Brisbane teenager recognised on global stage as winner of Lions Clubs International Peace Essay Contest

13-year-old Joshua Wood from Brisbane has an idea of what peace should mean to the world. Joshua has brought that idea to life through a powerful essay which has been awarded the grand prize in the prestigious Lions Clubs International Peace Essay Contest.

The Lions International Peace Essay Contest gives young people with visual impairments an opportunity to express their feelings of peace. Lions clubs across the globe work with schools and local families to identify young people who are interested in participating and who could benefit from this program.

2020-21 Lions Peace Essay Winner – Joshua Wood

Judging is based on originality, organization and expression of the theme. This year’s theme was “Peace Through Service” and Year 8 student Joshua Wood has taken home the grand prize. The announcement was made as part of Lions Day with the United Nations.

The Brisbane Camp Hill Carindale Lions Club sponsored the local contest that gave Joshua the opportunity to participate in this global event and share his words of peace with the world.

“Brisbane Camp Hill Carindale Lions Club members are so happy for Joshua Wood’s achievement in winning the Major Award for Lions International Peace Essay competition,” said club president, Bill Dahl. “Joshua has displayed determination with entering and humility in this success. The support from his whole family has been superb.”

Through his essay, titled “Peace and Service Go Hand-in-Hand”, Joshua explores the idea of peace through though the eyes of his grandfather and the stories he told Joshua about what it means to serve others. Joshua hopes his essay encourages others to help people despite any disabilities or difficulties they face.

“I was born with a rare retinal condition and use braille to read,” said Joshua. “I would like others to know that even if you have a disability, you can still achieve great things and be a positive influence on other people.”

“The Peace Essay is important because it encourages people to not only think about peace but also how to achieve it,” said Joshua. “I would love to live in a more peaceful world and for people to find inner peace. I believe many problems and disputes can be solved with a more peaceful approach, whereby people think of others as well as themselves. With more patience, kindness and a willingness to help others, I believe we can achieve a more peaceful society.”

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner congratulated the Brisbane Camp Hill Carindale Lions Club for helping a gifted young Brisbane resident achieve Australia’s first International Peace Essay Competition.

“What Joshua has achieved is not only extraordinary for Brisbane and our nation, but is also empowering visually-impaired young people across the world to strive for peace,” Cr Schrinner said.

“I commend Brisbane Camp Hill Carindale Lions Club for their long-standing role within the community in supporting the next generation of young Australians.”

Lions Clubs International, the world’s largest service club organization, is made up of more than 1.4 million men and women in over 200 countries and geographical areas throughout the world.

Since the first club was formed in Australia almost 75 years ago Lions has grown dramatically in size and impact with over 1300 clubs and 30,000 members now giving back through an array of community-based programs and initiatives.

Lions volunteers pay annual membership fees to cover admin costs which means 100% of funds donated to your local Lions Club goes directly towards the cause.

Hear Joshua’s essay here

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