ABS/HB Program Advisory Committee

Dr Peter Oldmeadow

PhD (Australian National University), BA (Hons) University of Sydney, Bachelor of Letters (Australian National University), Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (University of Sydney). Prior to his retirement Peter was head of the Classical Indian and Buddhist Studies programs in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Sydney. Peter has a long-standing interest in Buddhist theory and practice which he has pursued both academically and personally through contact with living traditions of Buddhism in Australia and Asia. He also has an interest in comparative philosophy and religion particularly as they relate to the fundamental questions that face modern humanity.

Dr Xiang-Yu (Janet) Hou

Janet was trained as a doctor in China and an epidemioligist in Australia. Currently, Janet works as an Associate Professor in epidemiology at Poche Centre for Indigelous Health at the University of Queensland.

Janet graduated with a Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Buddhist Studies and a Postgraduate Certificate in Humanistic Buddhism from Nan Tien Institute (NTI) of Higher Education in NSW. She also worked at NTI as the Academic Dean in 2019-2022. Janet is a qualified Buddhist Chaplain and her practice focus is Humanistic Buddhism. She has been a volunteer teacher in Buddhism as Brisbane Chung Tian Temple since 2015. 

Dr Funie Hsu

Funie Hsu/Chhi is Associate Professor of American studies at San Jose State University. She is a transdisciplinary scholar whose research interests include education, Buddhism, and mindfulness. Her experience as a former public elementary school teacher shapes much of her work. Hsu/Chhi is an editorial board member of the Journal of Global Buddhism and is a co-organiser of May We Gather, a collaborative project of commemoration and healing by and for Asian American Buddhists and their spiritual friends.

Venerable Phong

Venerable Phrasamu Phongsak Supawangso (Supprathum) is a Thai Buddhist monk who has followed the Dhammakaya movement for the last two decades, a former assistant abbot of Dhammakaya Temple in Dunedin, New Zealand. Since the abbot of the temple built the large sacred site, the Dhammakaya Cetiya in Thailand, he was a young student at Political Science University who studied Buddhist meditation and worked for World Fellowship Buddhist (WFB)& (WFBY) and Dhammakaya International Society as a renunciant volunteer, a journalist for sixteen years before he become a Buddhist monk who completed a Master’s degree of ABS at Nan Tien Institute and carries out Buddhist research in Oceania region.

Dr Cecile Manikan

Dr. Manikan is a professional trainer and course designer of executive training programs in the field of Transformational Leadership and Management at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and the Ateneo de Manila University Graduate School of Business. Dr. Manikan is a strong advocate of Contemplative Pedagogy and Mindfulness Practice which she learned at NTI and which she is presently introducing to Philippine education and corporate business through her capability-building seminars and corporate training. As an active member of the Communities of Practice at Nan Tien, her interest lies in co-creating global peace and harmony through humanistic projects and affinities as well as inter-religious studies and dialogue.

Dr Mun-Keat Choong

Dr. CHOONG Mun-keat (Wei-keat) studied Chinese and Pāli Buddhism in Malaysia, Taiwan and Sri Lanka, before obtaining his Bachelor of Arts (1990) in Buddhist Studies at Komazawa University (Tokyo), and his Master of Arts in Studies in Religion (1994) and PhD (1999) in the area of Buddhist Studies at University of Queensland. His research interests lie in comparative studies of the Pāli and Chinese versions of the early Buddhist canon (including fragmentary Sanskrit texts). He is also interested in contemporary Buddhism in the West and Asian societies. He taught Buddhism courses at University of Queensland (2001-2), prior to taking up his appointment at UNE (2003).

Joseph Frawley

Joseph Frawley is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Applied Buddhist Studies at Nan Tien Institute. He completed dual undergraduate degrees in Law and Philosophy at the Australian National University in 2014, followed by an Honours thesis on environmental law and policy in 2015.

Joseph has been a practicing Buddhist since 2010, learning from Rinpoches, Roshis, and leading Buddhist scholars across Australia. In 2018, he undertook Tibetan Language studies at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamshala, India. Although he returned home due to COVID-19 pressures, his interest in Buddhist metaphysics, ontology, and ethics has only strengthened, with a particular focus on Madhyamaka ideas from Nagarjuna, Buddhapalita and Chandrakirti.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Joseph actively teaches meditation and mindful movement in his local community, attempts to nurture a garden, and ensures he gives his cat the attention he deserves.

Jodi Bush

Jodi Bush is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Applied Buddhist Studies at Nan Tien Institute having previously completed a Master of Philosophy at London School of Economics, a Master of International Relations at McGill university, a Diploma of Research at Science Po Paris, and Joint Honours BA in History and Politics at McGill.

Having spent twenty years working with global organisations she is interested in using her research into Buddhism to gain a deeper understanding of how Buddhist teachings can help inform our understanding of (and influence upon) conscious leadership, behaviour change and mindset. Jodi is additionally an active advocate for suicide prevention and mental health awareness, and considers increased mindfulness and compassion key to achieving improvements in this space.

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