20th Birthday Nan Tien Buddist Temple

Click here to watch Sharon's speech

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (16:12): I associate myself with the comments of the previous member. I reported on my own Eid dinners in the last sitting. They are certainly well worth participating in. I would like to put on the record the work of Rita Andraos, who is a work experience student in my office and studies at St Mary's high school. She did some speechwriting for me, so I am about to share it with the chamber. Rita wrote a report for me on the visit to the Nan Tien Buddhist temple for its 20th birthday celebrations in the electorate of my colleague the member for Throsby.

In the time I have available, I would like to report to the House the joyous event that I had the pleasure of attending on 28 September. It was truly a feast for the senses as we celebrated the 20th birthday of the Nan Tien Buddhist temple in Wollongong. It was a cheerful day for all, celebrated with picture-perfect weather at the biggest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere, known as Southern Paradise. We celebrated the completion of the $50 million Nan Tien Institute and held a ceremony for the sealing of a time capsule of the first Buddhist-run tertiary institution in Australia to receive government accreditation. The event was wrapped up by some delicious food from the vegetarian food fair, where there were many outdoor stalls. The day-long celebration was truly a community day, attracting thousands of people to the Buddhist site. I offer my congratulations to the Nan Tien Temple and look forward to attending and being part of upcoming events and well-deserved celebrations to mark the continuing 20th year anniversary.