Jon has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne, majoring in politics and philosophy with a sub-major in Indian Studies. He has also completed post-graduate qualifications in education at La Trobe University and librarianship at the Melbourne College of Advanced Education. Jon has worked as a teacher, film maker, executive record producer, fundraiser, human rights advocate, parliamentary librarian and researcher. In 2000, Jon enlisted several international musicians, including Madonna, REM, Sinead O'Connor, Peter Gabriel and the Beastie Boys to donate their songs to the Mantra Mix charity CD, which he produced through the Narada label (a Virgin/EMI subsidiary in the USA). The CD generated $1.5m in worldwide sales and helped fund hospitals, ambulances and housing projects for Tibetan refugees in India and Ladakh. Jon has volunteered his time on the Great Stupa board as he is keen to preserve Buddhist tradition and culture and sees the Stupa as an important symbol of enlightenment and world peace.
Born Melbourne 1944.
Studied graphic design for 4 years at R.M.I.T before travelling to London in 1966 to attend art school and study contemporary painting.
Held 3 one–man shows with a Melbourne gallery. Work selected for “Field” exhibition for opening of Melbourne’s new art gallery.
Painting and drawings purchased by National Australia galley, Canberra.
Travelled extensively from 1967 for around ten years; mainly in S.E Asia, India and Nepal making a connection with Buddhist teachers around 1974. During this time studied both Buddhist philosophy and traditional Tibetan Thangka (scroll) painting as well as doing some retreat.
Returned from India with partner and first child to settle in Melbourne where I worked as a builder before moving to Chenrezig Buddhist centre in Queensland soon after the birth of our second daughter.
During this time became involved with building traditional Buddhist stupas.
This has occupied most of my time over the past 35 years.
Have been a member of the Great stupa board from the beginning. Having spent several decades studying Buddhist philosophy, doing extensive research on stupas, and being involved with the building of several large stupas, I have had an opportunity to see the impact these buildings can have on people’s minds. In short stupas represent all aspects of a path that can lead us to a state of genuine happiness or, at the very least, be a venue for a pleasant days outing.
To be involved which such a large scale project as this offers the great challenge of being involved in something that has the potential to change people’s lives for the better as well as being one of Australia’s most interesting buildings; so close to Bendigo city.
Judy has been very involved with the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion and the Jade Buddha project since their inception. Prior to this she was a co-founder of Atisha Buddhist Centre and worked for many years as the Director. During this period Judy was involved with the establishment of a palliative care service in Bendigo. She was also Regional Co-ordinator of FPMT Australia and New Zealand and a founding board member of FPMT Australia Ltd.
Judy says of her involvement “I am committed to this project because, as a Buddhist, I believe in the benefits of such a structure for all beings who visit it, view it or even dream about it.”
I’m a qualified lawyer with experience in both practising and teaching law. About half my working life has been spent in the South Pacific Region. My first legal job was in Papua New Guinea, working for the newly independent PNG government, and the PNG Law Reform Commission, mostly in the areas of land and property law.
After returning to Australia, I had various legal jobs before taking up an interesting job as “The People’s Lawyer” in the tiny Pacific country of Tuvalu. After that, I became a lecturer at the University of the South Pacific in Vanuatu and Fiji, mainly in criminal law and land law. Since returning to Sydney, I’ve continued teaching law, mostly in the subjects of property law and business law, and had six months teaching law in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. I’m now semi retired and tutoring and lecturing in business law (very) part time at the University of New South Wales.
Why I want to serve on the board: I’ve been a student of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche since the early eighties and have been involved with Vajrayana Institute since it was started by Ven. Roger about that time. I’ve long admired the project of building the Great Stupa, and the work done by Judy and Ian. It was a privilege to be invited onto board and I hope to be able to help with any legal or non legal issues that may arise.
Tony Steel has a background in corporate finance and international business. He is the Chairman of a major UK-based events company. His work in the not for profit sector includes a management role at a Sydney meditation centre. He was attracted to join The Great Stupa board by the opportunity to be part of a unique and visionary project.
Year of Birth: 1945
Marital Status: Married - Gabrielle 1971
Qualifications: Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) - Melbourne University, 1968
Graduate Diploma of Business Administration - Swinburne, 1986
Professional History: 2015 - Retired
1984 - 2015: BRT Consulting Pty Ltd - Director
1975 - 1984: WC Jewell and Partners - Partner
1968 - 1975: WC Jewell and Partners - Design Engineer
Other Interests: 2005 - 2011 Tara Institute - Board Member
1999 - Present Great Stupa - Services Consultant
2003 - Present Great Stupa - Board Member
After graduating as a Mechanical Engineer from Melbourne University in 1968, I worked as a Building Services Consultant, specializing in all building services – Mechanical, Electrical & Hydraulic. In 1975 I became a Director of BRT Consulting.
I became interested in Buddhism in the 1980s and began attending teachings at Tara Institute. I assisted with technical issues that arose around the property and in 2005 was co-opted onto the Committee as the Building Manager by the then Director David Andrews.
In the July – August 1999 edition of the Mandala magazine, my wife Gabrielle noticed an advertisement in it for a Mechanical Engineer to work on the Great Stupa and said to me “This has got your name written all over it.” Naturally the opportunity to work on the Great Stupa was very compelling so I immediately contacted the Architect, Peter Weiss, and arranged a time to meet with him and Ian Green at Atisha to discuss the role. I was honoured to be awarded the role as the Building Services Engineer. It has become the highlight of my 47 year career being the most important, unusual, varied and challenging project, not to mention longest, that I have worked on.
In 2003 I was invited to join the Board of the Great Stupa that I gladly accepted. To be involved on this unique and important project was a privilege and I still enjoy working with Ian and the other Board members on the challenges that it presents.
Now that I have retired from practice I am indulging myself even more on the project.