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Earth @ Peace

  • Pilgrim Theological College 29 College Crescent Parkville Australia (map)

A Just and Ecologically Sustainable Peace: The ethical imperative of our time

A Landmark Conference
Tuesday-Wednesday 23-24 April 2019
9:00am-5:30pm each day
At Pilgrim Theological College
29 College Crescent, Parkville VIC 3052

This conference will feature panel discussions, working groups, a hypothetical, and international networking. It will have a highly interactive format, with both lead-up and follow-up activities.

Open to all who care for the Earth and humanity’s future, reflecting deeply on and engaging in the journey to: A Just and Ecologically Sustainable Peace.

Sponsoring Organisations

Australian Research Theology Foundation Inc · Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy, University of Divinity · Ethos · Pax Christi · Social Policy Connections

This Conference is made possible thanks to the support of:

Australian Association of the Study of Religions · Borderlands Co-operative · Christian Brothers · Faith Communities Council of Victoria · Global Reconciliation · Islamic Council of Victoria · Loreto Sisters · Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church · PaCSIA - Peace and Conflict Studies Institute Australia  · Redemptorist Congregation · Religions for Peace · St Columban's Mission Society · Trinity College Theological School, University of Divinity

About the Conference

Why Now?

At no stage, during the 200,000 years of human evolution, has our species experienced existential threats of the scale and intensity posed by climate change and nuclear weapons. Until now…

Issues to be Addressed

Faced with the ‘globalisation of violence’ against people and nature, the key question is:

Where can humanity turn to for guidance and inspiration?

The Just War doctrine, the dominant strand in the Christian tradition and until recently, in international law, has tried to place conditions before the use of force can be deemed just. But Just War discourse is used more often to justify than to prevent or condemn war.

Yet, weapons are increasingly lethal, and civilian casualties ever greater. In any case, the ‘just war’ concept has little to say about social, economic or environmental justice, let alone the global predicament we now face.

Conscious of this, several voices in international law, the UN system, labour and social movements, academia, churches and other religious and ethical traditions are calling for a shift from ‘Just War’ to ‘Just Peace’.

What does this mean?

What are the principles that can guide this shift, theoretically and in practice?

How is peace-building to respond to the cries of the poor, but also the cries of the Earth?

How do we envision a peace that is both just and ecologically sustainable?

And what does this all mean for Australia – for:

  • the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians?

  • the way we shape our economy and environment?

  • our long-standing dependence on imperial power, military alliances, and use of force?

  • our engagement with the peoples of Asia-Pacific?

Keynote Speakers

Professor Heather Eaton
St Paul University, Ottawa, Canada. Author of This sacred earth at the nexus of religion, ecology and politics.

Professor Bruce Pascoe
Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology, Sydney. Author of Dark Emu: Black Seeds: agriculture or accident, NSW Premier’s 2016 Book of the Year.

Professor Chaiwat Satha-Anand
Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand. Leading Islamic scholar and advocate of nonviolence.



Professor Mark Brett
Professor of Hebrew Bible, Whitley College, University of Divinity

Emeritus Professor Joseph A. Camillieri OAM
La Trobe University

Dr Anne Elvey
Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy, University of Divinity

Associate Professor Salim Farrar
University of Sydney

Professor Norman Habel
Professorial Fellow, Flinders University

Ms Shelini Harris
Peace, Conflict and Religious Studies Scholar, Australian National University

Dr Zuleyha Keskin
Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University

Emeritus Professor Freya Matthews
La Trobe University

Associate Professor Monica Melanchthon
Pilgrim Theological College, University of Divinity

Rabbi Fred Morgan
Union for Progressive Judaism, Professorial Fellow, Australian Catholic University

Dr Anthony Rees
United Theological College, Charles Sturt University

Associate Professor Ariel Salleh
Fellow in Post-Growth Societies, Friedrich Schiller University

Ms Naomi Wolfe
Jim-Baa-Yer Indigenous Higher Education Unit, Australian Catholic University


Working Group Facilitators

Reverend Dr Vicky Balabanski
Senior Lecturer in New Testament at Flinders University

Dr Tony Birch
Bruce McGuinness Indigenous Research Fellow, Victoria University

Mr John Cleary
Former ABC Radio Host and Commentator

Dr Mick Pope
Professor of Environmental Mission, Missional University; Environment Coordinator, Ethos: EA Centre for Christianity and Society

Reverend Dr Gordon Preece
Director of the Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy (RASP), University of Divinity

Dr Deborah Storie
Honorary Postdoctoral Associate, University of Divinity

Conference Program

Conference program details for each day will be added soon.

Conference Fees

Includes daily morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and refreshments at evening events as well as participant packs.

Conference costs (per day)

$100 Standard / General Admission

$70 Concession (unwaged, concession card holder, pension, student)

$135 Professional Development (with certification)

You can book to attend a single day, or both days of the conference.

Standard and Concession tickets purchased before 23 February 2019 will automatically receive a 20% EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT.

Public Events (open to non-conference participants)

Earth @ Peace Public Forum, Wednesday 23 April 2019, 7:30pm
Professor Heather Eaton, 
St Paul University, Ottawa, Canada. Author of This sacred earth at the nexus of religion, ecology and politics.
Professor Chaiwat Satha-Anand, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand. Islamic scholar and nonviolence advocate

$20 General Admission

$15 Concession (unwaged, concession card holder, pension, student)

ENTRY is by cash on the night.


Cultural Event, Thursday 24 April 2019, 7:30pm
An evening of Poetry, Music and Art for ANZAC EVE

$10 General Admission

ENTRY is by cash on the night.

Conference Scholarships

Up to ten (10) scholarship will be offered by Pax Christi. Each scholarship will cover the cost of registration for the two days, including the two evening public events.

Those eligible to apply are:  Indigenous Australians; Pacific Islanders residing in their home country; refugees and asylum seekers currently resident in Australia; full time Australian students currently completing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree; young Australians aged 20 to 35 in the early stages of their careers.

Closing date of applications: Friday 14 December 2018

For application form and further details contact Pax Christi Secretary:


Disability Access:
The venue is fully disability accessible

Public Transport:
The venue is easily accessed by Tram No. 19 (from Flinders St Station, via Elizabeth St in the CBD). Alight at stop #12, Morrah St/Royal Pde (Parkville), or by all trams from Swanston Street to the University of Melbourne, followed by a 5-10 minute walk.

For further information

Registration/venue enquiries:
University of Divinity | | (03) 9853 3177

Media and program enquiries:
Professor Joseph Camilleri:

Websites of Sponsoring organisations
Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy (RASP):
Pax Christi:
Social Policy Connections: