Give peace a chance

Take the Peace on Earth Pledge.

Give peace a chance

Take the Peace on Earth Pledge.

World peace? You beauty! Three Miss World Australia contestants took the cliched call for peace to the next level last month, flying to Canberra to lobby the nation’s politicians. 

Esma Voloder, Taylah Cannon and Jenayah Elliott are lending their support to World Vision’s inaugural Peace on Earth Pledge, giving Australians the chance to contribute to world peace in a practical way.

They are urged politicians - and everyday Australians – to choose from 10 options to help create a better world, such as buying a toy for a child affected by conflict, donating to a food bank for displaced families in Australia or calling on our leaders to make Australia a top-10 peace-builder globally.

They have signed up to the Peace Pledge too – and here they tell us why.  

Portrait of Esma Voloder

Miss World Australia 2017 Esma Voloder (VIC) 

PLEDGES: Learn more about children displaced by conflict, donate food to families Australia has welcomed. 

“People see women from pageants and say: ‘World peace. Oh, that's so cliché’. But I love a good cliché, and peace on earth is 100 percent possible. We can’t just leave it up to our leaders. Everyone needs to work towards world peace.

My story is a practical example of what not giving up looks like. My parents were refugees and I was born in a refugee camp after fleeing the Bosnian war. I could have had a very different life, but my parents fought to protect our family and leave a war zone.

They had a very tough journey to Australia and came here with nothing. And I’m very grateful to Australia for giving them that opportunity. But they were the lucky ones. The stories I’ve been told about family members who were left behind are harrowing. I want to learn more about children displaced by conflict, and I know it might evoke some emotional response.” 

Portrait of Jenayah Elliott

Miss World Australia 2019 runner-up Jenayah Elliott (WA) 
PLEDGES: Learn more about children displaced by conflict, stand up against racism, buy a toy for a child affected by conflict.  
“As an Indigenous woman from the Jaru community in the Kimberley, I wanted to be involved in this campaign as I’ve sought peace my whole life. To me, that means being treated equally, and given the same opportunities as everyone else. We still have a lot of work to do in our own backyard, looking after our own people. You only need to look at the media to see how our Indigenous people are being treated in custody. I’ve had personal experiences myself of being treated differently.
“A lot of people still change the way they speak to me when they find out I’m half German-Irish, and half Aboriginal. Even a friend said to me the other day: ‘When are you getting your free car?’ The perception is we are getting all these freebies from the government. I found that really offensive and racist.  
“I’ve got a thick skin and am fortunate enough to have a great job and great support network, but not everyone has that. I was raised by a really strong woman, a single mum, and I look up to her.”

Portrait of Taylah Cannon

Miss World Australia 2018 Taylah Cannon (NSW)
PLEDGE: Get to you know your neighbours, buy a toy for a child displaced by conflict, and help vulnerable children displaced by conflict. 
“I’ve taken this pledge because I believe small acts of kindness today can make a massive impact in the future. You also feel better about yourself. It’s good to challenge yourself and do something different, and that was reflected in the three pledges I chose.
"When we build a community and come together, it makes the biggest change. For me taking the peace pledge was a no-brainer because I knew about all the good work World Vision does.” 

The Crisis Averted report

This report by World Vision has found:  

FORCED displacement of people hit its highest point in recorded history in 2018, with 70.8 million people driven from their homes – half of all refugees are children.

BETWEEN 2002-2013, the UN found 86 percent of humanitarian needs were linked to conflict and violence. With the escalation of the Syria conflict, that went as high as 97 percent in some years since then. 

DISPLACEMENT has led to around 131.7 million people needing humanitarian assistance worldwide, at a cost of $39.2 billion.

DESPITE the generosity of donors, there was a 40 percent shortfall in humanitarian funding in 2018. 

The report’s lead author, Caelin Briggs, said global conflicts had led to “millions of families going without food, millions of elderly and people with disabilities losing access to medical care, and millions of children missing out on quality education critical to their futures”.

Ms Briggs, who is World Vision’s senior policy advisor on Conflict and Displacement, said the failure to prevent and resolve conflicts had also increased the length of time that people need humanitarian aid, from 5.2 years in 2014, to 9.3 years in 2018. 

One of the recommendations of the Crisis Averted report, therefore, is for Australia to boost its annual budget for conflict prevention from $32 million to $93 million within three years.

Ms Briggs said Australia ranked 13th out of 30 countries in the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, and has invested 30 times less than the leading contributor, Germany, and seven times less than Sweden with a gross domestic product half of Australia’s. 

To sign up to the Peace on Earth pledge, go to