Posted by Don Heath
Our Guest Speaker was Dr Elaine Pratley who spoke on “the pursuit of peace”. This was particularly relevant to us as one of our Rotary Foundation Areas of Focus is “Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention”.
Elaine knows Rotary well having been a Rotary Peace Fellow sponsored by the Wellington NZ Rotary club, as well as co-chair of a Rotary Foundation 24-hour Global Peace conference.
She grew up in New Zealand, is a lawyer and has represented the New Zealand Government as a Crown Prosecutor and as a multilateral negotiator with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
She explained that the Rotary Peace Fellow program was a vision of Rotarians over twenty years ago to establish a network of peace builders world-wide. There are now over 1700 alumni in 140 countries from the program.
Applicants can choose one of two courses:
  • The Diploma Certificate in Peacebuilding which takes 11 weeks to complete.
  • The Master’s degree in Peacebuilding which takes 15-24 months to complete.
These courses are offered by eight universities worldwide: Duke USA, North Carolina USA, Tokyo Japan, Bradford England, Brisbane Australia, Uppsala Sweden, Kampala Uganda and Istanbul Turkey.
The Rotary Foundation fellowships cover tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and internship and field-study expenses and can often amount to over $100,000.
Elaine has completed the master’s degree on youth peacebuilding and later a PhD on the use of food for peacebuilding.
Elaine spoke very highly of the benefits of our Peace Fellow program and encouraged our Club to actively look for suitable candidates to sponsor. Applications open in February and close in May.
Don Heath