Cook Inseln: Paddy Walker

Paddy Walker's passion has always been to generate new ideas about peace so that people can become peace builders of a "world fit for children.

— Paddy Walker

Paddy Walker (87) has been driven all her life by a passion to achieve lasting peace in the world around her. She founded Pacifica (1974) to help Pacific Islander immigrants adjust to life in New Zealand. It was her initiative to develop the PPSEAWA Peace Gardens that have been established in Malaysia, Singapore, Samoa, and the Cook Islands; Fiji's Peace Garden is now being developed. Paddy works tirelessly with youths. Her vision is to generate new ideas about peace.

Paddy Walker's mixed Cook Islander and New Zealander cultural background equipped her with the compassion and knowledge to spend a lifetime building peace and understanding between peoples of different backgrounds and cultures. To help Pacific Islanders make the transition between life in their island communities and life in New Zealand, Paddy founded Pacifica; she was its first president. This organization was supported by the government and became an important and powerful force to bridge the gap between Pacific and New Zealand cultures. Paddy's ideal world of peace and harmony is reflected in tranquil garden settings. Thus, she was inspired to develop Peace Gardens in PPSEAWA member countries. These have been established in Malaysia, Singapore, Samoa, and Cook Islands; Fiji is developing its Peace Garden now. The gardens represent peace and cooperation between PPSEAWA member countries and provide a tranquil place for visitors to enjoy. They symbolize peace, harmony and understanding in a world too often torn by war and strife. Paddy actively promotes ideas of peace to adults and young people in the Pacific. This includes a children's program of reading, storytelling and drama as well as learning peace songs Paddy has composed. In her role as Peace Ambassador for PPSEAWA she has developed and promoted a "Design for Young Peace" program for schools in the South Pacific. She has worked on this through addressing school students in Samoa, Fiji, and in her home country of Cook Islands. Paddy's vision and passion remain to generate new ideas about peace – so that young people learn to become bridge builders for a "world fit for children."

Pan-Pacific and South East Asia Women's Association (PPSEAWA)