Minh temple is more than a place of worship. It is arguably the
largest centre for the delivery and administration of community services
in the Braybrook and Maidstone area, a community identified by Jesuit
Social Services as the most impoverished urban neighbourhood in
Led by the inspirational Venerable
Thich Phuoc Tan, the monks, the nuns, the community workers and
volunteers run an amazing array of community supports to the local
geographic community and the broader members of the Buddhist and
Family counselling services, drug counselling services,
Internet training for elderly citizens, employment training schemes,
meal services -- especially to local schools -- and a host of other
services are run from this centre. It is also in touch with a large
number of people in the community. Police estimate that up to 15 000
people annually are present at midnight, usually on a weekday, on the
occasion of the Tet lunar new year. With that standing in the community
it is an ideal organisation to reach thousands of people who are often
difficult to contact from mainstream community service centres.
The temple is located atop the Braybrook escarpment above
the Maribyrnong River near Solomons Ford, where the fresh water and the
salt water meet
The temple has recently conducted an impressive dialogue
with the indigenous community as part of an effort to design an
appropriate structure to mark the significance of the site to the Koori
community. The community will build a $6.5 million temple complex. But I
am calling on the minister to assist with the community service
component of the project. It will certainly be good value for money to
build on the success of this extraordinary voluntary community agency.
This centre is already a visual landmark in the area, and it is
certainly an organisational landmark.
It is a place that most people in the community know and
are drawn to, not only because of its spiritual significance but because
it is an epicentre for an extraordinary range of community activities.