9-15 year olds are warmly invited to submit a short speech or artwork

Invitation to young people aged 9-15 to participate in the 2020 He Whakahou Roko Rakatahi Children’s Peace Symposium

He Whakahou Roko Rakatahi is an opportunity for young people aged 9 to 15 years old from throughout the Dunedin area to contribute speeches or artwork on the subject of peace. Over the past few years, Aotearoa New Zealand has faced various challenges, including increased levels of domestic violence, economic polarisation, the Christchurch shooting, and the current COVID-19 pandemic. We are acutely aware that our children and young adults have experienced a great deal of trauma over this time, and we would like to give them a platform to air their concerns and a voice to share their hopes for the world.

With this inaugural Youth Peace Symposium we aim to share aspirations for a more peaceful world in our community, and find places and ways to nurture mutual support. One important step toward strengthening this peace commitment is to share the vision and aspirations of peace by children and young people. He Whakahou Roko Rakatahi offers a platform for young people to speak about their own aspirations. By composing a short speech or making a piece of artwork, we hope the youth of Dunedin will have the opportunity to think about different aspects of peace such as mutual support, connection, hope, and diversity, as well as different ways to pursue peace in our communities.

Moreover, we hope they can discuss and reflect upon different peace-related issues, such as Hiroshima, NZ’s nuclear-free status and the nuclear threat, conscientious objection, and the peace movement with teachers, parents, and other seniors in the community. Selected entries will be invited to present and exhibit their work to the public. It will be a wonderful opportunity to hear the voices and aspirations of young people.

Invitation to enter

Young people 9 to 15-years-old are invited to create a speech or artwork.

- A speech is for 3-4 minutes (approximately 1.5 pages at 12-point font)

- Types of artwork include painting, poster, carvings and other creative forms

- Entries must be original work


Submissions must be received by 5:00pm Friday 30 October 2020, and can be made either by post or via e-mail. If your work is in a form that cannot be posted/emailed, please take a photo or make a video of your work and submit that. A selection panel will choose the speeches which are considered most inspirational to be presented at the symposium. All artworks received will be displayed at Dunedin City Library.

Post to:

He whakahou roko rakatahi
c/o Kay Mercer, Events Coordinator
Dunedin Public Library
230 Moray Place
Dunedin 9016

E-mail: Kay.Mercer@dcc.govt.nz

The 2020 Youth Peace Symposium: He whakahou roko rakatahi is a partnership between the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago, SGI Buddhist Association and Dunedin Public Libraries, and will be held at Dunedin City Library from 2pm on Sunday 15th November. This will include an exhibition of all artworks received from children and young adults, and a selection of the speeches submitted by children and young adults as a result of this call for submisions. All are welcome to attend. There will be live musical performances suitable for a family audience, and light refreshments will be provided.

For further information, please contact Kay Mercer at Dunedin City Library: kay.mercer@dcc.govt.nz or 03 474 3419.