Senator Sekai Holland
“Senator Holland has dedicated her life to campaigning for human rights, democracy and the empowerment of women both in Australia and around the globe. Her courageous and inspirational work was recognised in 2012 with the Sydney Peace Prize, Australia's only international prize for peace. In 2013, UTS awarded Sekai an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of her remarkable contributions to social justice. She is an outstanding role model for all UTS alumni and is a graduate of whom we are very proud indeed.”
Professor Ross Milbourne, Vice-Chancellor and President--University of Technology, Sydney
Senator Sekai Holland was the former Zimbabwean Co-Minister of State for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration in the Cabinet of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
She has worked in a number of volunteer and paid roles including: Director: Free Zimbabwe Centre Sydney, Australia 1971-1980; Founding member of Southern Africa Liberation Centre, Sydney, Australia 1971-1980; Representative of Zimbabwe African National Union: Australia, South East Asia and the Far East 1974-1976; and Sociologist for German Bank in Swaziland Dam Project for the Government of Swaziland 1992.
Senator Holland was appointed as Co-Minister in Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, March 2009; Elected to Senate for Chizhanje Electorate on the edge of Harare, March 2008 national elections; Candidate for MDC MDC Mberengwa East Constituency 2000 and 2005 Parliamentary Elections; Secretary for Policy and Research (MDC) 2006 – 2011.
As the former Zimbabwean Co-Minister of State for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration in the Cabinet of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Senator Holland worked alongside those responsible for her imprisonment and torture. She focused on innovative strategies to better incorporate traditional Zimbabwean cultural beliefs and practices with local, regional and international best practices to help advance the healing process. The new infrastructure for peace in Zimbabwe, as recommended by the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, encourages victims and perpetrators of political violence to acknowledge the history and culture of violence and to address the damage it causes. By doing so it is hoped the country can better build mechanisms to prevent future violence.
Senator Holland has dedicated her life to campaigning for human rights, democracy and the empowerment of woman both in Australia and around the globe. Her courageous and inspirational work was recognised in 2012 with the Sydney Peace Prize, Australia's only international prize for peace.
Senator Holland was a founder of Australia’s Anti-Apartheid Movement in the late 1960s. She also helped to establish the Murrawina Child Care Centre in Redfern, and was active within the Aboriginal community during the land rights movement.
Senator Holland is negotiating with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for Midlands state University to partner with two Australian institutions; NSW Service for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) and the Exodus Foundation. The proposed partnership with STARTTS aims to establish a similar mental health wellness institution for survivors of political violence in Zimbabwe. And, the focus of the proposed partnership with the Exodus Foundation is to create grassroots based community centres to facilitate rehabilitation programmes for returnee refugees and internally displaced persons.
In addition to the Sydney Peace Prize 2013, Senator Holland’s accomplishments have also been recognised with the French Legion of Honour (Legion d’Honneur) 2011; and two honorary doctorates, one presented by the Queen of Holland and the other from UTS.
Meet Sekai Holland, winner of the 2014 Advance Global Australian Alumni Award.