Founder, Communities of Practice
Chief Abbess of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temples in Australia and New Zealand
Abbess Manko is the Abbess of Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong and the Chief Abbess of Fo Guang Shan temples in Australia and New Zealand. She was born in Malaysia and first volunteered at her local temple. She joined the Fo Guang order in 1987, and in 1990 she was assigned to Wollongong – overseeing the construction of Nan Tien Temple. The temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere and welcomes thousands of visitors every year. In 1996, she was posted to Singapore to develop a Humanistic Buddhism Centre, with the grand opening of Fo Guang Shan Singapore in 2008. Since 2010, she has returned to Australia and continued her tireless project building work in supervising construction of the Nan Tien Institute and the Nan Tien Bridge (connecting the Temple and Institute). She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Nan Tien Institute and is Chairperson of the Hsing Yun Education Foundation. The not-for-profit Foundation provides financial support and learning opportunities to the wider community to access and understand values and principles of Humanistic Buddhism.
Founder and President of the Metta Centre
Tina Ng is the Founder and President of the Metta Centre, which provides a space for Buddhist teachers to share the Buddha’s teachings to the public. Tina is also the Principal Solicitor of Metta Legal, a law firm that deals with cases relating to family law, child protection, property, civil litigation and guardianship matters. She is an accredited mediator at Metta Resolution, which provides mediation, training and coaching to resolve conflict in the community and within families. Tina is serving her second year on the board of the Buddhist Council of NSW, and is active in the Buddhist community supporting various causes. Tina has a keen interest in supporting the youth, and runs mentoring programs through her law firm and projects. She has participated in Buddhist events as coordinator, advisor, emcee and auctioneer at charity functions. She has shared the Buddha’s teachings in conferences, talks, workshops, and in her writings (www.littlepieceofcalm.com).
Dr Jonathan Page has been a Medical Oncologist for 36 years with a long-term interest in Palliative Care.
Although he prescribes chemotherapy (and other drugs) and refers patients for radiotherapy and surgery if necessary,he also incorporates an inquiry into the psychospiritual domain to address matters of fear, regret, guilt, meaning, purpose, love and legacy (as they arise).
The psychospiritual domain can be accessed through meditation, presence and deep listening with an open heart-mind.
Chair of the Australian Sangha Association
Bom Hyon Sunim is the current chair of the Australian Sangha Association -the peak representative body for monks and nuns living in Australia. She also serves as a member of the Religious Advisory Committee to the Australian Defence Forces and has recently commenced doctoral research at Western Sydney University where she also volunteers as a Chaplain.
Sunim’s earlier professional background is in education and social work with post graduate training in counselling, psychotherapy and group work.
Sunim first ordained in the Thai Forest tradition in 1995, practicing in the Korean Zen tradition. From 2010, Sunim worked in palliative care, in both hospital and community-based services. She also coordinated the Buddhist Council prison chaplaincy program, and later established the Buddhist Spiritual HealthCare project. In 3 years, more than 100 Buddhists from various traditions and cultural backgrounds, received training in Spiritual Care practice. Sunim teaches at various Buddhist Centres in Sydney and Melbourne and continues to offer education in Compassionate Communication and Spiritual Care, including Death & Dying and Grief and Loss. She is deeply engaged in interfaith dialogue with others who are spiritually and ecologically motivated to live in right relationship to the planet and all beings.
Cecilia was born in Singapore and migrated to Perth in 1996 with her husband and three children. There, she obtained a Master of Law degree from the University of Western Australia while also lecturing business law at Curtin University.
She was the President of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia from 2013 to 2015 and from 2015 to 2019 Cecilia held the position of president of the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils of Australia. In this role she represented the Buddhist community of Australia nationally including representations in Federal Parliament in Canberra and at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Cecilia teaches meditation to beginners and has recently authored a book – Opens Like a Flower Cut it with a Knife – A Buddhist Mother’s Journey through Grief.
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