Joan Shear Peaceful Pathways Award

August 2022

Here’s an interesting program up in Queensland.

As we reflect on the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day, we invite you to join us in imagining a world without weapons and war and schools where peace – making, keeping and building are praised, prized, valued –  the norm. Last year, inspired to demilitarise our school, we launched the inaugural Joan Shear Peaceful Pathways Award and “Peace is…” Arts Prize at Jabiru Community College in Zillmere, Qld.  

The Joan Shears Peace Award offers $550 to a Year 12 student and $250 to a Year 10 student who have been actively involved in peacemaking, peacebuilding or peacekeeping in the community.  

“Peace Is…” Arts Prize: In conjunction with the Joan Shears Peace Awards, the “Peace is…” Arts Prize invites young people to reflect upon peace and communicate their thoughts through a creative product.  Submissions must be suitable for display as an exhibition.  Prizes of $100 (1), $50 (1), and $25 (3) are awarded -more if available – and all entries receive recognition.  

This year, we hope you will help us further the Joan Shears Peace Awards at Jabiru, support other schools to run Peace Awards, or host a Peace Award in your community. 

Joan Shears OMA dedicated her life to working for peace and social justice.  The Brisbane peace community wished to honour her by celebrating young people who, like Joan, help build cultures of peace by demonstrating passion and love for people and the planet. 

Joan always said that “Peace is more than the absence of war.” Therefore, for this award, we imagine that peace-making, building and keeping may look like: creative action for peace, environmental activism, taking part in programs such as Write for Rights, peer mediation and support, advocacy, amplification of the voices of others, community service or development projects, personal growth initiatives, making people feel welcome, plus more.  

The 2021 Peaceful Pathways Award and Arts Prize allowed us to celebrate young people who are engaged in peacemaking in our community, and to link our school community with local peacemakers.  Members of Just Peace Qld, AVP Qld, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Qld, the Queensland Quakers and Lyndell Petersen of the North Pine Potters – joined us for our celebration. It was wonderful to have members of each of these groups at our school to present the awards and connect with our students, 

Thanks to their support, we were able to award Peaceful Pathways major prizes to both a year 12 ($550) and a year 10 ($250) student in our community, and nine smaller prizes for creative pieces submitted for exhibition under the theme “Peace is…”  

Peaceful Pathways Award 2021 recipients 

Year 12: Sam M showed a commitment to peace in the community through their dedication to the Alternatives to Violence Program and to their modelling of alternatives to violence at school. 

Year 10: Jasmin S showed compassion for the planet through initiatives like tree planting and the Containers for Change recycling program and helped grow community through coordinating community events 

The military and associates develop curriculum and offer awards and recruitment in high schools. We dreamt of providing young people a different option. We hope you will walk alongside us to demilitarise education through supporting alternative curriculum, connecting schools with their local peace communities, and helping us expand the Peaceful Pathways award to other school/educational institutions. 

Join us!

We encourage you to take an active role in developing the Peace Award, helping administer the award and select recipients as well as engaging with our school to share your peacework with us.  We also invite your and/or your organisation to make a financial contribution towards the Award at Jabiru or to support other schools to come on board.  

To donate: 

To make a contribution, please deposit funds directly in to the Jabiru Community College account below with the reference: JCC Peace Award Donation. If possible, please also contact us to let us know. Please note: Jabiru Community College does not have Tax Deductible status.  If you require your contribution to be tax deductible, please speak with us. We expect to establish a process for future awards.

A/C Name: Community Learning Ltd 

BSB #:  313 140 

A/C #: 12020784 

Reference: JCC Peace Award Donation

We hope you will join us in this step – and hopefully many more – towards demilitarizing education, celebrating young people and promoting peace and nonviolence in our schools. 

Thank you!

For more information or to get involved:  

Robin Taubenfeld 

Maker Space Coordinator – Jabiru Community College 


m: 0498 877 604 

About Jabiru Community College (JCC). Established in 2011, JCC is an independent non-government school in Zillmere, Queensland with approximately 80 students.  It is a Special Assistance School implementing ‘Big Picture’ education practices, which focus on the person, the individual.