Resolution: Educating for Peace

Resolution, 8 December 2023: AEU Branch Council calls for the Albanese government to advocate for a permanent ceasefire in the Middle East.

That the AEU Branch Council notes the report to the October Branch Council and the further reiterations of the position that the union has taken in response to the conflict in Palestine as outlined through the Federal AEU letter to the Prime Minister and statement by AEU Branch Presidents, and as an affiliated union to the global education union Education International, the Victorian Trades Hall Council, and the ACTU.  

The AEU has and will continue to call for the Albanese government to advocate for a permanent ceasefire and an urgent peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

Branch Council also notes the AEU’s support for the Victorian Trades Hall Council executive’s call for union members to show their support for a permanent ceasefire and a peaceful resolution to the current conflict by attending the rally for peace in Palestine scheduled for 12pm on Sunday 10 December at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne.  By supporting rallies for peace and marching together we reaffirm our solidarity, regardless of nationality, religion, or ethnicity, and continue to call for peace.

Educating for Peace

All wars are fought against children.  AEU members have always advocated for the rights of children and young people to be educated, live and learn in environments which are healthy and safe, and free from oppression, including war.

Branch Council recognises that it is through the professionalism of AEU members, that this advocacy has been realised via peace education programs and units of learning which seek to empower students through teaching them about the importance of building, maintaining, and promoting cultures of peace and eliminating all forms of violence.

Educating for peace must be able to be done without AEU members being confined by kneejerk political reactions or limitations on their professional rights.  Instead, effective peace education relies on teachers having the professional agency to develop and provide teaching and learning experiences which call out the violence and injustice which is at the heart of war and conflict. The agency of teachers and their professional judgement (based on their knowledge, skills, and experience) must be exercised in a way which enables teachers to make decisions and act in the context in which they work.

The conflict in the Middle East shows the critical importance of peace education and the role of educators to help students develop critical thinking skills and media literacy to counter the spread of disinformation, in order to achieve communities free from conflict and ones which have peaceful relations at the centre.  The AEU calls on the Allan government and the Department of Education to ensure that school staff have the resources, guidance and support they need to educate for peace and to engage in respectful discussions with students and colleagues, without fear of hate and discrimination.

The AEU calls on the Department of Education to ensure that AEU members have a right to appropriately and respectfully engage with their colleagues about community issues, including the current conflict in the Middle East, and to provide staff and students who are impacted by the conflict with the support they need.

The AEU will:

  • continue to work through the federal AEU, Education International, VTHC and the ACTU to build more pressure to end the conflict and see the federal government call for a permanent ceasefire and the urgent implementation of a genuine peace agreement.
  • promote to members the weekly marches with other unions and community members which call for peace.

Moved: Justin Mullaly 
Seconded: Erin Aulich 

Read the AEU Branch Council resolution opposing the AUKUS security pact 

Read AEU News article: 'Educating for Peace' (Term 4, 2023)