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.
Venerable Chikwang Sunim, Vice President and Spiritual Advisor. Ven. Chi Kwang Sunim is one of the most senior nuns in Australia. She has been a Bhikkhuni for forty years. She studied in Korea for twenty years under the guidance of renowned Zen and Sutra teachers.
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.
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.
Kim Lam, Committee Member. Kim is a member of the Vietnamese Buddhist community in Melbourne.
Previously she has assisted with volunteer coordination, communications and youth engagement for Buddhist events. In her professional life, she is an Associate Research Fellow at Deakin University, having completed a PhD on religious identity negotiation among young Australian Buddhist practitioners.
She is a Steering Committee Member of the American Academy of Religion Buddhism in the West Unit, and Women’s Caucus Representative of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion. She is particularly interested in enhancing the inclusion and participation of Buddhist youth.
Dr Jack Wicks, Committee Member 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.
Elizabeth Gibbons, Committee Member.
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.