As a teacher, Jodie Dawe says it is her duty to instill the importance of peace in the hearts and minds of her students at Seaford Rise Primary School.
A 2007 graduate of Flinders University’s Bachelor of Education (Primary R-7), Ms Dawe will this month jet off to the US as a peace ambassador – literally filling her suitcase with messages of peace and kinship from her school community.
The 29-year-old has been selected from 50 teachers worldwide to take part in a global peace initiative run by Friend Our World – an online learning hub that unites children in friendship games of geography, languages, mathematics and global citizenship.
As part of the program, Ms Dawe and eight lucky children from across the world will spend three days in New York, starting with the United Nations Headquarters, to deliver messages of peace generated by Friend Our World participants.
“I’ll be bringing videos, artworks and books that my students have made, as well as general messages of peace from the staff, kids and school community,” Ms Dawe, a Year 1-2 teacher, says.
“We’ve made posters of turtle doves – the global symbol of peace – with lots of messages from the students and teachers, and we’re also going to make a big peace symbol using every child’s fingerprint from the school,” Ms Dawe says.
“While we’re there we’ll also be visiting the 9/11 (World Trade Centre) memorial, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.”
The Morphett Vale woman says she is passionate about teaching the importance of peace to children.
“Teachers are in a powerful position to have a positive influence on the next generation.
“By teaching about peace to the kids, we will hopefully make an impact on their lives, both now and in the future.”
Ms Dawe says she “loved” her time at Flinders.
“Obviously I wouldn’t be here without my degree from Flinders – it’s a great campus and a great environment to learn in.”