by Naomi Smith
For some, the word peace conjures up images of hippies and free love. Not so for the new 2009 cohort of UQ Rotary World Peace Fellows.
For the nine new scholars housed at UQ’s Rotary Centre for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution in the School of Political Science and International Studies, peace is a serious undertaking to which they are very committed.
The group comes from all corners of the globe and includes a UN worker from Slovakia, a former BBC journalist from Scotland and internationally acclaimed musician and children’s author David LaMotte from the USA.
All are highly motivated and talented individuals having each secured a prestigious Rotary Peace Fellowship to study at UQ.
“The calibre of this year’s Peace Fellows is outstanding,” said Rotary Centre Director Dr Richard Devetak.
“They were selected from a pool of over 300 applicants from all walks of life. It is an extremely competitive process which underlines the fact that UQ is receiving some of the best and brightest minds who all recognise UQ as an international leader in the field of international studies.”
Mr LaMotte said he initially struggled with his decision to select from the six Rotary Centres before making the move to UQ.
“I contacted several Peace Fellow alumni, and those conversations convinced me that UQ’s program was my best option academically. Arriving and beginning my studies has only confirmed that impression.”
Fellow peace scholar Rose Foley from Scotland was also excited to commence the program.
“I chose UQ because I thought it was the best environment to learn about important issues facing the world,” she said.
As a journalist who has worked in the UK, Canada and Africa, Ms Foley aims to use her studies to work in radio in post-conflict areas.
The program attracts students who wish to become future leaders in the area of peace and conflict resolution, almost all of whom go on to secure employment in their chosen field after graduation.
UQ students and the general public will have the opportunity to hear about the experiences of last year’s intake of fellows when they deliver presentations about their experiences oat this year’s RWPF Seminar (formerly known as the Paul Harris Seminar) to be held at the GPN 4 building on Saturday May 23.
For more information visit www.polsis.uq.edu.au