Wishing peace between Israel and Palestine

The Buddhist Council of Western Australia shares the view of the Federation of Australian Buddhist Council that we are saddened and shocked by the events of recent days in Israel and Gaza. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Israeli and Palestinian people; for those who are mourning loved ones, for those who have been injured, for those who have been abducted and for those who are fearing for their safety. We hope all people and communities find safety and that the violence ends. We also hope for a genuine peace process that will enable reconciliation between opposing forces and that the conflict can be resolved non-violently.

President’s Report 2023 – Ms Natasha Tang

Auspicious greetings!

Welcome to the year 2023 Buddhist Council of Western Australia Incorporated’s Annual General Meeting (AGM, 5 October 2023).

First, it is our great honour and privilege to welcome Ajahn Brahm and Mrs Cecilia Mitra, the ex. President of the Federation of Australian Buddhist Council, to be here with us this evening.

In October 2022, I was nominated as the President of BCWA, after numerous verbal invitations by Ajahn Brahm & Jake Mitra for Buddha’s Light International Association of WA to come on board with BCWA. My organisation felt it was the right moment to send me to represent them in 2021. Through the interactions in the last two decades with the Buddhist leaders in WA, we have formed a strong connection and trust among us. I have to say in short, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your warm welcome. I am proud to be a member of the executive committee, and the BCWA’s President for the past 12 months.

This year, BCWA gained the support from Hon. Dr Tony Buti MLA, Minister for Education; Aboriginal Affairs; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, to hold the Vesak Celebration in WA Parliament. This event allowed BCWA to bring the Buddhist leaders and communities together for the celebration of this significant event in the Buddhist Calendar with the WA government. WA Government has emphasized that to have the Vesak Day Celebration is very fitting and would welcome such an event to be held annually in the Parliament. I have received many positive and encouraging feedback after the event which are very heartwarming.

BCWA has supported many Buddhist events in the past months, such as the VegRun organised by BLIAWA at the Perth Bell Tower. We also attended the annual Buddha’s Birthday and Multicultural Festival held in Perth Supreme Court Gardens. Other events held around Perth and represented by the BCWA executive committee, namely the 20th Anniversary of the Cambodian Buddhist Society of WA; Commemoration of Death Anniversary of the founder of Bhutan by Khansum Zilnon Drukpai Lhakhang Temple; Hayagriva Buddhist Centre Tara Wall consecration ceremony; WA Baha’i Community Holy Day Commemoration and so forth.

In the past months, BCWA has been in contact with the Queensland Sangha Association (in short QSA), to coordinate the Buddhist Chaplaincy Course made available to WA Buddhist groups. It is now confirmed that Dr Barbara Sullivan has taught the course for QSA for the past 8 years. She is a retired Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland, a current practising counsellor and a Buddhist Chaplain registered with the QSA. I believe there are five confirmed Buddhist members in WA who have registered for the course, which will be commencing on the 29th of October this month. I thank you for your participation in the Buddhist Chaplaincy course. In the hope that there are Buddhists available in this field to meet the needs of the public.

Today, BCWA will be going to hold the election for the 2023-2024 Committee. Before that, I would like to thank some of the outstanding and outgoing committee members. Mrs. Marlene Robins, my deputy President, was peacefully passed in March this year; Dr. Jake Mitra, who is now replacing Mrs Robins, Jake has been instrumental in the establishment and operation of BCWA for more than 17 years. As Jake has expressed to the committee, it is time for him to take a break, but I am sure the Council does need his wisdom and insights as the years go by. Last but not least, Bunthan, the quiet achiever, with strong support from his wife, Tholla. Ramani is also ready to step down and focus on her meditation journey. Thank you and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors with good health and joy.

Finally, I would like to thank my current Committee for the great team support and your compassion and wisdom. My secretary Sisilina for your hard work and dedication. Without each one of you, I would not be able to fulfil the work that BCWA aimed to do. Hence, our collective effort is so crucial to keep the council stable and healthy. Thank You.



National Tree Day

The City of Perth organised a tree planting on National Tree Day on the 30 July at the Narrows Interchange area, planting nearly 3700 plants.  The Lord Mayor of the City of Perth, Basil Zempilas, Councillor Clyde Bevan, CEO Michelle Reynolds, President of Buddhist Council of WA and Buddha’s Light International Association Elder Advisor, Natasha Tang, President of Buddha’s Light International Association, Kim Yen Chen were present for the event together with approximately 150 volunteers from the community. 

The event started with a traditional smoking ceremony by Noongar Elder Neville Collard. Lord Mayor of the City of Perth, Basil Zempilas thanked everyone for attending and recognised the significance of tree planting within the City of Perth and its global sustainability. 

Plant species have been selected from the Karrakatta and Vasse complexes. The Boorloo/Perth area is called the Karrakatta soil and the Vasse soil is found closer to the river. Species such as Marri, Jarrah and Tuart, Banksia, Wattles and Melaleuca are native to these soils and would have been found in abundance prior to settlement. The aim is to repopulate this area with endemic plants species.

Read more »

Vesak Day Celebration at WA Parliament

The Office of Multicultural Interests and the Buddhist Council of WA co-organised a special and historic Vesak Day celebration representing the Buddhist communities of Western Australia. 

The president of BCWA Ms Natasha Tang JP thanked the Acting Minister of Citizenship & Multicultural Interests Hon. Reece Whitby MLA, Hon Tjorn Sibma MLC, representing the Opposition Leader, venerable members of the Buddhist sangha and guests for their attendance.

Please click here to watch a short video of the event.


Vesak Message from Prime Minister of Australia

Constitutional Recognition of First Nations Peoples

The Federation of Australian Buddhist Buddhist Councils supports the recognition of First Nations peoples in the Constitution as requested in the Uluru Statement.

Reconciliation and redressing past wrongs require a comprehensive response: symbolic recognition in the Constitution, effective structures for consultation and decision making through the Voice, as well as practical moves towards addressing the problems outlined in the Closing the Gap and other reports.

There are uncertainties about the effect of constitutional change and how effective the Voice will be in addressing Indigenous disadvantage. However we are reassured about the approach being taken because: Read more »