Rotary Melbourne has created a public installation of four Peace Bells in Rotary Melbourne Peace Park, officially opened during the Rotary International Convention in May 2023.
This club initiative was supported by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp, Rotary International President Jennifer Jones, District 9800 Governor Amanda Wendt, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Bells were selected as the legacy project for the 2023 Rotary International Convention, making it the first ever legacy project of a convention.
The four bells are designed and built by Assoc Prof Neil McLachlan who designed the Federation Bells at Birrarung Marr. The traditional owners of this land, the Bunurong people have been consulted and are involved with the project.
Promoting Peace is one of Rotary’s 7 Areas of Focus and a cornerstone of Rotary’s mission. Rotary Melbourne has a history of involvement in Peace Initiatives. Rotary Melbourne also has a long-standing commitment to indigenous reconciliation and engagement with our first nation friends.
Each bell has engraved one of the four steps to peace:
The base of each bell is inscribed with the step and the ringing of the bell serves to signify a personal commitment to take it.
The first step is to “Seek Peace Within” as without being at peace in ourselves, it is difficult to build or promote peace with others.
The second is to “Make Peace at Home” as the absence of conflict in our homes where we live with our families and loved ones, provides a base to enable us to engage peacefully outside.
The Third is to “Create Peace in Your Community” which includes the social, sporting, work and other communities that create the interwoven fabric of our society.
The fourth step is to “Foster Peace between Peoples and Lands”, which includes respect and recognition for different cultures including first nations peoples, which is particularly relevant as we move towards the referendum later this year. It also recognizes the importance of respecting and caring for our environment.
The Peace Bells were designed by acoustic innovator and designer Assoc Prof Neil McLachlan. Neil works in music, acoustic design and auditory neuroscience. After designing the internationally renowned Federation Bells, he has designed a new ensemble of harmonic bells, harmonic gongs and other tuned percussion instruments.
The Federation Bells is an installation comprising 39 upturned bells. Located in Birrarung Marr, Melbourne. The bells were created for celebrations for the centenary of Australia’s federation in 2001.