Music, News & Commentary

Emmanuel Jal to receive the Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship in Melbourne

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Refugee advocate Paris Aristotle AO is presenting the 2017 Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship to Emmanuel Jal on Thursday evening at the Melbourne Town Hall. The prestigious Fellowship celebrates individuals doing extraordinary work in reconciliation.

five reasons to go, watch and listen

1. Meet a child solider turned globally acclaimed musician

Emmanuel Jal is a former child soldier from South Soudan, an internationally acclaimed musician and recording artist, and a peace ambassador who has presented to the UN and the US Congress.

An award-winning documentary – War Child – has been made about his life. He has a global reputation as musician and peace activist and is the architect of the We Want Peace campaign which helped attract international attention to the suffering in South Sudan through the 2011 independence process.

And he performed at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday concert.

2. Paris Aristotle

Aristotle has been a tireless advocate for asylum seekers and refugees for decdesr. He is the CEO of Foundation House, which has built a national network of torture and trauma services, supporting people with counselling, advocacy, education, information and therapy. He has worked closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on refugee resettlement and advised both sides of politics on refugee and asylum seeker policy, and multicultural affairs.

He is awarding Emmanuel the Fellowship on behalf of Global Reconciliation. Come and listen to him talk about why we need to respect and treat fairly those people seeking a new life in this country.

And while you’re at it, you can come and meet some of the people who make up the largest South Sudanese population in Australia.

3. Hear a voice of calm and peace on the world stage

The US President can’t bring himself to denounce violence from white supremacists. Two world leaders have been trading insults and threatening nuclear war.  We are heading for a non-compulsory ballot on same sex marriage which is dividing the nation. It’s time to listen to inspiring humans remind us why there is still reason to hope in this world.

4. Desmond Tutu is a legend

Desmond Tutu is a social rights activist and retired Bishop from South Africa, who won the respect and admiration of people all over the world when he fought to bring down social segregation in his country.

His fans see him as a hero who, after helping to get rid of apartheid, has been busy defending human rights and protecting less fortunate people. He continues to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia and trans-phobia.

Bishop Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

5. Find out about Global Reconciliation

Since 2002, Global Reconciliation has worked collaboratively on reconciliation projects around the world, tapping into a global network of reconciliation specialists. It’s driven by a belief that the path towards reconciliation lies in people who are different coming together to share everyday life activities such as sport, education and the arts. In Australia it sees reconciliation mainly as a way of addressing the differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

See Paris Aristotle present Emmanuel Jal with the 2017 Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship Award at the Melbourne Town Hall this Thursday, August 24 at 5.30pm. Entry is free.


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