The Words of the Roberts Family

4th Living for Others Awards Presentation in Australia

Gerard Roberts
November 18, 2008

The 4th Living for Others Awards Presentations was held successfully on Saturday, October 25th, in Sydney's Western Suburbs. With a packed house of 400 guests in attendance in a grand banquet style format, the crowd was treated to a unique program. This year the sponsoring organization, Universal Peace Federation, welcomed delegates from the Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP) International Conference being held in Sydney at the time. Amongst the notable dignitaries present was the wife of the deputy prime minister of Vanuatu, Mrs. Lini, and various other religious, political and community leaders.

The Living for Others Awards is a celebration of the true spirit of humanity, recognizing representatives from the community who exemplify the most important virtue of loving our neighbor. The Universal Peace Federation feels that it is vitally important to send out the message into the community that the unselfish heart of love for others is the necessary ingredient for peace in our homes, our cities, nations and our world.

The evening began with the "Inner West All Stars," a youth orchestra, followed by welcoming remarks from the MCs Rick McInerheney and Tracy DeGeer. Father Patrick McInerney from the Catholic Columban Centre for Christian Muslim Relations offered a moving opening prayer to bless the event. An introductory DVD on the vision and activities of the Universal Peace Federation was played entitled "Building a Global Culture of Heart".

Two performances followed as the dinner began to be served. "Lohas notes," a Japanese and Korean duo act, thrilled the audience with their passionate performance of original compositions. They were followed by the lively "Sisca" dance team performing a dance from the beautiful island of Bali.

After the entertainment, Dr. Dong Woo Kim, Regional President of UPF Oceania gave his welcoming remarks, encouraging the audience to embrace the UPF vision of building one family beyond our cultural and religious differences. The New South Wales state Member of Parliament Mr. Ninos Koshaba spoke next. He was impressed at the large turnout and congratulated UPF for its efforts to promote the important virtue of service to others.

The Awards were presented by Dr. Dong Woo Kim and MP Ninos Koshaba who was quite moved by the whole program. "A very inspiring evening," he commented later. A wide variety of awardees were honored and a broad cross section of age groups and cultural backgrounds represented. The one common point they shared was their passion to improve the quality of life of others. A special "Woman of Peace Award" was struck in honor of the WFWP Conference involvement in the event, presented by International WFWP President Dr. Lan Young Moon to Queensland philanthropist Mrs. Merekaraka Caesar.

The evening concluded with the appointment of several Ambassadors for Peace. UPF Oceania secretary general Enrique Ledesma began with a short PowerPoint presentation highlighting the role of Ambassadors for Peace, stressing that the appointment is not simply to recognize past accomplishments but an appointment to a new and expanded mission for peace.

As the evening drew to a close, a hopeful spirit pervaded the room, as we reminisced over the many high points of the evening. Our Ambassadors for Peace, many who were instrumental in the organization and success of the event, were very inspired, and many new guests very interested in getting involved in the future. The general sentiment was that if we work together, and take time to look after each other, the future is very bright indeed. 

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