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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Raising males ‘vital for peace’

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Kussie, Pearl and baby Vaan at Saturday's Remembering and Healing event. Photo Melissa Hargraves
Kussie, Pearl and baby Vaan at Saturday’s Remembering and Healing event. Photo Melissa Hargraves

Kussie, Pearl and baby Vaan attended the inaugural Remembering and Healing event at the Rotunda in Lismore on Saturday.

It was the first time Lismore has recognised the celebration and commemoration.

Former member of the SAS regiment RJ Poole shared how he was acculturated toward accepting violence and aggression as a natural part of being male.

Mr Poole acknowledged the women in his life who have guided him to emphasise love and compassion.

‘Much of the cause of peace lies in how we raise and educate our male children. If I can make the changes I have then there is hope for everyone.’


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  1. It is impressive that a former SAS man acknowledged the peace loving-women in his life. That is a good start for changing attitudes. Please don’t leave it there. We know that over history women have often taken the lead to promote peace: think Lysistrata (ancient Greece), Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (founded 1915, the oldest international women’s organisation and one of the oldest international peace organisations), the Save our Sons Movement (Vietman era).

    However, it is not women’s responsibility to be the sole peace bearers and lovingness promoters in society. It is each person’s responsibility to promote loving-kindness, peace and compassion. Women are not generically programmed to be anti-war etc. It is our social conscience that propels us towards positive social connections, peace and co-operation.

    I look forward to seeing more men being pro-active in challenging other men’s aggressive attitudes, violence and anti-social behaviours. Think how meaningful it can be to voice non-aggressive and alternative views when other men say they “want to kill” someone, or that a person “deserves a good slap” or that biffo behind the pub and at sports events is “just letting off steam”, or that “males are naturally more violent so it’s OK”.

    Thanks to the Remembering and Healing Old Wounds Group for once again providing an opportunity to the people of this region to stop and think about the issue of peace, compassion and personal responsibility for challenging that idea of men and boys being “acculturated toward accepting violence and aggression as a natural part of being male.”

    In pro-active peace and freedom,



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