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Venerable Master Manko, Cr. Annie Tang, Deputy Mayor of Kogarah City Council, venerable and distinguished guests.
It is an absolute honour to be here today in the presence of the Venerable Master and so many distinguished guests. I was privileged to be among you at the Kogarah Branch of the International Association of Buddhists for your grand opening.
I have long held a great interest and respect for the Buddhist religion. Its approach to peace, righteousness, happiness and enlightenment hold great lessons for Australians of all faiths and philosophies. Buddhists have always operated so peacefully within the Australian community and contributed so much to the spiritual character of our local region in particular.
Master Hsing Yun’s instructions on achieving peace and happiness hold great lessons for me. I appreciate his instructions to treat others with universal compassion, work for the benefit of other beings, appreciate the magnitude of differences between individuals, and take into consideration the pride and rights of others as though they were our own.
His focus on “having a heart big enough for a nation” is a particular inspiration to me as I strive to listen to and represent the interests of an entire community. I look forward to listening to the input of other panel members on peace and happiness in ourselves and in our community.
Beyond Kogarah Branch’s numerous spiritual activities, your organisation has put its spiritual aims into practice with dedicated involvement in Clean Up Australia Day, Chinese New Year celebrations and opportunities for cultural exchange such as the Mid-Autumn Festival.
I thank you for your contribution both to your spiritual aims of peace and happiness for the entire community and for your concrete involvement in significant community events.
I thank you sincerely for having me here today and wish you peace and happiness in the years ahead.