service in St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The date of the celebration, July 18, would have been the 97th birthday of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid activist and South African president who died in 2013. The UN General Assembly declared the first Nelson Mandela International Day in 2009.

One of the quotes attributed to President Mandela is: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

In honoring Nelson Mandela’s legacy, the Melbourne event was a call for each person to recognize their unique ability to change the world around them.

John Bellavance, vice president of UPF-Australia, and Anne Bellavance, president of WFWP-Australia, were present at the church service.

UPF-Australia paid for the cost of setting up and creating the website ( www.nelsonmandeladayaustralia.org ) and the commemorative T-shirts worn by volunteers. WFWP sponsored the costs for the photographer.

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