Buddhism & Australia

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Back in Berkeley

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Two people from Buddhism & Australia, Vello Vaartnou and Marju Broder represented Australia at the UC Berkeley PNC conference that was held on 16-18 August, 2016 in Los Angeles.

The PNC was founded at the University of California, Berkeley and it encourages scholars, academic institutions, and universities to collaborate and exchange their academic resources and research expertise.

It is really wonderful, that Western Australia which is usually known for the mining boom, was represented by two people who deal with the academic aspect of Buddhism on international level. Until today, Western Australian universities do not have Buddhist studies at all.

Prof. Emeritus Lewis Lancaster from UC Berkeley was the key speaker of the first International Conference Buddhism & Australia was very satisfied with the conference, academic presentations and organizational work. He considered that it is necessary to establish connection between Perth and UC Berkeley

Already in 2012, Vello Vaartnou represented Australia at the UC Berkeley and introduced his century project, an online Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia to the international audience. Last year, Australia was represented by Marju Broder at the Berkeley PNC conference at the University of Macau, where the projects of Buddhism & Australia were discussed.

Two research papers on Buddhist history was presented at the PNC 2016 in Los Angeles this year. Vello Vaartnou research introduced Buryat Buddhist history( Samdan Tsydenov, Bidja Dandaron and the Abbot of Kumbum) and Marju Broder talked about Karl Tonisson, the father of Estonian Buddhism and his connections with Buryatia and Asian countries.


Guru mandala thanka made by Vello Vaartnou was presented to UC Berkeley and Prof. Lancaster

Call for Papers

6th International Conference Buddhism & Australia

2-4 February, 2017
Perth, Western Australia

The IC Buddhism & Australia is pleased to announce the call for the 6th International Conference Buddhism & Australia that will be held on 2-4 February, 2017 in Perth, Western Australia.The conference investigates the history, current and future directions of Buddhism in Australasia and invites scientists and Buddhists to present their latest researches on Buddhism.

The main themes in 2017

  • Buddhism in Australia
  • Chinese Buddhism in our days
  • Western Buddhism
  • An online Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia

The organizers are open to proposals for contributions on Buddhist history, philosophy, texts as well for proposals on any related theme. All Buddhists, scholars and members of the general public interested in Buddhism are invited to present their papers in this coming conference.

What to Send

Proposals may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information:

  • author(s);
  • affiliation as you would like it to appear in program
  • email address,
  • title of proposal,
  • body of proposal; no more than 250 words,
  • up to 10 keywords.
  • CV max 2 pages

Time for paper presentation is 30 min (including Q & A). Papers to be presented in the conference will be published on conference website. Papers must not have previously been published and, if accepted, cannot be published though other media.

Deadline for Abstracts: November 30, 2016
Participants will be notified by December 5, 2016

Deadline for Full-Article: December 30, 2016

Please submit an abstract of your paper and CV (max of 2 pages) by November 30, 2016 by the following email: info@buddhismandaustralia.com

We acknowledge receipt and answer to all proposals submitted. Please use another email (estoniannyingma@gmail.com) if you have not received confirmation from us in 5 days.


To participate in the conference “Buddhism & Australia 2017 please contact Ms Marju Broder by the following email: info@buddhismandaustralia.com ( or estoniannyingma@gmail.com)

Payment of the conference fee of 510 AUD includes participation in all sessions for 3 days; lunches and coffee breaks during the conference.

  • Early Bird registration fee of 410 AUD is possible until August 1, 2016

Conference Venue: Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley Campus
Address: 2 Bradford St, Mount Lawley WA 6050


Ms Marju Broder
Organizing Chair
Email: info@buddhismandaustralia.com
mob +61 0405549923

5th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
18-20 February, 2016
Perth, Western Australia

The Buddhism & Australia extends its sincere thanks and appreciation to Dr.John Charles Ryan for making the conference venue possible, and to Edith Cowan University for hosting the 5th international conference Buddhism & Australia

A special thank you to Prof. Lelia Green, Ms Kelly Jaunzems and Mr Zor Hane from ECU; Ms Jennifer Pidgeon, Office of Multicultural Interests WA; Mr Peter Stuart, Hon. Consul for Mongolia in WA; E/Prof.Laksiri Jayasuriya, University of Western Australia. A big thank you to dedicated helpers Mr Pasan Ganegama, Mrs Pille Jones and Mr /Mrs Nick and Hong Bui for making the conference possible.

IC Buddhism & Australia is grateful to Ven Thich Nu Chan Dao and Ven Thich Nu Phuoc Tri of the Quan The Am Buddhist Temple; Ven. Sobhita and Sri Lanka Buddhist Vihara;Ven. Ashin Indaka and Theravada Buddhist Myanmar Association for warm reception and kind help in introducing Buddhist life in Western Australia.

"Lets have a look at WA Buddhist life"

Presentation of Buddhism & Australia Projects at the Pacific Neighborhood Consortium 2015 Conference

Buddhistdoor Global

The conference attendees. From Buddhism & Australia

Projects associated with Buddhism & Australia were presented at the Pacific Neighborhood Consortium (PNC) 2015 Annual Conference and Joint Meeting at the University of Macau last month as part of the special Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI) workshops hosted by UC Berkeley. Co-organized by Academia Sinica (Taiwan), UC Berkeley (USA), and the University of Macau, the main theme of the conference, which ran from 27–29 September, was “Taking Private Data into the Public Domain.”

Held since 1993, the PNC has been committed to enhancing digital research and interaction among researchers, educators, and professionals around the Pacific Rim nations. Its importance and contribution have been widely recognized by academic and scientific communities around the world. This year’s conference hosted speakers from such institutions at Harvard, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Taiwan Chengyi University, Academia Sinica, and the Russian Academy of Sciences, with a total of 157 speakers from 15 different countries being represented.

The ECAI forum was chaired by Professor Lewis Lancaster of UC Berkeley, and workshops included several Buddhist-related issues, such as ancient texts, Buddhist information mapping, new interpretations on historical cultures, maritime Buddhist history, Southeast Asian maritime history, and cultural data management.

Buddhism & Australia is an annual academic conference organized by the Estonian Nyingma foundation in Perth. Both were founded and are currently managed by Buddhist monk-scholar Vello Vaartnou. Buddhism & Australia has been hosted in various prestigious academic institutions in Western Australia since 2012. The conferences are held to unite scholars and Buddhists, provide an effective way for people to study Buddhism, and engage with Buddhist concepts.

Marju Broder, the organizing chair for the conferences and one of the presenters during the 2015 PNC conference, stated: “Estonia Nyingma is dedicated to developing Buddhist studies in Western Australia and building effective and long-lasting partnerships with Chinese Buddhists and scientists through projects such as the Buddhism & Australia academic conferences and the online Chinese Buddhism Encyclopedia.” The next Buddhism & Australia conference will be held in February 2016, marking 10 years of successfully running Estonian Nyingma Buddhist conferences.

At this year’s PNC conference, three speakers represented Australia from Buddhism & Australia Inc and introduced Estonian Nyingma’s history, current goals, and two ongoing projects.

The second of these, the bilingual online Chinese Buddhism Encyclopedia (English to Chinese), has now grown to 45,000 articles in English and contains some 300,000 cross-linked terms, illustrations, and 5 dictionaries. Vello Vaartnou, the project’s author, emphasizes that technology should be used to popularize Buddhism in China, which is considered important due to having the largest population of Buddhists in the world. China’s increasing global influence means that the country has great potential to preserve and develop the Buddhist tradition, influencing the course of development for Buddhism in a positive way.

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The Buddhism & Australia Inc declares that
Henri Lebedev and Ryan McDermott
do not have any connection to
Buddhism & Australia Inc and Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia.
They do not have any rights to
represent or act on our behalf.

Buddhism & Australia Association

Buddhism & Australia is a non-for-profit organisation, founded by Venerable Vello Vaartnou (Lama 万道). The organisation deals with variety of international Buddhism projects with main emphasis on academic and international collaboration.

The Buddhism & Australia Association is known for hosting annual academic international conferences since 2006, with the coming conference to be held 18-20 February, 2016 in Perth. The idea of Buddhism & Australia conferences is to unite the work of Australian and international academics, monastics and lay Buddhist and provide a platform for co-operation on different projects and aspects related to Buddhism.

In 2012, the Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia, a visionary project of Venerable Vello Vaartnou, was officially launched at the Berkeley University, and by today it has grown to become one of the largest English based websites on Buddhism in the world, with nearly 50000 unique edits. The main emphasis has been on developing the English side of the website. The project is currently seeking collaboration with Chinese Buddhists who are interested to collaborate on this important and grandiose project.

For any inquires, please contact info@chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com

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The idea of "Buddhism & Australia" conferences is to unite the work of Australian and international academics, monastics and lay Buddhist and provide a platform for co-operation on different projects and aspects related to Buddhism.

In Asian countries we can speak of 2600 years of Buddhist history. In Australia Buddhism is like a seed, it is still young and growing rapidly, becoming more popular amongst Australians. A seed needs water and nutrients to grow. We can say that the Buddhist seed in Australia is in a very fertile earth. But much work and effort is needed for the seed grow into a mature tree.

Australia symbolizes the movement of 21th century globalization. Almost all nationalities and Buddhist traditions are represented in Australia, which creates a unique opportunity and time for Buddhism and Buddhist to develop new ideas and Dharma activates.

“Buddhism & Australia” conferences are organized with the best intentions to further develop Buddhism in Australia and to engage with Buddhist from overseas.


The author and main organizer of international conference "Buddhism & Australia" is Vello Vaartnou, the Head of Estonian Nyingma and IC Buddhism & Australia, who has been annually organizing international Buddhist conferences in Europe since 2007. The first conference “Buddhism & Nordland” was organized in Estonia, which was focused on the history of Buddhism in Northern Europe. The conference was a huge success, uniting scholars and Buddhists from the Nordic countries and attracting visitors from as far as Mongolia, India and China.

When Vello Vaartnou moved to Australia in 2010, he decided to continue the tradition of organizing annual meetings for academics and monastics to discuss and work on different Buddhist aspects and topics. The first Buddhism & Australia conference was held in February 2012.

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