Buddhism & Australia

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6th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
2-4 February, 2017
Perth, Western Australia

Professor Clive Barstow, Dean of Arts & Humanities
Mr Peter Stuart, Hon Consul for Mongolia
Mr Keith Yong, City of Perth Councillor
Ashin Indaka - WA Theravada Buddhist Myanmar Association
The Buddhism & Australia is pleased to say thank you to each of you who have attended this conference and thanks to our participants, special guests and speakers for sharing their ideas and expertise.

The Buddhism & Australia extends its sincere thanks and appreciation to Professor Clive Barstow, Dean of Arts & Humanities and Edith Cowan University for hosting the 6th international conference Buddhism & Australia

A special thank you to Mr Keith Yong, City of Perth Councillor and Mr Peter Stuart, Hon Consul for Mongolia for inspiring words to the conference participants.

We are grateful to Ashin Indaka and his fantastic team of WA Theravada Buddhist Myanmar Association and to dedicated helpers Mrs Hong Bui and Mrs Khin Mar Swe for their kind help.

A big thank you to Ven Thich Nu Huu Tinh for introducing the Pho Quang Temple in Marangaroo to the conference participants.

Ven Thich Nu Huu Tinh - Pho Quang Temple in Marangaroo, WA
Mrs Daw Khin U and Mrs Khin Mar Swe offer gifts to the participants of the conference
Mrs Hong and Nick Bui

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

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