Peace prize makes powerful point

There’s a shift underway in relation to the Sam Lewis Peace Prize.

Posters typically make up the bulk of submissions for the Sam Lewis Peace Prize, but the number of PowerPoint presentations, short videos and films, and animations among the entries is growing.

The grand prize winner of the 2019 Sam Lewis Peace Prize, Teonie Quach, received her $500 prize money at November Council for her video addressing this year’s theme, “Peace Bringing us Together and Never Apart”.

Other entries included poems and short stories, speeches and reflective pieces, photographs and a “Peace Garden” created by a TAFE group, with the quality of entries continuing to inspire.

“Speak Up for Peace” is the theme for next year’s awards, with entries due at the end of term 3, 2020. More details will be provided soon at

Sam Lewis stated in his 1951 Annual Presidential Report: “Teachers are concerned very deeply with conservation: conservation of natural resources, conservation of human resources. They are the agents in the battle against material and moral erosion, against the scorching of human flesh and the searing of the human spirit.” The award was established 36 years ago, in honour of this sentiment, and some 6000 entries have been submitted.

Marianna Valeri is a member of the Sam Lewis Peace Prize Committee