PeaceWise spent many years as a seed in the hearts of a number of people around Australia who saw the potential for creating a national peacemaking organisation dedicated to using biblical principles to help people find healthier ways for responding to conflict. We were dreaming of what “Christian conflict resolution” could look like in a uniquely Australian context.
In 2002, Ken Sande from Peacemaker Ministries (USA) was the featured speaker at the Australasian Christian Legal Convention held in the Gold Coast, Queensland. Many of the people who attended this training were inspired then to attend a three day mediation course in 2003 conducted by Clayton Kimpton from Resolve (NZ) and Chip Zimmer, the International Director of Peacemaker Ministries.
After this, a number of the current PeaceWise Board members became increasingly drawn to the materials and training offered by Peacemaker Ministries, and travelled to America to attend further training.
In 2006, the seed sprang to life as work began in earnest to bring the potential of a cross-denominational peacemaking organisation to fruition. Bruce Burgess, our National Director, attended the 2006 Peacemaker Ministries conference in America, and was touched by God’s spirit in a special way. Returning to Australia and sharing what had happened, the founders of PeaceWise shared a deep and collective conviction that this was God’s sovereign time for a similar peacemaking ministry to grow and flourish in Australia. This culminated with the incorporation of PeaceWise as a not for profit ministry on 29 May 2007.
The original directors and founders of PeaceWise were:
- Bruce Burgess – NSW and National Director
- Elenne Ford – Queensland
- Li Ai Gamble – Western Australia
- Sharon Moore – Victoria
- Mark Mudri – South Australia
- Ken Stanton – Tasmania
The national launch of PeaceWise occurred in October and November 2007, to coincide with the visit of the internationally renowned speaker and trainer Lynn Pace from Peacemaker Ministries, who conducted very successful training events in four Australian States in conjunction with our National Director, Bruce Burgess.
PeaceWise has now trained thousands of people across Australia as well as administering many successful mediations and conflict coaching sessions. From 2010, PeaceWise expanded its national training programme to all six States plus the Northern Territory for the first time, and in 2014, national training was offered for the first time in Canberra in the ACT.