Peace Pole installed outside the Brolga Theatre


Peace poles 600x424 media release

A Rotary Peace Pole in Maryborough brings together Fraser Coast stories to be a constant, visual reminder to strive for world peace.

Fraser Coast Regional Councillor Daniel Sanderson said the pole, consisting of three elements, had been installed beside the pathway leading to the Brolga Theatre from Lennox Street.

“A Peace Pole is a hand-crafted monument that displays the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” on each of its sides, usually in different languages,” he said.

“There are tens of thousands of Peace Poles in 180 countries across the world, dedicated as monuments to peace. They serve as constant visual reminder for world peace.”

Tomorrow (Wednesday 21 September) is the International Day of Peace, and a dedication ceremony celebrating the new Peace Pole will be held outside the Brolga Theatre at 2pm.

The Maryborough Peace Pole, a project of the Rotary Club of Maryborough Sunrise, was designed by local artist and Rotarian Willy Paes with assistance from Fraser Coast Regional Council Senior Arts Development Co-ordinator Trevor Spohr.

The project was supported by many local businesses, other Rotary Clubs through a Rotary Grant, and the Fraser Coast Regional Council through a grant from the discretionary fund of Cr Sanderson.

The work consists of three distinct pieces which unite as one to symbolise our need to move forward together, Cr Sanderson said.

The pieces range in height up to five metres high and have been placed in a stepped design to mirror the roofline of the Brolga Theatre.

One pole is made from weathered steel that was left over from the Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial in nearby Queens Park.

“The steel was donated by the Maryborough RSL Club and has been laser-cut with the ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ in multiple languages including the Butchulla language, English, Japanese and Mandarin, which reflect the immigrants who entered Australia through the Port of Maryborough and our sister-city relationships,” Acting President of the Rotary Club of Maryborough Sunrise Adrian Pitman said.

The piece represents the steel buildings of the former Wilson and Hart Sawmill which occupied the site before the Brolga Theatre was build and the city’s manufacturing industry.

The carved timber log, which was rescued from the bank of the Mary River near Tiaro has been carved by Rotarian and artist Willy Paes with local flora and fauna to connect with the Mary River, forests and animals and birds of the region. 

The piece represents the Timber City and timber industry on which Maryborough was founded.

The third pole, a steel column has been inset with glass art designed by indigenous artists Aaron Henderson and Samala Cronin. Both depict local history and creatures of the dreamtime and environment.

“One of the six areas of focus for Rotary internationally is peace and conflict prevention and resolution,” Mr Pitman said.

“Through service projects, peace fellowships, and scholarships, Rotarians are taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.

“Clubs support peace in a myriad of ways from raising awareness of bullying, to helping to protecting domestic violence survivors and their families.”

Each year Rotary offers 100 fellowships to Rotary Peace Centres around the world – including one at the University of Queensland. More than 1,000 students have graduated from Rotary’s Peace Centres programs.