Patrons of ICON
Dr Ela Gandhi :
Granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Renowned Peace Activist, Honorary president of World Council on Religions for Peace, Former Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology, former Member of Parliament South Africa. Gandhi was born in South Africa to Manilal Gandhi and grew up in an ashram of the Phoenix Settlement near Durban, South Africa. She received her B.A. degree at the former Natal University and later received a B.A. in social science with honors from UNISA. Following graduation, she worked as a social worker with the Verulam Child and Family Welfare Society for 15 years and the Durban Indian Child and Family Welfare Society for five years. Gandhi served as an executive member of the Natal Organisations of Women from its inception until 1991. During apartheid, Gandhi was banned in 1975 from political activism and subjected to house arrest for a total of nine years. She worked underground for an end to the practice. She was among the members of the United Democratic Front who met with Nelson Mandela prior to his release from Pollsmoor Prison on February 11, 1990. Prior to the 1994 elections, Gandhi was a member of the Transitional Executive Committee. After serving in parliament, Gandhi developed a 24-hour program against domestic violence, founded the Gandhi Development Trust, serves as a member of the Religious Affairs Committee, and oversees a monthly newspaper. She also chairs the Mahatma Gandhi Salt March Committee and the Mahatma Gandhi Development Trust.
Professor Emeritus Stuart Rees AM :
An Australian academic and author who is the Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation and Emeritus Professor at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney in Australia. Professor Rees’ awards include a Simon Fellowship at the University of Manchester, a Humanities Fellowship at the City University of Hong Kong, and honorary doctorate and the Award of Highest Honour for ‘Contributions to World Peace’ conferred in 1998 by Soka University, Japan. For four years he was an elected Fellow of the Senate of the University of Sydney.
Professor Thomas Weber :
Reader and Associate Professor in Politics, La Trobe University. He teaches subjects on Peace Studies and Nonviolent Activism, with an emphasis on the thought and political activism of Mahatma Gandhi. His most recent books are: Going Native: Gandhi’s Relationship with Western Women, The Shanti Sena: Philosophy, History and Action, Gandhi, Gandhism and the Gandhians, Gandhi as Disciple and Mentor, and edited with Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan Nonviolent Intervention Across Borders: A Recurrent Vision.
Hon Clover Moore :
Is an Australian politician. She has been the Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney since 2004. She was an independent member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1988 to 2012, representing the electorates of Bligh (1988–2007) and Sydney (2007–2012). Moore is the first popularly elected female Lord Mayor of Sydney. Moore continues to balance her commitments as Lord Mayor, along with those of her state parliament role, and she has served on the Legislative Assembly Committee on Parliamentary Privilege and Ethics.
Dr Phil Lambert :
Dr Phil Lambert PSM is General Manager, Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Prior to taking up this position in 2013 Dr Lambert was Regional Director, Sydney Region (228 government schools). He has a strong background with both the NSW Department of Education and Training and the NSW Board of Studies. Dr Lambert is both an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and an Adjunct Professor at Nanjing Normal University, China. He has received a number of honours, awards and acknowledgements during his career. In the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours he was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) by the Governor-General for his outstanding contribution to education.
Dr Stepan Kerkyasharian AO :
He has spent most of his adult life working for the benefit of people who have come to live in Australia from overseas. He was the head of SBS radio from 1980 to 1989. He then became the head of a New South Wales statutory body called the Ethnic Affairs Commission. This agency works to help people from overseas settle into their new lives and be treated fairly, and provides access and opportunities for their participation in the life of the State of New South Wales. Stepan Kerkyasharian was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1992 and a Fellow of the University of Technology Sydney in 1995.
Dr Neville Roach AO :
Chairman of the Advisory Board of Tata Consultancy Services in Australia and New Zealand. Mr Roach’s most significant and sustained contribution to Australia-India relations has been though his leadership of the Australia India Business Council. Mr Roach is highly respected as a business and community leader who has made a significant contribution to the IT industry, the Education and Research sector, the development of social policy, especially relating to immigration and multicultural community relations, and Australia’s overseas relations, especially with India. From the time he came to Australia from India he has played a unique and very influential role in ceaselessly promoting stronger links between India and Australia at government, business and community levels.
Venerable Phra Mana Viriyarampo :
Born in Bangkok Thailand, after travelling and teaching in more than 30 countries, Venerable Phra Mana Viriyarampo was appointed to be the first ever Buddhist chaplain in the Best ever Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sydney, 2000. Venerable Phra Mana Viriyarampo is abbot of Sunnataram Forest Monastery, Bundanoon, in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales. He conducts history and Dhamma talks every weekend in the Asoka Pillar teaching area, to regular visitors and groups such as the Theosophical Society of Canberra, Universities of Sydney, New South Wales and Macquarie, and to local primary and high schools. With an extensive knowledge of history and Buddhist studies, as well as his medical training and meditation practice, Venerable Phra Mana is also a regular guest speaker at universities, schools and other organizations.
Greg Johns representing President Dai Saku Ikeda:
Daisaku Ikeda is a Buddhist philosopher, peacebuilder, educator, author and poet. He is the third president of the SokaGakkai lay Buddhist organization and the founding president of the SokaGakkai International, which is today one of the world’s largest and most diverse lay Buddhist organizations, promoting a philosophy of character development and social engagement for peace. Ikeda is founder of the Soka (value-creation) schools, a nondenominational school system based on an ideal of fostering each student’s unique creative potential and cultivating an ethic of peace, social contribution and global consciousness. He is a prolific writer who has published more than 100 works, ranging from Buddhist philosophy to biographical essays, poetry, children’s stories and photographic collections.
Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence :
Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence is senior rabbi and chief minister of The Great Synagogue, Sydney. He serves as registrar on the Sydney Beth Din. He is a religious advisor to the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies. Rabbi Lawrence is a founder member and director of the Jewish Arbitration and Mediation Service. He has an MA (hons) in Jurisprudence from St Catherine’s College, Oxford University. Rabbi Lawrence qualified as a rabbi in Jerusalem attending YeshivatKnesseth Beth Eliezer and YeshivatHamivtar on a Stanley Kalms Fellowship. He also graduated the Shaal& the Rothschild Foundation training courses for Diaspora rabbis. In Israel Rabbi Lawrence lectured in the adult education program of the NCSY Israel Centre.
Bernard LaFayette :
Jr. has been a Civil Rights Movement activist, minister, educator, lecturer, and is an authority on the strategy on nonviolent social change. He co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960. He was a leader of the Nashville Movement, 1960 and on the Freedom Rides, 1961 and the 1965 Selma Movement. He directed the Alabama Voter Registration Project in 1962, and he was appointed National Program Administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and National Coordinator of the 1968 Poor Peoples’ Campaign by Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, Dr.LaFayette has served as Director of Peace and Justice in Latin America; Chairperson of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development. He is the Founder and National President of God-Parents Clubs, Inc., a national community based program aimed at preventing the systematic incarceration of young Black youth; a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and founder of the Association For Kingian Nonviolence, Education and Training Works. Dr.LaFayette is currently a Distinguished-Scholar-in-Residence and Director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island. He is the chairperson for the International Nonviolence Executive Planning Board.
Professor Emeritus Magnus Haavelsrud :
Professor of Education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. His work deals with the critique of the reproductive role of education and the possibilities for transcendence of this reproduction in light of the traditions of educational sociology and peace research. He took part in the creation of the Peace Education Commission of the International Peace Research Association at the beginning of the 70’s and served as the Commissions 2nd Executive Secretary 1975-79. He was the Program Chair for the World Conference on Education in 1974 and edited the proceeding from this conference entitled Education for Peace: Reflection and Action. He served as the Carl-von-Ossietzky Guest Professor of the German Council for Peace and Conflict Research.
Professor Dr Ravindra Kumar :
Professor Dr Ravindra Kumar is former Vice Chancellor, Meerut University, Coordinator, International Affairs at Shridhar University in Rajasthan, India and Patron at Stallion College of Engineering & Technology in Saharanpur, India. He is also the Secretary-General of the World Peace Movement Trust and Editor-in-Chief at Global Peace International Journal.
Mr Stafford Watts representing Pravrajika Gayatriprana :
PravrajikaGayatriprana is a graduate in physics and has a Masters’ degree in Social Science. She joined Sri Sarada Math of the Ramakrishna Order in 1973, serving as a teacher at the centres in Arunachal Pradesh and Trissur, Kerala, until her departure for Sydney in 1982, accompanying Rev.PravrajikaAjayapranaMataji as an assistant Nun.Together, through hard work and many difficulties they established the first Sarada Math Centre outside India. At the Annual General Meeting of the Society held at Vedanta Hall on Sunday, August 28, PravrajikaAjayaprana retired from the position of President handing over this position to PravrajikaGayatriprana. PravrajikaGayatriprana gives a weekly talk on Vedanta, a fortnightly class on the Bhagavad Gita, and represents the Society at the monthly Meetings of WIN (Women’s Interfaith Network, and on invitation at other special functions organized by various organisations. She also visits Newcastle and Adelaide to give talks.
Rosalind Strong AM :
Rosalind Strong AM chairs the Sydney Community Foundation, a public philanthropic fund where donors combine their gifts to build a growing and permanent endowment for the benefit of the community of Greater Sydney. Rosalind has served as Chair of a number of not for profit and non-government organisations including Museums and Galleries NSW, UNIFEM Australia, the Asthma Foundation of NSW, and the University of Sydney Union Foundation. She has been a member of a wide range of other government and not for profit Boards, including the Australia Korea Foundation, the NSW Board of Adult and Community Education, and the National Training Board. Rosalind worked for 35 years in the NSW Public Sector, retiring as Director of the NSW Heritage Office in 2002. Her previous position was Assistant Director General in the Department of Education and Training Co-ordination.
Libby Davis :
Prior to joining White Ribbon, Libby Davies was CEO of Family Services Australia and National Director of UnitingCare Australia. As Chief Executive Officer of Family Services Australia from 2001 to 2006, Libby worked closely with 88 memberorganisations to achieve the highest levels of service delivery across the sector and was an effective conduit to Government on behalf of member organisations. Prior to her role at Family Services Australia, Libby was National Director of UnitingCare Australia, the national peak Uniting Church body on community service matters. In this role she managed the National Secretariat, built the organisation’s profile, lobbied Government and represented Uniting Care Australia in national forums. For the last four years, Libby has worked in a number of advisory, consultancy and interim roles, including Senior Policy Advisor for the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, and Interim Executive Director for Anglicare Australia.
Nanik Rupani :
A man who claimed his birthright despite all odds stacked against him. Uprooted by the India-Pakistan partition, dropped out of college, failed in several business ventures, written-off by family, compelled to leave home with wife and young child, mourned the death of his own son, yet, on the sheer strength of a strong will and unwavering conviction he created and empire of wealth, power and goodwill with nothing more than a dream as his primary investment. Nanik Rupani, who believes that success is our birthright, has proven that one does not have to be extraordinarily placed to rise in his life. Chairman of Priyadarshani Academya non-profit, socio-cultural and educational organisationstarted with the aim of rendering service to humanity. Mr.Nanik Rupani believes that service to mankind is the best work of life.
Mr Nick Kaldas :
Deputy Commissioner Field Operations, Corporate Sponsor for Cultural Diversity for the NSW Police, Champion Harmony Award from the Affinity Intercultural Foundation. He has been a NSW Police Officer for 28 years. His career spans a number of areas, primarily in major crime investigations, homicide, armed robbery, major drug investigations, counter terrorism and covert operations.
President and National Coordinator Gambhir Watts OAM :
Executive President since July 2003 for Australia of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan; Commissioner, Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW and Chairman of Northern Regional Advisory Council – 2006-2009; Founder patron of Priyadarshni Academy Bombay India –honouring high achievers in various social, cultural and art related fields all over the world; a Director of Advocacy for Inclusion, Canberra (an NGO for Disability). Recipient of GOPIO Community Service Award (GOPIO CSA) 2011 by the US based Global Organisation of Persons of Indian Origin.
Moksha Watts :
Moksha Watts is Senior Adviser in the Australian Government. She is also on the Board of cultural and developmental organisations like the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and the Indigo Foundation. She is a past President of the National Union of Students and the Sydney University Students’ Representative Council. Moksha has been actively involved in national campaigns on access to education and women’s rights. She is also active in the Indian community and has a Master of Ceremonies at several major events.