Since 1947, more than 66,000 Australians have proudly represented Australia as peacekeepers and peacemakers in overseas countries, including places in Africa and Asia. Peacekeepers come from all different countries and are often sent to very dangerous places. They help countries journey toward peace.
In 2014, Australian Greens Senator for South Australia, Senator Penny Wright, established the inaugral Australian Greens Makepeace Prize for South Australian school students.
Senator Wright received many thoughtful and inspiring entries from school students across South Australia.
We would like to extend our thanks to all those who entered the competition for their creative participation. Thanks also to teachers and parents for encouraging young people to get involved in the Australian Greens Makepeace Prize.
We have collected a snapshot of the entries -- check out the photo album below!
Congratulations to all of the prize winners who have now been contacted via mail. Thanks for helping to recognise the important role of peacekeepers in our world.
Watch my speech to the Senate about the Makepeace Prize -- I may even have read your entry aloud! You can also read the speech here.
As the Australian Greens spokesperson for Veterans' Affairs, Senator Penny Wright helped bring about long overdue recognition of our Australian Peacekeepers and their vital work for global peace and security.
Since 1947, more than 66,000 Australians have proudly represented Australia in United Nations and multinational peacemaking and peacekeeping operations overseas.
Over that time there have been 48 members of our Defence Forces who died while serving as peacekeepers for Australia, but their names were not recorded on the Honour Roll reserved for other ADF deaths at the Australian War Memorial.
Peacekeepers and their families felt this deeply. The lack of recognition made them feel their service was not valued, and their deaths meaningless.
But this has now changed. And the Australian Greens played a crucial role. Senator Wright was privileged to work alongside the Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans Association in this campaign.
The names of the fallen peacekeepers were included on the Honour Roll at the Australian War Memorial in August 2013.
Senator Wright was proud to stand with the Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans' Association (APPVA) and families of peacekeepers in the campaign which led to this historic decision.
The families of peacekeepers will now be able to find their loved ones' names on the Honour Roll and leave a poppy in remembrance, just like the families of others who have died serving their country.
Peacekeepers have played an important and honourable role in our military history and will continue to do so in the face of ongoing conflict in our world. They’re often needed most where peace is most fragile but are restricted by Rules of Engagement that only allow them to use their weapons in very limited circumstances.
Our peacekeepers do us proud in helping secure peace and security in conflict zones. Senator Wright is proud to have been a part of the campaign to give our peacekeepers the recognition they rightly deserve.