CEREMONY OF THE FOURTH NATIONAL SYNOD/CONGRESS THE UNIFIED VIETNAMESE
BUDDHIST CONGREGATION OF AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND INC.
Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR
Governor of South Australia
Friday 18th March, 2011
Senator Simon Birmingham, representing the Federal Leader of the
The Most Venerable Thich Nhu Hue
The Most Venerable Thich Quang Ba
Members of the congregation:
I would like to thank the Most Venerable Thich Quang Ba for
inviting me to join you today.
I am particularly
pleased to have this opportunity to extend my knowledge of the Buddhist
faith and its practice in Australia. I regret that my other commitments
today have prevented me from spending more time with you on this
I understand that the
Buddhist community in Australia has grown enormously over recent years.
In 1981 the Australian census listed 80,000 followers; in 2006 the
census recorded 420,000.
Many of you have come
to Australia as refugees from Vietnam. You have been accepted into our
community as peace-loving people.
Many Australians have
enjoyed learning more about the world through your eyes. Your culture
and your faith have added to the diversity and richness of our
Australian way of life. We thank you for the contributions you have
made to our community as citizens, as community leaders, as parents, as
business people and workers.
When we come
together, we learn that we have more in common than the things that are
different. We all love our families; we all want to do well and we want
our children to succeed and be happy. We all want to live in a peaceful
world, for the sake of this and future generations.
When we understand
what we have in common, we are better able to respect each others’
values and beliefs.
We are sharing the
benefits of a country that has many blessings, and when we look around
us in these times of political upheaval and terrible natural disasters,
we know that we have a lot to be grateful for.
We spare a thought
for the people of New Zealand and Japan, who have suffered so greatly
from recent earthquakes.
On this peaceful day
in Adelaide, I wish you every success for your congress.