Plans Are Underway to Establish Melbourne’s First Multicultural Buddhist Primary School

Conference marks the beginning stages to new Multicultural Buddhist Primary School

Pictured Above: Andrea Furness, Joel Hines, Venerable PhraWorathep, Venerable PhraRonrawee, Venerable PhraSudhammo, Venerable Thich Pua than, Venerable PhraSatit, Venerable PhraSiriphato and Venerable Sadrinya.

A conference held on Thursday Sept 1st at Quang Minh temple in Braybrook, officially marked the beginning stages of establishing a new Multicultural Buddhist Primary School in Melbourne’s western suburbs, which is planned to open in 2013. The conference served as an introduction of plans to the wider Buddhist community.

The conference was led by Venerable PhraRonrawee, from the 60th Dhammachai Education Foundation and Venerable PhraSudhammo, President of Buddhist Federation of Australia. “The school aims to bring the heart of Buddhist philosophy into the Western academic setting, creating a dynamic and powerful synthesis of learning and understanding,” said Venerable PhraRonrawee. “There will be a strong emphasis on developing within the students wisdom and compassion required to be part of a harmonious and peaceful community,” said Venerable PhraSudhammo.

Special guests included Venerable Thich Pua than, the abbot of Quang Minh temple, representative of the Vietnamese Buddhist community in the western suburbs, Venerable Sadrinya, the abbot of Samadhi Meditation Centre, and representative of the Sri Lankan Buddhist community, Venerable PhraSiriphato, the abbot of Wat Thepmongkol, representative of the Lao Buddhist community in the western suburbs, Venerable PhraSatit and Venerable PhraWorathep from the 60th Dhammachai Education Foundation.

“There is a strong need for a school that not only develops children academically but also develops them socially and spiritually guided by Buddhist values,” said Venerable Thich Pua Than. “There is strong community support for this development from culturally diverse families in the local community,” added Venerable Thich Pua Than.

Special guest presenters included Andrea Furness, Director of Daylesford Dharma School and Joel Hines, board of governance member from the Daylesford Dharma School. “It is very exciting to be involved in the first conference towards the flourishing of Buddhist Education in Australia. Buddhism has been called the science of the mind, as quality of reasoning is highly regarded by its practioners. A Buddhist school in Melbourne will be a positive step towards promoting non-harm and the development of universal responsibility in our society,” said Andrea Furness.

Unconditional support was expressed from all the Venerable monks representing the Vietnamese, Lao, Thai and Sri Lankan communities. The representative Venerable monks voiced high levels of enthusiasm and joy knowing that “our children of the future will have the opportunity to an education with a strong commitment to creating a peaceful community.”

Reporter: Kongngen Dethphrakhun

Photographer: Nung

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