Programs and Initiatives

Creators of Peace

Creators of Peace transforms, empowers and engages women in peace creation

Exploring our capacities for peace

We often think of peace in the abstract — peace as the absence of war or conflict. What if we examine peace through a personal lens?

Creators of Peace (CoP) started in 1991 as a women’s initiative to empower women to create peace at every level of society, starting with themselves, using the 'Peace Circle' as their main tool. CoP Circles all over the world are challenging women to:

  • share responsibility for their part in the perpetration of conflict and in its resolution;
  • break the chains of hate and revenge;
  • build networks of forgiveness and friendship across racial, religious and social divides; and
  • engage in creating peace at every level of society.

‘One of the most significant learnings was how much healing can happen…How much space we need to give ourselves, our healing and our growth...and how little we often do.’

- Shannon Ormiston, VIC

What is a Peace Circle?

Creators of Peace Circles take place as a series of meetings led by two trained facilitators, who invite participants to explore several different themes around the broader concept of peace. Within the circle, each person puts her mind to the task of dissecting ‘what peace means to me.’ Participants practice deep and analytical thinking in a supportive group setting where everyone practices active listening while sharing their unique yet unifying stories.

In the context of COVID-19 some states have moved to Zoom for their Creators of Peace Circles, with participants meeting online during a seven week period, gathering once a week for two hours. The traditional timeframe for a Creators of Peace Circle is a physical gathering of two and a half days split over a week.  

With the help of facilitators, groups work through a specially-designed curriculum built around a series of ‘gathering points’ or conversation-starters, designed to encourage honest and open sharing of their experiences, beliefs and values.  

Feedback from Creators of Peace Circles has shown that participants have felt empowered, gained confidence in self-expression, and developed a shared understanding of the human experience.

‘…the stories spark transformation in ourselves and others...an experience that creates deeper insights into how we share many more commonalities than differences. I forgave my mum.’

-  Anvita Bisaria, VIC

Working in schools

IofC Australia is currently partnering with the Southern Migrant & Refugee Centre (SMRC) in Dandenong, Victoria, to bring Peace Circles to women in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs. The project works with women and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, new migrants, and refugees, to offer conversations, experiential activities, circles and other events that build friendships, connection and social cohesion. This work includes working with students in a high-school setting. The work is supported by a two-year grant of $120,000 from the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) for joint delivery by IofC Australia and the SMRC.

‘Through Peace Circles, SMRC in partnership with IofC Australia helps participants to recognize and give themselves permission to feel peace in their current journey, allowing them to rebuild their lives with dignity.’

- Maryam Mohammadi, Coordinator, Creators of Peace South East

How can I take part in a Peace Circle?

Creators of Peace Circles are held in over 40 countries worldwide. Circles have taken place in Bougainville, Burundi, Fiji, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

For news and information about the international network of Creators of Peace, please visit the international website.

Register here to receive news and information about Creators of Peace happenings in your area. 

Program News

Displaying 7 - 12 of 27
Peace Circle
19-Oct-2018

A Creators of Peace facilitator offers a Peace Circle in a novel format

31-Aug-2018

More than 50 women from the South Sudan community in Melbourne came together to hear guest speakers and discuss common issues of mental health, inn

05-Jul-2018

Creators of Peace facilitators from Australia ran two Peace Circles and delivered five days of facilitation training in Bougainville in May, in pre

21-Dec-2017

In March 2017, Clara, Indriani and Carrie, three students enrolled in a Masters course in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, a

09-Nov-2017

In 2016, Creators of Peace (CoP) celebrated its 25th anniversary as a global network of women in peace building.

The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe poster
21-Sep-2017

The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe started out as a successful theatre production in 2011, developed by Australian director Ros Horin.