Quakers Australia

The Donald Groom Fellowship

Donald GroomThis Fellowship was set up by Australia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in 1974 to encourage and support training and experience in non-violent social change. It was a tribute to the first full-time Yearly Meeting Secretary, Donald Groom, who had a particular interest in fostering links in the Asian and Pacific regions. A biography of Donald Groom (Peace comes walking: the life of Donald Groom, Quaker peace worker, by Victoria Rigney) was published by Glass House Books in 2002.

The Fellowship assisted selected individuals to undertake research and training in non-violent action, paid for visits within the Asian and Pacific region by Friends and assisted with the publication of relevant material on non-violence.

The Fellowship was closed in 2012.

Donald Groom Fellowships

Donald Groom Fellowships have been given for the following purposes, not only to Quakers but also to non-Quaker peacemakers in the Asia-Pacific region:

1975 Marjorie Sykes. Worked in India. Travelled South East Asia and Australasia to speak about Asian perceptions and concerns.

1975 Lilla Watson, Aboriginal activist: published ‘Minority Groups in America: Their Struggle and Ours’.

1975 David Martin: Worked at Kendall River with Aboriginal people.

1975 Jann Bennett (South Australia RM): Shared her experiences of living for nine months with the Movement for a New Society in Philadelphia.

1976 Ibu Gedong Bagoes Oka: Indonesian translation of Mahatma Gandhi’s The Story of My Experiments with Truth provided to schools in Bali.

1978 Peter Jones (Tasmania RM): Media spokesperson, research and training in areas of non-violent change, nuclear issues, Aborigines and land rights.

1979 Rosemary Morrow: non-violent actions in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific; wrote Pax Pacifica.

1980 Rachel Bloomfield: non-violence training workshops in New Zealand.

1981 Diana Pittock: built an Australian non-violence training network which took part at Franklin River, Pine Gap, and Roxby Downs.

1982 Noriko Toyama: Japanese anti-nuclear activist who travelled in Australia & New Zealand speaking of her experiences.

1986 Joanna Hayter: Former coordinator of People for Nuclear Disarmament (PND) visited Japan with Noriko Toyama for three months to build closer ties between Japanese, New Zealand and Australian peace movements, especially on Indigenous rights and the nuclear dilemma.

1987 Penny Duckworth (Canberra RM): Visited India and shared her experiences widely with Friends and the public.

1987 Gracelyn Smallwood: Aboriginal activist.

1988 Anne Pattel-Gray: Worked towards Aboriginal women's empowerment and the first National Aboriginal Women’s Conference within the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress.

1988 Sulak Sivaraksa: Thai Buddhist peace and social justice leader toured Australia.

1990 Erwina Darmajanti: Environmental activist who worked for Pesticide Action Network in Indonesia.

1992 Swati Desai: Sarvodaya worker from Gujarat, India, who toured Australia to speak of her work with Indian tribal people.

1993 Simon Weber (Tasmania RM): Travelled centres and individuals involved in mediation in North America and Europe.

1996 Victoria Rigney (Tasmania RM): Wrote Peace Comes Walking a biography of Donald Groom, Indian peace worker and the first Australia Yearly Meeting Secretary.

2001 Peace Brigades International training Victoria.

2000 - 2003 Jason McLeod (Queensland RM): Nonviolence work in West Papua.

2004-5 Louise Cook-Tonkin: Moral courage in nonviolent resistance in Aceh, Indonesia.

2008 Hannah Middleton: Bringing speakers from Guahan (Guam) to speak of the militarisation of the Pacific and its problems.

2009-10 Robyn Starke: Recording women's non-violent action for change in Papua New Guinea.

2011 Maggie White: Prevention of violence to women and children in the Kimberley.