House of Representatives Speech- Isaacs Electorate: Bright Moon Buddhist Society 2011

I rise to speak about the Bright Moon Buddhist Society, which celebrated its 30-year anniversary and commemorated the birthday of the Guan YinBodhisattva on Sunday, 20 March. Simon Crean, the member for Hotham, and I had the pleasure of attending the anniversary, as did local state members Tim Holding, the member for Lyndhurst, and Hong Lim, the member for Clayton. Over 1,000 people came together to celebrate the society’s achievements and were treated to traditional dragon dances and vegetarian cuisine distinct to the Buddhist Indochinese community.

I rise to speak about the Bright Moon Buddhist Society, which celebrated its 30-year anniversary and commemorated the birthday of the Guan YinBodhisattva on Sunday, 20 March. Simon Crean, the member for Hotham, and I had the pleasure of attending the anniversary, as did local state members Tim Holding, the member for Lyndhurst, and Hong Lim, the member for Clayton. Over 1,000 people came together to celebrate the society’s achievements and were treated to traditional dragon dances and vegetarian cuisine distinct to the Buddhist Indochinese community.

The journey of the Bright Moon Buddhist Society over the past 30 years has been truly remarkable. The society came from humble beginnings formed in the garage of a founding member 30 years ago and has evolved over time to boast an impressive temple in Springvale South. When seeing the temple for the first time, you could be forgiven for thinking that you had been transported to the Forbidden City in Beijing. The construction of the temple has taken over 10 years and has been totally funded by community donations. It is a wonderful example of what a community can achieve when people unite to reach a common goal. The ongoing success of the society is a testament to the diversity of the Australian people and our willingness to embrace and celebrate our different cultural backgrounds. There is no doubt that the Bright Moon Buddhist Society has enriched the cultural identity of Australia and will continue to do so into the future.

On Sunday, we also acknowledged the birthday of Guan YinBodhisattva, venerated by Buddhists, who represents the qualities of kindness and compassion. Guan Yin’s presence at the temple is represented by a statue also funded from community donations. Recently, the society put into practice the qualities of Guan Yin when it generously contributed $11,400 to the Municipal Association of Victoria’s flood appeal. The society expects that the temple will be completed by the end of next year, and the Greater Dandenong Council believes—and rightly so—that the temple will be a great attraction for tourists in the future.

I would like to thank the Bright Moon Buddhist Society and, in particular, Vinh Loi Ly, president of the society, and Miao Jong, Venerable Abbot of the Bright Moon Buddhist Temple, for their ongoing commitment to the Buddhist community in the south-east and for hosting such a fantastic event. I thank all of the society’s members for their ongoing contribution to Springvale, to the greater Dandenong community and to the whole of Melbourne. I know, from the attendance of the more than 1,000 people at this wonderful event on Sunday, that it is the whole of Melbourne that has an interest or participates in the activities of the temple. Certainly, East Asian Buddhists from all over Melbourne, particularly from the Vietnamese and Chinese communities that are in the west of the city, also attended the function.