Call for Nominations: Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship


Call for Nominations Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship 2019: Gender Relations 

Global Reconciliation is calling for nominations for the 2019 Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship. The Fellowship is the premier award in the world recognising effective achievements in reconciliation. Our 2019 theme is “Gender and reconciliation”. It carries with it an AUD 10,000 prize. 

Gender relations and reconciliation 

Gender relations are fundamental to all human experience. Across human history gendered identity has rested on the biological significance of sexual reproduction between male and female. However, its social implications and the ways in which gender is lived go far beyond such ‘biological grounding’. Gender is a fundamental basis of potential difference for productive and meaningful relationships between people, but it has also been a basis for the erasure of difference through the exercise of power, the limitation of freedoms and possibilities, and the force of violence.  Over many years, the relationships between men and women have been subjected to critical scrutiny. More recently, the very concept of ‘gender’ is facing deep challenges. While the nature of the questions asked, and the conclusions reached, have varied greatly in relation to different cultural, religious and ethnic frames, the process of questioning itself has been a global phenomenon. In many cases, profoundly progressive changes have resulted, while in others the result has been increased inequality, oppression, violence, and insecurity. 

Reconciliation across the boundaries of difference 

Global Reconciliation understands reconciliation as the promotion of creative communication and practical dialogue across the boundaries of difference, in order both to preserve and protect difference and to be able to draw on it as a source for rich new meanings. In terms of gender relations, this reconciliation process includes coming to terms with the complex relations we have to our own gendered bodies and to those of others. 

Who are we seeking? 

For this year’s Desmond Tutu award, we are seeking to honour an individual or individuals who has/have helped foment active conversations and practice across different gendered positions. She, he or they could be a person who has worked creatively to resolve situations of gender-based violence, or someone who has contributed, through re-making gender relations, to forming new possibilities in fields that may go beyond gender issues narrowly conceived. The nominee may work in one of many capacities, from community activist, to engaged social thinker.  We are seeking to honour a person who has provided leadership in the ethical reworking of the relationships between genders, or who has contributed significantly to advancing both the awareness of the need for gender dialogues, and the fashioning of new practices associated with them. Ideally, this person will be someone who works with others in ways that have both local and wider consequences. It will be a person whose imaginative vision has the potential to shift current paradigms and change the way that people behave through their actions in a diverse range of settings. It will be an individual who is courageous and effective, and stands as an inspiration to others. It will be someone who contributes to the building of a safe inclusive space promoting debate as open exchange and marginalising declamation and denunciation. The person we are seeking is, like previous Fellows, an individual who has found a way to negotiate across the borders posed by difficult cultural and political differences. 

Please let others know 

If you know of such a person, we urge you to nominate him or her by writing to us with information on where and how they work and the achievements they have made relevant to this nomination. It is important that candidates provide their agreement to being nominated, and nominations should also include the names and contact details of two referees. Please feel free to pass on this ‘Call for Nominations’ to other individuals or organisations so that they too have the opportunity to nominate possible candidates. 

Award process 

The award of the Fellowship is made following a review process that considers past accomplishments and possible future achievements. A panel will consider the nominations received and submit a recommendation to the Global Reconciliation Board, which will make the final decision. Past winners have included Zeremariam Fre, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Nanko Van Buuren, Ian Campbell, Elizabeth Langslow, Katarina Pejovic, June Oscar, and Emmanuel Jal. Successful candidates may hold the status of Fellow for life and use the initials FGR after their names in public recognition of their Fellowship of Global Reconciliation. An award of AUD $10,000 will be made with the Fellowship, to be invested in the furthering of the Fellow’s work. 

We would ask that nominations are made before 31 July 2019. Please see the enclosed background information on Global Reconciliation and further elaboration of our understanding of the concept of reconciliation. Should you have any questions about the Fellowship, or the process being followed, please contact Victoria Baldwin at:


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Beyond ANU

Date posted

Monday, 13 May 2019

Updated:  7 November 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute