Buddhism is Australia’s second largest religion, and has a long history
dating back to at least the 1850s Gold Rush period, yet the life stories
of prominent Buddhists in Australia have remained largely undocumented
until now. Buddhist leaders and community members in Australia felt there
was an urgent need to record these stories and to preserve them for
future generations. Dr Anna Halafoff, Dr Edwin Ng, Praveena Rajkobal and
Jayne Garrod, researchers from Deakin University, responded to this call
in partnership with the national and state Buddhist Councils of Australia
and filmmaker Freeman Trebilcock.
With the assistance of the Research
my World program, the crowd funding joint venture
between Deakin University and Pozible.com, they raised $10,000 to begin
to record these stories and increase understanding and awareness of
Buddhism in Australia. This website, built by Jayne Garrod in
consultation with Dr Halafoff, provides free access to interviews
with prominent Australian Buddhist leaders from diverse traditions, as an
educational tool for communities, schools and universities.
It is the first stage of a larger long-term research project on Buddhism
in Australia, and more videos will be added over time. They are now in
the process of analysing the interviews and will provide links to their
research publications on the website as they become available. They also
intend to raise additional funds to continue their work on this project,
in partnership with Australia’s Buddhist communities.