June 19, 2011
Your Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso
Thank you so much for accepting the many requests that were made for you to come to Australia this year.
We have been deeply moved by the love and concern you have shown to everyone and the wise advice you have imparted wherever you have travelled and to whomever you have met.
This has been your 8th visit to Australia and as the organization co-ordinating your visits, we wanted to let people know more about you and how special you are not only to us here in Australia but to many millions of people around the world. We wanted to share your story - your journey - and hoped that by doing this many would be inspired by your example and wisdom.
Before your arrival into Australia, a photo exhibition titled A Man of Compassion & Wisdom, the Dalai Lama’s Journey, has been travelling around Australia to many remote and regional areas. Over 50,000 people have viewed this exhibition with many being very moved and inspired by your story. We will continue to travel this exhibition around this vast country of ours even after you have left our shores this time.
Your Holiness, during your ten day visit this year, the total number of people who have attended your events is approximately 65,000 and a further 100,000 people have listened to your teachings and talks on-line.
Your Holiness's 3 day teaching in Melbourne, Shantideva's Guide to a Bodhisattva's Way of Life, was attended by 4500 people and a further 38,000 people joined the teaching live on the internet. The feedback from attendees was immensely positive and many expressed how fortunate they were that Your Holiness conferred Bodhisattva Vows during the teachings.
Your Holiness has spoken at the Public Conversations to capacity crowds in Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and now today in Perth. Over 35,000 people in total have attended the public talks with the largest audience here in Perth where 14500 people have gathered this morning. In the months leading up to each conversation, attendees were invited to submit questions to Your Holiness in order to encourage a closer dialogue. In Brisbane many in the audience were from outlying areas that were heavily affected by the devastating floods in February.
In each city, Your Holiness spoke to members of the Tibetan, Mongolian, Bhutanese and Chinese communities as well as Business Leaders in Melbourne, Brisbane and here in Perth.
In Canberra, Your Holiness met with politicians from all sides of Parliament including the opposition Leader Tony Abbott and the leaders of the National Party and the Australian Greens Party. Over one third of our members of Parliament and many diplomats attended a reception at Parliament House organized by the Parliamentary Group for Tibet. At events in all States including here in Perth, Local politicians and Mayors have honored Your Holiness by attending your events.
Responding to just some of the many invitations received, Your Holiness also spoke or attended a variety of other events across Australia including:
• The Blessing of the new Quang Ming Vietnamese Temple in Melbourne;
• Gave hope to the crowd at Les Twentyman’s 20th Man Fund at Footscray in Melbourne for homeless and disadvantaged youth;
• Spoke along side Refugees to Australia at The Story of the Refugee Luncheon co hosted with Melbourne Press Club;
• With fellow guests Reverends Tim Costello and Bill Crews, you enjoyed the meals prepared by the upcoming young chefs on the National television show, Masterchef. When the show goes to air in 6 weeks time it will reach over 5 million viewers around Australia;
• Joined other religious leaders in Prayers for world peace at Parliament House in Canberra;
• You inspired 3000 youth and their carers at the Never Give Up Youth Forum in Brisbane;
• Visited one of the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre established in Australia, Chenrezig Institute on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland;
• And yesterday, encouraged community participation at the Public Reception in Fremantle.
• And later today as the last event of your visit this year, Your Holiness will be honoured by some of Australia’s leading musicians who will perform at the Songs For the Dalai Lama, Sharing a common journey concert.
As in past visits, Your Holiness also participated on a panel of internationally recognised scientists including Australian of the Year in 2010, Professor Patrick McGorry, from Melbourne University at the Happiness & Its Causes Conference in Brisbane before an audience of 2,500 people.
We have endeavoured to keep costs to a minimum throughout the tour, and we have run all the events on a cost neutral basis. Current indications are that we will cover all costs for the entire visit. We thank the volunteers and supporters who have helped make this possible.
A full financial report will be presented to Your Holiness's office as soon as it is available and we will also post it on the Dalai Lama in Australia web site for public reference.
Your Holiness, your presence always bring so much happiness, insight and comfort to people and because of this Your Holiness has received many requests from organisations and institutions to visit Australia again. There are also several pending invitations. Our heartfelt wish is that you will return again soon to fulfill their wishes and continue your friendship with the Australian people, promote warm-heartedness and harmony and continue your dialogue with our community, our youth, scientists and academics.
The Australian people commend your recent decision to relinquish your former political responsibilities by transferring to an elected leadership of the Tibetan Community in exile. We hope that this will allow Your Holiness to have more time for spiritual practice and for the promotion of human values and religious harmony around the world.
The Dalai Lama in Australia organization has been honoured to co-ordinate this visit of Your Holiness and it would be a privilege to again do so in the future.
We pray for Your Holiness to continue to have a very long and healthy life.
Dalai Lama in Australia Ltd & the people of Australia