A brief history of Pace e Bene Australia.
Pace e bene was a greeting used by St Francis and means ‘peace and all good.’ The Pace e Bene nonviolence organisation started in LasVegas, USA, in the 1980s and was introduced to Australia by Brendan McKeague who had formed a group called ‘People of the Way’ in Perth.
Pace e Bene Australia (PeBA) was formed in Nov 2005 at the first National Gathering of interested people from around Australia. The participants had first been introduced to Pace e Bene programmes via workshops conducted by Brendan McKeague and were inspired to continue his work of growing the spirituality and practice of nonviolence throughout Australia.
A steering committee of five volunteers held the first meeting via Skype to officially launch PeBA in April 2006. The founding committee members were: Convenor - Brendan McKeague; Co- convenor-Carole Powell; Treasurer-Bob Myers; Secretary- Gill Burrows; member-Des O’Grady. Brendan and Des stepped down at the end of 2009 and Carole stepped down at the end of 2011.
- PeBA’s first major activity after setting up the organisation and becoming incorporated was to organise the Australian speaking tour of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Fr John Dear in March 2007.
- Pace e Bene Australia website www.paceebene.org.au was established.
- The second National Gathering was held in Adelaide in 2008 where the decision was made to organise a National Gathering and National ‘Inspirator’ tour in alternate years.
- PeBA applied for and obtained funding from the Mercy Foundation, to run a series of facilitation training courses around Australia.
- PeBA was granted Deductible Gift Recipient status from the Taxation Office for donations to the PeBA Peace fund.
- In Sept 2009 PeBA engaged the services of a part-time Peace Associate to assist in promoting the spirituality and practice of nonviolence throughout Australia.
Although Pace e Bene was formed on a Catholic-Christian base it has become an inclusive organisation with members from various faith backgrounds, both religious and non-religious. Pace e Bene Australia (PeBA) has close ties with the parent organisation but has found its own path. PeBA was formed to provide educative experiential programs to individuals and groups on the use of nonviolent means to achieve just goals, or in pursuing a just cause.
A just goal or cause is one that eliminates harm, establishes or restores a state of equality, or reduces inequality. PeBA therefore condemns any action by any individual or group that causes harm or increases inequality, even if that action is claimed to be nonviolent. This means PeBA can provide education and training in the art of nonviolence to both sides in a dispute, whether that dispute is in the home, at work, at school, in the community or between nations.
More information on Pace e Bene programs can be found at:
www.paceebene.org.au or at www.paceebene.org
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