Dr John Bellavance

John Bellavance has worked with NGOs and community organisations to support peace building, values education and wellbeing for 40 years. This brought him to interact with leaders and people at all levels of society. In the 1980s, he and his wife Anne worked with the African American community to fight crack cocaine. His efforts were recognised by the White House, where President Reagan sent him a letter of appreciation for his efforts to rid America of this social ill. In the early 90s he took this fight against drugs to his home country of Canada, were he was able to bring the issue of illicit drugs as a political campaign issue.

As part this work he has studied and written about values education for 30 years. The focus of his PhD thesis undertaken at Monash University in Australia, was the role of values in human/technological interactions with a particular focus on the role of values in the use of Information Technologies by high school age children. He has been teaching Information Technology in high schools for 20 years in the areas of computer networks, programming and data analytics. John is a dynamic public speaker and an engaging teacher.

On the left, pictured with Anne and with his four sons in Melbourne.

Living for the Sake of Others

His philosophy is to live for the sake of others. Living for the sake of others is not only good for our mental health, but also for our physical health. Love is defined as living for the sake of another. The opposite of this, is to use others for one’s own benefit. The true measure of progress of a civilisation is not only economic development, but rather its expression of love for humanity through it laws, institutions and practices. Values centred on love are broader and more enduring than value systems that focus on narrow ideologies or beliefs.

Love within the family has been the most unchanging and universal value in human history. For example, one could say that parental love for a child has been the most altruistic and unchanging value in human history. Love between husband and wife, and between siblings have been the basis for goodness, despite the fact that people have not always loved family members the way they should have.

Rationality and moral rules are not enough for humans to act morally. Emotional Intelligence has taught us that the best decisions and behaviours combine the rational mind and the emotional mind. We may know something is right, but is love and emotions that add a further motivation act rightly. Love and a deep emotional sense of what is right is the primary motivation to act in the best interest of another, not primarily the rational mind. Love is also the basis for justice and equality because if we love someone we would not consider threating them unjustly.

With Governor Mike Hayden of Kansas

From left: With Canadian Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau, Brain Mulroney and Julia Gillard - Former Prime Minister of Australia

Values Education With Jim Stynes at the Heroes Journey training. Submission to the Australian Productivity Commission on the importance of values education for wellbeing and productivity. Teaching Values in the Digital World at Minaret College in Victoria.

John is the Oceania Coordinator, International Association of Academicians for Peace. In 2021 he led Values Education Summits to map out a holistic approach to education. Educators from across Australia and the world have been contributing to this initiative.

“We have to continue have conversations like this, without the continuing conversation, the chances of values education being promulgated successfully, not just in schools and outside schools, is less than it should be.”

David de Carvalho CEO of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

Community service - Donating computers to the Pacific Islands.

Solidarity with African Australian Community Organisations

John's support the African Australian community began in 2009 with by being an active member of South Sudanese community organisations. Pictured here with the Governor of Victoria and community leaders. Left - Pictured with the Africa Day Australia committee. John was Vice President of Africa Day Australia for four years. John has also been a member of the Nelson Mandela Commemorative Committee for eight years. Pictured with Kevin Rudd and Stephen Sibanda, the president of Africa Day.

Productivity Commission on Mental Health Submission Dr Bellavance Final Submission.pdf