Keynote Speaker - Education under Occupation in Palestine: Good News and Challenges
Br Peter Bray is a De La Salle Brother from New Zealand who is currently Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University in the Holy Land.
He has extensive experience of education having been principal of De La Salle College, Mangere East in Auckland for three years, principal of Francis Douglas Memorial College in New Plymouth for twelve years and principal of Benilde High School in Bankstown in Sydney for three years.
Before taking up the position as Vice Chancellor at Bethlehem University he was director of the Wellington Catholic Education Centre where he worked for eleven years. During that time he taught in a Master of Educational Leadership programme and worked with principals and Boards of Trustees. He has a doctorate in leadership from the University of San Diego and has taught and explored his field of leadership in Universities and other educational institutions in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Ireland, the Phillipines, England, Europe, Palestine and Turkey.
Taking up the position of Vice Chancellor at Bethlehem University after being director of the Wellington Catholic Education Centre was a major change. He walked into a very different environment of a University in the context of military occupation. Challenges there are different to anything he has experienced before. However, he works with people who are committed to provide a quality higher education to the Palestine people entrusted to Bethlehem University - the first university established on the West Bank in 1973.
Bethlehem University also seeks to create an atmosphere which is an oasis of peace and to be a beacon of hope for these people.