Buddhism in Australia Perth Workshop Aug 2013

The strategy of the Buddhism in Australia (BIA) Research Project is to develop a Research Network, which will connect scholars, community leaders and students with an interest in researching Buddhism in Australia, and enable them to collaborate on a number of diverse and distinct projects.

The BIA Research Network will include leading and emerging scholars of Buddhism in Australia from a number of Universities working in partnership with peak local, state and national Buddhist organizations and community leaders.

BCWA is happy to assist Dr Anna Halafoff, Lecturer in Sociology, Deakin University during her visit to Perth from 4-6th August 2013. If you would like to contribute to this project which aims to compile an accurate archive of the history of Buddhism in Australia please contact the BCWA. This is the only project of this nature supported by the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils and state Buddhist Councils.

Venue: Cambodian Buddhist Society of WA (CBSWA) 56 Scott Road Kelmscott

Date: Monday 5th August 2013,  Time: 6pm for dinner followed by a 6:30pm start (6:30-8:30PM)

The CBSWA invites all to dinner at 6.00pm. The BCWA would like to encourage all member associations to make every effort to attend this workshop.

Buddhism in Australia Research Network Workshops 2013

At the last Australian Sangha Association (ASA) conference and at the Australian Association of Buddhist Studies (AABS) Victoria seminar at Quang Minh Temple, both held in Melbourne in late 2012, communities and scholars agreed that there was a pressing need to conduct more research on Buddhism in Australia, particularly as many of the leading teachers and scholars were ageing and some had even sadly recently passed away. Following these meetings it was agreed that it would be beneficial to collect the oral histories of leading figures of Buddhism, through interviews where possible, and also by investigating sources such as correspondence and previously published material.

Dr. Anna Halafoff (from Deakin University), Associate Prof. Judith Snodgrass, and Ruth Fitzpatrick (both from the University of Western Sydney) and Dr Mark Allon (University of Sydney) decided to convene a series of workshops, bringing scholars and community leaders together, to begin planning an Australia Research Council Linkage Project (ARC) proposal due in 2014. This has led to the formation of the Buddhism in Australia (BIA) Research Network and to discussions held so far in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, in which a number of possible research projects have been identified.

These workshops set out to receive feedback from participants and to allow them to raise what they see to be the research priorities for themselves and their communities. The Overarching Strategy is to develop a Buddhism in Australia (BIA) Research Program over a five-ten year period which will include many diverse and distinct projects. This BIA Research Program will include leading and emerging scholars of Buddhism in Australia from a number of Universities working in partnership with peak local, state and national Buddhist organisations and community leaders.

Between February and December 2013 the BIA is planning workshops in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth focussing on community consultations to refine the scope of the project and the BIA Research Program.

The BIA Research Network acknowledges the rich diversity and contributions of Buddhists in all Australian states and that these contributions to Buddhist Centres, Councils and broader society have seldom received the recognition they deserve. This is especially the case in the non-Eastern states such as Tasmania and Western Australia. As the BIA Research Network seeks to be as inclusive as possible it has received modest funding to hold workshops, in partnership with local Buddhist Councils and organisations, in as many states as possible.

Some of the possible future Projects/Research Topics might include the following topics and additional suggestions can be raised in the workshop discussions.

  • Buddhist monasticism in Australia
  • Management and sustainability of Buddhist Temples/Centres
  • Buddhist crisis management in Australia
  • Buddhist education in Australian schools
  • Buddhism and the arts in Australia
  • Female ordination in Australia
  • Translation of Buddhist Texts in Australia
  • Women in Buddhism in Australia
  • Buddhism in Northern Australia
  • Apocalyptic beliefs in Buddhism in Australia
  • Buddhist peak bodies and Politics in Australia


NOTE: This description was prepared by Ven. Thích Thông Pháp and Anna Halafoff in the lead up to the Hobart and Perth Workshops.