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Australia, Jan 2014 • Friends Peace Teams Weekend at Silver Wattle

The Australian Branch of




PO Box 144, Lawson, NSW 2783                                                                       

28 January 2014 Newsletter No 5

Welcome all to 2014! We held a General Meeting of the now Incorporated Association during Australia Yearly Meeting. The following Friends were appointed as: Clerk Marion Sullivan, Assistant Clerk Jan de Voogd, Treasurer Jasmine Payget, Secretary Valerie Joy, Membership Secretary Jim Palmer, Committee Maxine Cooper and Ronis Chapman. Thanks to those who served on the committee until the General Meeting and welcome to the newly appointed Friends. John Symond is still our Public Officer but he has indicated he would like us to find another Friend from Canberra to continue in this role. Other faithful Friends in our work are Rosemary Epps, Chris Hughes, Helen Bayes and John Michaelis, so engage with them in conversation if the opportunity allows. Vidya and Judy Simpson from Canberra are about to embark on FPT visiting and will have a wealth of knowledge on their return.

Secondly, Australia Yearly Meeting is the first non USA Yearly Meeting to approve the appointment of a Friend to the Friends Peace Teams Council. AYM appointed Maxine Cooper, a former Presiding Clerk, an AVP facilitator and she has visited the FPT-AGLI project during her time in Africa in 2012. We are making progress!

Friends Peace Teams Weekend at Silver Wattle 21-23 February 2014:

We have a unique opportunity to meet together and with Nadine, to worship and discern our future direction whilst staying at Silver Wattle Quaker Centre. The Agenda will include updates on our regular teams into the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, Nepal, Aceh, Sumatra, Java the Philippines and relationships in Afghanistan and initiation of relationships with First Nations leaders will be shared. FPT covers a wide compass from AVP, trauma healing, discernment, developing and documenting organizations based on discernment, water filters, refugee support, forestry conflicts, recovery from war, children’s activities (pre-school through high school and out of school) college scholarships, reading room, justice advocacy- the agenda will be for the whole group to decide upon.

“Open Space” organizing will frame the agenda, with plenty of material to choose from. Each participant will check in at the beginning and these ideas will also be included in the agenda. Nadine will show a world famous film “The Power of Killing”, which is based in the area of North Sumatra where Friends Peace Teams are working. This film has received international acclaim – is historic and shows in great detail the conflict in this area. It will lead to discussion on the issues at stake and ways of empowering the local population. Another film on Aceh will provide more food for thought.

We will discuss support for the visiting teams, preparation for visitors and follow up essentials. Legal issues involving the Australian branch of FPT-AWP will be discussed in a business session. The power of story telling, both telling and writing will be practiced. Our new AYM representative to the Friends Peace Teams Council, Maxine Cooper will describe her early visions of ways in which we in Australia can contribute to the work of FPT.

All Australian Friends travelling with a concern for peace in Asia West Pacific are encouraged to come and share their work and discuss potential connections.

Send enquiries to Valerie Joy, who will be the Friend in Residence during part of February and is co-ordinating this weekend.