Zuzana Petovska on fieldwork in the Tiwi Islands
Zuzana Petovska on fieldwork in the Tiwi Islands
17 May 2010

UQ’s Rotary Peace Fellows will present their experiences of contemporary peacebuilding during their annual seminar on May 22.

The group of nine individuals drawn from Africa, the US and Europe were chosen through a competitive international selection process and judged to have potential as world and community leaders.

During the past 18 months they have undertaken a Master of International Studies program, designed to have a practical impact on alleviating international and regional conflicts.

They have all spent a considerable time in the field working with a range of international organisations and NGOs.

David Kozar worked in post conflict areas for eight years before he applied for the Rotary Peace Fellowship program.

"It has been a wonderful chance to work with a diverse group of people from around the World on building peace from the ground up," he said.

Zuzana Petovska from Slovakia, took a career break from her work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) when she was offered a Fellowship.

"The program is designed for professionals who have already experience in conflict resolution and peace-building, but who need an additional boost or energy to continue their work," she said.

"The program brings together people from all over the world, and the discussions and sharing of experiences brings an additional element to the educational program provided by the University."

David LaMotte from North Carolina in the USA said the seminar would be a summary of the fellowship, and had been an extraordinary experience.

"I look forward to sharing the experiences, adventures and insights that have come out of it, and to hearing about my colleagues' work in more detail," he said.

"There is no shortage of need in the world, and the fellowship has given each of us the essential skills and a powerful network to address those needs."

Of the outgoing group, the Rotary Centre’s director in the University, Dr Richard Devetak said: "After enriching the learning environment at UQ with their diversity and enthusiasm, they will now bring to the difficult and often unglamorous work of peacebuilding a wealth of knowledge, experience and dedication."

"In this uncertain time of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, rising tension in Pakistan and evolving security trends in the Asia Pacific region, these students are an important investment in all our futures."

Former Rotary Peace Fellows have gone onto work for a number of international organisations including the UN, the World Bank, USAid and AusAid.

UQ’s Rotary Centre of International Studies in peace and conflict resolution is part of a global program to advance research, teaching, practical training and knowledge of international relations, conflict resolution and peace building.

The Rotary Foundation’s decision to establish a centre within UQ is recognition of the outstanding reputation of the Master of International Studies programs within the School of Political Science and International Studies.

The seminar runs from 9am – 5pm on Saturday, May 22.

It is being held in the Sir LLew Edwards Building (Building 14) on the St Lucia Campus.

Parking is available on-street or in the multi level car parks on Sir Fred Schonell Drive.
Media: Gillian Ievers , School of Political Science and International Studies (07 3365 3043 or 0406 510668, g.ievers@uq.edu.au)