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Film-Makers Win First Sonja Davies Peace Award

Wednesday 10 November 2004


The first Sonja Davies Peace Award has gone to Ruth Greenaway and Kathleen Gallagher of the Straw Umbrella Trust, Christchurch, for post-production work on a documentary film, Peace People.

The film is based on interviews collected as part of an oral history project on peace activity, carried out in conjunction with the Christchurch branch of the New Zealand Peace Foundation. It will be shown nationally and internationally.

The Governor-General, Dame Silvia Cartwright, presented the award this evening at a function at Government House, which also celebrated Sonja Davies' eighty-first birthday.

Ruth Greenaway works as a freelance oral historian and is working on radio documentaries, in particular an oral history recording of performing artists and their contributions to the nuclear free campaign.

Kathleen Gallagher has produced a large collection of peace plays, including Hautu, which examines the stories and experiences of conscientious objectors imprisoned during World War II.

Sonja Davies was born on Armistice Day, 11 November, in 1923. She has spent virtually her whole life striving for social justice and human rights.

She has actively campaigned for workers' rights, nuclear disarmament, high quality health services, excellent child care, women's refuges, equal pay and opportunities, and, above all, for peace.

The Sonja Davies Peace Award was established on her eightieth birthday in 2003, as a lasting tribute to her work and achievements.

The aim was to raise a fund to provide for an annual or biennial award of $2,500. The Award is made to a woman or group of women who are undertaking training, or developing an activity, which will help them build a more peaceful world.

To ensure that the Award can be sustained, the organising committee aims to raise a total of $70,000 by the end of 2005. In its first year, the Award fund has reached $25,000.


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