Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: TT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: TT Nguyên Tạng   

Thank you letter to Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser

21/04/201500:13(Xem: 1488)
Thank you letter to Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser


Malcolm Fraser-4

THANK YOU LETTER TO
FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA - MALCOLM FRASER

(Vietnamese version)
 

 

There had been many changes to Australia since Malcolm Fraser became its 22nd Prime Ministe. During his leadership of 7 years and 4 months (11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983) with the implementation of multi-cultural promotion policies that enhance human rights, compassion and social justice, 56,000 Vietnamese boat people became Australian residents. The number has increased, leading to a community of 300,000 Vietnameses up to now.

 

While Vietnamese people were happily preparing for the 40 years of our residence (1975-2015) in Australia, our benefactor Malcolm Fraser passed away. This is sad news for the Vietnamese community. It had been planned that in October 2015 Mr. Malcolm Fraser would have been present at the Victoria Parliament during an introduction of a book about 40 years of residence by Vietnamese in Austrlia, commenting on the contribution and achievements of Vietnamese Australian during the past 40 years. The book was written by a historian, Former Colonen Bruce Davies and Laywer Luu Tuong quang, Former Director of SBS radio. However, the joy has faded as Malcolm Fraser has been brought into another world as part of the Law of Impemanence. Nevertheless, what he had done for Australia and Vietnamese refugees has become invaluable legacy in Australia’s modern history.

 

As the matter of fact, Mr. Malcolm Fraser (1930-2015) has been considered as a great “father” by Vietnamese refugees in Australia. He passed away peacefully in early Friday, March 20th, 2015, enjoying a life expectancy of 84 years, leaving the endless mourining for his wife Mrs. Tamie Fraser, 4 grown-up children and thousands of Australian, including Vietnamese refugees.

                                                      

Mr. Malcolm Fraser was born on May 21st, 1930 at Toorak, Victoria. After graduating from Oxford (England), majored in Phylosophy, Politics and Economics, in 1952, he came back to Australia to work. In 1955, he was elected into the Parliament at the Wannon county and from then he had held many key positions in the Liberty Party. From 1975 to 1983, during his 8 years of tenure, Former Prime Minster Malcolm Fraser introduced and applied many policies in relation to the Aboriginals’ land rights, the establishment of family court and Federal Court. In terms of world affairs, he contributed to the co-operation of countries in the Commonwealth to protest against the racism in South Africa. He helped with the organization of Commonwealth Olympics that enhanced the human equality, and establishment of the Advisors’ Committee for the Refugees. Thanks to his generosity that many Vietnamese had a chance to become permanent residents in Australia. Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser is really our great benefactor so we should express our gratitude to Him. The Executive Committee of Viectoria Free Vietnamese Community conducted the Community Memorial Service to pay tribute to Him in front of the Parliament of Victoria at 6pm on March 27th 2015. Particularly, Quang Duc Monasty branch in Fawkner set up an altar for him and had a ceremony to honour the memory of Him on Sunday March 23th, with many local Buddhists attending.

 

Our Vietnamese ancestors have a saying: “Drink water in the memory of the source, eat fruit in the memory of the growners”. It’s true that without PM Malcolm Fraser’s Boatman Support Policy, our Vietnamese Community would not be as it is today. I kindly appreciate the work and credits earned by The Executive Committee of the Victorian Branch of the Free Vietnamese Community that initiated the idea of collecting 500 “cans of gratitude” to raise fund among Vietnameses to support Royal Children Hospital on Friday April 3rd, 2015 (Good Friday Appeal), as the expression of our deep gratitude to Australia for its great assistance to Vietnamese refugees. The target set is to raise AUD500,000 for Royal Children Hospital. There have been many entertainment, cultural and sports events for fund raising held by the Community with the support of mass media, entrepreneurs, the aged’s associations, churches and temples, and other indivituals so hopefully the target will be achieved. Quang Duc Monasty has been trying to get fund from local followers for the 10 cans received from the Programme Board.

 

On this occasion, I would like to briefly talk about how Buddhism has come to Australia.

 

Australia is located at the Southern Hemisphere. Its capital is Canberra. Its territory area is 7.7 million km2 (ranked the sixth after Russia, Canada, USA, China and Brazil), consisting of 6 state (Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, West Australia) and 2 territories (Australian Capital Territory, Canberra; Northern Territory, Darwin). Population is 23.1 milion (statistics dated 21/3/2014, according to abs.gov.au); average life expectance: 76.6; level of secondary school education:: 99%; Politics: constitutional monarchy; average income per capita: $44.598 (World Bank 2012). Australia is rich in natural resource such as gold, bauxite, iron, zinc, copper, diamond, coal, uranium, industrial oil, tin stale urine. In addition, the soil and weather are favourable for agricultural development. Australia ranks the sixth in the world for having skilled labour force, number of IT experts, financial and mechanical potential.

 

Buddhism is one of the four largest religions in Australia, including Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism. Buddhism was introduced to Australia in 1848 (the 19th centery), when the Asian and Euroupean rushed to find gold in Ballarat, Victoria. Some of them were Buddhists so they built a temple with some temporary material. The temple did not last but its statutes did so we can work out the time when Buddhism was first known in Australia.

 

Vietnamese refugees started to come to Australia in late 1970s. Approximately 300,000 Vietnamese people live in this country now. There are 12 weekly Vietnamese newspapers 10 radios and 2 TV channels. There are 4 different Vietnamese Buddhist Associations in Australia: World Linh Sơn Buddhist Association (established by Senior  Venerable Thich Huyen Vi, France); World Vietnam Buddhist Association (established by Senior Venerable Thich Tam Chau, Canada); Vietnamese Sangha Bhikshu Buddhist Association (established by Senior Venerable Giac Nhien, Ameria); especially United Vietnam Buddhist Association in Australia and New Zealand, established in 1981 by Senior  Venerable Thich Phuoc Huệ, Senior Venerable Thich Huyen Ton, by Senior  Venerables Thich Nhu Hue and Thich Bao Lac, first monks coming to Australia. This later Association has been operating for 15 years, through many ups and downs with the persistence to make the True Dharma take rook and spread in this country. Only up to December 1995, the Association’s activities were suspended due to the internal conflicts. In September 1999, the majority of members held a conference at Phap Bao Temple in New South Wales, in order to put the Association back into operation. The Conference last for 3 days on September 10th, 11th and 12th 1999, with many monks and nuns and Buddhists from more than 23 temples from all over Australia and New Zealand (nowadays, the number of members has increased to 35 temples). The name of the Association was changed to United Vietnam Buddhist Association in Australia and New Zealand. According to the media, the Conference was successful thanks to the support of all the Buddhist adherents from all over these two countries.

 

In general, Vietnamese Buddhism has been gradually integrated and developed in Australia. Vietnamese temples with typical Asian curved roofs coming into existence are good images as real and undeniable contribution by the Vietnamese community to the Australia’s multi-cultural and multi-national heritage. There are now about 100 monks and nuns in more than seventy temples all over Australia and New Zealand. (See the statistics at the end). By the view of the local people, Vietnamese Buddhism is different and richer in forms, compared with Buddhism practiced by other nations. That is the special combination of 3 different schools of Mahayana, Theravada and Bhikshu, and Meditation and Pure Land as well. Another characteristic is that the temples have the society called Buddhist Family, currently numbering 12 with 1050 heads and members. Some have a Bodhi Vietnamese Language School that helps young children born in Australia to learn and preserve our language and culture.

 

There are some stages of development for Buddhism in Australia: First stage can be countered from the beginning to the early 1960s when Buddhism has not been widely recognized but practiced by some Asian and even European communities. Another stage is from when a great number of Asian refugees came to Australia in the early 1980s of the 20th century when the history of Buddhism in Australia was turned to a new page with the number of followers ranked second after Christianity. Another source of statistics in Australia in 2011 revealed a number of 529,000 Buddhist followers.

 

Obviously there are more Australian adherents for Buddhism and this is good news. However, English-speaking Australian have difficulties in understanding and practicing Buddhism due to the differences in language and culture. To overcome these, they should come to relevant religious associations to work with other culture partner associations. These are major concern for religious leaders in Australia. The United Vietnam Buddhist Association in Australia and New Zealand will have to take the responsibility to work out the better way for promoting the Buddha’s teachings to other cultures, not just to our own people.

 

On the occasion of the Australian Vietnamese celebrating 40 years of living in Australia, we monks and nuns, and all Vietnamese Buddhists in Australia, would like to extend our gratitude towards Australia and the Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. Thank you to federal, state and local governments with supportive multi-cultural, multi-raced, multi-religious policies that that greatly promoted the freedom, equality and compassion. Thanks to this, our Vietnamese community have good opportunities to resettle in Australia. We have considered Australia our second homeland and have led happy and successful lives.

 

I would like to wishing the Vietnamese community good development and success to continue their contribution to the prosperity, wealth and peace of this multi-cultural nation.

 

Homage to Amitabha Buddha

Written at Quang Duc Monasty in April 2015

By Thich Nguyen Tang

Translated into English by Hoa Chi




List of Vietnamese Temples in Australia

 

 

1.         Phap Hoa Temple

2.         Quan Am Temple

3.         Bac Linh Monk and Nuns’ Place

4.         Minh Quang Zen Monastery (Adelaide)

5.         Phap Bao Temple

6.         Da Bao Monastery

7.         Phap Bao Zen Temple

8.         Huyen Quang Temple

9.         Truc Lam Temple

10.       Thien An Temple

11.       A Di Da Temple

12.       Minh Quang Zen Monastery (Sydney)

13.       Minh Giac Temple

14.       Minh Giac Monastery

15.       Nguyen Thieu Monastery

16.       Hung Long Temple

17.       Lien Hoa Temple

18.       Minh Dang Quang Zen Monastery

19.       Long Quang Temple

20.       Bao An Temple

21.       Bao Vuong Temple

22.       Thien Duc Temple

23.       Quang Duc Monastery

24.       Linh Son Temple

25.       Bao Minh Temple

26.       Kim Cang Temple

27.       Giac Hoang Temple

28.       Hue Quang Temple

29.       Tu An Monastery

30.       Phat Quang Temple

31.       Dieu Am Temple

32.       An Lac Hanh Pure Land Temple

33.       Bo De Temple

34.       Van Hanh Monastery

35.       Phap Quang Temple

36.       Linh Son Temple (Queensland)

37.       Quan The Am Temple

38.       Minh Quang Zen Monastery (Perth)

39.       Giac Nhien Temple

40.       Tri Duc Temple

41.       Phuoc Hue Temple (Temples numbered 41 and onward are not members of the United Vietnam Buddhist Association in Australia and New Zealand)

42.       Phuoc Hue Monastery (Big)

43.       Phuoc Hue Temple (Wollonggong)

44.       Phuoc Hau Temple

45.       Van An Temple

46.       Thien Phuoc Temple

47.       Vinh Nghiem Temple

48.       Thien Hoa Temple

49.       Pho Minh Temple

50.       Vien Giac Temple

51.       Quang Minh Temple

52.       Hoa Nghiem Temple

53.       Thien Quang Temple

54.       Phuoc Tuong Temple

55.       Duoc Su Temple

56.       Lien Tri Temple

57.       Sakyamuni Buddha Temple

58.       Tu Quang Temple

59.       Hoang Phap Temple

60.       Phap Van Temple

61.       Pho Hien Temple

62.       Tu Nghiem Temple

63.       Phap Loa  Zen Monastery

64.       Tieu Dao Zen Monastery

65.       Nhap Luu Zen Monastery

66.       Loc Uyen Monastery

67.       Pho Quang Temple

68.       Chanh Giac Temple

69.       Thien Trang Hy Xa Temple

70.       Phap Am Temple

71.       Phat Da Temple

72.       Tuong Quang Temple

73.       Liberation Zen Monastery (Thich Kien Tinh)

74.       Quan Am Son Monastery

 

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