The Peter Underwood Peace & Justice Lecture

Posted on May 19, 2021

The Friends’ School was fortunate to have special guest speakers Aunty Patsy Cameron and Professor Tim McCormack present the Peter Underwood Peace and Justice Lecture on 29 April 2021. The Lecture was an important part of our Clemes Friendly Conference and our understanding and exploration of Reconciliation with Australia’s Indigenous community.

Years 10, 11 and 12 students, along with staff and guests, heard Aunty Patsy’s personal connection to the colonial period wrongdoing and continuing injustices to our indigenous community. Tim provided a thought-provoking connection to recent legal decisions fulfilling agreements with First Nations Peoples from around the world and what should happen in Tasmania if indeed we are a ‘just’ society that acts with integrity to uphold commitments made by a government on behalf of its citizens. It was clear to all who listened and asked questions that every person in Tasmania needs to hear the stories and perspectives shared by Aunty Patsy and Tim. We thank Aunty Patsy and Tim for their powerful and impactful presentation, which will help to frame our students’ worldview for decades to come.

The School has a working group that is currently developing a Reconciliation Action Plan. We are placing an emphasis on understanding what it means to contribute to Reconciliation and how as a School we can strengthen and put into practice what is stated in our Acknowledgement of Country. We believe that Peace and Justice are key elements to Reconciliation.

For more information on the biennial Peter Underwood Peace and Justice Lecture, please click here

Dr Patsy Cameron is an Aboriginal elder who has spent more than 40 years working to improve access to education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Dr Cameron has a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Archaeology and Geography, and a Master of Art in Tasmanian Aboriginal History. She was the first Tasmanian to be appointed to the landmark National Aboriginal Education Committee, helped establish the Aboriginal Studies course at the University of Tasmania, and worked at Riawunna Centre for Aboriginal Education.

Tim McCormack is a Professor of International Law and former Dean of the University of Tasmania Law School. He is the Special Advisor on War Crimes to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague and is also undertaking an Inquiry for the Tasmanian Department of Education into the problem of sexual abuse of students in Tasmanian Government Schools. Tim has developed an international reputation for his expertise in international humanitarian law and in international criminal law and in 2015-16 was a Fulbright Senior Scholar with the positions of Charles H Stockton Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island and also as James Barr Ames Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School.