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Day of Peace Observed in Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia - The UPF commemoration of the UN International Day of Peace was held at the headquarters of the Federations for World Peace in Belgrave Heights, Victoria.

The program began with the traditional Aboriginal Welcome to the Country offered by the emcee and Director of UPF-Victori,a Steve Evans.

Our Peace Federation Chair Rev. Rick McInerheney, with the Federation choir, sang "Imagine," by John Lennon to kick things off.

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We discussed the historical decision by the UN General Assembly establishing the International Day of Peace some 30 years ago and read comments from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressing this year’s theme: Democracy and Youth, assuming support for the democratic uprising in the Middle East or the so-called “Arab Spring.”

Steve introduced the Ambassadors for Peace Initiative as one of the largest and most diverse organizations of peace leaders in the world by sharing the guiding principles. We also distributed the founder’s autobiography, As a Peace Loving Global Citizen.

Our guest speaker was the delightful Marisa Vedar, a Director of Gawad Kalinga, a Filipino service and community-building organization that brings together volunteerism with local government, corporate, and NGO support to create sustainability with a high spirit. This innovative approach is now being studied internationally and applied throughout Oceania to be utilized in third-world environments.

Marisa shared videos and personal experience with an invitation to attend the upcoming international symposium in Sydney on October 15 to kick off the Aboriginal community outreach here in Australia and the plan to end poverty in the Philippines by 2024; she was inspiring, motivating, and enlightening.

We are looking forward to bringing Gawad Kalinga on board as a worthy organization to support.

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