Buddhist Council of Victoria

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Buddhist Council of Victoria

Buddhist Council of Victoria

Information
Main School Non-Sectarian
Founded 1996
People
Director(s) Gerald Lim
Monks Hōjun Futen
Contact Infotmation
Address 36 McDowall
Mitcham
Victoria 3132
Australia
Country Australia
Coordinates
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Map
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Phone +61 (03) 8822 2013
Website http://www.bcv.org.au
Email chairperson@bcv.org.au, administrator@bcv.org.au



The Buddhist Council of Victoria


The Buddhist Council of Victoria is a representative body that acts on behalf of Buddhists in the Australian state of Victoria. It is actively engaged in representing the needs of Buddhists to all levels of government, provides speakers for interfaith dialogue and works widely with the community.

It has approximately 50 member temples and has been in operation since 1995. The Committee is elected annually from delegates from the member temples. Principal activities including the introduction of Buddhist education into primary schools and chaplaincy for Buddhist prisoners. We also produced a booklet on palliative care, Buddhist Care for the Dying.

History of the Buddhist Council


The Buddhist Council of Victoria came into being in 1996 when representatives of Buddhist traditions joined together in a common cause. The Council acts as a unifying body to represent the many temples, organisations and centres that make up the membership of the Victorian Buddhist Council. In 2006 the BCV released a document on the history of Buddhism in Victoria. It was written by Dr Shiva Vasi, PhD, and sponsored by the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

Mission and Purposes


Mission

To provide a voice for the members of the Buddhist Council of Victoria and to engage with Buddhist communities through programs aligned with the principles of the Buddha Dharma, for the benefit of Buddhists and the wider Victorian community.

Purposes

  1. To serve impartially our member organisations, which include Buddhist temples, Buddhist societies and other Buddhist organizations.
  2. To represent the Buddhist community to inter-faith groups, media, government and the Victorian public, in accordance with the Buddha Dharma.
  3. To promote the understanding and practice of the Buddha Dharma, which is an objective we share with our members.

Buddhist Religious Instruction Program


Under Victorian government legislation, religious instruction class is allowed in Victorian Primary schools by volunteer instructors for 30 minutes per week. This program is known as the Special Religious Instruction in schools program (SRI).

The Buddhist Council of Victoria trains volunteers to offer the Buddhist SRI in Victorian State primary schools and share their knowledge of Buddhism.

Mission and Aims

Mission

Under the auspices of Religions for Peace, to manage and deliver a quality non-sectarian Buddhist education program within the Victorian Government’s Special Religious Instruction (SRI) in Schools program.

Aims
  1. Buddhist SRI classes aim to contribute to the spiritual development of every child while respecting and complementing the on-going education program provided by schools.
  2. Buddhist SRI classes aim to develop wisdom and compassion required to be part of a harmonious and peaceful community.
  3. Buddhist SRI classes aim to be non-sectarian. They are based on the teachings of the Buddha, and do not adhere to any one particular tradition or cultural practice.
  4. In keeping with contemporary educational approaches, lessons are built around co-operative and active learning. The lessons respect and draw on children’s own experiences.

Healthcare Chaplaincy


Like all major religious and spiritual traditions, Buddhism places a strong emphasis on teaching practitioners how to face their own old age, sickness and death, without denial, and how to offer compassionate care to other people who are going through these inescapable stages of the human experience.

For Buddhists living in Victoria, access to Buddhist chaplains in the healthcare system has been very ad-hoc up until now. BCV’s participation in an interfaith approach to developing healthcare chaplaincy and spiritual care services for Buddhists is an important and exciting step for us, because it opens up the potential for building on our community’s current capacities in this area, and the possibilities for developing spiritual care models and resources in a systematic way so as to ensure effective services are available in the future.

We can now look forward to a time when appropriate spiritual care support can conceivably be offered to inpatients, their families and significant others, Buddhists and anyone else who wishes to access it.

Prison Chaplaincy

It may surprise everyone that there are 11 government run prisons in Victoria and two private prisons. There is a small number Buddhist Chaplains that cover these prisons including Christine Thompson, the Senior Buddhist Chaplain working under the auspices of the Buddhist Council of Victoria, the Chaplaincy Advisory Committee, and Corrections Victoria. We are mostly lay Chaplains from different Buddhist backgrounds who are committed to bringing our love of the Dharma and pastoral care to those who seek us out.

As there are a number of Vietnamese inmates across the prison system, we would like to offer Vietnamese services a few times a year particularly. Please contact us if you would like to get involved. The BCV has been coordinating Buddhist prison chaplaincy work in Victoria since 2002, when it was approached by Corrections Victoria. Prisoners from the Buddhist faith constitute only a small percentage of the total prison population, less than 5%, or in numerical terms a little over 200 prisoners.

There are volunteer chaplains from several different Buddhist communities and traditions visiting prisoners on a regular and 'as-needs' basis.

Source

The Buddhist Council of Victoria