The Program



Every generation has its challenges to face and ours is no different.  We face crucial social, political, military, economic and ecological challenges, some of which pose substantial threats to a healthy future for our humanity.  Our pages in history are being written now. What kind of people might it take for these pages to read that our generation seriously engaged the violence, intolerance and injustice present in its lifetime? 

We believe it is going to take young people who are:

  • Skilled in nonviolent leadership,
  • Highly motivated towards interfaith dialogue and cooperation
  • Aligned with their identity and purpose at this time in history,
  • Strong and committed to their spirituality,
  • Deeply grounded with skills in self care
  • Able to stand firm for the reality of nonviolence, tolerance and justice for our shared communities.     

THE NONVIOLENT INTERFAITH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM  is designed to cultivate these capacities in you.


Participants of the program will come together for a 5 day retreat in Melbourne at the beautiful Edmund Rice Retreat and Spirituality Centre ‘Amberley’ situated on a bend of the Yarra River in Lower Plenty. In an inspiring interfaith environment, participants will form a community of practice and together study the art of nonviolent leadership in ways that will deepen their leadership potential and expand their capacity to make vital contributions to their community and the world.A team of highly skilled, richly experienced and deeply spiritual facilitators will guide participants through a 5 day retreat

  • The Inner and Outer Journey of Nonviolent Leadership
  • The Tool-Kit For Nonviolent Leadership

Participants will receive intellectual, emotional and spiritual nourishment as they engage in a daily rhythm that will include time for: transformative course content, spiritual practices, journaling, artistic expression, shared meals, silence, small and large interfaith group sharing and the development of practical toolkits for nonviolent leadership.

A significant aspect  will be applied learning via a community project developed by each participant in his or her individual faith community.  Members of the project team will provide supervision and mentoring as required throughout this time.


Effective leadership can only emerge from, and be sustained by, a foundation of self-understanding. Without an awareness of the light and shadow that drive our unique personalities we unconsciously repeat the myth of redemptive violence that is dominant in our culture. (Brendan McKeague and George Trippe)




Course content will be shaped around a unique and integrated combination of both ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ topics including nonviolent leadership; spiritual formation; interfaith dialogue; identity, culture and belonging; self care and participation in society.  The program will provide skills for putting into practice the insights of living nonviolently.

Unit 1:  Gathering and Grounding in a Culture of Co-Learning – Sharing Stories

Participants will be given the opportunity to:

  • Share personal stories – What brings you to this place?
  • Share stories of connection within faith traditions – What sustains you in your faith?
  • Reflect on the experience of community
  • Begin to engage the experience of the community within

Unit 2:  Dominant Culture: Social and Personal Impacts

Participants will interactively explore:

  • The formation and maintenance of groups and subcultures within societyP1010817
  • How the cycles of violence are legitimised, validated and perpetuated
  • The pervasive nature of dominant culture for the individual
  • Characteristics of spiritualties that perpetuate violence
  • Key characteristics of nonviolent spiritualties

Unit 3:  Nonviolence in my Faith Tradition

Participants will be encouraged to:

  • Explore the connection between culture and faith
  • Engage in critical self-reflection on the interface of culture and faith
  • Think about strategic nonviolent alternatives for livingwith Sherene
  • Reflect on their faith traditions and
    • Self-understanding
    • An understanding of Others as neighbours
    • Experiences of Transformation
    • Consider project development:  How will I address extreme ideologies of violence?

Unit 4:  Practical Skills for Nonviolent Living

Participants will learn about and explore:

  • 5 skill sets for personal, interpersonal and social engagemP1010979ent in nonviolent communication
  • Individual principles which support nonviolent living and communication
  • Spiritual practices to sustain nonviolent living and communication

Unit 5:  Next steps for Personal and Project Development

Participants will be invited to:

  • Engage with a nonviolent self-organising process (Open Space Technology)
  • Begin to create projects designed to increase the capacity of their local communities to provide alternatives to violence
  • Begin to organise networks of support and ongoing learning with each other in preparation for the design of Module 2

The Cost


2 April – 7 April 2017

FULL FEE $1000 :  Suitable for individuals from organisations who can provide Professional Development opportunities

ASSISTED FEE $500 : Suitable for individuals and organisations with reduced financial capacity

‘COST IS NO BARRIER POLICY’ : If you or your organization cannot pay please contact us to discuss what options might exist



Successful Applicants for the 2017 program will receive:

– Food and Accommodation for 5 days

– Access to highly skilled facilitators and trainers

– Copy of the resource book, Engage (Pace e Bene Nonviolence Program)


Please Note: Successful applicants will need to arrange their own transport to the venue.


The Venue


2 April – 7 April 2017


Edmund Rice Centre ‘Amberley’ is a Retreat, Conference and Spirituality Centre situated on a bend of the Yarra River in Lower Plenty overlooking Westerfolds Park to the Dandenong Ranges.  ‘Amberley’ is approximately 20 kilometres from the heart of Melbourne.  Nestled on 20 acres of native bush land Edmund Rice Centre ‘Amberley’ has become a place of reflection and spirituality for all who enter its doors.

Amberley is a place of beauty, with superb accommodation, conference rooms, home-styled catering provisions including all dietary requirements, breakout spaces, walking tracks, recreational activities, meditation garden and a Chartres’s replica labyrinth.

‘Amberley’ – Edmund Rice Centre, 7 Amberley Way, Lower Plenty

The Facilitators


2 April – 7 April 2017

Ann Morgan

IMG_9774Ann has almost thirty years experience as an educator, including facilitating groups with young people and adults of all different backgrounds, engaging in dialogue and reflection. Her early career experience of working in multi-faith and ethnically diverse Borneo, Malaysia, gave Ann a taste of significant cultural, religious and socioeconomic diversity.  She has a special interest in mainstreaming nonviolence and peacemaking and believes that education and awareness raising through creating opportunities for respectful dialogue, is paramount for fostering social inclusion.  Ann is currently completing her PhD in Education.  Communities of practice, critical reflective practice, working in multidisciplinary contexts and exploring how values and ethics impact on identity and ways of ‘being’ in relationships are the focus of her research.   Ann is greatly supported by her partner Lawrie and two sons, Jordan and Joseph.  She lives in the multicultural and richly diverse suburb of Inala in Brisbane.

George E. Trippe

0N5A6331George has had a long interest in the dialogue between the psychology of Carl Jung and spirituality.  After working over four decades in the priestly ministries, George now functions in private practice in which he offers psychotherapy, counselling, spiritual direction and professional supervision. He also functions as an artist.   George has over fifty years experience in inner work, and has worked over these years with dreams and active imagination.  In addition to his private practice, George has worked with the team facilitating programs on Mainstreaming Nonviolence and the Spirituality of Nonviolent Leadership for over five years.  George holds a PhD (Edith Cowan University) and brings to these gatherings a specific emphasis on the psychological and spiritual dimensions of nonviolent living. He was married to Shirley for 45 years, and widowed in 2009.  He has three children and two grandchildren.

Brendan McKeague

IMG_9651Brendan grew up in the ‘troubled’ north of Ireland where he spent the first twenty-five years of his life surrounded by a culture of religious intolerance and violence. Brendan has been involved in adult education, group facilitation and nonviolent social transformation for the past thirty years and holds a Masters Degree in Curriculum Studies from the University of New England.   Since 1994, Brendan has been associated with the international Pace E Bene Nonviolence Service ( and was a founding member of Pace e Bene Australia. Brendan also provides co-learning programs in creative conflict transformation and nonviolent peacemaking. He currently works as a consultant and facilitator in a variety of corporate, government, community and faith-based organisations.  Brendan and his wife Penny live with their six children and one grandchild in Perth, Western Australia and he enjoys combining his Irish spirit with a passion for peace.

A full project team comprised of experienced and passionate Pace e Bene Nonviolence trainers will support the three facilitators

Great Sponsor Opportunity

Invest now in youth leadership to create future value for humanity and our Earth.

Join us in co-sponsoring two candidates from the Phillipines to the 

Nonviolent Interfaith Leadership Program 2017 

We would like to offer you the opportunity to co-sponsor a young Filipino leader to attend the program in April 2017.

Pace e Bene Australia has been partnering with organisations in the Phillipines and South Africa over the past few years and has included some wonderful participants from both these countries to broaden the learning opportunities for all involved.

The NILP team would like to offer two positions to young people from the Phillipines and are seeking partners to help make this a reality. Opportunities to sponsor include:



2xFlights ($500 each)





2xProgram costs ($500 each)



If you can assist please make your donation here or alternatively contact Dale Hess at


2 short interviews from two Filipino leaders who attended in 2014

Continue reading

2017 Information Pack

Information Pack

Information Pack for the 2017 Nonviolent Interfaith Leadership Program


Click to Download


Who is the program for?

Put simply, the program is for everyone.

This program is designed to cultivate nonviolent leadership and build capacity in people from faith based communities and organisations across Australia.This leadership program has so far benefited over 60 leaders across the Australian community from a broad range of faith based communities and organisations. 

Scroll through to see the types of people who have participated in this program.


More Quotes from Past Participants

“I am a totally different person from who I was 5 days ago”
“I came here being a victim of violence all my life.  My country and as part of a minority I have always been the target of violence.  Coming here I’ve realized nonviolence is a sign of power not weakness.  Power within and not lack of force when people do something to me.  It has been part of my destiny to be here” 
“It was freeing and liberating to find out that we are all pursuing the same thing…a peaceful world.  And how it is even more powerful and special when we do it together” 
“Helped me in having an open minded approach to not only other faiths and cultures but towards my life as well.  In that being said I sense there is hope for change within our community.”  
“It transformed my idea of community.  I now believe that those with differing faith backgrounds can get along and achieve peace if they have a commitment to nonviolence.” 
“As we learned: ‘what we will not process within ourselves, we will project onto someone else’. I will start dealing with my complexities and shadow non-violently and am so ready to be open to criticism and will to keep learning more deeply about nonviolent living. Yes, I am so gonna keep the courage up to break away from the deep rooted thousands of years of old norms by spreading awareness, knowledge and light into Muslim communities and Western friends.”