Every two years, the members of the International Peace Research Association meet at their global conference to assess conflict and peace building in the world; discuss the state of the art of peace research; plan future research, and influence the practice and decision-making of violence prevention and peace building.
The conference is made up of plenary sessions, which focus on specific issues that continue to influence the peace and conflict process significantly, as well as panels and roundtables organized by IPRA's Commissions and Working Groups, plus special events.
Dimity Hawkins has worked for nearly two decades with non-government organizations (NGOs) in Australia and overseas on disarmament, nuclear chain and social justice issues. She is currently the Executive Officer and Campaign Director for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) in Australia.
After working on Australian nuclear issues for many years, Hawkins played a role in establishing the Reaching Critical Will project with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom through their United Nations office in New York in 2000. She has been heavily involved in national and international activism around the NPT since that time.
Hawkins first worked with the Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) in 2002 as a consultant. From 2004 â€“ 2007 Hawkins was the Executive Officer for the MAPW, running the national office in Melbourne. MAPW is the Australian affiliate for the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).
Hawkins was one of the founders of ICAN while working with MAPW. She actively served on the ICAN Australia Board for over two years before moving to the position of Campaign Director for ICAN Australia in July 2009.
Yami Lester (b. c1949), is a Yankunytjatjara man, an Indigenous person of northern South Australia.
In the 1950s, while still a young boy, he was blinded by a "black mist" from the south.
After the mist passed, his family's camp experienced sudden deaths, outbreaks of skin rashes, vomiting, diarrhea and temporary and permanent blindness. It is generally accepted that this black mist was fallout from British nuclear tests at Maralinga and Emu Junction which were taking place at that time.
As a young man, he joined the Aboriginal Advancement League in Adelaide, however, he wanted to take more direct action, in the manner of Charles Perkins, probably the most prominent Indigenous activist at that time.
He began work for the United Mission, in Alice Springs, as a welfare worker and interpreter for the courts. He later became involved in the Institute of Aboriginal Development which was concerned with Aboriginal education and language. Lester took a great interest in cross-cultural issues and programs.
After a position administering business affairs for the Mimili community, Lester worked with the Pitjantjatjara Land Council on Aboriginal lands rights issues with the South Australian Government. He worked as an organizer and interpreter assisting the handover of freehold title to the Anangu people in 1981, which came about as a result of the Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act, (SA).
His most significant contribution to the rights of Aboriginal people was helping gain recognition for the atomic tests at Maralinga and an acknowledgment for the Aboriginal people who had been affected.
His actions helped lead to the McClelland Royal Commission in 1985, which found significant radiation hazards still existed at the Maralinga test sites. Recommendations included group compensation for the Maralinga Tjarutja people and an extensive, long-term clean up operation to restore the land.
Junko Morimoto migrated to Australia in 1982. Born in Hiroshima in 1932 and she later survived Atomic Bomb attack in 1945. Morimoto graduated from Kyoto City University of Fine Art in 1955 and ran Children's Art Studio in Osaka between 1965-71. She later taught art at High School in Katano City where she illustrated The Book of the History of Katano City.
In 1983, her first picture book The White Crane was published from Collins Australia (edited by Anne Ingram) and was Commended by CBCA. The Inch Boy and A Piece of Straw were also awarded Highly Commended in 1985 and 1986, and Kojuro and the Bears' (Collins)â€“ 1987, and Two Bullies (Random House)- 1998, were awarded Picture Book of the Year by CBCA.
Morimoto has created a total of 14 picture books including My Hiroshima (1997) and the latest title Big Nuisance. Her books are also published in the USA, EU countries, Japan and South Korea.
Lawrence Wittner is Professor of History at the State University of New York/Albany. He is a former president of the Conference on Peace Research in History (now the Peace History Society) and a former convener of IPRA's Peace History Commission.
His extensive writings on the history of peace movements, nuclear disarmament, and U.S. foreign policy include approximately two hundred articles and reviews, as well as eleven books. Among the latter are an award-winning scholarly trilogy, The Struggle Against the Bomb, and, most recently, Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, both published by Stanford University Press.