Our mission is to foster the spirituality of active nonviolence in Australia.
Pace e bene (pronounced pah-chay-bay-nay) means ‘peace and all good’ in Italian — it was an expression used by St Francis of Assisi as a greeting and a means of proclaiming the way of nonviolence in the midst of a violent world.
PeBA (A for Australia) formed in 2006 by a group of Australians committed to nonviolence as a personal approach to life and an effective means of social transformation. We operate through a local network of facilitators and we develop and run our own programs, as well as being affiliated with Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service in the USA. Our roots have grown in the Franciscan tradition of peace-making, and we embrace all cultures and faiths.
PeBA is an association of members who are committed to nonviolence and grounding our lives in:
- the equality of all people
- rejoicing in our individual differences
- the interconnectedness of all things
Our primary purposes (as defined in our constitution) are to:
- maintain a network of facilitators
- maintain a public trust fund, called the Pace e Bene Australia Peace Fund, to receive donations and fund projects that promote the prevention or control of behaviour that is harmful or abusive
- liaise with Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service in the USA and around the world
- network with other organisations working to promote peace through active nonviolence
- set a benchmark of 90% of the Association’s time being devoted to the principal activity, with the remaining 10% being on such as administration, networking and fundraising in support of the principal activity.
We are completely voluntary-run and our activities are overseen by a national committee.
THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE
The National Committee is made up of elected members and oversees the activities of PeBA. The current members are:
I live in Bun wurrung country in Australia (Melbourne). My interests include peace education and international development, but I have a particular interest in West Papua, the most protracted conflict in the Pacific. I joined Pace e Bene Australia in 2008.
I grew up in Northern Ireland where I experienced a deeply embedded culture of discrimination and violence, alongside a Celtic culture of music, dance, poetry and storytelling. I have been fascinated by the mix ever since. My passion is for ongoing learning about sustainable, nonviolent peace building through experimentation and discovery. I love to create spaces where conflict transformation and new possibilities might emerge. I have been connected wit Pace e Bene in the USA since 1994 and was a founder member of Pace e Bene Australia in 2006.
Gill lives in Sydney and is married with four adult children and ten grandchildren. A ‘late starter’ Gill was unaware of the potential, power and possibilities of nonviolence when she attended Brendan’s first Sydney From Violence To Wholeness workshop in 2001. This experience awakened in her the passion to explore, learn, live and share the spirituality and practice of active nonviolence leading Gill to volunteer with others to set up a national ‘Pace e Bene Australia’ group in 2005/6. Gill continues to serve on the coordinating and peace fund committees and is the PeBA contact for NSW. Gill is a member of Pax Christi NSW and is involved with other peace, climate action and justice activities in Sydney.
I have been a member of Pace e Bene Australia since 2011 and I came to it through some of the workshops, particularly Travelling with the Turtle, that led me to look for peaceful ways of being and relating. I am particularly interested in nonviolence in the workplace, interpersonal relationships and the nonviolence of Jesus. I am a facilitator of PeBA workshops as well as working full-time as a university policy officer. I have been on the national committee since 2016.
Through my work for the ASCM I came in contact with conflict transformation workshops and the programs of Pace e Bene. It was exciting to find likeminded people and at the same time challenging as well. I joined Pace e Bene in 2015 and became a member of the Melbourne Community of Practice. Since 2016 I am also part of the National Committee. I am particularly interested in nonviolent communication and a nonviolent way of living.