Peace Boat's Guest Educators bring alive the people, cultures, and challenges of the places the ship visits. The Educators of the 103rd Oceania Voyage showed participants the power of indigenous voices, the importance of preserving culture through music and language, the necessity of facing the past, and the far-reaching consequences of nuclear weapons. Here are just some of the people who joined the voyage.
Peace Boat is an international steering group member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. As the ship sailed around Australia, Peace Boat was proud to host workshops with ICAN Australia in Fremantle, Adelaide, Sydney, Hobart, and Melbourne - where ICAN was founded. In each city, local politicians, students, teachers, activists and more came on board to learn about Peace Boat and ICAN's work towards global nuclear disarmament. Joining the ship from Bali to Melbourne to facilitate these workshops and tell ICAN's story was ICAN co-founder Dave Sweeney, who has been active in mining, resource and nuclear issues for over thirty years. Dave explained ICAN's process and gave participants ideas about how they can get involved in the movement by networking locally and asking their government representatives to join ICAN's Cities Appeal, a campaign to unite cities and pressure national governments to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Australia is not a stranger to nuclear weapons. In the 1950s the British and Australian governments conducted nuclear bomb tests in the desert of South Australia and Western Australia. Aboriginal anti-nuclear and uranium mining activists Debbie Carmody and Aunty Sue Coleman-Haseldine joined the ship and in-port workshops to share their people's experiences during and after the bombings. Their testimonies of the consequences of the tests, including deaths from the fallout, the displacement of their communities from their ancestral lands, and the long-lasting impact radiation has had on people's health, provided context and urgency to ICAN and Peace Boat's work to end nuclear weapons.
Deputy Director of the Peace Museum in Kochi, Japan, Okamura Keisuke further illustrated the ongoing impact of nuclear testing through his onboard photography exhibit chronicling the stories of victims of the nuclear bomb tests in the Bikini Atoll, where the United States conducted 23 nuclear tests between 1946 and 1958. While a fishing boat called the Daigo Fukuryū Maru, or “Lucky Dragon,” is the only vessel officially recognized as being affected by these tests, many other boats were in fact in the waters nearby, and many on board became sick and developed complications as a result radioactive fallout. Mr. Okamura's careful work of portraits and interviews ensures that these stories are heard.
Learning about the past is a key theme of all Peace Boat voyages. Towards that end, the ship was joined by Yano Hideki, Secretary-General of the Japan-Korea Joint Action for Legislation to Compensate Korean Victims of Forced Labor.
Mr. Yano has been involved in post-war compensation campaigns since the 1990s. "Even after 75 years, the war is not yet over," he says. During his time onboard, he shared in his lectures the various efforts calling for compensation for Korean victims of forced labour, legal initiatives, the issues related to Yasukuni Shrine, and more.
Aotearoa/New Zealand's Will Flavell came on board to share his vision for youth education and the promotion of Māori culture and Māori language, te reo Māori. The Doctor of Education student and secondary school teacher is passionate about realising the potential of young people, and during his time onboard shared his mission to revitalize te reo Māori and preserve Māori culture. Mr. Flavell presented on some of the challenges faced by indigenous people everywhere, and what is being done in New Zealand to overcome those challenges. He also spoke of his participation in Māori-Ainu exchange between the indigenous people of Aotearoa and Japan, and encouraged his audience to learn more about and support the Ainu people.
As Peace Boat sailed from Australia towards Melanesia, musician and renowned cultural custodian Natty Dolaiasi joined the voyage between Brisbane and Honiara to share his deep cultural knowledge and sacred chants from the Solomon Islands.
Natty is passionate about preserving the rich cultural heritage of the Solomon Islands music traditions, and he has traveled throughout the Solomon Islands to learn from local elders and pass this knowledge on to the next generation. Natty performed many of these rare songs for Peace Boat participants, sharing with them the spirituality and diversity of the Solomon Islands.
Explore the full list of Guest Educators on the 103rd Oceania Voyage here.
Read about some of the Guest Educators from the first half of the voyage here.