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HBC Advisory Committee

Stephen Hill, Chair

Honorary (retired), University of Wollongong

Stephen’s career covers multiple disciplines supporting an overall concern to make knowledge work for peoples’ welfare.

Prior to retirement, Stephen was United Nations Regional Director for Science for Asia and the Pacific, and in parallel, Principal Director and Ambassador of the UN organisation, UNESCO, based in Indonesia and part-time in the Director-General’s Cabinet in Paris. Prior to joining UNESCO in 1995, Stephen was Director of the Australian Research Council’s National Centre of Excellence for Research Policy, at UOW, following 17 years as Foundation Professor of Sociology.

He has been committed to NTI’s Program and Buddhist values since 2015.

Denise Kirkpatrick

President, Nan Tien Institute

Professor Denise Kirkpatrick commenced in the role of President, Nan Tien Institute of Higher Education, in February 2021. Professor Kirkpatrick has extensive experience as a senior leader in Australian and international universities. Prior to her appointment to Nan Tien Institute, she was Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Western Sydney University. She has worked as a Higher Education consultant for the OECD, the Commonwealth of Learning, the British Council and the Austrian Quality Assurance Agency.

Rodney Vickers

Dean of Studies, Nan Tien Institute

Rod has spent 25 years as a teacher and researcher. He has extensive experience in academic leadership, including time as Head of School and Associate Dean – Teaching and Learning. As Dean of Studies, Rod sees his role as implementing the values of Nan Tien Institute and assuring academic standards as required by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.

Venerable Dr Juewei

Director, Humanistic Buddhism Centre; Head of Program, Applied Buddhist Studies and Humanistic Buddhism, Nan Tien Institute

Venerable Dr Juewei holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies, a Master of Arts in Buddhist studies, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering. Juewei began her career as an applied R&D engineer in Artificial Intelligence systems in the 1980s, however made her decision to join the Fo Guang Shan order when she realised that she could be of the best service to humanity through promoting humanistic values in an increasingly divided world. Juewei is now Head of Program for Applied Buddhist Studies and Humanistic Buddhism, Director of the Humanistic Buddhism Centre, and Senior Lecturer at Nan Tien Institute in Australia, where she teaches subjects supported by her research.

Dr Sue Sumskis

Head of Program, Mental Health; Director of Continuing Professional Development, Nan Tien Institute

Sue has many years of membership experience as an academic and of contribution to Academic Governance, including Academic Board, Education Committee, Academic Staff Development Committee, Faculty International Committee, Faculty Integrity Committee and Course Advisory Committees. Sue has experience as a researcher and as a member of a Medical Research Ethics Committee. Sue’s contribution to the HBC is based on supporting the Centre’s mission to research and develop the contribution of Humanistic Buddhism to Australian society.

Dr Nadine Levy

Head of Program, Health and Social Wellbeing, Nan Tien Institute

Dr Levy holds a PhD in sociology and Honours degrees in both law and gender studies. Her research investigates women’s lived experience across a range of social sites, including health, therapeutic landscapes and spiritual movements. Her PhD examined the themes of belonging, emotions and social connection in the context of Intentional Communities in late modern society. Nadine is a committed Buddhist practitioner and is currently completing teacher training in the Insight meditation tradition. As such, she has a particular interest in Buddhist sociology / a sociology of Buddhism and the ways these two paradigms can enliven each another.

Dr Iain Sinclair

Lecturer, Applied Buddhist Studies; Research Fellow, Humanistic Buddhism Centre, Nan Tien Institute

Iain Sinclair is a lecturer and research fellow at Nan Tien Institute, Australia, and an Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Queensland School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry. He studies Buddhism in the Himalayas, South Asia and the Malay Archipelago. In 2018 and 2019 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, and in 2019 and 2020 he was a Käte Hamburger Kolleg Fellow at Ruhr-University Bochum. His published research focuses on Buddhist ethics, tantrism, medieval Asian art and history, Sanskrit manuscripts and contemporary religion.

Lewis Lancaster

Adjunct Professor, Nan Tien Institute

Emeritus Professor Lewis Lancaster is one of the most renowned Buddhist Studies scholars in the world. His academic and professional qualifications are extensive and have largely revolved around theology and linguistics. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley for 33 years. He held the D.H. Chen Distinguished Professor in Buddhist Studies chair and is now Professor Emeritus. In 1991, he helped to form the program for the University of the West, started at Hsilai Temple in Los Angeles and he is still an adjunct Professor. In 2006 he was appointed President of the University. He has been Adjunct Professor for Applied Buddhist Studies and Humanistic Buddhism at the Nan Tien Institute since 2013.

Associate Professor Nicholas Van Dam

Director, Contemplative Studies Centre, The University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Nicholas Van Dam is the inaugural Director of the Contemplative Studies Centre, The University of Melbourne. Nicholas is a highly regarded global leader in contemplative research and practice with a strong commitment to interdisciplinary dialogue and empirical rigour. His research explores the ways that meditation and mindfulness practices can support wellbeing, in pursuit of a better understanding of the human condition. He completed a PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY (USA), and previously worked at New York University, the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, and the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Venerable Miao Guang

Deputy Chancellor, Fo Guang Shan Institute of Humanistic Buddhism

Ven. Miao Guang is the Personal English Interpreter to the founder of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order — Venerable Master Hsing Yun, who has been teaching and spreading the Dharma across all five continents of the world for over five decades. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Asian Studies, University of New South Wales, and went on to complete her Master in Buddhist Studies at Fo Guang University, focusing on the studies of Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, Buddhism in the 21st century, Buddhist textual translation, and Humanistic Buddhism. She is currently serving at the FGS Institute of Humanistic Buddhism as Deputy Chancellor for International Affairs, which focuses on research and studies of Humanistic Buddhism, localisation, and acculturation of Fo Guang Shan temples around the world.

Gawaine Powell Davies

Chair, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils and Buddhist Council of NSW

Gawaine is Chair of the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils and the Buddhist Council of NSW. He has practised in the Insight / Western / Secular Buddhist traditions for the past 20 years and is a recognised teacher within the Insight tradition. Before his retirement he was a Director of the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity at the University of NSW. He is on the Board of Nan Tien Institute and has done occasional teaching within the Humanistic Buddhist program.

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