Commonwealth Peace and Reconciliation Network

Established in October 2018, the Peace and Reconciliation Network brings together an interdisciplinary collective of academics, researchers and professional staff from more than 40 universities across the Commonwealth, who work in the fields of peace, truth, justice, and reconciliation. 

The ACU acknowledges the colonial legacy of the Commonwealth and the importance of truth and reconciliation processes in addressing its colonial legacies and realising the Commonwealth's modern vision.

The network aims to connect and support those interested in peace and reconciliation, facilitating collaboration and sharing approaches to truth-telling and reconciliation in society and within universities themselves. Through the network's discussion group, academics can connect with colleagues working on similar topics and share events or relevant news and research. 

Peace and rec group photo

The first meeting of the Peace and Reconciliation Network at the University of Melbourne, Australia

The network's inaugural meeting in October 2018 at the University of Melbourne brought together academics from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Fiji, India, Kenya, Malawi, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, and the UK. Since then, network members have discussed their research to our Patron, HRH The Duchess of Sussex, organised workshops for the Times Higher Education Teaching Excellence Summit and launched an institutional survey of policies and practices towards peace and reconciliation in universities across the Commonwealth.


The network is convened by Professor Shaun Ewen, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Indigenous) of the University of Melbourne.

Professor Wim de Villiers, Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University and member of the ACU's Council (governing body), chairs the network.

Working groups

Network members can join one of three peer-led working groups, which bring together academics with an interest on a specific theme and provide a forum for more in-depth discussion and collaboration.

Each working group is led by two members of the network:

Teaching and learning

Thumira Gunasena, Head of the Department of International Studies, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Dr Olive Wahoush, Associate Professor & Associate Director Newcomer Health, Community and International Outreach, School of Nursing, McMaster University, Canada


Dr Catalina Montoya Londoño, Senior lecturer in International Relations, Director of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies, Liverpool Hope University, UK

Dr Joyce Muchemi, Director of the Institute of Security Studies, Justice & Ethics, Mount Kenya University

Institutional reform

Professor Sarah Maddison, Co-Director of the Indigenous-settler Relations Collaboration, University of Melbourne, Australia

Dr Meera Sabaratnam, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Chair, Decolonising SOAS Working Group, SOAS, University of London, UK

To join one of these working groups, please email

Peace and Reconciliation institutional survey

Take part in the first Commonwealth-wide survey of policies and practices in universities towards peace and reconciliation.

The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and can be filled out here.

News from the network

Join the network

New members of the network are always welcome. Membership is open to any academic, researcher, or professional staff member from an ACU member university with an interest in peace and reconciliation.

Join the network

Contact us