Committee Members

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Helen Richardson, President is a  long-time student of Buddhism.  She  has been a member of the Buddhist Society of Victoria since 1984; at one time serving on the Committee and as Vice President.  She was also on the Buddhist Council of Victoria Committee.  She was instrumental in the formation of Sakyadhita Australia. In her professional life Helen was a producer at ABC Radio for 39 years and before that was at the BBC.

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Venerable Thubten Chokyi,  Vice President  and Spiritual Advisor.  

Ven Chokyi is a nun in the Tibetan tradition.  She is based at Chenrerzig Institute in Queensland where she is the resident teacher, leading the foundation studies program.. She is currently Chair of the Australian Sangha Association.  She was ordained in 2006 by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Prior to ordination she taught at University and in the community sector.

Ven Chokyi is also International Director of the Liberation Prison program


Sharon Thrupp, Treasurer is the  Director of Ekno Travels, a travel company based in Australia and India.  For two decades she divided her time between Nepal and India where she studied Buddhism and lived and worked in Dharmasala, India  having  direct access to the Tibetan buddhist teachings, including the Dalai Lama and other renowned teachers such as Sakyadhita President Jetsuman Tenzin Palmo 

She has now returned to Australia and regularly attends her local Buddhist centre, Chenrezig Institute on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

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Elizabeth Gibbons, Committee Member & Social Media.. 

 Liz  draws from a variety of Buddhist traditions in her practice.   She facilitates meditation sessions for male prisoners and also co-ordinates resources for that program.  In her professional life, Liz worked with asylum seekers as a migration support case worker; in women’s refuges providing advocacy and case management; as an adult educator teaching English as a foreign language

nd in a variety of roles with Aboriginal communities.  

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Dr Jack Wicks, Committee Member and Technical Support.  Jack is a former research academic with a PhD in mathematical sciences. She is a Buddhist chaplain registered with the Qld Sangha Association. Jack enjoys a variety of Buddhist traditions and has practised primarily in Insight/Vipassana and in Zen. She is interested in humanitarian causes and in womens and LGBTIQ rights. In 2019, Jack was one of the founders of the Alliance for Buddhist Ethics.

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Sky Dawson Minutes Secretary.   Sky trained as an Occupational Therapist inn Western Australia and worked with children for 20 years then lectured at Curtin University of Technology. She also worked hospice and palliative care and did research in this area for 9 years.

 She sat her first meditation retreat in Perth, Western Australia in 1981 and has travelled to the NSW, Burma and the US for short and long vipassana retreats.

 She has been teaching meditation part-time since 2005 in the USA and Western Australia after completing a 5 year meditation teacher training programme. She retired in 2009 to focus on teaching meditation and lived at the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts from 2010 to 2014 as a resident teacher

Sonja Webb,  Membership Secretary.  My introduction to Buddhism came through a talk I attended given by Tenzin Palmo while she was touring to fund the building for her nunnery in India. Later as a student of Buddhism I became involved with Sakyadhita International as a volunteer in the preparation and attended the international conferences and have been a member of Sakyadhita Australia since its inauguration in 2016. My local Buddhist centre is Chenrezig Institute on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland where I continue to study and transcribe teachings with the Buddhist studies program.

Having trained as a cardio thoracic nurse I went on to spend many years as a research nurse working alongside molecular geneticists, neuroscientists, and epidemiologists in tracking genetic diseases and cancer within families.