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 has been a producer at ABC Radio for over 25 years and before that was at the BBC.
Jo Murphy, Secretary is a retired refugee lawyer with a passion for human rights. A long-time Buddhist practitioner, Jo was instrumental in establishing the Buddhist Council of South Australia, was a founding member of the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, and served as secretary for Sydney Insight Meditators (SIM) for several years. Jo has recently set up Friends of Tsoknyi Gechak Ling Australia, to support Tsoknyi Gechak School for young nuns in Chobhar Kathmandu Nepal.
Sharon Thrupp, Treasurer is director of Ekno Tours and Travel, and treasurer of Sakyadhita Australia.
Dr Jack Wicks, Committee Member is a former research academic and a Buddhist chaplain who enjoys a variety of Buddhist traditions. She is interested in womens and LGBTIQ rights and is a founder of the Alliance for Buddhist Ethics. She is also interested in teaching Buddhism to teenagers and volunteers for Buddhist Education Services for Schools.
Venerable Chikwang Sunim, Vice President (photo credit - M. McInerny).
Ven. Chi Kwang Sunim is one of the most senior nuns in Australia; she has been a Bhikkhuni for forty years. For twenty years she studied in Korea under the guidance of renowned Zen and Sutra teachers there.
In Australia Chi Kwang Sunim has taught broadly and, over the years, helped establish and chair a number of organisations, including the Australian Sangha Association and the Buddhist Council of Victoria. She is currently helping the Buddhist Council create a Buddhist Library
In 1998 she opened the Seon Centre, now a forest retreat in Kinglake, Victoria. For many years post the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires Sunim counselled her community which had been devastated by the fires and she continues working to bring awareness to restoring and preserving local forests and their ecology that now suffer the devastating threat of logging.
Kien Dang, Committee Member has a postgraduate degree in science, and has taught in secondary and tertiary educational settings in both Vietnam and Australia. Kien has research and published a report on domestic violence among Vietnamese woman along with co-author Dr Caroline Alcorso. She is a member of Pure Land at Quang Minh Temple, and follower of Master Senoir Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan. She has worked as fundraiser co-coordinator on the UN Vesak Day proceedings, she is a reporter for a Vietnamese Buddhist Magazine, as well as the Parliament Of World Religion in Victoria. She has also acted as translator for a range of Buddhist teachers including Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
Carol, Committee Member
Carol is an artist and art teacher, counsellor and carer(of both people and wildlife). She taught art to both able and divergent students (her speciality) from prep to year 12 for over thirty years. She has studied Mental Health and Counselling, worked as a carer and volunteered for not-for-profits supporting refugee, Tibetan and Buddhist organisations
A long time Buddhist she took refuge before her marriage sixteen years ago
These days she is ‘following her wellspring back to the source through writing and art and is passionate about world health, diversity, ecology and spirit’.
She also finds time to run a wildlife drop in centre with her husband and two cats.
Dr Anna Hallafoff is an Associate Professor in Sociology and a member of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University. She is also a Research Associate of the UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations – Asia Pacific at Monash University. In 2011, Anna was named a United Nations Alliance of Civilizations' Global Expert in the fields of multifaith relations, and religion and peacebuilding. Anna’s current research interests include: religious diversity; interreligious relations; countering violent extremism; education about religions and worldviews; Buddhism and gender; and Buddhism in Australia. Previously, Anna was a lecturer at the School of Political and Social Inquiry, and a researcher for the Global Terrorism Research Centre, at Monash University. Websites: Anna Halafoff