Powerful video message wins peace prize

Still frame of Sam Lewis peace Prize grand prize winning entry by Sindy Zhang

“We need peace as much as we need air, as much as we need water.” 

Sindy Zhang from Sydney Girls High School caught the attention of Sam Lewis Peace Prize 2022 judges with her video entry – depicting a person creating an animation and containing this profound statement – to earn the grand prize. 

Federation General Secretary Maxine Sharkey presented Sindy with her award, worth $500, at November Council. 

Sindy articulated a wonderful acknowledgement of the man after whom the competition is named and provided some inspirational reflection on peace and the necessity for peaceful coexistence in many levels of life.  

A statement from Sam’s daughter, Jeannie Lewis, was read during the presentation: “Congratulations to Sindy Zhang, the winner of this year’s Sam Lewis Peace Award. Congratulations to all the participants: the entrants, the teachers and the schools. And much appreciation to the Federation for initiating and continuing this celebration, through creativity, of my father’s contribution to, and interest in, education for all children and the ongoing, ever-urgent need for peace now in our times.” 

Committee member Darren Mearrick said: “This year’s competition was highlighted by the great quality of all entries; truly inspirational. 

“Overall, 136 entries we received from TAFE to kindy students and from all corners of NSW,” he said. “We encourage all members to look out for the 2023 poster and details of the competition, which we are confident will only be bigger and better.” 

Christmas cards and a calendar featuring past Sam Lewis Peace Prize entries will be produced in 2023. Ms Sharkey said: “They are going to be beautiful and fantastic!” 

Thanks to all those teachers who promote and publicise this award and the many staff who contribute to the smooth and efficient running of the award.  

Federation wishes a peaceful 2023 to one and all.